Feeds

back to article SiriusXM sued for millions in 'unpaid' music royalties

Digital rights organisation SoundExchange has filed a lawsuit against satellite radio giant SiriusXM for what it termed "massive underpayment of royalties" from 2007 to 2012. The nonprofit group, which collects digital royalties on behalf of artists, said it believed that the satellite radio service provider – which had 25 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

> The nonprofit group, which collects digital royalties on behalf of artists,...

The nonprofit group, which collects digital royalties on behalf of multinational conglomerates....

The artists might actually get some of it, ...maybe.

18
1
Silver badge

bear in mind

Not-for-profits can pay employees astoundingy high salaries.

It's an old rort for dodging taxes, which is why the US IRS leans so hard on them these days.

0
0

Practice what you preach then.

Michael Huppe, president and CEO of SoundExchange, : "....... without paying them ( the creative artists) everything they deserve.”

So, that's 99% of your organisations turnover then, including your salary is it Mr Huppe?

10
0
Anonymous Coward

I only listen to talk radio. Nobody should get paid royalties on my behalf on music I don't and never listened too.

2
2
Bronze badge
Pint

Talk Radio, but the not-stoopid version

Me too. I have subscriptions to both XM (portable / home) and Siruis (car) and it's 99.5% for the purpose of listening to BBC World Service.

0
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

Eff Sound Exchange and ASCAP/BMI etc!

Seems that every digital music company should just shut it's doors since they cannot get a fair shake in any decision on what rates they should be paying.

If I were them, I would withold any payments to these blackmailing dorks until they all starve. Put all the money in an interest bearing escrow account just like rent that is being contested.

The problem comes from the fact that the digital/internet radio companies have to pay a different rate than the terrestrial broadcast radio stations. The digital providers should not have to pay any different rate than any other provider but now they are not allowed to become a terrestrial broadcaster and get the same payment terms (when providers like radio broadcast stations can have internet presence at the same rates as radio).

This is clearly inequitable jurisprudence. Just because it is being delivered over the internet does not make it any different than regular radio or TV broadcast. Many people listen to one song being played at a time. If digital providers play more songs then that is the only difference but the rate per song should not be any higher than radio pays.

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Never understood why playing music on the radio means the radio station pays the artist money.

If a company want to advertise a product the TV station doesn't pay the manufacturer of the product.

Be thankful they're playing your shit.

8
6
Silver badge

> Be thankful they're playing your shit.

Indeed, the fact that recordings are the main earnings vehicle for an awful lot of artists these days instead of actually, you know, performing says a lot about the music industry today.

9
2
142
WTF?

So what you're saying is TV stations shouldn't pay to broadcast films or tv shows, because they're effectively giving the shows' producers free advertising for boxsets?

1
3
Bronze badge

Skelband, for most popular artists, money is made by touring and merchandising rather than through album sales or royalties from licensing. Putting out an album becomes more of an advertising vehicle than an income source. This isn't true for all genres and will vary greatly, but for pop/rock, it's live performance and t-shirts that pays the mortgage.

The statement "Be thankful they're playing your shit." must be from a somebody working in the fast food industry and not a working musician. If music doesn't pay, there will be much less of it. Loads of people make money in the music industry and those that deserve it the most are the artists that create it. Radio stations play music to get people to hang around and listen to the commercials so the station can make money. There's nothing there to be "thankful" for. The radio station is not doing a favor to musicians, it's acting in its own self-interest and selecting the music it believes will attract the largest audience so they can charge the highest ad rates possible.

Creative people will continue to create regardless, but publishing songs and getting to the point where a group can play live costs money. Being able to do it full time, raise a family and put something away for retirement should be possible if an artist has the talent. In this day and age, music corporations seem to believe that talent comes in six packs and they deserve all of the money for noticing it.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

@142,

Yes, because ABC (Disney), NBC (Comcast) and the like would rather get rid of the broadcast stations because they make more money on their cable stations. The problem is, there have independent broadcasters that don't want that to happen.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

> If music doesn't pay, there will be much less of it.

And how will be be able to tell the difference?

There are literally MILLIONS of songs already in existence, thousands and thousands of which are very good and yet never get very much exposure. Yet day in day out music seems completely stuck in the same place for the last 20 years. The only fresh sounds I hear these days are by obscure artists who will never be heard over the commercial din of formula drivel.

Sorry, but musicians, like all artists these days, are a dime a dozen and need to get over themselves.

Go ahead. Quit. I dare you.

5
1
Silver badge

Careful

There are 2 parts at work:

1: Mechanical royalties - these are the artist fees

2: Copyright royalties - these go to the composer

There are a lot of composers who make a pretty good living turning out pop songs (tin pan alley never died, it just updated), but artists to tend to get the shitty end of the stick.

0
0
Silver badge

For me, it's about time artists (musicians and others) stop thinking in terms of marketing their stuff and realising that *they* are the marketable asset and the only real asset that they have.

The music "industry" has perverted the system so much that recordings are becoming the be-all and end-all of music. It's a disgrace.

Web comic artists are at least one area where rationality is returning. They realise that they are a marketable asset. They generate a fan-following. The can sell stuff and make money because people want it. But they are the product, not the stuff.

When you buy a CD, you're not supporting the artist by and large, you are supporting a large company that has nothing to do with the artist. They are using the law to strong-arm themselves into a de facto monopoly. That's no way to run a successful business. And they are doing a disservice to artists.

1
0

"Never understood why playing music on the radio means the radio station pays the artist money"...

Yeah, because listeners tune in just to listen to adverts and the music is an annoyance that drives the punters away, right?

If you're attracting listeners and revenue because they like the music that you play, then some sort of renumeration is only fair.

The real problem is the various different mafia-esque outfits that scam both punters and musicians by unfair pricing structures that appear to favour only the incumbents.

3
0
Silver badge

> "...then some sort of renumeration is only fair."

How do you define fair?

Why do you think that the artist should get anything from an act in which they did not participate?

Does an artist pay a royalty to the paint manufacturer or the guy who makes the canvas? They pay a one-off fee for the possession and that's the end to it.

Do I pay royalty to the car manufacturer every time I get into it?

The problem is, the legal status quo has created an artistic entitlement culture which feeds on itself. This is not healthy for the market or artistry in general. Good art pays. Trouble is, every tom dick and harry thinks that just because they paint or can twang a guitar, the world owes them a living. It aint so.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I thought that they had a deal for a simple 8% of the gross?

8% of the gross is 8% of the gross. Simple. It was supposed negotiated and calculated based on a higher percentage (11%?), and then discounted to 8% to account for all the exceptions.

Perhaps SiriusXM has been cooking the books as accused?

0
1
Silver badge

Ah, web 2.0

Web 2.0 means that someone always gets paid but it's never you.

4
0
Silver badge

Pay me! Pay me again!

A radio station pays performance rights to play a song. Put a radio into a small shop and suddenly they want you to to pay again! Talk about double dipping!

4
1
Bronze badge

Re: Pay me! Pay me again!

You used to be able to pay a corporate license for this service (no longer in the biz so not sure anymore), for example if you owned a chain of stores. In the 90's they tried changing it to a per store basis. When faced with the fact that it would be so costly that HMV/Virgin would stop playing music in record shops they quietly backed down.

Agencies such as these do not collect money for the artists, and you would likely find that the amount paid to them that gets anywhere near the artist is less than 2%, and is usually 4-5 years late.

2
0
Bronze badge
Flame

Re: Pay me! Pay me again!

As for the shops - TURN OFF THE BLOODY NOISE!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay me! Pay me again!

There was an article in Private Eye a couple of weeks ago funnily enough about the UK collections agency.

CEO is apparently on over £600k per year and seems to have about 25% operating costs (from memory).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay me! Pay me again!

Countless stories of these jokers intimidating small businesses. They tried it on with me and got short shrift.

They phone up, ask vague questions about your music usage and seize on anything you mention that might be related to music. Then they tell you they will take you to court if you don't pay up.

It's a good old fashioned protection racket. Pay us and nothing bad will happen to you. Of course they don't mentioned what their success rate in court is, they are hoping they can intimidate people into paying.

Then when you do pay, they get their mates from PPL to contact you to pay for another licence. You see, the first licence wasn't enough, the other lot want their cut as well.

You pay the second lot hoping it's the end of it, but then it turns out that if you were making your own copies of the songs you were playing (say copying from CD to MP3) then another lot of jokers called the MCPS try it on and want their cut as well.

PPL and MCPS is why B&Q have taken to playing awful cover versions on their in-house PA system. They only need the first licence for those. Works out far far cheaper.

0
0
Mushroom

Re: Pay me! Pay me again!

His french equivalent get only €400k per year (and some advantages) and operating costs are lower, "only" 20%. The former CEO got €750k per year.... crisis times are sooooo hard for these poor guys.

0
0
Silver badge

reap record profits from the creative contributions of artists and labels

And in that declaration we find the fundamental problem with almost everyone involved in this part of the creative commons. Not a damned one of them seems to know how to read a balance sheet. By my read, Sirius still isn't profitable:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=SIRI+Balance+Sheet&annual

Not losing money as fast as they use to, but not making it either.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.