Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Thu Feb 15 14:07:37 MST 2001

--- Maryann Bowers <maryannbowers at>

> Artists who do not
> recoup their costs are never, never asked to repay
> their recording and
> promotional debts, which can span
> into--literally--millions of dollars.

This is simply not true, and is based on an idealistic
vision of the record industry where "anyone can make
it" and the record company really has artists' best
wishes in mind. Artists have to pay this back from
what their record sales bring in - similar to the IRS
garnishing a paycheck. THIS is precisely why 99.9% of
the time the artists wind up making next to nothing
while the record companies make millions.

> Yes, the record label takes that risk willingly.
> And, like any business
> that incurs risk, profit-losing risks are dropped.

I didn't bring this up. You did.

What you're NOT addressing is what I *did* bring
up--which is that by signing with a record label, the
artist loses a good chunk of the rights to the music
he/she produces. The artist's actions are limited.
Often, they are told what they can say in public, and
what they're "permitted" to do with their own music.
Hence "indentured servitude" - only it's unlikely if
they'll ever be able to buy their rights back.

Perhaps you recall when John Fogerty was sued - for
plagiarizing a song HE WROTE? Yeah, let's hear it for
the record industry, always protecting the rights of
the artist.

> You are absolutely entitled to your opinion that
> recording, pressing,
> manufacturing, artwork, promotion, distribution,
> tour support, and PR is not
> "getting something" from a record label,

If you wind up broke and in debt, your net gain is

> and I don't
> see much point in
> trying to make you understand how hard and expensive
> it is to do those
> things oneself.

It's getting easier, and actually is not that
expensive anymore. I know quite a few artists here in
Atlanta who have set up recording studios or are in
the process of doing so. I know a number back in PA
who do so as well.

This is why the record mafia is going bonkers -
because if this keeps up, they won't be able to leech
anymore. There won't be any need for them.

Now my question - if you think the record industry is
such a noble institution that's doing all it can for
the poor starving artists in America - what are you
doing on a Marxist listserv?

I remember back in the 80s when the movie industry
decided that the VCR was going to mean their doom and
threatened their "intellectual property rights." Well,
we all see how poorly they're doing these days.

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