Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leto: Don't look at my dirty pants

Poor Jared Leto. It's clear that his band have been hit with the lawsuit from Virgin as a reminder across all EMI artists that there are new rules in place, and Guy Hands is not Guy Handsoutmoneywillynilly.

Even so, that's no comfort for Jared, who must now battle the forces of Virgin and fight for truth. To the MySpace, Jared:

We had been signed to our record contract for 9 years. Basically, under California law, where we live and signed our deal, one cannot be bound to a contract for more than 7 years. This is widely known by all the record companies and has been for years. In fact, so aware of it are they that they desperately try to make deals outside of California whenever possible. It is a law that protects people from lengthy, unfair, career-spanning contracts. This law also gave us the legal right to explore other possible opportunities.

He has right on his side!
Yes we have been sued by EMI. But NOT for failing to deliver music or for 'quitting'. We have been sued by the corporation quite simply because roughly 45 days ago we exercised our legal right to terminate our old, out of date contract, which, according to the law is null and void.

We terminated for a number of reasons, which we won't go into here (we'd rather not air any dirty laundry) but basically our representatives could not get EMI to agree to make a fair and reasonable deal.

He's not going to air dirty laundry, but can he just stress that it's EMI being unfair and unreasonable? Not to go public with it, especially how UNFAIR and ROTTEN EMI are.
If you think the fact that we have sold in excess of 2 million records and have never been paid a penny is pretty unbelievable, well, so do we. And the fact that EMI informed us that not only aren't they going to pay us AT ALL but that we are still 1.4 million dollars in debt to them is even crazier. That the next record we make will be used to pay off that old supposed debt just makes you start wondering what is going on. Shouldn't a record company be able to turn a profit from selling that many records? Or, at the very least, break even? We think so.

Leto was 26 and had worked in Hollywood for a good few years when he signed the deal - sure, anyone can get screwed by a label; but if Leto can't get a decent deal, then what hope does a small band have?
That, and other issues, like the new regime at EMI firing most of the people we know and love, wanting to place advertisements on our website, EMI owning 100 percent of the masters of our record...forever, and basically having a revolving door of regimes at the company made it easy to not want to continue as is.

I may be being unfair to Leto here, but I'm not sure I heard a single murmur from him before about the new EMI regime until they started to sue him?
FYI Virgin/EMI was not required to make this lawsuit public or to list such an egregiously and stupendously large amount of mullah. In fact, they were not required to set any price even close to this. We did not want to take this public, but we felt it best to explain our point of view to you, our
friends and fans, in hope that you can better understand our point of view.

This laundry, which we won't wash in public, we didn't want to be here washing this stuff. Leto seems to be accepting here, in passing, that Virgin did have a right to list some sort of demand for cash. And how did Leto expect them to issue legal proceedings without it being public? In some magical Harry Potter style invisible courtroom?
We would always do our best to avoid a fight, but sometimes it's important to stand up for what you believe in. We hope that by doing what's right we can help to change things for the better, for ourselves and possibly others.

Cry God For Jared, Mars and the ones who aren't Jared Leto in the band! We must stand up for what's right, albeit in this case it's breaking a contract with a record label.

It's interesting to note, though, that despite EMI treating the band so badly, they're still advertising the albums for sale on their MySpace. That's awfully good-natured of them.

Still, it can't be long now before victory is theirs. They have appealed to their fans, through MySpace, and the complex niceties of Californian contract law, surely, won't be lost on them...
♥Britt-nee♥ [sm] [echelon] happy b-day joe!

oh my gosh! 30 million!!! dude, thats freakin crazy! and what the heck is a regime? you said it like 3 times and i was like what is that? haha. i know ur probably not even gonna read this but i just wanted to see if you would tell me what it is.
[...]
Rachel[Gates]

switch to warner bros. they are better.
[...]
Blue Hippo[wootoow]

that is most definitely a lot of money.....thats stupid......well at least you aren't quiting so that is awesome though......wootoow

It might not be much, but Guy Hands hasn't even got people wootoowing for him.


4 comments:

danny said...

Do you hate musicians so much that you'll even defend obvious bully boy tactics from the majors against them?

simon h b said...

Yes. Hating musicians. Yes, that'd be it.

To be honest, there's not much to choose between EMI and Jared Leto - both have done great things (most of Blur's back catalogue, Voice of the Beehive; My So-Called Life) but also done some awful things (releasing 30 Seconds To Mars records; releasing 30 Seconds To Mars records).

The contract was probably a rotten one - almost certainly - but when 30STM signed to the label, Leto had been around the entertainment industry long enough to know he should take care, so he should at least shoulder some of the blame for getting himself into bother in the first place. He wasn't a greenhorn.

And surely you must find it amusing for a man to persistently insist that it was wrong for the whole issue to be made public while, erm, posting details about the issue on the internet.

And his suggestion that 'trying to get a better record deal' is 'standing up for what you believe in' is a bit wry - it's not like he's fighting for democracy or trying to overthrow poverty, is it?

And, as I say: if he's so upset with EMI, why is he still flogging their albums on his band website?

This is all a public negotiation; it's not a battle of right versus wrong. There are proper musicians who have very real complaints about the contracts they have signed from much weaker positions than Leto's. Let's spare our concern for them.

Anonymous said...

Nah, this is obviously a personal gripe against Mr Leto. Any Record Company that tries to sue an artist for 30 million deserves all they get. I don't blame him for trying to put his point of view over.

simon h b said...

@second anonymous:
"deserves all they get" - although, presumably, not if it's thirty million dollars.

Clearly, EMI are handling this very badly, and you're right that it's fine for Leto to air his grievances: it's just difficult for him to do so while maintaining that the whole thing should be kept quiet.

I really don't think it's personal - if Guy Hands wanted to take on Leto personally he'd probably just start a blog.

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