A few weeks ago I read on bOING bOING about a music industry royalties collection agency responsible for webcasting and satellite radio. After much reluctance they had finally put up a list of artists they owed money to, but said they had found it impossible to track down.
I decided to take a look at the list. Sure enough, there were a bunch of artists I’m a fan of. Of those, there were several I knew it would be trivial to track down on the web. People like Scanner, The Orb, μ-Ziq, Stephan Remmler, Westbam, Komputer, Georg Kajanus and a bunch of Warp Records artists. Oh, and RuPaul!
Although my normal policy is not to risk dialog with famous artists whose work I like, I felt that if some big corporate agency is claiming the right to collectpayments on artists’ behalf, it is important to make sure the artists actually see the money. So I wrote the various artists (or their agents or official webmasters) some brief e-mails pointing them at the web site of the collections agency, so they would at least know about it, and could make contact with said organization if they liked. I figured the worst case was that some folks would get a dozen fan e-mails telling them, which was better than no e-mail at all.
I can now reveal that in spite of my fears I got an almost complete lack of response. Except from Thrash (formerly of The Orb), who says they’re owed $50.
Meanwhile, the music industry execs are probably snorting lines of coke off of hookers and wondering if anyone’s heard of some guy named Chris DeBurgh who they owe money to.