RIAA Lawsuits Not Yielding Artist Payments Yet

By: WebProNews Staff - February 29, 2008

Despite collecting millions in settlements with online music services accused of enabling music piracy, the RIAA’s artists may not be seeing the paydays they imagined.

Though sites like Napster and Kazaa have settled lawsuits with the major music labels over online music sharing, that money appears to be wedged in the RIAA legal apparatus.

The New York Post said managers of a number of artists are not pleased with the glacial pace of payments from those settlements to musicians. After engaging in lawsuits against the alleged infringers, the RIAA could be on the defendant side of this dispute:

“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.”

A couple of delaying tactics appear to be in play. The report cited record label sources who said the labels haven’t figured out yet who should get what part of the settlement, based on whose music actually suffered infringement.

And in what will be a real laugh-inducer among artists, it’s also being claimed that the legal expenses involved with suing the file sharing sites consumed nearly all the proceeds.

If that’s the case, the artists might have been better off with Napster and Kazaa up and running. At least then they would have the opportunity to connect with people who were actively listening to their music, and maybe woo that interest over to purchasing digital tracks or other merchandise.

WebProNews Staff

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  • Guest

    I for one am not surprised. All of this started with the lie that artists were loosing tons of money due to files sharing. It was proposed that the problem was so wide spread that it impacted the music industry by some 10% (+/-).
    What the RIAA and others ignored was that this was happening at the same time the economy was tanking with the impending win of then Gov. G.W.B. And that a 10% decline in music sales was ring in line with the overall economic down turn. This in effect makes the lost revenue due to online piracy a lie.

    What the RIAA was really trying to do was maintain the industry status quo for distribution, revenue models and artists exploitation that is the bread and butter of the old model.

    So at this time the net result of their efforts to stomp out music piracy by opting to go after the end user customer instead of the distribution network. This is because end users don’t have the money or time to mount a real defense. It seemingly adds weight to RIAA press releases when they start quoting the numbers of cases settled or won.

    In the end the RIAA acted in a manner that was driven by self preservation, suing the very customers that it claimed were not spending as much as they had, insinuating that the music industry is some how insular to the effects of the economy. With help from the G.W. B. white house they have been allowed to carry on this ridiculous prosecution.

    And as it has always been, the artists are finding themselves exploited once again, for the gain of the industry. And now they will reap the full benefit of aligning themselves with their masters. They will continue to get what they  have always received; someone else dictating their musical, social and financial worth.

    But there is a bright spot. Lots of artists have railed against this persecution of consumers, hundreds of indie labels and garage recording studios have popped up all over the world. With the help of Apple, iTunes and other Open Source distribution models, the RIAA has unwittingly assisted in fast tracking the development and adoption of the way music will be created, shared and sometime profited from.

    RIAA: welcome to the future of your own making.