Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart Starts Tracking Online Listening

Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart Starts Tracking Online Listening

Billboard magazine is changing the way it ranks songs on its Hot 100 singles chart to take into account online music-streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody, responding to a major shift in how people are consuming music.

“It’s so important that we are vigilant in recognizing a changing marketplace almost constantly these days,” Bill Werde, Billboard’s editorial director, said on Wednesday. “When you look at these streaming subscription services, even in the last year, you really see how they have come of age and I just think the time is now to do this.”

The chart’s methodology has been changed several times since it was established in the late 1950s. In those days hits were determined by counting jukebox plays, spins by radio disc jockeys and sales at record stores. Since the late 1990s the chart has been based mostly on airplay and digital sales.

But streaming services have been growing rapidly in recent years, and have surged even more in the last few months. The number of streams on six of the biggest services rose to 494 million in the week ending March 4, from 300 million a week at the start of the year, according to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.

“The growth we are seeing this year is pretty tremendous,” said Chris Muratore, a vice president in Nielsen’s entertainment division. “The consumption is just enormous.”

On Thursday Billboard will begin to publish a new chart — On-Demand Songs — that ranks singles according to the number of times they were listened to on those six Internet services — Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG, Slacker, Muve Music and Rdio. That data will then be folded into the Hot 100 chart, along with tallies of streams from sites like Yahoo, Myspace, Guvera and Akoo. The chart’s new methodology, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, still gives the greatest weight to sales, followed by radio play, and then online streaming.

Mr. Werde said that on first glance the difference in the new chart would seem subtle, with songs rising and falling a few notches, depending on the listening habits of fans. That is because most online listeners still tend to stream radio hits or top-selling singles.

Still, the new formula will reshuffle the order of most of the Top 10 when it is introduced with Thursday’s chart, he said.

The new system gives more prominence to electronic dance music composers, like Skrillex, Avicii and M-83, whose online fame has yet to translate into airplay.

“There is definitely a class of stars in the on-demand space that are driven more by buzz and word of mouth than radio,” Mr. Werde said. “Skrillex would be the king of this.”

Some hits may stick around longer, too, Mr. Werde added.

“Radio gets the big hit, then winds it down and moves on,” he said. “But if these songs are really beloved in the on-demand streaming space, they continue to have a longer shelf life.”


Soul in the Machine Live in Vegas, February 25, 2012

Soul in the Machine Live in Vegas, February 25, 2012

Soul in the Machine LIVE – One Magic Night
At The World Renowned
Rain Nightclub – The Palms – Las Vegas

We’ve been wanting to play here since attending a Club Rubber event here back when EDM was still considered way underground (see the “RAVE Act”). This club is perfect for us – high ceilings, large stage area, ampitheater style table levels. Plus, it’s in Vegas and that’s where it’s all blowing up right now. Hope to see you there!


More EDM Mainstreamification

More EDM Mainstreamification

Today more than ever, electronic dance music has gone mainstream in America. Electronic productions by Stargate in Lady Gaga and Rihanna songs, and dubstep elements in Britney Spears’ hits are just a few examples of the popularity of electronic genres. Today, the likes of David Guetta, Tiesto, and Afrojack are well known in the US. They are all from continental Europe. Indeed, if dance music continues to do well, Europe could become a recruitment destination for American executives looking to break new acts.
The Marketing of Dance Music
The most important business aspect of dance music is its marketable character. In the digital age, the value of music is based not just on record and ticket sales, but on the exploitation of new non-traditional markets.
For instance, recording artists are making income from ringtones for cell phones. According to RIAA, 1.5M ringtones were sold from Pink’s last album ‘Funkhouse’. Physical sales of the album were around 1.5M units too, so the number of ringtone sales is impressive. However, the market for ringtones seems to be open only for certain genres that sound good enough on cell phones to make people buy them. Electronic dance music meets this requirement more than any other genre. Most dance anthems’ themes are no longer than two bars and have an easily reproduced synthesizer sound that makes them practical for use as ringtones. Moreover, dance music fans have their own likes, which include sleek phones, modern urban clothing, and ringtones with their favorite club themes. Marketers recognize this trend, and direct their efforts at these people. They realize that a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ ringtone is not cool anymore.
Music’s decline in status as a physical product has led it to become a marketing platform for other products. Electronic dance music is the best example of such a model in the music industry. Money from sponsorships, appearances in marketing campaigns, and special editions of albums signed by clothing companies are becoming more and more common ways for artists and their management teams to compensate low profits from unsatisfying record sales.
In fact, marketers from the American clothing industry see significant potential in European electronic music artists. In 2008, the Italian brand Armani Exchange launched first in the US and signed a contract with one of the most famous European trance DJs, Tiesto. The artist played a few concerts under the Armani Exchange brand, and soon afterwards the company released a special edition Tiesto album, which was distributed via their chain of stores.
Another example of the commercial use of European dance songs can be heard at Abercrombie & Fitch stores. The number of songs that are played at store locations that had been hits in Europe two or three years before is surprising. Although most of them were remixed, these productions still grossed substantial royalties for original artists. This is further proof of their commercial value.
In summary: Armani Exchange and Aberbrombie & Fitch know that their young and dynamic customers like European dance music and nurture that interest.
US Hits And The Value of Remixes
Another significant source of revenue for dance music artists and their publishers are remixes. A successful dance song can be like a classic pop hit. Everybody covers it. With dance music, every DJ makes his own remix of a hit song. As a matter of fact, the remix model is even more profitable for artists and publishers than covers. Unlike covers, remixes are treated as compulsory licenses, which opens the door for dance music producers to get higher royalties for licensing their songs. Moreover, popular dance tunes are often remixed by established DJs, who can not only sell a substantial amount of their music, but also constantly promote and refresh a remixed tune. Such an extension of a song’s life can prove quite profitable.
The American music industry plays a role in European dance artists’ development. You do not need to be a careful observer of the market to observe that many A&R managers in major labels have significantly shifted their focus towards European club sounds. Even major artists such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga hire European dance music producers and keep their songs at 125 to 130 BPM club tempos. Such tunes as “Give Me Everything Tonight” by Pittbul, Ne-Yo, Nayer, and Dutch producer Afrojack, or David Guetta’s remix of Snoop Dog’s song “Sweat” have already become mainstream hits that every American teenager is familiar with. There are many more songs made by European producers that hit top positions on the Billboard charts. Producers that have had hits include Tiesto, Nelly Furtado, Chris Brown, Benny Benassi, Afrojack and Eva Simons, Swedish House Mafia Pharrell, and Busta Rhymes.
Conclusions
Dance music is suiting American musical tastes better each year. The cross-pollination between Europe and America is at an all time high for the genre, and commercial success has followed. Branding opportunities have opened up and record company producers are taking notice.
“Miami 2 Ibiza”, by the Swedish House Mafia, was a number one hit on dance floors around the world and in this country. The way things are going, the apt title should have been “Ibiza 2 Miami”.

By Bartosz Mrugacz


Beyonce accused off ripping off Belgian choreographer in new ‘Countdown’ music video

Beyonce accused off ripping off Belgian choreographer in new ‘Countdown’ music video

[SitM: we had no idea there was such a thing as plagiarism in dance routines]

To Beyonce, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. To others, she’s plain ripping other artists off.

In her new music video for “Countdown,” the singer has acknowledged she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn’s character in “Funny Face” with her all-black clothing, mod hairstyle and beatnik dance moves.

But there’s one part of the video she hasn’t yet copped to “borrowing.”

A debate has sparked online that Beyonce blatantly ripped off Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in a strange scene in which Beyonce stands in front of a window pane and tears at her clothes as her dancers move listlessly behind her.

One fan even went as far as to create a clip that shows the scene in “Countdown” is identical to one by De Keersmaeker.

And it’s supposed to be, claims Beyonce — but she waited until everyone else noticed to say anything.

“Clearly, the ballet ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ was one of many references for my video ‘Countdown,'” she now says. “It was one of the inspirations used to bring the feel and look of the song to life.”

But before her acknowledgment, the video’s co-director Adria Petty was vague when asked. “I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together,” she told MTV News. “Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved.”

But De Keersmaeker hardly thought it was an “evolved” bit of choreography. “Obviously, Beyoncé, or the video clip director Adria Petty, plundered many bits of the integral scenes in the film,” she said in a response to The Performance Club.

“People asked me if I’m angry or honored. Neither, on the one hand, I am glad that ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ can perhaps reach a mass audience which such a dance performance could never achieve, despite its popularity in the dance world since 1980s. And, Beyoncé is not the worst copycat, she sings and dances very well, and she has a good taste! On the other hand, there are protocols and consequences to such actions.”

The “Countdown” video marks the second time in a matter of months that Beyonce has been accused of stealing someone else’s routine.

At the Billboard Music Awards in May, her performance of “Run the World (Girls)” caught flack because her usage of digital “Beyonces” projected on a screen behind her was exactly the same as Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini.

Beyonce later admitted her makeup artist had shown her a video of Cuccarini’s performance and “it inspired me so much.”

“I then met with the talented people who worked on it,” she told AOL Music. “The technology and concept were so genius. Thank God for YouTube or I would have never been exposed to something so inspiring.”


More Mainstreamification of EDM: Britney Spears Remixed By Dance Music Heavyweights

More Mainstreamification of EDM: Britney Spears Remixed By Dance Music Heavyweights

Britney Spears releases her second remix album, ‘B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2’ on Tuesday (11th October 2011). Her debut release with Rca Records features remixes of various tracks from the singer’s last three albums, ‘Blackout’, ‘Circus’ and ‘Femme Fatale’, reports Mtv News.
Kaskade, the American DJ and record producer who contributed his own version of ‘Gimmie More’, explained how the record is championing new dance music, saying, “It shines a new light on the Edm (Electronic Dance Music) scene and how far it can reach. I give Britney props for taking chances and letting dance music be heard by the masses”. Cobra Starship bassist Alex Suarez acknowledged Britney’s powerful vocals, saying, “She sings really well. I appreciate her talents. I definitely respect what she does and why she’s successful”. The musician, who was given the job of remixing Spears’ recent Billboard hit ‘Till the World’s End’, added, “Sometimes, you get remixes and they chop it up and mix it around, which is cool. The thing with a Britney Spears remix is people like to sing along”. ‘B in the Mix’ also includes tracks from Benny Benassi, Gareth Emery and U-Tern.


SPIN Magazine – The New Rave Generation

SPIN Magazine – The New Rave Generation

Planting his black boots squarely between a laptop and a MIDI controller, Sonny Moore stands atop his gear table and surveys the scene. As far as the eye can see, there’s an ocean of bodies spangled with flash bulbs, crowned by colorful headgear, covered in Spandex, face paint, glitter, and beads. The horizon smolders in a neon haze of fireworks smoke. Glow sticks erupt from the crowd, mimicking the jets of flame that periodically burst from the top of the stage. It’s like Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights meets the bridge battle from Apocalypse Now — a riot of flesh and light and dizzying excess.

Of the 85,000 people who have ventured out into the desert to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on this June night for the 2011 edition of Electric Daisy Carnival, a significant proportion of them are now watching Moore, a former screamo frontman who has reinvented himself as Skrillex, a maker of hyper hybrids of electronic dance music. The diminutive, bespectacled Californian is one of the most closely watched artists on the dance scene, and he’s playing his biggest show yet in his 23 years on the planet.

There must be 200 people onstage. A camera crew is filming for the documentary The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience. Photographers scrum for position around Moore, ducking under the boom overhead. An intense-looking stage manager shoos back scores of VIPs and hangers-on, yelling, “Get away from my lights!” A steady stream of go-go dancers files out, commanded by a stern choreographer who practically shoves them into formation — waves of performers who look like refugees from Brazilian Carnaval and Blade Runner, cast in a strip-club version of Cirque du Soleil. Their 
attire includes hot pants, fishnets, bandeau tops, platform boots, fright wigs, feather headdresses and eyelashes, jester caps, and multifarious scraps of sci-fi cosplay detritus. One troupe of performers wear spooky white contact lenses to match their ice-colored vinyl capes, which are boned with glowing blue strips. A man cloaked in mirror shards, from his shoes to his face to his fedora, paces the front of the stage. Invisible but for a fleeting, fractured outline, he is the sum of everything around us: Look close, and you’re sucked into a kaleidoscopic vortex, the Big Bang behind all of the videos of this moment that will surface on YouTube tomorrow — every millisecond glimpsed from every angle.

A honeyed, Auto-Tuned chorus blasts from the stage monitors that flank Moore, as he leans down to flick a fader. It’s Skrillex’s breakout hit, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” a song that will be heard umpteen times this weekend, in DJ set after DJ set. As the music quiets, a familiar voice tears through the speakers. It’s Speed Stacking Girl, a minor YouTube sensation whom Moore sampled for the song’s breakdown. “Oh my gosh!” she shrieks, a ragged cry of teenage abandon.

Suddenly, Moore is airborne. He hits the ground as a wave of bass radiates outward, and the crowd goes weightless in response. Every arm is upstretched; and above those, the upstretched arms of all the girls sitting on boys’ shoulders. The bass snaps back and forth across the crowd like a towel, like a whip, like a weed-whacker. A dude standing next to me cups his hands around his mouth and screams, “Kiiiiill ’em, Skrillex!”

Oh my gosh, indeed.

This is a new era in American electronic dance music. And if you want to understand it, keep your eye on Skrillex, regardless of what you think of dance music’s current ultracommercial turn, or of dubstep’s regressive macho tendencies, or of the genre’s 30-plus years of rhythmic refinement threatening to devolve into a Pauly D fist-pump. Dance music fans have been like those ornery partisans in the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials, pre-epiphany: “You got electro in my techno!” “You got commercial in my underground!” Skrillex manically disposes of those dichotomies; his music is like a melted goo of influences, sticky and chemically sweet. And the kids are eating it up.

See Skrillex perform and you understand why Deadmau5 — the genre’s most spectacular, or at least recognizable, act — has anointed him with his magic mouse pheromones, releasing Skrillex’s official debut EP on his own label, Mau5trap. You understand why Atlantic Records has made Skrillex a cornerstone of Big Beat, its recently relaunched dance-music imprint. “It’s changing so rapidly, it’s just crazy,” cool-hunting DJ/producer Diplo shouts into my ear backstage at Electric Daisy Carnival while Skrillex plays. Diplo’s T-shirt reads BABYLON IS FALLING.

“You can’t put a fuckin’ timeline on it,” he continues, “but what Skrillex does, it’s really grassroots, man. The energy here at this stage is, like, 40 times bigger than what [David] Guetta 
has right now.”

After years of being relegated to the margins, the American dance-music scene is reaching critical mass. And though international superstar DJs like Guetta or Swedish House Mafia, and their glossy pop crossovers, have been part of the process, it goes deeper now. At 
every level — from Las Vegas superclubs hosting millionaire trance DJs for the striped-shirted and miniskirted to parties on the Burning Man playa fueled by ketamine and tweaked-out 
underground house music — dance is back, bigger than it’s been since the last days of disco. Bigger even than in the “electronica” boom of the late-’90s, which produced a No. 1 album — the Prodigy’s Fat of the Land — and sowed the seeds for today’s bumper crop of beats.

Consider these numbers: The total of 230,000 attendees this year at Electric Daisy Carnival surpassed Coachella, which sold 75,000 three-day passes (a reported drop from 2010’s take). In its 12 years, Coachella has grown into a cultural institution, an event whose imprimatur makes stars, confirms legends, and attracts a parade of willowy starlets who are chronicled from the Huffington Post to US Weekly. Electric Daisy Carnival’s profile is sketchier, to say the least (see SPIN magazine’s “Electric Mayhem,” page 54). But even indie-centric Coachella has been skewing its lineup towards electronic dance music over the past several years.


Soul in the Machine releases 2 Mad World remixes

Soul in the Machine releases 2 Mad World remixes

2 remixes of Mad World have been released!

Check out http://www.beatport.com/release/mad-world/436975.

Thanks to Noel Sanger and Chase Costello for their great work, to J. Scott G. for his vocal engineering and of course to Crysta Bell for such a beautiful vocal!


Oregon county tries to block 3-day music festival

Oregon county tries to block 3-day music festival

Authorities in Lane County are seeking a court order to block a three-day electronic dance music festival at a rural site, arguing that the event doesn’t have the necessary permits.
The Eugene Register-Guard reported (http://bit.ly/pO62Du) the county commission voted Thursday to ask a judge to halt the 11th annual Where Life Begins festival set to begin Friday night near the Coast Range town Blachly.

Organizers didn’t get county approval to hold the festival on land zoned for farm use, and county officials said this week they’re worried about public health, safety and fire risks.
Online festival promotions remained up Friday. A recording urged festivalgoers to park their cars and walk in if the roads are blocked. Email messages sent Friday through the festival’s website weren’t immediately returned.

“We need to stand up for our rights and party like we’re meant to party,” said a recorded message on a festival information telephone line.

Out of concern for keeping tensions low, sheriff’s deputies won’t try to remove those who make it to the festival grounds, Capt. Bill Thompson said. But he said that even 1,000 people showing up would be a challenge to manage.

“We’re not going to move in there and try and remove 1,000 people off the property,” Thompson said. “(But) if something bad happens, we’re going to take whatever action is appropriate to deal with it.”

County officials said the 2010 festival on the property was attended by 3,000 to 4,000 people, and there was inadequate security and too much traffic.

One woman fell and suffered a bad cut on her leg, a man who resisted arrest was hit with a stun gun shot and undercover officers reported drug use, Thompson said.

The paper said the concert organizer Russell Gorman paid a $5,000 fine for holding the event last year without permits and said he told the county commission Thursday he wanted to hold attendance under 3,000 people this year.

“Your 12 years of experience don’t give me a lot of confidence,” said Commissioner Jay Bozievich, whose district includes the Blachly area. “We just can’t have people do things without permits in this county. What do I tell the neighbors who are all objecting to this?”


Busan Opera House submission based upon musical composition

Busan Opera House submission based upon musical composition

Project Description from the Architects:
A FROZEN PIECE OF MUSIC

Anisotropia, the design for the new Busan Opera House, is based on Klavierstück I, a composition for piano by Orproject director Christoph Klemmt. It is based on a twelve tone row which is repeated and altered by the different voices, in order to create complex rhythmic patterns.

Anisotropia becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I, a frozen piece of music. The design for the Busan Opera House is based on a simple strip morphology instead of a twelve tone row, which creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself, its repetition happening in space instead of time. Layers of the strips form the façade structure, and the shifting and alteration of these patterns results in the formation of complex architectural rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading properties of the façade.

SHIFTING TONES

Klavierstück I uses a twelve tone row which starts with the lowest key of the piano. After its first cycle the row gets repeated, though shifted up by a halftone. However rather than translating up every tone by a halftone, only the lowest tone of the row is translated up by one octave. Like this the row remains the same, but its range has been shifted.

In the next repetition this shift continues, but the range now also gets reduced in its size: The lowest tone gets translated up by one octave again, and the second lowest tone gets dropped out, so that only the remaining eleven tones of the row are played. Instead of the twelve tones the range now only covers eleven tones, and also its length is reduced accordingly.

The range of the twelve tone row continues to be reduced and shifted upwards until only one tone is left in each repetition of the original row. Then the range grows again, and still moving upwards goes through further modulations: The different voices of the piece are starting to separate, the size of the different parallel ranges starts to diverge, they move around each other, until finally they grow together again, still moving up and their range fading out with the highest key of the piano.

Piano Piece No.1 is based on a simple row of the twelve tones, but by shifting and translating its range of influence, complex and continuously evolving rhythmic patterns are generated and turned into a floating field of sound.

STRUCTURE AND LIGHT

The proposed façade structure becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I. Instead of on a twelve tone row, it is based on a strip morphology made from curved steel sections that creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself. The repetition of the lamella happens in space, instead of the repetition in time of the twelve tone row. Parallel layers of the strips form the façade structure, and the alteration of its patterns results in architectural rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading properties of the façade.

The façade structure starts to flow from the sea, where its different layers are aligned and appear to be one. (See image “Façade Detail 1”) Then slowly the layers start to repeat at different intervals, resulting in a shift between them, the alignment breaks up, and a varied field of the façade rhythms begins to emerge. (Façade Detail 2)

The façade structure is altered in the length of its repetition, but also the orientation and the depth of the extrusions are manipulated in order to control the view and light, depending on the programmatic requirements on the inside of the building. (Façade Detail 3)

The flow of the façade layers is influenced by the programs which they enclose. As an effect of this the layers split up at certain points, and after forming a coherent system with the overlay of its rhythms, the individual layers separate and their individual patterns become visible. (Façade Detail 4)

FLOW

The positioning of the façade walls has been developed according to a custom written flow simulation. The algorithm describes a flow that is influenced and altered by a set of deflectors, which each act according to the magnitude of their attraction and the area of their influence.
The distribution of the programmatic elements on the site is used as the deflector set that guides the flow of the rhythm lines which originate from the sea. On their way towards the city, the lines flow around the building elements such as the theatre and auditoriums, splitting up and being diverted by the deflectors.

In the musical composition the different voices converge again. For the building, the separate façade layers spread out towards the city, form the structure for a bridge, and then slowly fade out and disappear back into the ground.


Record Industry Braces for Artists’ Battles Over Song Rights

Record Industry Braces for Artists’ Battles Over Song Rights

Since their release in 1978, hit albums like Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Billy Joel’s “52nd Street,” the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute by Minute,” Kenny Rogers’s “Gambler” and Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove” have generated tens of millions of dollars for record companies. But thanks to a little-noted provision in United States copyright law, those artists — and thousands more — now have the right to reclaim ownership of their recordings, potentially leaving the labels out in the cold.

When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted “termination rights,” which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance. Recordings from 1978 are the first to fall under the purview of the law, but in a matter of months, hits from 1979, like “The Long Run” by the Eagles and “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer, will be in the same situation — and then, as the calendar advances, every other master recording once it reaches the 35-year mark.

The provision also permits songwriters to reclaim ownership of qualifying songs. Bob Dylan has already filed to regain some of his compositions, as have other rock, pop and country performers like Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Waits and Charlie Daniels, according to records on file at the United States Copyright Office.

“In terms of all those big acts you name, the recording industry has made a gazillion dollars on those masters, more than the artists have,” said Don Henley, a founder both of the Eagles and the Recording Artists Coalition, which seeks to protect performers’ legal rights. “So there’s an issue of parity here, of fairness. This is a bone of contention, and it’s going to get more contentious in the next couple of years.”

With the recording industry already reeling from plummeting sales, termination rights claims could be another serious financial blow. Sales plunged to about $6.3 billion from $14.6 billion over the decade ending in 2009, in large part because of unauthorized downloading of music on the Internet, especially of new releases, which has left record labels disproportionately dependent on sales of older recordings in their catalogs.

“This is a life-threatening change for them, the legal equivalent of Internet technology,” said Kenneth J. Abdo, a lawyer who leads a termination rights working group for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has filed claims for some of his clients, who include Kool and the Gang. As a result the four major record companies — Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner — have made it clear that they will not relinquish recordings they consider their property without a fight.

“We believe the termination right doesn’t apply to most sound recordings,” said Steven Marks, general counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America, a lobbying group in Washington that represents the interests of record labels. As the record companies see it, the master recordings belong to them in perpetuity, rather than to the artists who wrote and recorded the songs, because, the labels argue, the records are “works for hire,” compilations created not by independent performers but by musicians who are, in essence, their employees.

Independent copyright experts, however, find that argument unconvincing. Not only have recording artists traditionally paid for the making of their records themselves, with advances from the record companies that are then charged against royalties, they are also exempted from both the obligations and benefits an employee typically expects.

“This is a situation where you have to use your own common sense,” said June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at the Columbia University School of Law. “Where do they work? Do you pay Social Security for them? Do you withdraw taxes from a paycheck? Under those kinds of definitions it seems pretty clear that your standard kind of recording artist from the ’70s or ’80s is not an employee but an independent contractor.”

Daryl Friedman, the Washington representative of the recording academy, which administers the Grammy Awards and is allied with the artists’ position, expressed hope that negotiations could lead to a “broad consensus in the artistic community, so there don’t have to be 100 lawsuits.” But with no such talks under way, lawyers predict that the termination rights dispute will have to be resolved in court.

“My gut feeling is that the issue could even make it to the Supreme Court,” said Lita Rosario, an entertainment lawyer specializing in soul, funk and rap artists who has filed termination claims on behalf of clients, whom she declined to name. “Some lawyers and managers see this as an opportunity to go in and renegotiate a new and better deal. But I think there are going to be some artists who feel so strongly about this that they are not going to want to settle, and will insist on getting all their rights back.”

[snip][end]

Read the full article at the link below.