[rumori] Re: BOUNCE rumoriATdetritus.net: Sony vs UR

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Fri, 17 Dec 1999 08:13:17 -0800 (PST)

Fri, 17 Dec 1999 found Erick writing:

>steev wrote:
>>>I don't know, big record labels are screwing over and ripping off
>>>musicians all the time. But this case seems pretty open and shut to me. I
>>>sent them email last week saying all they have to do is find a good enough
>>>lawyer, sue sony, and they'll probably win.
>Really? I gather that they are paying royalties to the proper folks. How
>is this different from the British Invasion artists of the sixties covering
>Motown records six months after they were released and destroying those
>artists' careers? Maybe that was illegal, too. Not to say I don't find
>this despicable, I'm just not sure why they can slam Sony in court as long
>as the money ends up in the original writers pockets.

Technically, yeah, it was illegal, or rather, it was legally
actionable. But the Mowtown artists (or, as a better example, the even
older blues artists that were also ripped off) either chose not to sue or
did not know they could or didnt have enough money to pay lawyers or
something. That was almost 40 years ago, when the world wasnt so damn
litigation-crazy, and so concious of intellectual property. But hey,
we're in the "information age" now, baby!! grab that information while you
can!! woohoo!!


Plus, the point is not just that royalties get paid. It's that the Sony
version will probably take away from sales of the original version,
especially since Sony has better distribution and marketing power. All
the people who would have bought the real record will probably see the
store displays and posters for the Sony version first, and if they don't
know better, or if they cant' FIND the original, they'll buy the Sony one.
That is grounds for a lawsuit, easy.

Plus there is the concept of "moral rights", which theoretically allow an
artist to have control over what gets done to his work. yeah, sony might
be willing to pay the 2% publishing royalty or whatever, sure, but UR is a
very political anti-majorlabel band. And if they want to, they have a
right, under moral rights, to "just say no". Just like the AC/DC -
Beastie Boys thing.

>I mean, do you have to get permission to cover a song? I thought you just
>had to pony up the bucks. Correct me if I'm wrong...I actually don't know
>the answer here. I usually prefer to just liberate the original from its
>corporate shackles.

In the U.S., no, you usually don't have to get permission, the Harry Fox
agency handles the liscensing of cover versions and such - however, i
believe that's only for artists who give their permission across the board
and somehow sign on with Harry Fox, which most do. I'm not sure exactly
how it works, but it's definitely not a given that you can cover a song.
Don't you remember the big flap about Prince and "1999"? He told the
Harry Fox agency not to give any permissions to cover that song, that all
requests would hvae to go directly to him. Then of course he proceeded to
refuse every single request to cover the song. ( Which is one reason why
Evolution Controlled Creations is going to very soon be releasing a
compilation of fine sampleriffic pieces based on "1999". right, Mark??)


Steev Hise, Subversive Radical Hippy Hacker
steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev
recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
"millenial bug fix: all years mandated to reverse. overwrite all past."
                -Christopher Hanis

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