President Obama please assist with the following:
Caps on contract lengths. Most major-label agreements require a commitment of six to eight albums, an obligation that can entail an indefinite term of indentured servitude
Accounting practices. Audits routinely detect unpaid royalties. Labels misreport and underpay artist royalties by 10% to 40%, industry accounting practices are "intentionally fraudulent." Royalties, based on complex and antiquated formulas that favor labels, are disbursed only after artists pay back advances, recording costs and other expenses.
Example Record Label Royalty payment. Typical record deal that gives a $250,000 advance to an Artist. The album sells 250,000 copies, earning $710,000 for the label. The artist, after repaying expenses ranging from recording fees and video budgets to catering, wardrobe and tour bus costs, is left $14,000 in the hole on royalties.
Health and pension benefits. Artists are not receiving Health and Retirement benefits. Record companies never deposited a nickel into a pension because of convoluted formulas tied to royalties. Not surprisingly, labels are balking at paying roughly 20,000 artists up to 30 years of back pension and health benefits.
Copyright and ownership. The Record business is the only industry in which the bank still owns the house after the mortgage is paid. Artists are demanding copyright reform and a reasonable means of reacquiring their master recordings.
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