So we’ve all heard about how in an effort to capitalize on digi-music sales the major labels like Universal Music, Warner Music and EMI have been striking deals with the likes of Napster, Kazaa, Bolt.com and Youtube, right?
Well, it turns out that despite their whining that file sharing is killing the music industry by bleeding the artists and stealing their potential revenue, the labels are the ones doing the gouging yet again by not paying the artists their royalties for said digi-sales.
Yes, a group of artist managers are accusing the major labels of pocketing the revenue generated from these outlets, saying little to none of that money has trickled down to their clients and are now contemplating legal action.
"Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for," said lawyer John Branca, who has represented Korn, Don Henley, and The Rolling Stones, among others. "Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don't get paid soon."
Record label sources claim they are still deciding on how best to split the money and that after they recouped their legal expenses, there wasn't much left to pass along to the artists anyways.
"They will play hide and seek, but eventually will be forced to pay something," legendary manager Irving Azoff (The Eagles, Van Halen, Jewel) said recently. "The record companies have even tried to credit unrecouped accounts. It's never easy for an artist to get paid their fair share."
Exactlly. Like, for instance, whatever happened to the $270 million settlement Napster paid the labels for its copyright infringement case, or the $100 million Kazaa paid? How much of that have the artists seen?
A spokeswoman for EMI said the label has started the process of "sharing proceeds from the Napster and Kazaa settlements with artists and writers whose work was infringed upon."
NYPost.com: Artists Say They Want Their Dough