Re: Dialogue / Ponies
In Response To: Re: Dialogue / Ponies ()

Hi, folks! Good discussion. For whatever it's worth, here's my two cents.

Should Michael reap some compensation from the sale of his albums? Absolutely, as long as they are being distributed and sold commercially through recognized avenues of commerce. Examples of these would be your local music store, amazon.com, cduniverse.com, and so forth.

If someone sells a used MJ album, tape, or cd, should Michael see revenue from that? In all fairness, I don't think so. This falls under the provisions of a "casual sale". Used copies are not new copies. Caveat emptor...buyer beware!

Now, how about making cd-r's of Michael's work? Well, if you are going to establish a price for something and commercially sell it, yoou better worry about finding yourself a lawyer! YOU DO NOT OWN THE COPYRIGHT ON IT, AND YOU CANNOT SELL IT BECAUSE OF THAT!!!

Keep something else in mind. Michael has relied on a lot of songwriters over the years to provide him with great material...Randy Goodrum and Hugh Prestwood come to mind right away, but there are lots of others. Michael has occasionally written a successful song, and THOSE are the songs that he is absolutely due compensation on when the material is being sold legally. As a writer, he is absolutely due compensation. As a performer, he might be due the same provided production costs that he was saddled with have been satisfied.

Here's something else to consider. In another 20 years, unfortunately, none of this is going to matter. I am sneaking up on the big 6-0, after being an MJ fan for the last 40 years. I will go to my grave loving what this man has accomplished as an artist. I am thoroughly disgusted by the way the mainstream treats musical treasures like Michael. Why isn't his entire catalogue readily available on compact disc or as downloads? The short answer is, there's not enough interest, or the copyright holders would be falling all over themselves making it all available. Truly, 99% of all of us have the material, and it is the new listener or someone who may have had the recording at one time, doesn't have it now, and would like to relive a memory who would be interested.

Here's my suggestion. Take it for what it's worth.

If you feel that you can benefit someone by providing them with a copy of one of Michael's (or anyone else's music, for that matter) AS LONG AS THE RECORDING IS COMPLETELY UNAVAILABLE THROUGH RECOGNIZED CHANNELS OF COMMERCE, I sure don't have a problem with that. Offer to whoever wants it for free, but remind them that since they asked for it, it must have some value, or the request wouldn't have been made in the first place. Whatever you are duly compensated, split it with Michael. Send him the money directly. I'm sure Cindy would supply you with a mailing address should you be moved to do so.

The fat cats, the "suits", if you will, don't give a rat's patoot about art. They only care about what sells, and only in bulk. I have feverishly been trying to get a reissue label to put out the unavailable albums of Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley for the last eight years, with no luck whatsoever. Michael and Tom would love to have their unavailable albums out there, but the companies who own the masters don't lose a nickel by keeping them in the vaults, but would lose a ton by reissuing them (production and advertising costs, for the most part). That's why a lot of folks I know are simply making those recordings available to whomever may want them, and to be honest, it's resulted in some gigs that may never have been realized.

Is it right? Probably not. But like I said, in another 20 years, it's going to probably be a moot point. This is OUR nostalgia, as Sinatra and the Big Bands were for our parents. This may very well be the only way of preserving it.

I would love to hear some reaction here, including Michael's take, should he be interested in registering his opinion.