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OT: Still do not believe the music industry is against artis


webe123

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This article about a time coming up when artists can reclaim their work after 35 years and how the music industry may fight against it...after congress PASSED a LAW about this....confirms just how far the music industry will go to keep their profits....even if it means that they are not playing by the rules.

 

If the music industry will not be fair with artists and their right to reclaim their work, then I hope the music industry gets sued into oblivion by the artists! "nuff said. Read the artiicle. Very interesting stuff. It shows the music industry's true colors.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/arts/music/springsteen-and-others-soon-eligible-to-recover-song-rights.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp

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This article about a time coming up when artists can reclaim their work after 35 years and how the music industry may fight against it...after congress PASSED a LAW about this....confirms just how far the music industry will go to keep their profits....even if it means that they are not playing by the rules.

If the music industry will not be fair with artists and their right to reclaim their work, then I hope the music industry gets sued into oblivion by the artists! "nuff said. Read the artiicle. Very interesting stuff. It shows the music industry's true colors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/arts/music/springsteen-and-others-soon-eligible-to-recover-song-rights.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp

 

I can see the legal nuances available to both sides. The record labels certainly can't be faulted for feeling that their infrastructure of promotion was a large contributor to the existence of the hits in the first place, & if a company (EMI) has the Beatles, that is basically a revenue stream of approximately national treasure status. Do all artists really want to be their own record labels & assume all responsibility for distribution? I think they would want specialists to deal with that, & those specialists are record labels. Anyway, this is going to drag along in court for a very long time.

Scott Fraser
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The sad truth is that this will probably be tied up in litigation, until only the artists' estates will have any hope of retaining those rights.

 

I agree that not every artist wants to be, or should be, their own distributor - anyone old enough to remember all those bands trying to start their own record labels, should remember how quickly it all fell apart. The Beatles' Apple was just the most egregious example - the Grateful Dead tried to start a record label, and got hugely ripped off by bootleggers on their first album release, Wake of the Flood. Still, this sounds too much like what we've been trying to break away from. No matter what anyone says, the record companies aren't interested in Music, per se, they're interested in product, and the means of controlling product have been slipping from their grasp for quite some time. This seems like a last-ditch effort to wring every drop of profit from whatever holdings they may have, before the whole business model collapses.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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This article about a time coming up when artists can reclaim their work after 35 years and how the music industry may fight against it...after congress PASSED a LAW about this....confirms just how far the music industry will go to keep their profits....even if it means that they are not playing by the rules.

If the music industry will not be fair with artists and their right to reclaim their work, then I hope the music industry gets sued into oblivion by the artists! "nuff said. Read the artiicle. Very interesting stuff. It shows the music industry's true colors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/arts/music/springsteen-and-others-soon-eligible-to-recover-song-rights.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp

 

I can see the legal nuances available to both sides. The record labels certainly can't be faulted for feeling that their infrastructure of promotion was a large contributor to the existence of the hits in the first place, & if a company (EMI) has the Beatles, that is basically a revenue stream of approximately national treasure status. Do all artists really want to be their own record labels & assume all responsibility for distribution? I think they would want specialists to deal with that, & those specialists are record labels. Anyway, this is going to drag along in court for a very long time.

 

You also can't fault the artists for wanting to have an EVEN SHARE of profits for their work. Let's remember something...if the artists did not make any songs, the labels would have nothing to sell or distribute.

 

To say that the industry should get the lions share of profits because they distribute is crazy in my opinion.

 

 

I agree that not every artist wants to be, or should be, their own distributor - anyone old enough to remember all those bands trying to start their own record labels, should remember how quickly it all fell apart. The Beatles' Apple was just the most egregious example - the Grateful Dead tried to start a record label, and got hugely ripped off by bootleggers on their first album release, Wake of the Flood. Still, this sounds too much like what we've been trying to break away from. No matter what anyone says, the record companies aren't interested in Music, per se, they're interested in product, and the means of controlling product have been slipping from their grasp for quite some time. This seems like a last-ditch effort to wring every drop of profit from whatever holdings they may have, before the whole business model collapses.

 

 

But this is not the 1970s anymore. Brick and mortar stores are not the way most people get their music. Most have moved online.

 

I do not think it will be half as hard as you believe to distribute because now most distribution is done online and we are also not talking of songs nobody knows about, but hits that have stood the test of time.

 

I do not think it would be hard to partner up with a decent online distributor like Amazon or apple and put their older hits online. The artists would stand more of a chance to make money that way, than the way the industry is trying to force artists into settling for a fraction of what some of those songs are worth. They have done this for years to the artists anyway, it is time for some payback!

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You also can't fault the artists for wanting to have an EVEN SHARE of profits for their work. Let's remember something...if the artists did not make any songs, the labels would have nothing to sell or distribute.

 

The artists have in fact shared in the profits all along. What is an 'even share' is up for debate, but don't assume that artists got nothing here. Additionally it's worth noting that record labels only profit from record sales, i.e. mechanical royalties. They have no access to performance royalties, which are a very substantial part of an artist's income.

 

To say that the industry should get the lions share of profits because they distribute is crazy in my opinion.

 

Nobody has said that, in this particular discussion.

Scott Fraser
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A lot of new record contracts, the "360"-type deals, actually give all sorts of extra income streams over to the label.

Things such as merchandising, etc.

This includes some things they often accessed anyway (tour support and promotion was often directly recoupable from any artsist income before royalty payments) but many modern contracts are virtually all inclusive.

 

There are all sorts of ways modern entertainment can be marketed but it does involve a lot of set up and a lot of oversight.

Payment for services should be fair, of course, but options should exists.

The best way for most to control their work is, as always, to find competent, independent advice and these days to stay up-to-date (even ahead of the game) on new technology.

 

The craftiest artists have always retained the most control.

 

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I think Elvis had it in his contract with the movie makers that he could not perform for 7 years after his last movie...he had more than enough money to fight the contract but honored it as signed...I think Fogerty is one of the few to beat the record industry as the court decided that an artist can not be prevented from performing his own work...both Elvis and Fogerty made it big on their come back tours...these are just two of my memories that may not have all the facts correct, but they remind me to be careful of any contract that I sign...
Take care, Larryz
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Not sure abt that Elvis thing, LZ---that doesn't sound right as far as time frames...

 

No artist has ever been excluded from performing their own work that I've ever heard of.

I think Fogerty avoided performing his own work for yrs b/c he'd been duped by his mgmt & rec co & lost control of ©.

Later he got sued for sounding like he'd imitated his own compositions (gee, The Rolling Stones & Chuck Berry could lose on those grounds, eh ?).

 

d=halfnote
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The Elvis comback tour was taped in June 1968, Elvis had not been on stage in front of a live audience for just over 7 years due to his movie contracts, after wrapping up his contractual obligations he returned full time to the concert stage starting with his comback tour (according to Warner Brothers) so the time frames appear to be right...will check into the Fogerty case for you D, but as I said some of this is from memory and I aint gettin any younger... :thu:
Take care, Larryz
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Fogerty was being excluded from performing his own works by Fantasy Records who sued Forgerty for plagerizing, as they held the rights to CCR...November 9, 1988 Fogerty won his case in the San Francisco Federal court as you cannot palgerize your own work...one of the stories I heard was when he went to court he played several songs which he composed that all sounded like Run The Jungle never leaving the E7 chord...but your version D, may also be correct...the main thing is it took him a long time before he could perform his own stuff again which is all found on his DVD The Long Road Home...
Take care, Larryz
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Not allowed to perform your own works? There's something rather insane about THAT scenario! At least Fogerty won his case.

But the law, however well intentioned as to protecting everyone's rights, which I heartily applaud - record companies have to make a living, too, LOL - is often twisted in practice, and common sense and decency get lost in the shuffle.....

 

And now, I'm going to sit down and plagiarize my own work, as in taking text from similar documents I did in the past as a translator. PLEASE DON'T LET THE LAWYERS KNOW!!!

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Fogerty said if you want to make it in the muscic bizz, hire a lawyer, then hire another one to review him, then hire another one to review both of them, then let your momma read it before you sign anything...his court case still dogged him all the way to the US Supreme court decision in 1994 which would allow him and others who prevail in copyright enforcement to collect their attorney fees...intersting interviews on Youtube on Larry King and with others...he's one of the few that have gone up against the big boys and won...
Take care, Larryz
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There is a book called "Confessions of a Record Producer" that will give you a very clear picture of how the music busniness runs, or used to run in the pre digital download days. I don't know how much has changed. Let me give you one random fact that stuck in my head. An artist who signs a first time mahor record deal will pay off any and all record label costs, including reimbursement of the 'signing bonus' (actually an advance), cost of recording, cost of promostions, cost of dinners they've been invited to by record execs, and more before they make dime one. Because of the way the business DOES business, this usually means that the artist doesn't see any money until they've sold 650,000 copies of their record. After that, they will make between $.65 and $.70 per copy sold.
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I believe Fogerty just refused to play CCR songs in concert on principle because he had been forced to sign over the rights to the songs and records in order to get out of his contract with Fantasy records when he disbanded the group. He didn't want to promote and help sell those songs since he'd be making money for the label rather than himself.

 

He talked about it a few years ago in GP, as far as why he started playing those songs again, when he had some live DVD or something come out. Between Zantz, the label head, and his brother's antics I think CCR was kind of a miserable time period for him.

 

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I don't think the industry is against the artist per se, anymore than any slave owner is against a slave. It's just that they are for themselves, and to them, the artist is a means to the end of making themselves rich. To quote Zappa, "To them, you're a clown in a spiked dog collar". A record contract is negotiated the same way any contract is negotiated, and the strongest negotiator is going to walk away with the largest piece of the pie in any such deal. If you want "fair" go back to the playground and play with the kids. The only way to get a decent deal from any business is 1. have something they want bad enough to pay for it, & 2. have a pit bull negotiator doing the talking for you. You can bet that if there is big money on the table, the record company will have one of their own.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I don't think the industry is against the artist per se, anymore than any slave owner is against a slave. It's just that they are for themselves, and to them, the artist is a means to the end of making themselves rich. To quote Zappa, "To them, you're a clown in a spiked dog collar". A record contract is negotiated the same way any contract is negotiated, and the strongest negotiator is going to walk away with the largest piece of the pie in any such deal. If you want "fair" go back to the playground and play with the kids. The only way to get a decent deal from any business is 1. have something they want bad enough to pay for it, & 2. have a pit bull negotiator doing the talking for you. You can bet that if there is big money on the table, the record company will have one of their own.

 

The PROBLEM with your post picker, is that most artists CANNOT AFFORD a high priced lawyer or "pit bull" when they start out! And the industy knows it! Most of these were done over thirty years ago when artists did not know as much as they know now about legal contracts too.

 

That is how they got them in these stupid contracts to begin with.

 

I for one hope the tables are finally turned and that something is done for the artists. And fair is fair picker.

 

The labels would have nothing to sell if they did not have artists PERIOD!

 

 

 

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Hmmm, I think the probs not with picker's comments but with the idea that the music biz should be any more ethical or fair than other businesses.

For example, it's a problem that "most artists CANNOT AFFORD a high priced lawyer when theythey start out" but people starting out in any biz generally can't afford the best attorneys.

Artists don't need that level of representation when starting out, though they need it when they come to sign a long term agreement of any type.

 

GOOD NEWS !

There are many places one can get info, from some excellent books to forums like this one, that can give one a heads up on what to consider & what to be alert abt.

There's no source that's gonna have all the answers nor be able to be totally up to date on changing legalities, etc., but it's hardly a foggy minefield for someone who puts some effort into investigating matters.

 

It does remain true that artists need good legal advice from those dealing with certain legal areas before commiting themselves to agreements but like most matters, those things don't have to be dealt with before leaving square 1.

 

As far as labels having nothing to sell without artists, well, they have a track record of inventing product as needed.

The flip side is that never before have there been as many avenues for independent minded artists to take matters into their own hands.

It's not easy nor is it without costs & problems.

One may learn that giving up one thing or another is worth the reduced hassle of being yr own accountant/agent/royalty collect/etc but things can work out for those who put effort into learning abt the biz they're in.

d=halfnote
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BTW, P90jr's right abt that Fogerty v.Fantasy case.

As I said earlier, he chose not to promote those tunes for a while b/c he made little if any $ from them plus he wanted to offer new material, not just retreads.

 

The only way anyone can be prevented from recording anything is if the © holder refuses to extend a licence (needed to record a cover tune), which is almost never done except in cases where the material seems to be deliberately misused.

The primary purpose of aobtaining the licence is not to control use of the material but to track who's using it so royalties can be collected.

Even if someone loses ownership of their own compositions, I'm not sure they could be prevented from performing them.

d=halfnote
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The PROBLEM with your post picker, is that most artists CANNOT AFFORD a high priced lawyer or "pit bull" when they start out! And the industy knows it! Most of these were done over thirty years ago when artists did not know as much as they know now about legal contracts too.

 

 

 

The problem with your post is you think poverty is some sort of excuse for being defenseless in a business deal. Anyone who is being seriously courted by a label can find a lawyer to represent them, and a pitbull doesn't have to be expensive, just savvy and combative.

 

That is how they got them in these stupid contracts to begin with.

 

No, they got into them through ignorance and trusting the wrong people.

 

...fair is fair picker....

 

If life was fair, we'd all be equally smart, talented, healthy and wealthy. We aren't. When it comes to what I and anybody else who deals with a company that exists to make a profit can expect, forget about "fair", they aren't going to attempt a fair settlement. They are going for every penny they can get, and they expect you to do the same. If you deal from ignorance, it's your fault.

 

The labels would have nothing to sell if they did not have artists PERIOD!

 

They know that. But they won't take you seriously if you don't play their game their way. Nobody is going to protect you from the guys who know how to play, not for free. You have to know how to protect yourself, or hire someone who does. That's how it works.

 

 

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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What also may cause problems is that many times, an "artist" getting involved in the music "business" might not want to stifle the "music" part of his efforts by involving himself in the "business" part. So he hires someone to handle it for him. Trouble might ensue in the possibility that this means a deal might be struck that's favorable to the label and he who represents said "artist", leaving that "artist" jacked up the ass. I know that's what I would worry about.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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We had a guy by the name of Bud Prager as our showbiz Lawyer in NY - he also managed Foreigner and was partners with Felix Pappalardi in everything Felix produced - including Cream, The YoungBloods, Mountain, Bartholomew plus Three plus a couple more I don't remember. I remember Bud telling me that he had also handled the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins - this guy had the most amazing connections possible when he was alive.

 

Needless to say...we never saw a cent from Atlantic, Polydor, Quality, Can-Am, Bell or various other labels due to the royalties being used to pay session fees and other things off the top.

 

Also Bud was a great guy and did his best for us but I note that his name was on a couple of our records as "producer"...when in fact I did all the writing and studio arranging with Corky Laing but we never got credit.

 

We were young green kids from Montreal & didn't really sell much in those days...but cleaned-up on local gigs due to airplay.

 

And yes - payola was rampant - we were offered #45 with a bullet on CashBox for $5,000 which we never did but a couple of the local radio guys had their hands in our pocket...a fair trade for being top 10 in Montreal and major Canadian cities several times.

Been round the block but am not over the hill...

 

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Artists don't need that level of representation when starting out, though they need it when they come to sign a long term agreement of any type.

 

GOOD NEWS !

There are many places one can get info, from some excellent books to forums like this one, that can give one a heads up on what to consider & what to be alert abt.

There's no source that's gonna have all the answers nor be able to be totally up to date on changing legalities, etc., but it's hardly a foggy minefield for someone who puts some effort into investigating matters.

 

 

These contracts you and I speak of were made 30 YEARS AGO! There WAS NO INTERNET back then! Read my post. Yes, today, it is easy to find out information on contracts with the record industry on the internet. But back then there was no internet.

 

It was also a much different time when artists were not as educated about music contracts as they are today.

 

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The problem with your post is you think poverty is some sort of excuse for being defenseless in a business deal. Anyone who is being seriously courted by a label can find a lawyer to represent them, and a pitbull doesn't have to be expensive, just savvy and combative.

 

If you feel that way , then I feel sorry for you. These contracts were made 30 years ago. Again, if you did not have a high priced lawyer most had none, they got screwed.

 

But let's be absolutely clear on something.... no one had internet access back then because there was no internet and NO ONE knew what kind of people they were dealing with when it came to music executives and how greedy they really were. Nor what lengths they would stoop to make a buck.

 

Nowdays there is no excuse for someone who has signed with the majors to not know what they are getting into, but back then it was simply not thought of. And if you DID NOT HAVE THE FUNDS..... as most artists just signing on did not.... to pay a good lawyer, you got screwed.

 

No, they got into them through ignorance and trusting the wrong people.

 

That is correct, but like I said in my earlier posts. Most musicians could not afford a high priced lawyer when they signed on. You somehow think that it was OK for the industry to screw over artists. I don't agree.

 

If life was fair, we'd all be equally smart, talented, healthy and wealthy. We aren't. When it comes to what I and anybody else who deals with a company that exists to make a profit can expect, forget about "fair", they aren't going to attempt a fair settlement. They are going for every penny they can get, and they expect you to do the same. If you deal from ignorance, it's your fault.

 

The record company held all the cards PERIOD! And they knew it. They had the high priced lawyers make contracts for them in THEIR FAVOR! They used this to literally sign artists that could not afford the same legal representation as THEY COULD.

 

So I am sorry, but I simply disagree with you that there was a level playing field and the artists could have gotten a good deal if they had a lawyer. I think you are dead wrong on that point.

 

Maybe you would know how it felt if it was you that was the one that had signed the contract and realized just how bad the industry ripped YOU off! It is easy to play armchair quarterback, but until you are the one holding the bag I don't think you will ever understand that concept.

 

It is like Las Vegas, the casino (Music Industry in this case) hold all the chips and the odds are stacked in their favor. All you are (as a musician or singer) is a player....they are going to win no matter what! The music industry were nothing but a bunch of thieves themselves.

 

But the artists are doing what they can now to try and right the wrongs that have been done to them. I see nothing wrong with that.

 

They know that. But they won't take you seriously if you don't play their game their way.

 

And you just made my point for me. Thanks. Like I said the odds were stacked in their favor. Very little an artist could do to overcome that 30 years ago even IF he had legal advice.

 

Nobody is going to protect you from the guys who know how to play, not for free. You have to know how to protect yourself, or hire someone who does. That's how it works.

 

And again, you seem to MISS the whole point that if you are unable to afford a lawyer you cannot even play that game. But even IF they WERE to afford a lawyer, the contract was still stacked in the industry's favor. That is why laws were enacted to overturn this unfair advantage and give the artist their rights to their own songs back after so many years.

 

Of course NOW the record industry which is becoming a dinosaur is even fighting that ruling.

 

But I guess we ought to expect that from a company that had been ripping off their employees for years.

 

 

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Today there are people who make a good living by marketing their own material - partly because they don't have pay the record companies a large percentage of what they make. Not sure if you can become a superstar without mass marketing, though, if that's your aim in life.

 

Even the Beatles were screwed over in their initial recording contract, by the way.

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Even the Beatles were screwed over in their initial recording contract, by the way.

 

Yes, they were screwed by their own naive manager, though, who had no idea what to ask for & gave away the bank, to the delight of the label. Without EMI's corporate connection with the American market, The Beatles would likely have remained a small regional phenomenon, popular in the relatively minor market of England, & not much more.

Scott Fraser
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Yes, that's true. Marketing is important. Even if you are the greatest musician who ever lived or ever WILL live, it won't help your bottom line much if no one knows you exist, outside of a small circle of friends.

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to sign away your life + your first two kids..... but of course the people who are promoting you have to get paid, too! Just not 99% of your income or something.....

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Fogerty was being sued for stealing from Run Through The Jungle, not because he refused to promote or sing CCR songs...The Beatles were sued for doing My Sweet Lord and the claim was they stole it from He's So Fine, The Beach Boys were sued by Chuck Berry for Surfin USA which they stole from Sweet Little Sixteen, the list goes on with Dolly and others who steal...the method by which you can be prevented from recording is called a law suit...go ahead and try recording anything you want to while stealing from others (to include yourself if Fantasy records owns your material) and see how far you get...Fogerty was successful with his defense and thus wanted his pitbull fees... years later the court recognized and included low income artists who couldn't afford the pitbulls in their decision and also awarded Fogerty his doggey fees...you can look up many things on the internet these days...and even read the court cases if so inclined...just google it...
Take care, Larryz
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Back in the `bad old days` there was not nearly as much of a crowded field of hopefuls as now. The chances of getting signed by a label were greater,as well as the chances of getting screwed. Now you are just as well off to invest in lottery tickets, as a signing from a major. But the flip side is, that yes artists are more educated-at least in part by the fate of many who went before them.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Fogerty was being sued for stealing from Run Through The Jungle, not because he refused to promote or sing CCR songs...The Beatles were sued for doing My Sweet Lord and the claim was they stole it from He's So Fine, The Beach Boys were sued by Chuck Berry for Surfin USA which they stole from Sweet Little Sixteen, the list goes on with Dolly and others who steal...the method by which you can be prevented from recording is called a law suit...go ahead and try recording anything you want to while stealing from others (to include yourself if Fantasy records owns your material) and see how far you get...Fogerty was successful with his defense and thus wanted his pitbull fees... years later the court recognized and included low income artists who couldn't afford the pitbulls in their decision and also awarded Fogerty his doggey fees...you can look up many things on the internet these days...and even read the court cases if so inclined...just google it...

 

huh?

 

I didn't read anyone here making those claims, but I did skim quite a bit.

 

Fogerty wanted out of his contract with Fantasy records in the early 70s and was blackmailed into signing over the rights to the CCR compositions. When he didn't perform those songs on his comeback tours (thus not invigorating back catalog sales) Fantasy records made the crappy maneuver of suing him saying he was plagiarizing his own past compositions, which they owned the rights to, as a way of cashing in and of just furthering a very antagonistic relationship.

 

George Harrison wrote and recorded "My Sweet Lord," not The Beatles... and he was sued by the composers of "He's So Fine." And the thing is... the main composer had died before the Harrison song was released, and former Beatles/Harrison manager Alan Klein bought the publishing company in the middle of the lawsuit, so ultimately Harrison had to pay his own former manager the legal settlement.

 

The lesson in both cases is that managers and record company execs can screw over the biggest superstars in the world, so what chance did/does a lesser success have?

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