£100m Reggae Robbery MUST READ

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£100m Reggae Robbery MUST READ

Postby dom » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:44 am

http://www.bashmentvibes.com/2012/10/23 ... e-robbery/

Below is the first of a three-part report, originally published in New Nation newspaper in 2004, exposing how record companies and so-called ‘collection societies’ deprived reggae artists of millions of pounds in publishing and royalty revenues.


‘The £100m Reggae Robbery’ investigation revealed how France-based intellectual property lawyer André Bertrand and John Murray-Smith, ex-director of British company Definite Publishing, fought on behalf of reggae stars such as Jimmy Cliff (below), Sly and Robbie, Max Romeo, Bunny Lee and Winston McAnuff to recoup revenue from record labels such as Island, Virgin, Trojan and Culture Press.

Murray-Smith and Bertrand also claimed that collection societies in France had entered into secret and unlawful agreements that made it almost impossible for Jamaican musicians to collect monies owed to them.

Over the next few years, Murray-Smith’s partnership with Bertrand helped establish several precedents in European law. Below are some of their achievements:

*Murray-Smith helped to administer over €1.4 million (around £2 million) in litigation settlements to more than 240 reggae artists.

*French collection society ADAMI agreed to pay around £970,000 to 250 reggae artists for the broadcasting of their music on French TV and radio between 1993 and 2005.

*The Court of Paris ruled against Virgin’s parent company EMI and fined the label for featuring songs on a compilation CD released in France, Absolute Reggae, without permission from either the artist or producer.

*The same court ordered Culture Press, run by Enzo Hamilton, to pay damages of £40,000 to Romeo; £10,200 to Mcanuff; £1,500 to Lee; and imposed a penalty of £6,800 (€10,000) for every album the French record company sold without permission after May 2005.

*Bertrand won a court action stopping British label Trojan Records from selling the DVD Bob Marley Live in France, after he discovered the surviving members of Marley’s Wailers band were not receiving any revenues from its sale.

- See more at: http://www.bashmentvibes.com/2012/10/23 ... hhus3.dpuf
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Re: £100m Reggae Robbery MUST READ

Postby lankou » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:24 pm

Well, as true as it is, this news is really old hat. E Hamilton has been dead for a few years.
All this put aside, one may also wonder how many millions of pounds have eluded JA artists' pockets in countries which played so much more JA music on their airwaves. Besides, it's almost a miracle when you get to see reggae on TV. I'd be hard pressed to imagine how many of those 450 appeared on the box, ah ah!
Well, such collection societies are known for "fairly" shady deals, for real, but not always so complicated, they have also often "forgotten" many local artists. A lot of them now don't really bother to register at sacem. First rule: you don't ask, you don't get, not always necessary to develop sophisticated scams. The language barrier is also another reason. Would never consider that as an excuse, of course.
Besides, a part of the article is a "bit" flawed, considering france as the "biggest reggae consuming market". Well, maybe it was between the late 90's and the early 2000's, but that period is nothing but a drop in the ocean when compared to the UK's reggae buying habits, which had been so much older and massive. The UK has had an affair with reggae which is sooooo much more intense than france's. Reggae hasn't had many hits - apart from some local artists - for a very long time. Shaggy, S Paul,and a few others.
What foreign people fail to understand is that this here country isn't some Paradise Lost for record sales or something, it is mainly interesting for live acts, and nowhere near as attractive as it used to be between late 90's/ mid 2000's. Like in most countries, reggae music sales are now ridiculous and what still sells a little is owned by majors' back-catalogues.
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Re: £100m Reggae Robbery MUST READ

Postby edgar » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:39 pm

well nothing new under the horizon. Happens and happened everywhere in the music industry. It's often because creative people are really talented and gifted in what they do, but they have no business sense. They live for the art (or the music). It doesn't mix very well together.

Phil Spector is a similar example in the US soul scene:


Even though you must take that 100 million with a little bit of salt. Artists who only sold a few thousands records often claim that they got ripped of for millions and millions. And the longer back it happened the larger the sums are.
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