I have a major interest in this:
I will just say that I am now going to boycott ALL content produced by the majors. This really is bordering on Fascism with the merger of the state and government with corporations. (Cheers for that Il Duce)
Economic warfare. I have NO money left. I go without to buy my software I use. It's only because I am a little bit autistic that I can achieve it - a normal, 'sane' person wouldn't be able to 'hack' my lifestyle. I talk to the developers, I beta test for them, I do free content packs that get thousands of downloads - equivalent to and better than some 'paid' content. I pirated everything at one time, when I was young and was checking things out. Now, there is no way I would have the brass balls to walk into a studio or have someone walk into mine and be seen to be using cracked software.
That is on the one hand. On the other, I am a writer and producer. I don't get paid for what I do, but all it will take is a dip in the social fashion continuum and, like my long lost cousin in Nigeria that contacted my via email the other day (hi ;-)) - I will be VERY RICH MAAN!
You must read this seminal essay by Adam of The Sisters Of Mercy:
Why you've got no chance of making a living out of music -
Short, sweet, to the point and enlightening.
The artists very rarely see the benefits of their sales. It generally takes multi-million figures, before it really substantively trickles down to the average bass player or drummer. Then again - they probably did not write the songs - the singer or lead guitarist probably did. When there is a hit and the singer (whose ego is already out of control) moves into that mansion on the hill and the bass player is still left scraping for the next cigarette, animosity can and usually does ensue.
That is why, most of the most successful bands like, say for example: R.E.M. and U2, have a policy of 'ALL ROYALTIES TO BE EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN ALL BAND MEMBERS REGARDLESS OF WHO WROTE THE SONGS'. This also has a rather pleasing creative knock-on effect of taking the pressure off the main songwriter (thus easing potential 'writers block') and encouraging the aforementioned drum and bass players to get stuck in and 'write a good 'un'.
Yes, I'm looking at YOU - Mr. Roger Taylor - who is in love with his car, and you Mr. Deacon who might have been 'Under Pressure', until the royalties rolled in. Actually, my point was: that I believe ALL members of Queen were payed equally, regardless of who wrote what. It pays creative dividends as well as keeping the band together.
How many bands split after their first 'hit' album?
That is why, when I work with an artist, I tell them, Ok, I wrote this song, I produced it. But you know what? If it is a hit, I will split my share with you equally. There are some exceptions to this, but you get the picture. I am still waiting for my chickens to come home to roost and I honestly doubt they ever will, but that is my ethos, nonetheless.
As for the majors: they are going down and they are going away. There are far bigger issues here - like the police becoming the henchman of the money men. The police have now officially become the 'Thug Caste' of this once great country.
Serious Organised Crime - Go Fuck yourself! You are a shame on this country and a shame on the Police 'Force' in general. (I am thinking about the recent act of terrorism via the RnB website debacle). You have frightened and terrorised people so much that they are in a state of -Pre-War, ready to do battle with all the adrenaline pumping through their veins, that an Archer might have felt at Agincourt.
So, no, I don't need no stinking royalties, eating is nice, and living in a peaceful country not run by proto-Fascists, would be even 'nicer'.
To quote the great Black Uhuru:
Push push, ahaa
Mind you push that over man.