Re: Mark Henley's "Riversong" CD.

Len,

As something of a musician and composer (though, admittedly, a much younger one), I was thinking more of songwriting royalties, since it is well known that many albums (particularly ones recorded for "major labels") never recoup their costs, for various reasons. Even when an album makes profits, it doesn't necessarily translate to profits for the involved artists, as you're well aware. My interests are for the artists because, ultimately, they're the ones who end up losing. Artists are often at some fault, since many of them lack a business-minded approach (or at least a good hustling streak), but on the other hand, I don't believe that I've ever heard of a starving manager, or a starving A&R exec, etc.

Issues about albums like these (albums that are out of print, are fetching exorbiant fees on eBay, yet are available for considerably less money in pirated forms) bother me in many ways. After all, copies of Riversong are selling on eBay for $200 about once a week. Unless Mark is selling these, or somebody is selling them for him (the seller is listed in Minnesota), then Mark isn't making any profits from these sales (but somebody is making quite a bit). Obviously, if Riversong is being pirated on CD, Mark isn't making money from that version. So, is it really right to insist that people should spend $200 on an album over a cheaper pirated version when considering that nobody is getting paid for their work? It is pretty much a losing situation for everyone, except whomever is selling the copies.

Of course, I'd much rather purchase a legitimate copy, and it was mentioned in a previous post that a legitimate version should be in the works eventually...but I don't feel particularly bad about downloading a .wma of the title track from online (I presume that it came from the pirated cd), since I really do want to buy the album and intend to do so if/when it is released. I can certainly understand your plight, though.

Can you tell me more about the Songwriter's Association of DC?