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RE: Music companys to pay up

I certainly don't want to defend anyone for bad behavior, but has it
occurred to anyone else that $4.75 million spread across 161 "stars" for
"decades" of incorrectly calculated royalties actually amounts to a fairly
modest sort of underpayment, given the size of the revenues received and
royalties paid in that industry? Worldcom underreported its expenses by
$3.8 BILLION over TWO years, and that amount was more than the company's
total net profits for those two years. The Enron scandal also involved
billions of dollars, and clearly material misrepresentations of the
company's financial situation, effecting thousands and thousands of
employees and investors. Surely these are far more material breaches of
faith than this little bitty payment by the record companies seems to
imply. I don't think this settlement suggests even as much as a 1/10th of
1 percent per year 'theft'. Again, I really don't defend theft or bad
behavior whatever the degree - but surely these are not compa! rable
situations, are they?

Mike Spinella

-----Original Message-----
From: Hamaker, Chuck [mailto:cahamake@email.uncc.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:51 PM
To: Liblicense-L (E-mail)
Subject: Music companys to pay up


More than 150 veteran music stars and their heirs will share a $4.75m
(�3.1m) payout after a judge ruled that a deal on decades of unpaid
royalties was fair.

The campaign to be paid by music giant Universal had been led by jazz
legend Peggy Lee, who died in January ...

The 161 stars and their heirs alleged they were owed millions of dollars
after the record company under-reported sales figures and over-charged
them for services such as album packaging.


The deal was a watershed for the music industry because it showed that
even retired or deceased artists could not be ignored by record labels, Mr
Godfrey said.


Many of the artists signed contract amendments in the 1980s for the sale
of CDs as the format took off, but the court papers said Universal did not
keep to the terms of those agreements.

My Comment-

looks like the music companies have a terrible record of paying what they
owe -and this case showed they cooked the books, overcharging for
"packaging" of albums, under counting of fees owed performers
/undereporting sales. Is this the industry that claims everyone else is
cheating them??? Just exactly who does congress think it is dealing with
anyway? Why did congress believe the claims of an industry that behaves
like it claims its customers behave? Chuck