A little over a week ago, the Fair Digital Deals Declaration was signed by representatives from over 700 independent record labels. This document ensures fair and transparent compensation for an artist’s digital downloads and streaming revenue; basically, it prevents record labels from using any loopholes in digital copyright laws to exploit the music today’s artists upload to the internet. Why this collective tightening of the ranks? As it turns out, there’s a very good reason.
Bloomberg News reported last week that Soundcloud is currently in negotiation with Sony, Warner, and Universal Music, the ‘Big Three’ record labels responsible for almost 90% of global music sales. It would seem that the labels plan to grant Soundcloud licenses to upload and play music owned by the Big Three; in return, each company gets a 3-5% stake of Soundcloud‘s net worth, plus a sizable portion of future revenue. Which means, given that the music-sharing giant is estimated to be worth between $500-600 million dollars, each of the Big Three labels would receive $15-30 million dollar payouts.
Now for the shady part: the artists generating this revenue for the labels won’t see a cent of these massive profits. How is this fair or ethical? The short answer is that it’s not. Check out the full story and form your own opinions HERE.