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Large music library not paying up

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Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:20 am

A very high profile music library in the US I have been with for a few years has gradually got more and more tardy and unprofessional in their conduct. The site is still up and selling my tracks (and other artists, some very famous) Their communication is appalling, now non existent, with no payment schedule and no way of getting money owed from months and months. I know they are still making money out of me as one of my tracks is trending on page 2 of their website charts. After they became a subscription site (and my earnings drastically took a dive from earning 4 figures to just 2 figure sums) Their personnel who dealt with emails has changed hands so many times it seems no one wants to work there. I can cope with a business who is honest and upfront if they are in trouble but cannot stand being fobbed off with promises that they will get back to me and never hearing from them. Ditto for the CEO who not so long ago seemed excited about a new deal that would benefit us all.

Is there anything I can do ? Even clients who buy the music are leaving atrocious reviews with accusations of automatic renewal of subscriptions and their money taken with no response when they try and cancel. Its a nightmare.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby blinddrew » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:27 am

I guess the first thing is to check your contract for what the break clauses are. Is there anything about failure to respond to reasonable requests etc.
Then you get into the fun and games of whether you want to lawyer up and take legal action.
Have you tried getting in contact with any other contributors to see how widespread the problems are and whether they'll respond to some kind of concerted action?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:31 am

CEO is cashing out.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:02 am

I don’t even have any way of removing my tracks. Cashing out ?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby blinddrew » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:34 am

Surely there's some kind of bad-faith clause in the contract?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Folderol » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:47 am

Don't waste money on lawyers (that probably won't get you anything back). Send one warning letter to the company telling them what you will do, then if you still get no response do what some quite famous musicians have done - release high quality digital versions of the material on-line free, and widely advertise the fact, and the reason for doing it. Just don't mention the library by name.

Oh, and I'm reminded of a comment a musician made when asked what his greatest song was...
"I don't know. I haven't written it yet." :bouncy:
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:45 am

I haven’t got money to waste on lawyers anyway. Just unfair that I have money owed and they are holding onto it. I should have smelled a rat about 5 years ago when the very nice admin woman (who didn’t stay with the company long after) phoned me to tell me of some of the cost of extra marketing to get more sales. I think I parted with $200 to have thousands of promotion emails sent to clients as I was doing well with them at that time. Then after paying for the promotion my sales took a nosedive (as did the revenue from any sales) The CEO got greedy and turned it into a subscription membership and upset nearly all of their clients. They changed the company name and now the Twitter accountsof the CEO and company have been disabled.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 am

Cashing out . . . taking the money and running.

Everything you've stated about the behaviour of this organisation points in that direction, almost prototypically.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:59 am

And I suppose being over the pond gives me zero rights. How do I remove my music from their site ?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:36 am

I'm quite sure you have rights set out in contract and in law, or by international treaty - your problem as an individual will be enforcement of those rights, and whatever contract you signed will most likely have been drawn up by lawyers to be as one-sided as possible in favour of the company.

So I'm afraid I don't have any advice beyond lawyer-up, but as you can't afford that . . . I don't really know. Perhaps one or other of the professional organisations can help? There are many others (probably most, actually) here far more experienced and / or qualified to advise you than I.

I certainly wouldn't inform your adversary you intend to distribute the material for free on the internet though. Whatever famous musician did that likely could afford decent legal representation, along with having an established fanbase they could leverage.

It's a sh*t situation to find oneself in, you have my sympathy FWIW (bugger all, at todays exchange rate).

Of course, perhaps I'm being too pessimistic about the contract and it actually does set out clauses in your favour? Do you retain any rights to the material at all, specifically copyright?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:00 pm

As I get older, I am learning that the less I trust people. Very very few are genuine. Even friends I have had for many years have turned out to be Charlatans (and I don't mean the band although I do know their singer from school) Smoke and mirrors.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby blinddrew » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:46 pm

Are you a member of the musician's union? They might be able to help. Alternatively, if you have any business insurance you might have legal cover with that?
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:10 pm

From your description it sounds like there is nothing you can do. They must be scrambling to cover their own salaries (my guess) as the market is very competitive and they screwed up.
My .02 is - try not to get bitter, you had a number of years of good revenue from a very difficult field to make money in. I am in a somewhat similar situation and I remind myself everything changes.
If there is some form of escape clause for you in the contract ie: sending them a termination letter etc. do that. Then find the current companies that are riding the wave success-wise and see if they will represent your tracks. Their marketing dept may be full of piss and vinegar and really getting their tracks in front of the right people. If the current people are unethical they will still try and sell your tracks. Nothing you can do. From experience I know that if you want some form of "justice" it costs a lot of dough. Mere mortals can’t afford justice. And don’t forget avoiding the mental darkside, easier said than done but you obviously have talent to write the tracks people want. Do more of them for your new representation.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby AudioPhilisopher » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:20 pm

Marbury wrote:As I get older, I am learning that the less I trust people. Very very few are genuine. Even friends I have had for many years have turned out to be Charlatans (and I don't mean the band although I do know their singer from school) Smoke and mirrors.

I've been burnt a few times and I try to be optimistic and see the best in people.

Fortunately I've never had friends turn on me, but I've always been careful to never get into a financial relationship with friends. never lend money or get into business with friends. I've seen too many friendships fall apart. I remember a group of friends in a band got one of their mates to manage them. it was a bit of a disaster, manager was inexperienced and wouldn't cut the band loose when the band wanted to change managers.
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Re: Large music library not paying up

Postby Marbury » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:46 pm

Well it's put me into a depression , something I unfortunately suffer, especially this time of year. The future of the music industry is definitely bleak I'm afraid. :protest:
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