Saturday, November 05, 2011

Louder than a bomb

Public Enemy's Chuck D is suing Universal Music. Rolling Stone reports  that Chuck is "claiming that the company has underpaid his royalties on digital downloads. The suit alleges that UMG routinely misrelates royalties owed to artists on MP3s and ringtones by treating them as sales of physical record as opposed to licensed works...

"Chuck D's complaint follows a federal judge's decision on Tuesday to move forward on a similar class action pursued by Rob Zombie and the estate of Rick James [more here]."

Digital Music News has published documents that back up Chuck D's claims. "According to federal court documents filed Wednesday by attorneys for Chuck D. The detailed breakdown shows that for every 1,000 iTunes downloads sold, a UMG-signed artist gets paid $80.33. And that's after the label collects on a 25% 'Container Charge for Audiophile Records,' as well as a 15% 'Net Sales Deduction'. Which means that for every one download, the payout is roughly 8.033 cents."

" the ringtone payout is loaded with even more artificial ingredients, including the same 'Audiophile Packaging Deduction'. In fact, despite a much higher price tag on ringtones (ie, $3 listed here), the major label artist gets a paltry per-ringtone payout of 5 cents."

ADDED: And Now, Chuck D Is 'Complicating' the Sale of EMI...

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