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back to article Universal Music sued by its artists over downloads dosh

A class-action lawsuit by artists against the world’s largest record company has been given the green light by a judge. The dispute, which pits Universal Music against a number of its featured artists, sounds arcane – but an estimated $2bn (£1.25bn) in royalties is at stake. Universal treats a digital download or ringtone as a …

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Anonymous Coward

Ha ha

Here's a petard, hoist it for me. Thanks.

(and then let it explode - as a petard is a door-busting bomb)

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Go

The words...

..."petard" "own" and "hoist" leap to mind...

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Good. It seems that these media organisations seems to think that the law works only for them and not against them.I am plesed, and I hopethe payout is massive.

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WTF?

This is so indicative of the music industry. and when I say industry, I mean the labels.

bunch of f**king parasites. I used to be one of those that this publication came to refer to as "freetards". I used to champion stealing music from sites like what.cd because I thought it stuck it to the man. But several arguments later I ultimately realise that we should buy if we want to support the bands we know and love.

But one of the reasons I still haven't fully converted to the paying light is because of these miscreants and scrotes that scheme Machiavellian to rob the creators of their money. 10 to 20 % only for a sale?!?! that is absolute day light robbery. Jesus, just imagine if recruitment agents said that to new employees? We've found you a job but we're going to take 80% of the salary that's paid. They would be about as welcome as a fart in the batsuit in the labor market. The only thing archaic here is the ridiculous distribution model and how artists are still held ransom by the trafficking thugs.

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Devil

Is that 10% to 20% before or after breakages??? Those vinyl records can get broken in transport ya know...

10% to 20%, except for Morrissey, who's getting 0% from Sony for their latest release of his (ahem!) music.

I wonder will Pete Townshend condemn his record label as a vampire as well????

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I can't believe I'm saying this....

As much as it galls me to say anything in support of the music industry at all, I have to say that I think 20% is quite adequate. The musician does their part of the job, recording the track, once. Their publisher handles the business end of things (i.e. eternally recurring costs of personell and equipment maintenance, etc) forever. Add to that the musician(s) likely were paid an additional sum up front.

10-20% for sitting back and doing nothing afterwards sounds quite reasonable to me.

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Paris Hilton

Shock!

Dodgy and arcane accounting practices in the music industry work to deprive artists of payment?

//colour me amazed!

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Please tell me Metallica are loosing money in this way?

If so I hope the whiny little bitches are the only ones who don't get what's due to them.

That aside, this pretty much proves what we all knew anhow -- the point of copyright enforcement isn't to protect the creator but to screw the consumer.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree.

But PLEASE learn the difference between 'lose' and 'loose'. Sorry, but it really bugs me. A lot. If in doubt, use 'lose' it's probably what you mean in most situations.

Lose - I no longer have it - it's lost

Loose - It's too tight, I need to loosen it

(And don't get me started on 'could care less')

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Anonymous Coward

seconded

It is bloody annoying

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Loosed for words

Thank fcuk for that. This has been bugging me for ages.

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Anonymous Coward

Those royalties...

Is the 50:50 split for a licence and 10-20% for a sale applicable to every artist on that label, or just the top ones?

As far as I was aware about five years ago, the typical cut for up-and-comings (i.e., everyone except the flagship artist or two) was in the order of 2-3%.

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To be fair—a bit—labels do take a big gamble on new artists. All that marketing and PR puffery costs a lot of money. If the artist is unsuccessful, the label loses that money outright, hence the whole "advance on royalties" thing.

I agree that it's getting a bit silly now though, what with all those glorified televised karaoke competitions doing most of the marketing work now.

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to be fair????

Learn how the business works before stating stupidities.

Labels take NO risk!

Artists get 10% of record sales.

Printing, touring, equipment, studio, engineers, producers, shipping, breakage and returns, promo costs.. ALL COME OUT OF THAT 10%.

The label pays for nothing.

The ONLY "chance" the labels take is on advancing money to the artists so that they can pay for all of the above. The advance is almost NEVER recouped by the artist with the first record, which is what the labels use to pressure the artists into selling out on their second album (you own us xxx$ and we want it back so now you do it our way).

Labels are the scum of the earth and no better than two bit loan sharks.

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Delicious

Unfortunately I missed breakfast and forgot my lunch today, but this news is so delicious I think I'm going to make 'til dinner now

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Anonymous Coward

I guess that explains Radiohead:

"Radiohead reportedly made more money with its pay-what-you-like model before the album was physically released than it had made in total on the previous album (released through EMI) Hail to the Thief."*

Only 40% of the people who downloaded it actually paid anything, and those that paid averaged $4... and they still made more money than they did with EMI.

*http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-06/23/pottermore-radiohead-publishing?page=all

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Pint

Burn bitch burn...

The media industries are starting to smolder...just keep fanning boys! The flames will reach the top soon enough!

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The industry already treats it as a license!

If you actually bought your tune from iTunes, you'd legally be allowed to move it to other devices, etc. They're already treating each iTunes "purchase" as a license to play that tune on an Apple device only (specifically, when they were DRM protected).

Now, its coming back to bite them... yay!

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Devil

Those downloads were a sale, not a license?

Excellent, it's mine then, to do with as I wish

To the Torrents!

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Go

Oh the irony

The industry has been waving dicks everywhere trying to switch all digital purchases to "licenses". Not just the music industry; the movie & gaming industry has taken steps to do this as well. Now this seems to be backfiring because artists will now have a lot of legal precedents given to them by the labels themselves!

Now if only we could fix copyright terms as well, to lower them back to reasonable timeframes...

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