Macbidouille, a superb French language Apple information site, has published the following letter from a record producer in France – after confirming the facts.
Apparently download royalties are for them and not for others.
I am the co-director of 5 titles on the next album of [a French artist] that is to be released in october. The artistic director has a contract with the le producer (the major) for arranging, orchestrating, and artistically direct and supervise an artist’s recordings for a determined amount of titles, as seen in the contract. According to the contrat, the client (the major) gives money to the producers as a fee on every CD sold. About that project, as paying online music dowload sites such as the iTMS had appeared, I dared asking [the major] how much I’d get for those titles from this album sold on such a site.
The enclosed mail answered quite frankly : NO FEE for me on donwloads. Which simply means [the major] will perceive the rights paid by Apple yet refuses to give any part of those to the artists, directors and other rights owners.Which is perfectly illegal. [Major] states that the contracts between us talk of a “support” such as a CD, cassette, vinyl etc., yet for downloads, there is no support, so no reason we are given anything.
Yet, [the major] is negociating with Apple about how much fee they’ll perceive on any download made of the works we’ve created for them. My opinion is, and many artists and directors agree, this is a widescale and more insidious piracy than any other.
I’ve been doing that job for over 40 years and as a mixer or a director I took part in over 40,000,000 sold disks, yet I do not even own my flat.)
Personally, I buy many records from independent artists these days but will do my best to avoid giving my money to major record labels as so little of the money goes to the artist.
Who’s the real pirate here – the major record labels.