|| Wednesday, 6th April 2011
Mr. Stormy came in the back door at 07.30, Big Ben at 08.30, David at 08.32.
Kitchen meeting I…
… featuring artefacts produced by Amy DGM in the US.
Amy supplies us with many other good things featuring classic Crim artwork and logos, which we would love to be made more available to satisfy huge public demand. There are many men impatient to covet such delights and fondle them in the privacy of their chambers. The provision of high-quality KC t-shirts would likely generate more income than selling CDs, and without any doubt whatsoever be a greater part of female lives than the music. Today, music is free and for the people! as shouted by Italian Maoists who smashed glass partitions to enter the sports-stadium where KC was playing (1973). Today, music is mostly free, particularly for those who fileshare. And an important budgetary-ingredient in the supply of dead-cheap nominally-legitimate CDs releases on the high street, some DVDs too, is that artists receive nothing; or so largely-little that the difference between payment and no-payment is no difference at all.
But even file-sharers want to be seen in ace t-shirts, and are willing to pay for them. Not sure about the dress sense of contemporary Maoists, though. T-shirts are free and for the people?
David briefly mentioned his yesterday-visit to the DGM desk at IE Music Management before the meeting moved onto our current DGM royalty accounting period.
Conventional accounting date is the First of April. This is an especially and entirely appropriate date, given the accounting practices of the music industry. DGM accounts are usually paid 10-14 days after 1st. April. Seemingly, then, two weeks late. Actually, we pay 5 months and 2 weeks early.
It works like this: no one pays out money they haven’t received, nor is this expected of them. So, for example, Continuing Grief Global Records & Publishers Inc. receives its own various payments in the first two weeks of April; and pays out (perhaps, and even more perhaps pays out the full amount due) on or about 1st. October, the beginning of the next accounting period. More perhaps here, too. But assuming all operates as is nominally claimed, CGG Records keeps the arising income flows for 5 weeks and 2 months: legally.
In and on principle, DGM doesn’t like keeping the income of others, any others, and in this case artist income, to service its own interests. (An alternative approach may be found here and scroll down). So, when we receive money, we pay it out: 5 weeks and 2 months earlier than industry good practice; and several years earlier than (my experience with) EG, EMI & UMG practice.
Notably, for the first time in this DGM accounting, we have also collected the publishing paid on US KC/RF record sales. This, agreed with UMG – BMG publishing as part of the recent settlement of the DGM publishing audit addressing huge underpayment of US publishing royalties over the past 10 years for sure and, most likely, since 1994.
DGM is the record company, so accounting on DGM record sales is simple, straightforward, transparent and immediate. This, because DGM’s aim is for accounting to be simple, straightforward, transparent and immediate. If possible for us, why would accounting by any major record or publishing house be anything else? The quick-witted reader will hopefully forgive me for redundancy and labouring the point: because the aim/s of accounting by major record and publishing houses is for accounting to be complex, circuitous, opaque and tardy. Certainly, this is my/our experience in dealing close hands-on for twenty years of the post-EG Collapse.
As a model for current industry best-practice, ours is also immediate and readily available. Computer-based systems can allow for direct accounting without the need to go through various collection agencies, each of which take a %age, increase inefficiency and delay payment for another six months at each step in the chain. Eg UMG US Publishing pays KC royalties 5.5 months after receiving it to UMG UK, which falls in their next period; UMG UK pays it to DGM in their next period. Ie the most immediate payment, if that were intended, is 18 months after the income was generated. Add the record company payment-chain to this, and the preference for artist-advances is easily explained – it’s the only money they can be sure of getting (we won’t go into unrecouped or failures to pay agreed advances).
Q: So, what’s the problem in by-passing collection agencies?
A: Powerful vested interests within collection agencies don’t want to be by-passed; that they are mostly unnecessary nowadays is irrelevant.
Back to DGM: $40,000 has appeared for US publishing in the past 6 months now that (what was BMG > Sony BMG to) UMG is no longer collecting our publishing in the US. Rough guess on uncollected US publishing: $40,000 x 2 = $80,000 per year x 10 = $800,000 never collected by the publishers in the US over the past 10 years.
Only one small example of a small company with a small catalogue operating in this industry.
10.20 Off to a day in the Bournemouth area.
18.45 The selected route avoided the fast road from the Ringwood roundabout, and instead took me to Wimborne; past Grandfather Austin’s house Beicos in East Borough; Welch & Lock, my home on Leigh Road 1954-67; up Oakley Hill and past Ommaney, the Fripp family home 1949-54; down and up Alder Road, where Edie Fripp cycled to work in Bournemouth during the war, 10 miles there and back each day; and to Westbourne Arcade. This, the way Edie brought her young son to guitar lessons with Don Strike at the back of his shop
The shop is now run by Don’s son Bev, an excellent instrumentalist and bass player with The G Men in the early 1960s, when other locals Greg Lake and Bob Fripp were working the same circuit in their own beat groups. The reason for today’s visit was to collect a Roland 120 amp, originally owned by Andy Summers, acquired c. 1982 by Tony Arnold of Arny’s Shack Professional Recording Studio in Parkstone for me to use on my frequent sessions there. And acquired by me in turn two years ago when Tony sold it to Strike’s on 1st. April 2009 …
Here, time moves as it did 45 years ago. The amp was at the back of the shop, wasn’t going anywhere, and could have stayed there for several more years. It’s safe here! to quote Bev.
Amp loaded, a bookshop conveniently by my parking spot so a brief bibliophiliacal tumescence of the local kind, and onto Stan and Jackie Lee near Bournemouth rail station. More catching-up and conversing with pal Stan, drummer in The League Of Gentlemen 1964-65 I…
From chez Lee to Uncle Bill, three miles away in Southbourne. Uncle is 95 and his wits are sharper than mine, but his eyesight not quite as good. We viewed his recently-scanned photo archive on his large flatscreen tv via DVD, with informative commentary from Uncle as pix progressed.
Next visit to Don Hardyman, pianist of The Majestic Hotel Dance Orchestra where Andy Summers had the guitar chair before me.
Returning to DGM HQ via Ringwood and a pal with terminal cancer, who has not returned two recent calls. They were not in sight.
Arriving back at DGM HQ to a kitchen conversation with David; and an ace Singleton idea to make our lives more difficult. Also, interesting arisings on the collection of monies from CD sales and Black Boxes. These are monies collected by collection agencies who exist to collect monies; but not necessarily to distribute it. A bona wheeze, or what? Let’s hear it for black boxes…
Where did all the money go? It's in the Black Box...
Posted by Helienne LindvallTuesday 20 May 200810.30 BST
As revenues from music become increasingly diversified, it's becoming more and more difficult for artists to keep track of what they're owed…
Most record deals don't have a clause referring to this particular issue, so artists may not have a legal leg to stand on, unfortunately. Maybe it'll take a mega star, making the mother of all audits, to find out.
The internet has forced us all to throw the rulebook out. As we re-write it, let's make sure the people who actually provide the content don't get left behind, while the big corporations buy and sell sites that rely on these content providers, like YouTube and MySpace, for huge sums.
I applaud the initiative by labels to try to find new revenue streams and ways of getting paid - especially when customers don't seem to want to pay for music any more. Artists and songwriters would just like some more transparency from the labels when it comes to where this money goes. Hey, what better way than to post the answer as a comment on this blog, so that we can all be enlightened?
If DGM wanted to keep artist income, it would be very easy to do so. The worst-case scenario would be that, eventually, perhaps one or two artists might launch legal action; but even that would be unlikely because there isn’t enough money to make a successful action by any Crim financially worthwhile. The actualite of disproportionate power-structure between those that collect and distribute money, and those whose work initially generates it, is well-known to record and publishing companies, and artist managers (even those who are pillars of society) nominally charged to protect and promote their artists’ interests…
Independent Schools Council
Why, then, would any artist launch an action where there was small likelihood of significant financial reward? The answer to this, from me, another day. Perhaps DGM Guestbook commentators might advance their own views.
19.15 Calls with the Minx and the Sistery Person. David’s doctor told him today that David won’t be able to jog for a year. Whipcords have snapped moderately, propelling David onto the evening street I…
The JF&C with L&H viddy is up on the DGM Site. It’s wonderful to hear this music again. The Minx is impressed with the viddy, an acknowledgement I respect.
23.26 An interesting e-mail re The Writing Project. Which moves forward.
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.