Thursday, July 27, 2006

Indies Screwed by KaZaa

So it appears that KaZaa is going legit. They've reportedly settled all of their lawsuits with the major record companies and Hollywood studios to the tune of 100 million dollars. Future payments on the settlement will also be in the tens of millions. This makes me wonder :

Indies make up about 20% of the music market. Where's my cut?

The answer is nowhere. While I know the catalog of my label isn't worth (in financial terms) anywhere near the level of a Koch, Epitaph or TVT, I can imagine that there's still been quite a few P2P trades of the Blackout! catalog. This money could go towards advertising, studio time, or other expenses.

As indies become a greater share of the marketplace, paying attention to these kind of details is very important. However, very few can afford the time or expense of keeping track of this stuff that could result in such a windfall.

Interestingly enough, I haven't seen any press from the A2IM on this issue, so I'm not sure if they've been at all proactive in this. Although I do hear they met with the FCC about the highly relevant issue of indies and radio payola. (Way to go! now I have someone to fight for me about access to a virtually irrelevant media platform!) Talk about a day late and a dollar short.

Anyone else's ass stinging right now?


Virgil Dickerson said...

I could not agree more. Plus the RIAA has received millions of dollars through their lawsuits. Where has that money gone? Damn, we all deserve to get some kind of cut through all of these lawsuits and settlements.

William Li said...

Unless you were made a member of a class, you probably need to sue KaZaa to get paid off.
I wonder if indies who were not parties to the Kazaa settlement could band together (heh I said band its a music blog) and bring a class action suit.
As for, "I bet Blackout! artists are being illegally traded on Kazaa" you could pay BigChampagne to figure it out.
My point is: if the big players didn't slam the door on your right to recover, then all they have really done is paved the road for your infringement lawsuit.

BW said...

The problem is not the will, but the means. Big Champagne is a very very expensive service, and so are attorneys. That's why organizations like A2IM supposedly are out there for- to advocate for the indies what the RIAA does for majors. (except hopefully without their heads up their asses.)