Royalties

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by thnkgreen, May 23, 2020.

  1. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Am I the only person who has a problem with royalties? I'll just pick a random artist.... Paul McCartney. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the guys work. A lot. My issue is that an artist like McCartney who wrote a song in 1965 is still earning income from it. His children will earn money from it, and maybe grandchildren as well. Now let's say that my father (in 1965) was a coal miner. The work is much much harder. There are no royalties. The work that my father performed is not providing his grandchildren with squat unless he saved some of it.

    Is there a better payment structure for musicians? Does anyone have any insight into why the royalty system exists?
     
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  2. cublowell

    cublowell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Who do you think that money should go to, instead of the song writer?
     
  3. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    It's a fair question. I've heard the same with athletes. "If the player doesn't get paid a lot of money, it just goes to the owner". I was thinking about comparing McCartney to someone like Mozart, who as far as I know was paid once for a piece of music at the time of delivery to the person commissioning the work. I'm not sure what the answer is, but McCartney has a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars. Think about that for a moment....
     
  4. It's even funnier when you consider McCartney said he once thought royalties were people who lived in castles..
     
  5. Beaker73

    Beaker73 Forum Resident

    I get the OP’s idea: seems a lot of money for relatively little work. But the songs written are enjoyed over and over again by many people over a long stretch of time. Whereas the coals his father dug out, are burned up once and then gone. So, while I am an a union man and think hard work should be paid fair wages, I think the fact that songwriters keep earning money over time for songs is fair.
     
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  6. rs4951

    rs4951 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    Streaming services addressing that issue? :)
     


  7. it took time and strategic investing to build that net worth, it isn’t all from royalties

    in fact, McCartney has probably made more money from touring

    plus a Beatles’ level of royalties are not the norm

    why would you want to take away someone’s ownership of their work?
     
  8. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I definitely agree that McCartney should earn a lot of money because of the enjoyment he has provided so many others. A billion dollars, though..... not sure about that. Read this article.... I'm not sure there is a person on this planet deserving of a billion dollars, honestly.
     
  9. tanqueray cowboy

    tanqueray cowboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mount Pleasant, SC
    The problem with royalties is the artist doesn't get enough.
     
  10. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    yeah I was thinking about that as well. I'm sure touring pays well, and the artist is physically earning their keep. But I thought McCartney made a fortune with the Beatles catalog and iTunes at one point.
     
  11. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    If you divide the amount of money songwriters have been paid in royalties by the number of hours people have spent writing songs, I expect you would get a number a lot closer to zero than it is to minimum wage.
     
  12. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I do think that is the case for some artists, for certain. I was thinking about all of the terrific Blue Note artists I love that most people have never even heard of, or early rock 'n' roll pioneers. In Little Richard's autobiography he talks about how he got royally (no pun intended) screwed over royalties.
     
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  13. JoeDea

    JoeDea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I agree with your comment in as much as no one needs a billion but why pick on songwriters who at least create joy in life? In my view they are more deserving than people who make their fortune exploiting workers and people who buy their products. Maybe your question should really be why wasn't your grandfather allowed his share of the mine profits he created.
     
  14. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Europe
    Ah, got it. Another "free music" thread.

    Houses for rent, built a long ago, are often passed from one generation to another.

    I write a song. The song sells. The song is selling 50 years later too. The song still makes money. The heirs of the writer get the money. And it's only fair.

    If songwriting's so easy, just write a successful tune yourselves! :laugh:
     
  15. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I respect your comment, but like I was saying, did McCartney or Dylan or Bowie.... you pick the artist... create a b.i.l.l.i.o.n dollars worth of joy? These artists have brought joy to my life for certain, and helped me through some really tough times, and I think that they should be wealthy. Like I stated previously, no one person should possess a billion dollars.
     

  16. He doesn’t own his Beatle’s publishing, Michael Jackson and Sony(?) do/did.

    McCartney owns Buddy Holly’s and many lesser 50s artists publishing.

    I don’t begrudge McCartney his money.

    But I do agree there is a growing gap, I just don’t feel Mc Cartney is the problem.
     
  17. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Europe
    I read somewhere that Jay Z is ever richer than McCartney..

    ...and yes, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach were exploited. In a fair world, their heirs should be getting royalties
     
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  18. Harp Of Glass

    Harp Of Glass Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Ok Bernie.
     
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  19. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Yeah I was picking McCartney as an example and agree that he is not the problem. Like I have stated above, I do appreciate his music. Who is to blame, that's my question.
     
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  20. Zongadude

    Zongadude Music is the best

    Location:
    France
    You're mistaking royalties and salary.
    Your father got a salary for his work in the mine (probably not enough, I'm sure, but that's another problem).

    Royalties is not a salary.
    It is a system that is destined to manage the intellectual property of any author upon his work.
    You're focusing on musicians, but royalties are also given to book writers, painters, theater authors, and photographers.

    Each time his work is used, the author is given a royalty. A a bit of money for granting temporarily his rights to anyone making use of his oeuvre.

    Some musicians (and book writers, etc....) are on salaries, because they are employed (by a company, by an orchestra, by a tv station...) as well as they receives royalties if they are authors and their pieces are played by someone else. That's two different things.

    So you can't really compare what Macca is making with any salary from a employed person.
    (Plus Macca is also a music editor, and the CEO of many enterprises. His billions are not from royalties alone, but also from the salaries he gets from these other jobs).
     
  21. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    L.M.A.O. "The millionaires and the billionaires!!!"
     
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  22. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    That's it. The work the songwriter did in 1965 still has value today.
     
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  23. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Thank you for your comments. So my question is, why are there two systems? Is the answer "life's not fair, kid"?
     
  24. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I think another problem I have with royalties is the whole "reissue/deluxe edition" game. Some albums are re-released so many times I think to myself "what the he!! is going on here? You couldn't remaster this album with bonus tracks the second or third time and leave it alone?" Seems like a repeat money grab, in my opinion, like "this time the album REALLY REALLY sounds good and has ALL of the outtakes!" oooooookkkkkkk
     
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  25. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    If a songwriter's or performer's work is still generating income why shouldn't they get some of that? Now Irving Berlin's grandkids (or great grandkids?) making $ from White Christmas? somewhere between US and the rest of the world for how long on copyrights seems about right. Folks getting cheated out of what's theirs seems a far bigger issue.
     

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