Tuesday 22 October 2002

Today at the Vicarage Audit

Today at the Vicarage : Audit Land

Is it reasonable to suppose that a major publisher, who takes a 15% fee for administering an albeit minor catalogue, would actually collect the money on the composer's behalf? Clearly not. Not in planet music industry.

In planet music industry, the failure to pick up any of the income from the three largest selling albums of the last ten years, in the largest single territory, is merely a small "income tracking error". An error of over 50%, but, hey, what's that between friends.

What is more, in planet music industry, it is apparently not the publisher's fault that they do not know which albums they have collected and which they have not. Or how many have been sold. It is all the fault of Harry Fox and the papertrail, which is so convoluted that they can know nothing other than gross receipts per title.

Does this, I wonder, amount to an admission that none of the US publishers are capable of honouring any of their contracts and efficiently collecting and distributing publishing income? Is this a case for copyright reversion?

Let us examine the facts :
Collection. An admitted error of over 50%, with unknown other errors as they have no way of knowing how much is missing on other titles
Distribution. An admitted error of at least 25%.

Hardly a record to fill you with confidence. And this is not malevolent. It is merely incompetence. What would they manage if they put their minds to it?