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Screwed out of Royalties

IT’S JUST THIS SIMPLE. Take a look at the chart on the left-hand side of this USA Today article. It’s another reminder of the unbelievable shakedown of musicians that is status quo in the music industry. There’s a tendency for everyone who’s interested in these issues– musicians, record labels, music fans, policy makers– to get so caught up in the details of how the music industry works, that they lose perspective on how thoroughly broken things are. There is absolutely no justification for a system that works like this. The only reason it persists is because the major labels have blocked competition from the outside while they’ve turned their lawyers and accountants against musicians on the inside. And the only way things will get better is if the public decides to stop keeping these companies alive.

P.S. On the chart, where is says “independent promotion”– that means payola. It’s supposed to be illegal. For more on artist royalties, check out Steve Albini’s famous article and then read The Reasons.

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