Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy

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  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Boom!

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but Ray's big hits, the ones they still play, were all written by other people.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Simon, can you give an estimate of how much Ray (or anyone - it just so happens w're picking on him at the moment)would get each time the song is played on radio? Would that all be songwriting royalty, or is he due something as a performer if his recording is played (I think that's the mechanical royalty, yes?)?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to nzlemming,

    Mechanicals are the songwriting payments made when a CD or other format is sold, and it's a statutory percentage of the price ( I think its still 8% of wholesale but about to rise). So if an album wholesales for $10, the writers get 80c divided by the number of tracks.

    The performance royalty is another thing altogether. There are two copyrights:
    1) the songwriters. This gets collected by APRA and after a small admin fee sent to the listed publisher.
    2) the master, i.e . the recording. This gets collected by PPNZ (mostly unless the label is not a member) and then sent out to copyright owners of the recording after an admin fee). How much this is, is determined by various deals struck by PPNZ and broadcasters (and other users) from time to time.

    Ray would get none of 1) because he didn't write either She's A Mod (written by an obscure UK rocker called Terry Beale) or Till We Kissed (written by 60s NY team Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil). He did write some of his other 60s hits but they would get zero airplay these days, so income from those must be around nil.

    He would be entitled to a share of 2). This is sent to the artist in a couple of ways.
    a) via the label. They pay 50% of what they receive as miscellaneous income to the artist (less unrecouped amounts). However NZ majors have simply never done this in the past. So...
    b) PPNZ instituted something called The RAP fund, and they pay a percentage of their income to NZ artists directly.

    I imagine b) would be Ray's income stream from the recordings. The amount would be not inconsiderable given the gold airplay both those songs get on stations like Coast, but I doubt it would pay the bills. And also, any monies would need to be divided amongst the 5 members of RC & The Invaders or their estates.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Yet Ray's beef is with downloading teens rather than the music industry that has done so well from his efforts?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt (he's a hellava nice guy who has a done a huge amount for countless artists over the years) and assuming his words were taken out of context :)

    I do wonder though about these people the media/content industries wheel out time and time again when a copyright extension is touted. In the UK it's always dear old Sir Cliff who's contribution to the songwriting craft is nil.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    If what Kim Dotcom says is right, then the District of Columbia is full of hypocrites.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to DeepRed,

    That would not really qualify as news, amigo.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    I wouldn't go that far:

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham,

    Copyright on recordings made in the 60s is going to expire over the next decade, so Ray Columbus is going to lose his royalty income if the recording copyright term isn't retroactively extended.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ....just an aside here, Russell. We missed you at the NZOS meeting at Beresford Square yesterday.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2333 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Peter Graham,

    Ye-es. Your point being, perhaps, that it's Ray's self-interest motivating his comments, rather than a wider interest in the welfare of copyright holders?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to nzlemming,

    I wouldn't go that far:

    He didn't write that or any of his 'hits'. Lionel Bart was the composer.

    rather than a wider interest in the welfare of copyright holders?

    Or the broader intent of copyright.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    So if an album wholesales for $10, the writers get 80c divided by the number of tracks.

    Multiplied, surely?.

    And @ Peter Graham

    Copyright on recordings made in the 60s is going to expire over the next decade, so Ray Columbus is going to lose his royalty income if the recording copyright term isn't retroactively extended.

    One has to wonder if it is still pertinent to inform people that someone is a Mod. Yeah?. Yeah.? Yeah?.

    Fellas, she was once in drag,
    But black leather caught her eye.
    After being rocker for a week,
    She's a mod and I wonder why.

    I also doubt that Terry Beale gives a toss either.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Multiplied, surely?.

    No divided.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    No divided.

    So, the more tracks you put on an album, the less money you get. Hey, I knew these record companies were greedy but that is bizarre.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    sure helps make sense of those internal band squabbles over whose songs get on the record

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    So, the more tracks you put on an album, the less money you get. Hey, I knew these record companies were greedy but that is bizarre.

    Not really. There is a set amount returned from an album sale and the pie doesn't get any bigger by adding more songs. The statutory amount is based on a percentage of dealer price. It works in your favour if you only wrote the B side of a single - you get half the money despite the fact that people are buying it for the A side (or hit track if we are talking CDs or bundled digital singles).

    In the US it used to be limited to 10 songs on an album, so if you had 11 then one didn't get paid. Hence all those shoddy US Beatles and Stones albums with only 10 tracks.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    In the US it used to be limited to 10 songs on an album, so if you had 11 then one didn't get paid. Hence all those shoddy US Beatles and Stones albums with only 10 tracks.

    Was that before the double-album prog rock/concept album era?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    UK: 14 tracks; US: 12 tracks*, wasn't it, generally?

    *including the UK single, so four tracks left over.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to DeepRed,

    UK: 14 tracks; US: 12 tracks*, wasn't it, generally?

    Yes 11 or 12, but as you say, only ten from the UK album. The singles made their publishing off the single release.

    They had a big scrap with Berry Gordy when one of his tracks was gonna get passed on the album cut. He refused (surprise....)

    Was that before the double-album prog rock/concept album era?

    It was still happening in the 90s. When we issued the OMC album in the US with a hidden bonus track we only got paid on 10. We had to pick one not to get paid on, as the bonus was the horrible US recorded I Love LA cover and Randy Newman always gets paid.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Not really. There is a set amount returned from an album sale and the pie doesn't get any bigger by adding more songs.

    So why are albums all different prices then?. Is it that they guess at how much they can gouge the fans for and go with that number?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And how has this model adjusted to music going back to being sold as individual tracks now, as the album declines?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    That's why he loves mankind.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Not really. There is a set amount returned from an album sale and the pie doesn't get any bigger by adding more songs.

    So why are albums all different prices then?. Is it that they guess at how much they can gouge the fans for and go with that number?.

    Not a set amount; a set percentage of the wholesale price.

    it's a statutory percentage of the price ( I think its still 8% of wholesale but about to rise). So if an album wholesales for $10, the writers get 80c divided by the number of tracks.

    Retail prices (50% mark-up is common) can vary after that- but it may be that wholesale prices can vary as well, over time or different markets, and still a set percentage of that price be put aside for the artists.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    And in other news, Copyright wars heat up: US wins extradition of college kid from England

    A 23-year old student from Sheffield Hallam University in the north of England is bound for America. That wouldn't be unusual—except that Richard O'Dwyer won't go voluntarily. The UK Home Secretary has today agreed to extradite O'Dwyer over US copyright infringement charges for running a "linking site" called TVShack.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

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