RIAA Lawsuits Not Yielding Artist Payments YetBy: 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.