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October 21, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Sound Exchange Can't Find Wall of Voodoo Who else can't they find? Charles Mingus, Archers of Loaf, Art Blakey, T. Rex, Brand Nubian, Art Blakey, and thousands of others. The link is comprhensive list of the "missing," which is a long list indeed, but includes many who aren't that hard to find. Nashville entertainment lawyer Fred Wilhelms has tried to help SoundExchange as he has written about at least twice in Counterpunch. SoundExchange is the organization put together by the R1AA and the major entertainnment companies to collect royalties for streaming (Internet, DMX, XM) radio performances protected by copyright and to distribute it to the artists. These, indeed, are some of the royalties that could be going to artists, if only SoundExchange could find them. Unfortunately, many artists will not be getting pizzaid for performances from 1996-2000 if they do not register with SoundExchange by December 15 of this year (2006). SoundExchange was chartered to find these artists or their estates, but apparently they aren't looking very hard. Why? Because if the artists don't register, SoundExchange (read: R1AA and their corporate partners) GET TO KEEP IT!.
posted by beelzbubba (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
How is this royalty situation different than ASCAP and BMI and why should you care?

These are royalties from digital performances and asynchronous radio aggregators--simply put, the royalties from digital cable broadcasts (DMX) and satellite radio (SIRIUS, XM) as well as internet broadcasters suchas pandora and last.fm are paid to SoundExchange for distribution. Many of the artists YOU listen to are not getting paid because SoundExchange "can't find them."

Who can't they find? Charles Mingus, Archers of Loaf, Art Blakey, T. Rex, Brand Nubian, Art Blakey, and thousands of others. The first lin above is a comprhensive list of the "missing," which is a long list indeed, but includes many who aren't that hard to find.

Why do I care? An acquaintance of mine, and a man I respect highly, is on this list: the percussionist Adam Rudolph.

I found out about this through an article by Nashville-based entertainment industry attorney Fred Wilhelms, an outspoken critic of the DMCA.

I believe the article to be reputable. The article describes how Wilhelms offered to help get SoundExchange and artists connected, and how he was delayed, rebuffed, and denied. If you really care that artists get their due, you might consider contacting any of the artists you know on this list and get them involved.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2006


R1AA? Grow up.
posted by furtive at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2006


Mingus has been dead for decades. Am I not getting a joke here?
posted by selfnoise at 9:35 AM on October 21, 2006


Why do I care? An acquaintance of mine, and a man I respect highly, is on this list: the percussionist Adam Rudolph.

If you really care that artists get their due, you might consider contacting any of the artists you know on this list and get them involved.

Well, beelzbubba, have you considered contacting Adam Rudolph? Was he "delayed, rebuffed, and denied?"
posted by three blind mice at 9:48 AM on October 21, 2006


Two of the members of Wall of Voodoo are dead.
Stan Ridgeway is still breathing, and has something
to say about the Wall of Voodoo.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:14 AM on October 21, 2006


I see that Allan Sherman is listed there.

OK, I know that he's dead now, but couldn't they trace his muddah, his faddah, or his various sons, the folk singer, the celebrity and the nut?

It's not like nobody's ever heard of them.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:19 AM on October 21, 2006


It does seem funny how the RIAA will jump through great legal hoops to find people behind the IP that has been determined to have shared music, but seems to make absolutely no effort to find the people it collects royalties for. And then they'll turn around and produce ads to tell us that copyright is all about "respecting the artist". er, sure.

The organization shouldn't wonder too much why people don't think twice before sharing albums with their friends. Actually paying $15 a copy is certainly no guarantee that the artist will get their dues -- there's clearly as good a chance that the money will get "lost in accounting."
posted by clevershark at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2006


There's more to the story than SoundExchange's side of things. From an artist who's on the list, here's a comment on his blog (scroll down):

For christ's sake, can people stop sending me that? For once and all, yes, I'm aware. Yes, it's taken care of. No, they haven't actually sent me a check yet or taken my fucking name off their fucking list.
I swear to god, I get at least one, if not several, emails a day telling me that, and have for about six months. For the record, those people are just this side of criminally stupid. Their "service" largely consists of shaking down podcasters, collecting money, then sitting on it for years.

posted by xil at 10:52 AM on October 21, 2006


selfnoise: Many of these artists are dead. Their royalties are supposedly collected on behalf of estates, heirs, and assigns. Sue Mingus is one of the most protective of her husband's estate. That's why it is such a joke that SoundExchange even claims to have tried to get in contact. They don't refuse to collect the royalties of dead artists (Warren G. is also on the list), just drag their feet on paying them.

3bm- Of course I have put into motion contact to Adam. Why wouuld you assume that I haven't? And as far as I know, SoundExchange doesn't rebuff artists or other potential payess. The offer from Wilhelm was to track down artists on the list. I have no idea whether he was doing so pro bono or for pay. What I do know is that thousands of artists (or heirs, etc) are not even aware of this issue. I'm just trying to spread the word.

I listen to last.fm--and I'm a subscriber. I would like to know thhat monies last.fm has to pay to stream songs gets to the artists appropriately, instead of vaporizing into corporate coffers.

furtive: thanks for adding to the discussion. I've seen instances in other forums where threads are hijacked when that name is invoked. Of course, by now they probably search for the alternate I used, so your inference is understood.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2006


For christ's sake, can people stop sending me that? For once and all, yes, I'm aware. Yes, it's taken care of. No, they haven't actually sent me a check yet or taken my fucking name off their fucking list.
I swear to god, I get at least one, if not several, emails a day telling me that, and have for about six months.


I could have worded the last sentence of my post better. If you really care that artists get their due, you might consider contacting any of the artists you know PERSONALLY on this list and get them involved.

OTOH, it sounds like Chris of SMG shoots the messenger.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2006


pizzaid? You mean as in pizza-aid, right? So there are thousands of artists out there that don't have free and safe access to pizza?
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:17 AM on October 21, 2006


threads are hijacked when that name is invoked

We can deal with some RIAA guy coming in here and going "no they're awesome!" We can deal with each other, we can deal with him. Deliberately misspelling it is going to help about as much as screwing your tinfoil hat on tighter. It's the internet. It's public. And there are much bigger things to worry about.
posted by blacklite at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2006


wait wait wait wait. I totally skipped over that when I read the post in the first place. That really does say 'pizzaid' instead of 'paid'. Uh. What the hell.
posted by blacklite at 11:58 AM on October 21, 2006


That must be the hip-hop saying for "paid"?
posted by clevershark at 12:10 PM on October 21, 2006


the Real Dan: Stan Ridgeway is still breathing, and has something to say about the Wall of Voodoo

All right, I give up. What does he have to say about Wall of Voodoo?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:55 PM on October 21, 2006


That really does say 'pizzaid' instead of 'paid'. Uh. What the hell.

That must be the hip-hop saying for "paid"?

man are you guys un-hip
posted by radiosig at 2:01 PM on October 21, 2006


For christ's sake, can people stop sending me that? For once and all, yes, I'm aware. Yes, it's taken care of. No, they haven't actually sent me a check yet or taken my fucking name off their fucking list.
I swear to god, I get at least one, if not several, emails a day telling me that, and have for about six months. For the record, those people are just this side of criminally stupid. Their "service" largely consists of shaking down podcasters, collecting money, then sitting on it for years.


Yes. Please, idiotic cretins, stop caring about me and my music enough to try to help me recoup a few more bucks for my trouble. Here's an obnoxious retort to get you started on your apathy. :P

(The people I know on the list that I sent this to months ago, btw, were at least appreciative. They might not get more than a Happy Meal out of the whole deal when it's all said and done, but hey--these days a burger's a burger)
posted by First Post at 2:25 PM on October 21, 2006


Back in the old days, burgers weren't only a burger, they were a dessert topping and window cleaner, too!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:04 PM on October 21, 2006


Yeah, that's a pretty douchbaggy response to people trying to help out. Put a prominent note on your site or use some sort of auto responder if you're so bent out of shape. But "For christ's sake, can people stop sending me that?" is pretty hostile.

I can imagine this guy on the highway. "Yes I fucking well know my fucking tire is so low on air it might blow up, okay????"
posted by phearlez at 3:39 PM on October 23, 2006


Update: I contacted Adam Rudolph who responded and said that he is aware of the SoundExchange situation.

Today's (Sunday 10/28) NY Times has a comment on SoundExchange here (bugmenot).

Despite the snarks by some more concerned with my egregious use of slang in such a high-toned venue as MeFi, it seems that some people do care about the substance of the issue.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:33 AM on October 28, 2006


I am Fred Wilhelms, the "outspoken critic" quoted in the Times article today and the author of the Counterpunch articles referred to in the initial post.

To answer beelzbubba's question, I offered my services to SoundExchange pro bono. I have a hard earned reputation for finding money owed to recording artists, so it seemed like a novel change to find artists when the money was already there. Several years ago, I undertook the same kind of search on behalf of a record label that had about 300 small "dormant" royalty accounts held for veteran artists the label had "lost track of." In about six weeks of working in my free time, I located nearly 75% of them, and they received over $400,000 in back royalties. I didn't ask for, or get, a dime.

The really sad thing about the current SoundExchange situation is that it didn't take anything more than Google and access to message boards to find a lot of those artists. The old "Six Degrees of Separation" really breaks down to about three or four degrees in the Internet age.

Since the "unfound" list was finally posted six weeks ago, over 800 names have been removed from list, and most of them by word of mouth and posting on blogs and boards. Because my email address appeared at the end of the Counterpunch articles, I have personally heard from artists from around the world, and in every genre from Celtic lute music to Satanic death metal.

The money is there for the artists, or for their family members if they are deceased. It will be a shame if any of it does not end up in the hands it was intended for.
posted by Intheway at 10:32 PM on October 28, 2006


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