Senator Kevin Murray chaired the US Senate Select Committe on the Entertainment Industry, and his report makes heavy, if fun, reading.
"There is clearly dysfunction in the relationship between artist and company"
says Kevin, pinpointing a sunny day in 1987 when the record companies stopped working with the artists, and started to work against them.
Kevin's plain wrong in places, mind - he says "artists and record companies need each other", but while a record label with no talent would have serious problems (although S manages to get along), an artist without a record company could probably do quite well in the modern market, although Murray describes direct relationships as "a fantasy." Maybe, but there's nothing to stop an artist just buying in the skills he needs to do the mediation work - pluggers can be hired and press releases faxed just as well by an artist's manager as some coke-addled twerp taking a break from posting to Popbitch.
On the whole, though, this report gives a lot of questions for the RIAA and its members to answer, and hopefully will stop them being quite so quick to clamber on the moral high ground now they've been described as being like
"a spouse [caught] moving assests to the detriment of the other."
We tried running a search on Kevin Murray on the RIAA website. It crashed.
[They'd have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for rocktober telling us.]