Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Foxton and Daltrey suggest musicians incapable of managing money

Obviously skirting round the awkward fact that the copyright in most recordings is owned by corporations rather than the original musicians, Roger Daltrey and Bruce Foxton have complained that government plans to leave copyright terms untouched will condemn them to penury:

Daltrey told BBC News that musicians rely on royalties as many don't have pensions.

"They are not looking for a handout," he said, "just fair reward for their creative endeavours."

Bruce Foxton, who used to play bass guitar in The Jam, has also spoken on the issue.

"I've played bass on all The Jam tracks, and all we've been asking is that we can earn royalties from those recordings, assuming people keep buying them," he said. "Now I will be faced with losing all that when the time comes, and at a point when age will seriously limit my other earning opportunities."

We reckon Bruce has got another twenty-odd years of earnings which he could, as other people have to with their earnings, sort out his pension scheme in; Daltrey, meanwhile, might be able to squeeze by using his American Express card and income from his trout farm. Of course, if they're really worried about the plight of pensioners, they could try campaigning for a rise in tax rates for top earners so that everyone can look forward to a comfortable old age, rather than making a few musicians rely on there being an audience for work six decades old to be able to live.


Anonymous said...

Wah! But I lose my mechanicals after only 50 years! And now I'm left with NOTHING! (Except the publishing royalties which I continue to receive for 70 years *after I'm dead*.)

I know it'll never happen, and Gowers admitted as much with his politically prudent approach, but I'd love to see copyright terms reduced to something reasonable where society actually gets something back while it's still socially relevant.

I thought Rufus Pollock's "Optimal Copyright" paper was very interesting:

14 years IS plenty of time to earn a living from. And if isn't, how about, um, writing some more songs?

M.C. Glammer said...

Not living on past glories and getting a proper job is still the most effective way of avoiding Unimportant Band Member penury.

From Wikipedia: "Bruce Foxton, generally considered a lesser songwriter than Weller, contributed two songs to the (This Is the Modern World) LP which both attracted an unusual level of negative criticism. Thereafter, his composing output gradually decreased leaving Weller firmly established as the band's chief writer."

And yet the money gets split equally per song, independent of quality. That's surely an unfairness they'll want corrected. After all, Weller's singles sold the albums.

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