.

Musicians Unions Avoiding Digital Rights Fight, For Now

July 21, 2008 12:50 PM ET

The fight over digital royalty payments that tore up Hollywood late last year could soon come to the music world. While musicians unions like AFM and AFTRA help artists by establishing minimal payments, seeking health insurance and negotiating contracts, the unions have avoided getting involved in the fight over digital rights and royalties. As of now, artists negotiate separate digital rights contracts with labels outside of the unions, but that could change in 2010, when the current AFTRA contract expires. When a new contract is drawn up, the unions can then pursue introducing widespread digital rights details into standardized contracts. Such an action could help prevent many of the lawsuits going now concerning digital rights, including a class action suit filed against Sony BMG by acts like the Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick over digital downloads and ringtones. "This period of time between 2008 and 2010 is a window of opportunity for artists to come together through their union to address an issue collectively that heretofore they have looked at as an individual issue," says AFTRA national executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com