Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Sold For A Song – Show Me The Money

Posted August 1, 2009 by jim young in Business

– jim young

Joel Tenenbaum was recently convicted of illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs online in Boston.

The jury has imposed a $22,500 fine for each incident of copyright infringement for a grand total of $675,000.

The specific details of this case, such as that Tenenbaum was a student, whether or not his downloading was done willfully, that he lied in court or that his lawyer was unable to “argue a case based on fair use” are not important. At least, it’s not important to my article here.

What is important is “Who’s going to get the money?”

The fines are to be paid to four record labels. But how much of that money will the artists and writers of the songs actually see?

As most songs can be downloaded for 99 cents, $22,500 per song is a significantly larger amount than any record label would ever sell a recording for. So is it not reasonable to expect that the artists’ and writers’ share should likewise be proportionately increased?

What is that? Something like 2.25 million per cent?

Tenenbaum has announced his intention to file for bankruptcy if the verdict is not overturned.

In all likely hood the four record labels involved will get nothing.

For the Recording Industry Association of America, who are applauding the jury’s ruling, it is a hollow victory.

But do the record labels not still have an obligation to compensate the artists and writers whether or not the fine is actually ever paid?

The record labels are not the talent. Their job is to promote and sell the recordings and pay the talent (the artists and the writers) on every recording sold.

The talent should not be expected to incur the bad debts that the record label is unable to collect on.

These 30 recordings have effectively been sold for $22,500 each and it should be the responsibility of the record labels to pay the talent’s share of this money whether or not they collect.

It’s time for the R.I.A.A. to put up or shut up.

– 30 –



    In truth, immediately i didn’t understand the essence. But after re-reading all at once became clear.


    Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.


    Very interesting and amusing subject. I read with great pleasure.

Leave a Response