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Don’t they get a salary? February 10, 2009

Posted by Dominic in Uncategorized.
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Surely musicians get paid just like everyone else? That is the overriding question which has emerged as the copyright term debate unfolds. And it reveals a surprising misconception about our business.

Many seem to assume that musicians are paid in the same way as them, with a salary. Well, no. Musicians are freelance, self-employed, sole traders. While the rest of us enjoy a regular salary, a musician lives on irregular royalties, residuals and fees which are entirely dependent on the success or otherwise of each project.

When a performer goes into a studio to record, they don’t know whether that recording will bomb or fly off the shelves. Every venture is a creative risk and a financial risk. If it bombs, so will the royalties. If it flies, only then will the royalties will flow.

That is why the copyright is so important. It is copyright which confers that basic ownership in a recording and in a performance and it is that ownership which allows the creators and those who invest in them to earn royalties – if, but only if, it is a success.

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Comments»

1. dfgdf - February 11, 2009

Both the performers and those who invest felt that 50 years was enough of an insentive at the time. If they were wrong that is where the risk element kicks in.


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