The RIAA vs The Artists they Represent

Apparently no one can play hide and seek with the RIAA, if you are downloading illegally on a P2P network, but they are the ones that are hiding now and holding money hostage.

Apparently, enough time has past to strike worry in some artists and artist’s managers such as John Branca (The Rolling Stones, Korn) and Irving Azoff (Christina Aguilera, The Eagles, Van Halen, and Seal) as to when they are seeing money from the lawsuits. None of the artists that are represented by the labels that sued, and collected on the upwards of $400 million , have seen a dime. No legal action has been taken yet, but could only be a matter of time.

The labels are saying that they are trying to figure out how to distribute the money and who gets it.

My opinion: The longer they sit on the money they more they are making off it. I am sure it’s sitting somewhere where it’s collecting interest and then they will have to take out an administrative fee for moving and distributing money.

My other concern with this is why is it that hard to distribute the money? The RIAA sued because someone was violating a copyright. In court weren’t their documents stating the songs that were infringed upon? Did they not make lists of these songs and the artist’s they belonged to or the writers of the songs? That would be the easiest and most logical way to distribute the money. Distribute it among the artists that are on your label that got ripped off. Sound’s logical.

My guess is that they are trying to come to an agreement on a rate. This is a big thing. The Industry can’t agree on any rate for anything. Rhapsody is still waiting on a rate for their downloads to be determined, so if you are waiting on money from Rhapsody it’s not their fault. It’s being legally held up. On the other hand, this is a very different situation. The RIAA represents the artists. People violated artists’ rights, so why is it taking so long for the artists to collect, if they even get to collect at all.

I am a business person, I’ve seen a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if the artists walk away with pennies. The labels are sitting their collecting interest on the money, and don’t tell me they aren’t because where else is that money, and they are going to charge for the time it took to come to the rates, the administrative costs and expenses, legal fees, and whatever else they can think of to deduct from the artist cut.

I can’t wait to see the outcome, if there is one, because Rhapsody has been waiting years for a rate decision. Looks like artists could be waiting a couple more years before they see their compensation. Maybe someone needs to call Alan Greenspan, at least we wouldn’t see the fallout from the rates so quickly as some are feeling it right now, Pandora and streaming radio. Those royalty rates are set and are set at unbelievable levels. I wonder if the artists are seeing that money too?

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