p2pnet news view | P2P:- CounterPunch’s Dave Marsh once said of Fred Wilhelms, the Nashville entertainment lawyer, “If the corporate music industry had any ethics, Wilhelms would be its ‘ethicist-in-chief’.”
At the end of April he and I started Project Unfound Artist, an experiment in crowdsharing to see if the ordinary denizens of the Internet could cut into the 7,872 names posted on the SoundExchange website as artists they had been unsuccessful in getting registered.
The project was stimulated by the report of John Simson’s [Soundexchange's noble leader] comments at Harvard in which he admitted that there were actually over 40,000 artists who were owed money.
Fred generously includes me in this, but he did all the work.
I originally posted Fred’s write-up, together with the entire list, 11 days ago. It was on line for a while but the whole thing mysteriously vanished about seven days back, as far as I can tell,and now WP steadfastedly refuses to allow me to re-post it.
So I’ve saved it as a .txt file which you can download by clicking here.
I have no idea why that happened and I can only guess since the list is so huge it was somehow deleted by Word Press, which definitely has its moments.
Be that as it may, here’s Fred’s original write-up.
Cheers! And thanks …
Jon Newton – p2pnet »»»
Jon and I figured if we could reduce the number of artists that SoundExchange admitted they couldn’t find, they might focus more energy on the other 32,000+ they haven’t identified yet. We posted an announcement of the project on p2pnet.net, and pretty much stood back to see what happened.
Since the project started, 297 names have been removed from the website list. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and in overall terms, it is only 4% of the list as it existed when we started. Comparatively, however, it is an astounding success. In the 17 weeks between January 1 and the start of the project, SoundExchange, left to its own efforts and those of a few individuals like me, removed 145 names from the list, or fewer than half the names removed in the 11 weeks since the project started. In fact, the artists registered in the less than three months since the Project began exceeds the number of artists registered by SoundExchange in the previous EIGHT months.
Although the pace has slowed down in the last couple weeks, I still consider the Project to be a success on several levels.
There are 297 artists getting paid who weren’t getting paid before. That’s a success.
The totally volunteer, totally cost-free project makes moot the excuse about not spending excessive amounts to pay out small accounts. This is “spending nothing to pay a dollar.” It doesn’t get any more cost efficient than that.
You might wonder why SoundExchange hasn’t bothered to try this on their own initiative, but only if you thought that SoundExchange had any real interest in finding these artists in the first place. You would think someone at SoundExchange would find the idea worth pursuing. I guess they’re too busy working for musicFIRST to pay attention to the job they’re supposed to be doing now. After all, there’s new turf to be claimed and power to grasp, no matter how badly you do what you’ve promised to do already.
In my own efforts to locate and register artists since the project started, I have had direct contact with several dozen individuals for whom SoundExchange held money. Almost all of them have responded to my contact by registering themselves, and many of those names have now disappeared from the list. I have to note that of the artists I have been in contact with, NOT ONE of them said that they had been previously contacted by SoundExchange. Given that SoundExchange’s spokespeople and supporters have been most insistent that they have been in contact with many artists on the list who just didn’t follow through and sign up, you would think that I would have heard confirmation of that claim from some artist by now. It just hasn’t happened.
Tellingly, my offers (private and public) to SoundExchange to personally follow up on all those non-responders have gone unacknowledged, let alone accepted. But we already know how hard it is to find these artists. SoundExchange has done an excellent job of telling people just how difficult it is. You would think they would gladly accept help, but I guess they can live with the idea there are 40,000 artists they can’t find.
I have to wonder if those “artist representatives” on the SoundExchange board feel any responsibility for those 40,000 artists. Probably not.
After all, it’s not like artists can actually influence what their “representatives” do for them or to them on the Board. Artists didn’t put them on the Board and artists can’t remove them. The only people those artist representatives have to please are the RIAA puppeteers who invited them to sit at the table.
There are still 7,575 artists SoundExchange can’t find.
Please take a couple minutes. Scan the list. Identify some artists youknow and find them. Find some artists you don’t know, too. If you’rereading this on the Internet, you already know how to do all that. Don’t forget to check the social sites; a lot of these artists have MySpace and Facebook pages.
Write to them.
Thank them for the music.
Send them to the SoundExchange site and tell them to sign up and get paid.
Once again, click here for the list.
Fred & Jon