To be clear, I don’t believe in piracy. I don’t really think our (ie, the US’s) current concept of intellectual property makes any sense whatsoever, but I’m totally content to pay $4-9 for a used CD and rip my own music files, buy books and movies I want to see, etc. If something is retailing at $19.95 I’m simply not going to buy it. Sorry, musicians, but I was paying less than $10 for an album in 1983, and in my opinion the cost of production should have gone down more than enough to compensate for any inflationary forces -> if you’re charging more than $10, I probably don’t think your stuff is worth it. I won’t make illicit copies of it, but I’m not going to buy it, either.
That said, this story makes me chuckle. It appears that the RIAA has kept the several hundred million dollars they’ve collected in lawsuit settlements, and not compensated the artists who presumably have at least some legal right to at least some portion of said compensation.
From the link:
Typically, the labels see it a different way. An EMI spokeperson said that it was “sharing proceeds from the Napster and Kazaa settlements with artists and writers whose work was infringed upon” while Warner’s said the label is “sharing the Napster settlement with its recording artists and songwriters, and at this stage nearly all settlement monies have been disbursed.”
The Universal spokesman spoke only of the label’s ‘policy’ of sharing “its portion of various settlements with its artists, regardless of whether their contracts require it” with no mention of whether it had actually done this or not.
But typically, when money is involved, things start to get murky. The same sources who suggested the reasons for the delay in making payments are also suggesting that there might not be much money to even give to the artists.
It’s being claimed that after legal bills were subtracted from the hundreds of millions in settlements, there wasn’t much left over to hand out.
Wow, I would love to see an audit of that legal bill.