ISP Tax Part 2, MySpace Music and The Bad Old Days

MySpaceImage via Wikipedia

Bruce over at Hypebot today posted the full text of an email sent by digital distributor The Orchard to it’s label members regarding MySpace Music.

In it Greg Scholl, the head of The Orchard, sounds a warning note about proper compensation of indie artists who take part in the new Myspace service – a service who’s owners and equity holders currently comprise of 3 of the 4 majors and Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.

“…the apparent MySpace licensing approach is troubling. It hearkens back to a time none of us wants to revisit … Where independent artists and labels were third-class citizens in the global music economy, instead of the second-class citizenship (with a good chance for an upgrade to first) that we enjoy today”

This isn’t the first of these kinds of deals. My last post discussed the new approach taken by Warner in hiring Jim Griffin to help explore ways of creating an ISP surcharge, added to a customer’s bill, that would allow unlimited music downloading. Any such scheme would also be largely owned and influenced by the majors and could result in more marginalization of independent music business and artists.

Indeed, the MySpace deal could be even more unfair, as majors and MySpace leverage the huge amounts of aggregated traffic that indie/unsigned artists bring to the site into revenue that those same indie artists will see little, if any, income from  Wired’s Listening Post Blog sounded a similar warning last Thursday.

In response to these growing concerns, we’ve been discussing a collective of artists and businesses with a number of other like-minded businesses with the aim of gathering and using our collective strength (the essence of the long tail) to push for our proper place at the table.

The idea is in it’s nascent stage, but if you’re interested or concerned, please join us and join in the discussion:

http://indyartists.ning.com

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