Artemis Records waives Internet royalty fees.
July 29, 2002 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Artemis Records waives Internet royalty fees. "Artemis Records [the label for Steve Earle, among others] has agreed to issue licenses to internet radio for one year for the master use of songs by all Artemis recording artists. This announcement was made today by Danny Goldberg, Chairman and CEO, Artemis Records and Daniel Glass, President, Artemis Records. During this period, beginning August 1, 2002, Artemis will waive the royalty payments that would otherwise be due them. "
posted by mikewas (17 comments total)
Pave the way, Danny boy, pave the way.
posted by Hackworth at 6:01 PM on July 29, 2002

Man, is that ever going to get Cornel West airplay! Bet he's hyped.
posted by raysmj at 6:02 PM on July 29, 2002

"This is internet radio station TOFOG. That's right, we're all Thirty-Odd Foot Of Grunts, all day long."

posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:14 PM on July 29, 2002

Go Artemis!

mr_crash_davis: A station made up of just one artist wouldn't be eligible for the license.
posted by hitsman at 7:03 PM on July 29, 2002

Clever marketing trumps pimped legislation. Now thats poetic justice.
posted by BentPenguin at 7:57 PM on July 29, 2002

go out and support Artemis... let's show the RIAA and other media greed machines the power of our market...
posted by mhaw at 8:33 PM on July 29, 2002

If only this was a solution...

Artists uncompensated for their work isn't the way to go - though I fully approve of Artemis' move as political/marketing statement. Here's hoping it shows the gvmt that not all labels back the CARP ruling.
posted by Marquis at 8:40 PM on July 29, 2002

Artists uncompensated for their work isn't the way to go

Except that if nobody hears you, than nobody buys your stuff/compensates you.
"I don't pretend to have a crystal ball to see how the economics are going to play out in many years to come, but it seemed to me that there was an asymmetry between the record companies' need for exposure and the tone of the negotiations," said Goldberg, who ran three major record labels and managed a number of acts like Nirvana, Bonnie Raitt and Beastie Boys before starting Artemis. cite
I refuse to believe that CARP is about compensating artists. It's simply more attempts to control distribution. It is only the monopoly on distribution/publicity that keeps the labels at all relevant.
posted by willnot at 8:52 PM on July 29, 2002

mr_crash beat me to it. I was laughing even as I clicked on the thread.
posted by swerve at 9:35 PM on July 29, 2002

willnot : In the case of the non-profit webradio sites, these are companies that make their income based on the works of musical artists. These artists are entitled to compensation. They're not subsidizing it as a promotional industry - they already do that, privately, by paying for PR.

Just as terrestrial radio stations need blanket licenses, it seems absolutely fair that Net Radio requires licensing. Writers, composers and musicians need to be paid for their work - they certainly don't get much from the sale of a CD.

I don't agree with the current terms of the licensing, but I absolutely back the notion of a new class of royalties to accompany synch/mech/performance rights.
posted by Marquis at 10:04 PM on July 29, 2002

So, I have a band, and nobody ever hears or buys my music. They don't hear it because it's too niche for mainstream radio, and nobody buys it because of course no body hears it. I'm in the middle of a catch 22 here. Your suggestion is that I should invest loads of cash into paying for PR because I don't want web radio to play it because they ***Might*** make some money off the stream? It's better to directly put my money into the pockets of some PR flack because I'd hate to think that somebody ***Might*** be making a few cents off my creative product.

That makes no sense at all -- unless you're a major label in which case cost prohibitive fee-based PR rather than free-based web streaming that somebody ***Might*** make money off off makes a whole lot of sense because it significantly increases the cost of entry and solidifies my position in the market.
posted by willnot at 10:37 PM on July 29, 2002

So, I have a band, and nobody ever hears or buys my music. They don't hear it because it's too niche for mainstream radio, and nobody buys it because of course no body hears it. I'm in the middle of a catch 22 here.
No, you're not. You tour. This is how bands get started. And/or you send your album to college/community radio stations, who are more likely to play it than commercial stations. Bonus: You earn royalties for being played on the radio! Touring bands can make a living. They can sell CDs. They can gain a reputation. And they can get signed - to a major or not.

because they ***Might*** make some money off the stream...
Not "might", do. These radio stations would not be in business if they had no revenue. (Again, we're talking for-profits, for the moment.) The only reason they are on the air is because they are playing copyrighted music. That's the only reason they have an audience. And as such, they should pay for the right.

If you were a career musician, you would know that the majority of income (in many cases) comes from touring and performance royalties (mostly on radio and in bars). If you're a composer or songwriter, this is even more true - the performance royalties, at least.

It comes down to this: If you are making money from someone's copyrighted work, you should compensate them for it. If said party wants to give you a free blanket license for promotional purposes, then more power to them. But that's not the way the default set-up should be, or else it's the artists who are going to get screwed.
posted by Marquis at 6:52 AM on July 30, 2002

Sadly, the only band on this label I like is Kittie. All female death metal \m/
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:56 AM on July 30, 2002

Marquis - So your problem is that somebody's making money off the artist? Really? I mean come on really?

The label makes money. Often they get their money before the band makes any money and often the band makes no money (because of course the labels accountants make plenty of money too). The PR flunky you think I should use makes money. I'm sure the PR gets paid whether the band ever makes a dime. The promoter makes money. The management company makes money. The lawyers who are going to help the band file for bankruptcy make money. Everybody in the business makes money except perhaps the band themselves.

You know who doesn't make money? Web sites. Most of these web sites don't make any money at all. Most web sites are losing money hand over fist. Have you not read the news? There's no money on the web. There may be eventually, but there sure isn't now. That's why CARP wants to get paid based on listens instead of based on a percentage of revenue (which serves as a proxy to listeners and is the way major broadcast radio stations are billed). They don't want to bill web radio the same way they bill old radio because there aren't any profits there to take a cut of, yet. Yet is the big one. Yet is what scares the labels. Yet is why they negotiated with the goal of killing the medium rather than supporting the medium.

You've said you work in the industry. Are you really going to pretend that isn't true? Are you really going to pretend that killing web radio is about supporting the artists? It doesn't matter if you get the artists a $.70 CPM if that means that M is 0. CARP screws the artists at least as much as the webcasters making a few cents screws the artist. In fact it screws them more because now they don't have free publicity out there finding them an audience.

And you seem to be assuming that the web casters are going to be playing the 100 or so artists that might have a concern that parallels the concern of the labels. The web isn't about broadcasting. It's about niche casting. It's about people like Shannon Campbell keeper of the Pet Rock Star journal. Shannon is a Pennsylvania-based folk-rock musician. She has some songs and MP3's on line. She doesn't seem to have a CD I could buy. I looked and I keep hoping she announces one. Do you think Shannon is hurt if people find out about her music? I suspect Shannon would be thrilled if more people found out about her music.
posted by willnot at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2002

I must not have articulated myself clearly enough.

I agree with you about the motives of the CARP ruling, and, like you, I disagree with the current web royalty system. I feel that a percentage-revenue based system is the route that the government should take, and it's one I've lobbied for in the Canadian negotiations.

I don't work in private industry; I'm simply involved (at times) with the public sector up here.

As for Shannon Campbell, I agree... But in a slightly modified scenario, she would probably be happy to receive the little bit of money such royalties would provide her. With a useful/practical royalty system, her music would still be just as likely to be played on webradio, and she would not only gain the publicity, but some income.
posted by Marquis at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2002

I was half-hoping that Artemis was a member of the RIAA, because then this move would signify some dissent within their ranks. Too bad. Even so, this is a good move PR-wise for Artemis. They know they're not making money, but they're not losing any either, at least for the foreseeable future.
posted by scottandrew at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2002

I just stumbled across this timeline of the CARP rulings. It is extremely interesting and very relevant to some of the discussions that have been going on in this thread.
posted by willnot at 10:52 PM on July 30, 2002

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