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Re: F*** the Music Recording Industry

Perhaps I could share my own small record label experience here.... I 
was signed
to a label out of California and did one project of original material and
another where I was a contributer to a seasonal (christmas) recording. I 
had a
reasonably good deal, no advances but they paid all the expenses. I would 
about 50% of the royalty the rest to be divided amongst the other 
of the project (this was for the recording of original tunes). Now I did 
it a bit of a scam that the producer (who also played guitar, worked on
arrangements, and owns the record label) paid himself a very nice sum of 
(I think it was in the neighborhood of $15,000.00)for his work while I 
was paid
nothing. He also recieves 25% of the royalty, but his label makes the bulk 
the profit... which of course also comes back to him. The sales of that 
cd were
modestly succesful, about 60,000 units from the last statement that I saw. 
figured from what it would cost me to get manufactering done, and an equal
amount for some advertising that the label has seen close to 
$150,000.00 profit
from that cd.... I have yet to make my first dime.
I don't regret that experience, it did give me wider exposure on an
international scale that I wouldn't have had otherwise. One of the things 
I did come away with was an understanding that if the record label says 
they are concerned about the artist's financial concerns..... watch out the
shit will be waist deep....
The biggest thing that really does piss me off in a major sort of way, is 
even though I will have completely paid for that recording (all the costs 
recouped from my $0.65 per unit)... it still is owned by the record 
label. They
can do what they want with that music (I believe I'm currently on about 15
different compilation cds); I can't use any of the tunes on an independant
recording. I can't even re-record any of those tunes without their 

On the bright side, enough of the people who have gotton that cd do take 
trouble to find my independant recordings because they like what 
they've heard,
and a few have even gone on to record some of my tunes. So there has been a
benefit to my recording label saga.... but not enough of one that I'd do it
again, well maybe if there were some better terms of ownership of both the
tunes and the resulting recording.

For some other opinions about the mp3 file sharing thing you might check 
out a
couple of articles by Janis Ian (
http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html )
I tend to agree with most of her summeries, one being that the labels 
are really
missing the boat by not offering their archived recordings for download 
for a
reasonable amount. I know plenty of people that would be delighted to pay 
cents to download a song in a decent format, especially if the artist was
getting a portion of that.

I've had my rant, thanks for listening...

Paul Haslem
looping hammered dulcimer

Quoting Matt Love <matt.mattlove1@gmail.com>:

> I agree, it's a great speech, and it's such a shame about Ms.
> Harrison, and all. I have a deep rooted antipathy for her (and not
> just because of her misappropriation of my last name).  She went on
> and on about doing advocacy for all musicians, making sure they have
> representation like screen actors and athletes...
> Which doesn't make anything she said less true. I think that her
> people put some good words in her mouth.  Subsequent events (or
> non-events) would seem to support the cynics, though. There's no
> evidence she meant it.