Friday, April 28, 2006

Sony Records Stiffing the Artists

The Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick filed suit today against Sony Music for paying them exactly squat per download from iTMS. According to the story at, the suit hinges on how to classify single track downloads--should the artist be paid for a one-track license a la inclusion in a soundtrack, or should the artist be paid as if the listener bought an album? The artists say the former, the record company says the later; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which pays more. BUT, Macworld UK has a different accounting of Sony's payment system:

Rather than paying artists approximately 30 cents of the 70 cents it receives for digital downloads (after deducting payments to music publishers), the suit alleges that Sony Music treats each download as a sale of a physical CD or cassette tape, only paying on 85 per cent of such "sales" (due to a fiction that there is breakage of product), deducting a further 20 per cent fee for container/packaging charges associated with the digital downloads (although there are none), and reducing its payments by a further 50 per cent "audiofile" deduction, yielding a payment to the Sony Music recording artists of approximately 4 1/2 cents per digital download.
We have to respect the shrewdness of calling a digital download equivalent to buying a broken CD, but wtf is this "audiofile" deduction? Sony can rot in hell, along with the rest of the RIAA.

1 comment:

  1. If you've seen the movie Rush, you know that Greg Allman is NOT a man to be fkt with.