Royalties

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

  1. I think one needs to look at the differences between the value of Lennon's estate and McCartney's and see how the money was used and invested. McCartney did have the added benefitted of many more years of touring and generating product than John did.

    I don't know if blame is applicable here. As an artist he was successful at a numbers game some others were and weren't. I don't think the wealth gap can be worked out on an artist's back.
     
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  2. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX
    I kinda know what you mean, OP, although I can't articulate it. Definitely not leaning toward communism either! The songwriters deserve the money and the system but I can't forget the regular people.

    I remember when my disillusionment began, I was 19, hopeless, living in a rough neighborhood in a lousy apartment. There was a local benefit concert going on for some local musicians to help them pay their rent. They lived in nice homes in funky bohemian neighborhoods. Made me think about myself and who was looking out for me. (No one.) Why do I need to support them? Where's my benefit concert? Where's the benefit concert for the carpenters and laborers I work with?

    I suppose the answer is that all people need to advocate for themselves and life is not fair.
     
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  3. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    One thing to understand is that royalties exist because, until recently the songwriter and the millionaire performer were two different people. They guys who toiled in Tin Pan Alley, or even the Brill Building, or in Nashville, had no way of earning money except for writing songs. They may not have been great singers, or had charisma, or good looks; still they were talented songwriters. But these were working class guys, who worked every day writing. It was like a 9 - 5 job. For every minor hit, a songwriter went through hundreds of duds - let's say a dud every working day for an entire year, except the 6 or 7 days he wrote something that got some traction.

    The singer on the other hand, and an opportunity night after night to sell tickets for the rest of his career to keep earning box office receipts for a song that he did not write.

    By the mid-60's this began to change, and I think you are seeing it from that vantage point.
     
  4. Zongadude

    Zongadude Music is the best

    Location:
    France
    I understand the questioning, but it's a complex question to answer.

    If there were no system to administrate copyright rights fees to authors, (the Royalties system), that would be unfair.
    Because anyone could take Paul McCartney's songs and make money out of them, without him getting anything for the use of his work.

    On the other hand, no author is forced to have a salary. Some of them are independent and their only income is what they're getting from their royalties.

    Some authors have both because they chose to work for someone (hence the salary).
    Just like someone who has two jobs can get two salaries.
     
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  5. DanaDotCom

    DanaDotCom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Every day your father went to work as a coal miner was a paid day that your father went to work at the coal miner. Every day a song goes to work for somebody, the songwriter gets paid. This is really an ignorant thread.
     
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  6. TheGoodDoctor

    TheGoodDoctor Dylan Acolyte

    Location:
    London
    because one person has created something unique which millions of people have been are willing to pay for. Many songwriters (self employed so no guarantees of salary) make less the minimum wage
     
  7. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Another bigger issue is that there are things that are musically significant, like stylistic influence, that are far harder to measure than rerecording the same song, that nobody gets paid for. Unless saxman x chooses to do a full album of Charlie Parker tunes and Bird's still alive and owns the rights still. It's never going to be a perfect world, but it could be better.
     
  8. detroit muscle

    detroit muscle Senior Member

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    [​IMG]
    Not everyone is Paul McCartney
     

  9. I think Kanye just passed the billion $$ mark, but like JayZ it is not really from music sales, most is from investments and businesses they started. Music provided the cash flow (just like books did for Amazon when it started), JayZ, Kanye, etc., view themselves as the brand.
     
  10. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Yeah I am of your thinking. When I was in my early 20's I was obsessed with music, and had racked up nearly $40,000 in credit card debt building this massive CD collection. It got to a point where I thought, "what. the. hell. am. I. doing!??!?" I was buying reissues and boxed sets and after a while the new re-issue of something I already owned. The music made me happy to a point, but I realized "damn, I'm making someone else rich" while at the same time working in an auto plant and being told to have a 401k. I wasn't earning royalties, and no one was buying my "product" over and over again. Luckily I got out of that habit and paid my debts off, but it was a hard lesson to learn.
     
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  11. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    There's probably someone alive right now with more talent than Paul McCartney (not lagging him, I love his work) earning royalty checks like those. Maybe even you :righton:
     
  12. reg slade

    reg slade Forum Resident

    why should the guy who invented the plastic thing that goes around a bread bag should still be paid? he created it! why do people seem to want to take away money from the people who create? it’s bad enough the industry that lives off them take even more of their share...let it be
     
  13. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    You obviously don't understand the question
     
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  14. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I mean the same system of royalties that has made maybe 2 dozen people hundreds of millions of dollars, is what is providing a minimum and lower middle class wages for tens of thousands of songwriters.
     
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  15. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I think creators should be paid... to a point. That's my opinion. Everyone should be paid.... to a point.
     
  16. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    It's the inequality that I have a problem with.
     
  17. citizensmurf

    citizensmurf Socially distancing lamf since 1977

    Quite simply because a salary is paid for work that is performed once, and royalties are paid for "work" that can be "performed" again and again. Its just an economic model. Just like owning an apartment building. The people who actually built it were paid once. The landlord gets paid monthly for owning the property.
     
  18. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    So if you are clever enough to be a business owner or a songwriter, your reward is to make more than the rest of us? What a world we live in.
     
  19. citizensmurf

    citizensmurf Socially distancing lamf since 1977

    Precisely. And I would argue that the average coal miner (union, not 3rd world), makes more money in their lifetime than the average songwriter.
     
  20. citizensmurf

    citizensmurf Socially distancing lamf since 1977

    Would you be satisfied with any explanation or is this just a thread to point out the inequity of life? I don't know if we need to explain basic capitalism on this forum.

    Further to your gripe about inequality, why does Paul make millions why some other songwriter make 1 cent? Not because the world is unjust, but because more people listened to Paul's songs.
     
  21. Beaker73

    Beaker73 Forum Resident

    I completely agree here.
     
  22. Earscape

    Earscape Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Keep in mind that royalties are never guaranteed. Plenty of songwriters don't make money from it, or have no more than one hit in their lives. How many songs does a song writer write that just end up fizzling before they even get one hit? In some cases, a lot of writing never even makes it on record because it's not good enough. Most songs fizzle out, period. The writers never saw any real money from them. They did all that work and didn't get paid. What's more, it costs money to have those songs rehearsed, recorded, pressed, covers made for them, and distributed. But if the song goes nowhere, those costs have to be eaten. They're expensive flops.

    The man who is a coal miner is always going to get paid for his work because he has a guaranteed salary. Coal mining is a steadier job than songwriting. Songwriters deserve what they get because they choose to work in a field in which there is a very high probability they won't get paid at all. But it's their intellectual property, so they should have the right to make a profit from it. Their intellectual property doesn't 'belong' to someone who had nothing to do with the creation of it.
     
  23. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Then the answer isn't jiggering with the royalties, it's a steep;y progressive income tax with NO loopholes...but it's that last bit that's hard for reasons both good and bad - wanting to use loopholes to encourage investment or innovation of various kinds and just plain lobbying for loopholes and tax cuts just because.
     
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  24. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I know. I hear you, and am also outraged by the idea of billionaires.
    I think McCartney though was a poor example if you want to target royalties, largely because of his touring and other sources of income (merch, branded items, record advances, etc.) He is not a billionaire because of royalties. However, Andrew Lloyd Webber is - or say another, non-performer Bernie Taupin - not a billionaire, but filthy rich. If we were looking at Burt Bacharach's income, or what Robert Hunter's heirs get from every Dead & Co show, then that would be meaningful. If you focused on these people, yes there may be less clicks to your thread - but the conversation might be closer to what you intended.

    If you want to bring a discussion about income inequality to a music forum, that's fine. If your way in is, but royalties...
    Then we need to talk about those who are coasting on royalties near exclusively.
     
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  25. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin
    Royalties are as a direct result of customers buying physical media as the transaction. This is why Beethoven or Brahms were paid only if they staged a concert themselves.
    In 2020, streaming royalties are still there, but not having CD sales has dimished this payment consderably. Physical media served McCartney well, but this window of opportunity is now nearly gone.
     

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