WILL IT EVER BE FIXED TO REWARD THE CREATOR MORE THAN THE ORGANISATION?
I thought Stallone owned the “Rocky” franchises. Otherwise why would he be involved (by writing, directing and acting) in six movies and three spin offs. He did get paid to write the script but the power balance equation back in the 70’s meant Stallone had to keep his mouth shut or never work again. MGM created movies, and when they did so, it also created work for agents, lawyers and managers. No one wanted to upset anybody.
But today, everyone is upset and litigation is an all-time high. That hit song, has a writ. That hit movie, has a writ. Artists are even putting in bogus copyright claims against rival artists.
And just like that, a song from an artist is taken down on Spotify without any repercussions to the person making the false claim. And there is no counter notice. As the Torrentfreak article states; “The problem with Spotify’s system is that it’s relatively easy to flag a track and have it removed. However, there is no official option for the accused party to appeal the takedown. Instead, they have to resolve the matter with the accuser directly. If the accuser doesn’t respond, the artist is simply out of luck”.
And this puts the power back into the big labels who would find it easier to address wrongful takedowns than smaller independent artists, which creates an unfair situation.
I’m not sure if people remember Hipgnosis Songs Fund. They had a pretty big acquisition period in the first six months of 2021, which led them to acquire a lot of music catalogues. Well, by the end of March 2022, their 65000 song catalogue was worth almost $2.7bn. In one year, their revenues grew by $200m, on the back of streaming revenues.
While the artists cashed in once when they sold their rights, Hipgnosis is cashing in, over and over and over again. And since the Copyright Term in the U.S, lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years after their death, this will be a long time return as long as the music is still listened to. And our neighbours New Zealand just extended their terms by 20 years to make it 70 years from release date otherwise their free trade agreement with the EU couldn’t happen.
One artist who still controls their copyright is Kate Bush. And if you have watched “Stranger Things”, you will know that her song “Running Up That Hill” is back in the charts and getting streamed a lot, earning her over $2.3 million in music streaming royalties alone. And that number will keep on rising.
And of course, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is also enjoying a nice wave of streaming revenue, courtesy of “Stranger Things”. And they also own their copyrights.
Those who own valuable copyrights will be banking.