It all started a few years back when Congress changed the copyright law so that artists had a chance to reclaim ownership of their works after 35 years (see my previous post on the subject). Obviously there's been a lot of artists who were taken advantage of 35 plus years ago, so beginning in 2013, it was going to be possible for them to get the rights to their songs back and therefore finally collect their fair share of the royalties, thanks to the new law.
But EMI doesn't look like it's about to let that happen says Robertson, declaring that their works were actually a "work for hire," which is a term that basically means "we paid you some money to produce this material for us, and now we own it all and you own nothing." Bottom line, it means that these artists might not only get their rights back, but may not even see another dime in royalties as well.
So who are the artists that EMI is trying to take to the cleaners? Here's a partial list:
Asleep At The Wheel
Ben Folds Five
And the list goes on and on.
To say the least, if this is really true EMI is playing not only with fire, but with dynamite, since some of the names on the list are extremely well financed and very prepared to do battle. If nothing else, it should make for an interesting couple of years should they follow through on their plans.
For the full list as well as Michael Robertson's insight into this story, go to Hypebot.
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