Thursday, December 3, 2009

Major Label Messes With the Wrong Guy

According to a news article from, Tim Quirk, a senior vice president at Rhapsody, demonstrates it's "possible to build a big database that accounts for what each copyright holder is owed". Tim Quirk used to front a band that was signed to Warner Bros. Quirk estimated that his band should have earned between 2-5 times as much digital revenue as its four independently-released albums earned. In addition, his band only earned about $12,000 from the independent albums distributed digitally through IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance), but only $62.47 from Warner Bros. Overall, $395,214.71 of the band's advance remains not collectable, which means that it owes that amount against future royalties earned. Quirk believes that his band will ever receive that advance. Most importantly, he claims that major labels are letting all sorts of digital revenue slip through cracks and acquiring sizable upfront royalty advances. In addition, Tim is arguing that since major labels are refusing to update their accounting technology for dealing with revenue from digital streams and downloads. On the other hand, Warner Music Group issued a statement stating that the terms of artists agreements are kept classified due to policy and Quirk's implications to the contrary are flat out wrong. In addition, the comments made by Quirk don't reflect Rhapsody's views on this issue. Overall, there are efforts being made so that accounting is done justly. However, the with multiple parties involved, the issue will continue to be complex. Whats interesting to note about this article is that all music enthusiasts know that the majors are masters at hiding money from artists, but you would think honesty would work to their advantage in the long run.

-Ryan Dolan

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