Friday, May 20, 2011

Major Labels Shamed Into Promising To Give Some Of $105 Million Limewire Settlement To Artists

After Limewire settled with the major labels last week, many of us questioned how much of that money would go to actual artists. Many people, quite reasonably, pointed to a quote from a few years ago from the RIAA's Jonathan Lamy saying, "Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs." That line got a lot of attention, and I wondered if the labels would be forced to actually give some money to artists, and it appears that may be happening. Lamy came out and said that his quote was about something else -- the RIAA's lawsuits against individuals (hurray for suing fans!), rather than this lawsuit against Limewire. Now, the major labels are starting to step forward and say that yes, yes, yes, they'll give some of the money to artists. I'm guessing, at this point, that it's purely a crisis management type situation, where the labels are realizing they need to show that they're giving some of the money to artists (in part because all these stories mean that the artists themselves have started asking). So now that the labels promise to give some of the money to artists, let's see if they ever say how much actually goes to artists...

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