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THE CARTEL

 

It is a "new age", wherein the computer and a monopoly over the main stream media will turn into the shopping precinct of the future? But blindly, creative people do not seem to understand that the case for legislative change lays in the past, and with those who created the Great Explosion of the UK and US music industry. 

The global music industry is basically a "cottage" industry with massive human resource facilities. In the UK, it is in the iron grip of publishing and recording conglomerates, conduit collecting organizations and a national union.  Obtaining a living could be seen as swimming a small pond filled with large sharks and with but little personal protection from a shark bite by those who dictate the industrial economic system. The obligarchy system that is not linked to the creation and improvement of the profundities of musical expression nor musical education.

And we are sure that there are creators outside the borders of this nation who would agree that subscription to a system that is corrupt, also can corrupt relationships with ones fellow creative artists? 

A vast majority of musician / composers of all ages gamble with their lives and work to construct a creative career, but industrial odds are heavily stacked against them. And sooner or later, unless changes in econ-legislation are rapidly forthcoming, and preaching the gospel of "market forces", and the "media", the cartel, and the majority of their fans, will inevitably cast them aside.

The distributors that supply the retail outlets charge a massive 25% and the shops themselves mark up the same. But in reality this totals closer to 70% and already before a work is played over the air waves, producers, featured artists, recording musicians and sometimes the studios themselves, have lost over half of their direct sale income.

1985 : The cost of the recording cartel's "hit squads" were covering the national retail outlets, giving away free singles to promote to a position of no.7 in the charts was £15,000. ($21,000) . Only the figures have changed. 

These units are on standby and in the employ of anyone who can afford them. All royalties from the 60s, 70s, 80s and until the present day, wherein hit squads still prowl around those who punch in figures that make up the charts of today, including airplay, are based upon these compromised figures.

In the UK, the British Phonographic Institute (BPI) represents the recording companies, including the 5 major companies. 

In the UK, the Musicians' Union, the main protector of creative rights since its foundation, used up a reported £63,000,000 ($94,000,000) earned by those union and non union musicians who recorded between the years 1946 and 1988. When the European Commission in Brussels changed the laws to ensure that these monies, ironically used by the union for its "Keep Music Live" campaigns, should be passed to those who had earned them.

Union studio musicians are excellent readers of "dots", music. In the main, although remaining un-rewarded by the royalty system. There grew around the best reader / creators a "You scratch my back I'll scratch yours" "address book" system, wherein there were about 250 "First call" musicians that would take on the vast majority of recorded music which the Cartel could force into the charts. These as the same  charts, that from the time the guitar first exploded (1958) and Eric Kershaw would be conned into parting with the rights to his major work, "Chord Encyclopaedia for the Guitar" for a mere £300. Are now the benchmark whereupon PPL and Pamra will eventually pay Air Play ex gratia royalties?  Because, as the union special interest cadre never mentioned anything about royalties or what it meant if one took up a career in the studios instead of only playing live. Someone should take responsibility for these large sale, big time, horror story "oversights". And who else but PPL and ex gratia payments?

MONITORING : The already compromised charts, are relatively easy to monitor. It was not until the mid nineties, when I was present at my last PRS Annual General Meeting before being disenfranchised, wherein a number of non white members requested that their executive and staffers began to monitor black radio stations. That progress on racially broad monitoring began to take on a clearer focus. Since then, non disruptive person that I am, by PRS use of corporate law, am amongst those who have not been allowed into meetings that consider current nor future policies of this august, supposedly "member friendly" collection conduit.

The Collection Conduits, the Performing Right Society, and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, termed by some as the "Unholy Alliance", uses vast finance to administrate and publish details of its shares of the conduit industry.  But few of those who are disenfranchised by corporate law from attending the Annual General Meetings, and from voting on Alliance policies have the resources needed to fight against such a powerful and econ-criminally inclined "Full member" controlled institution. . Through the Cartel's knowledge and misuse of corporate law, and industrial "special relationships", those from the lower end of the industrial rewards scale remain industrially unprotected.

Looking for a good job?

 

With 15,000+ members, P@MRA is the biggest performers’ collecting society in the UK. It is committed to promoting performers’ Rights and ensuring that they are administered efficiently and effectively to deliver all musicians and singers their maximum income from the UK and abroad.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director is responsible for:

  • Strategic policy development in a fast changing environment
  • Representation of the society (both internally within the industry globally and to outside bodies such as the Government, EU)
  • Negotiation of major contracts involving other UK and overseas organisations
  • Budgeting and supervision of financial controls
  • Overall management of the society and the services it provides to members.

P@MRA is entering a new phase in its development. Music and/or rights industry knowledge and 3 years senior management experience are desirable but vision, energy and strong communication skills are essential.

If you feel that you have the necessary skills and qualities, please apply by in writing to P@MRA, 161 Borough High Street, London SE1 1HR stating why you are interested and enclosing your CV.

Closing date for all applications is 6th September 2002

 

Salary c £50,000 plus benefits commensurate with experience.

 

 

 

 

Pamra is a mix of industrial "worthies", and special interest groups, originally designed to pay out back royalties. It was first constructed by the Musicians Union after 1988 and the new law attaining to rights of payment from Brussels. It is currently in "negotiation" with Phonographic Performance Ltd, which representing itself during a Pamra meeting in October 2001, is quoted as saying that "PPL is dieing to give away (through Pamra) many undisclosed millions in back royalties from the 60s, 70s and early 80s.. " However, all may not be as it seems. In fact the management contract for Pamra has been given to the Cartel , in the shape of the British Phonographic Institute. Which defeats the purposes of justice in a number of ways.

In America, protest against corporate values in a creative industry is heard from a few of the more worthy Featured Artists, however in the UK the cartels Featured Artists are much like those in S Africa who supported apartheid by not standing up against it. And are never heard championing those in the industry who, although with the talent and deserving of gainful employment, cannot maintain their families from a diet of what few financial crumbs are left, once the cartel's featured artists have bought their many mansions and limos.

One of the best on the Internet is  the speech given at last year's Digital Hollywood convention concerning what journalist Kim Bright reported as " the appalling way the American music industry is administered".

Mss Courtney Love is a prominent singer-songwriter. Front-woman of Hole, and Bastard, and the widow of Nirvana singer-songwriter Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994. Mss Love is involved in a lawsuit against Universal and has joined among others, Don Henley, singer-songwriter, and drummer for the Eagles, who gave testimony against Universal in Courtney's case, in the instigation of an US Musician's Union and health benefit system: 

htttp://www.hole.com/speech/

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