Royalties

Friday afternoon rant: Don't feed the trolls!

Jon Silva in his bathroom, next to a proper basil plant
Just because I'm in that mood, here's some email correspondence with a label I've been reminding to send royalty statements since June this year, with an invoice from 2009 still being unpaid. I've sent three more reminders in the meantime before mentioning the word "court". This is me writing:

Dear xxx,

Hope everything is fine!

Following up on your message below dated the 9th of September, I wondered if you have any news for me. If you feel you're not obligated to pay my due invoice and/or issue royalty statements anymore, I'd like to hear the reasons.

On a sidenote, I'd like to inform you that the place of fulfilment with regards to the license agreement covering the release of xxx on xxx Records is Cologne, resulting in the possibility to bring said issues before a local court here in Cologne, Germany. Please sort this out asap, 18th November 2010 being the latest date before any more actions are being taken.


The label replies (text unaltered except for names):
hello jost thanx for your kind reminder .

i will take care of this next tuesday finally as there are too many stuff going on at the same time so please be patient for another week

it takes some more time to fucking people like me ( thats how you called a few years ago ) to take care of a few things but i am the guy that i am taking care of the business the best possible way so take it easy with courts and dont expect lots of monies . it must be pennies so you better not spend them on court tuesday you will get them

Here's my former message supposed to contain "fucking people", just FYI (also unaltered, except for names):

We have provided you with the CD versions of the tunes, you haven't been asking for Club (Dj friendly that is) mixes. You have no singles scheduled, no remixes, no nothing. When you uploaded the album to Beatport, people were sending me emails that they bought faulty files, resulting in pulling off the digital album for a week or so when "xxx" had just entered the DeepHouse sales charts on BP. I honestly cannot think of any better way to ruin the download figures (which are quite important today and are getting more and more important). And I further cannot think of any way less professional than to upload clicking files. This is daily business in its basic form but you seem to mess up even with this simple task.

Both "radio-friendly" tunes on the album, xxx and xxx, are not present on xxx FMs, streaming stations or anywhere else. Don't tell me the world has changed and there are less FMs in xxx playing Dance Music - I know already as I am running a business in the same niche. And guess what - I get my music placed still.

The fact that you managed to do more gigs for xxx when albums were released with your competition is embarassing for you at best. The fact that we played in xxx is due to xxx and xxx being so kind to arrange a gig for us, rather than you being actively acquiring gigs in order to promote the album - at least that's the impression I have.

When you were here in Cologne the last time, you said something about possible gigs in "country far away". Well, I'd be happy if we had just a couple of "country pretty close" gigs. And as xxx told me, you had a big party celebrating your move to the new headquarters, but you did not invite the artists that released the latest xxx album. Your point was xxx being too expensive (ummm...right), but I guess a flight far-close-far is cheaper than two flights with Germanwings plus fee.
And speaking of gigs, I have never encountered a person before that has beef with so many people. Everybody is an asshole or doing it wrong except you. Well, if I am looking at the results of your work and the work of the "assholes", you seem to lose the comparison. The conclusion is that it must be you who's doing something really the wrong way. Either way, when working in a professional manner is your aim, it's time to have your ego step back and focus on the work (which is a lesson I had to learn too, btw).

All in all, as much as I would have recommended xxx as a base for artists, I will refrain from doing so in the future. Your promises to send the paperwork/agreements (starting last December, it's July if you have a look on the calendar), your promotional work and your lack of communication is a total desaster. You're doing way worse than xxx or Pesto. I manage to license each and every release (and keep in mind, they're digital only - no CDs) to at least four compilations (not counting in-house ones). What's your number of granted sub licenses for xxx? One? Yes, because one of my business partners from xxx licensed a a tune after I pointed him to it.

To sum it up: I am very disappointed of you both in a professional and personal way. There is nothing than empty promises, a ridiculous performance regarding PR and a way of working that's worse than the bloodiest beginners in the music business.

I am wishing you ongoing success with xxx Records and want to thank you for terminating the xxx project by losing on any side. Should you wish to reply, please refrain from calling me, an email will do the job way better.


What do you think? Usually, it's "Don't feed the trolls" so I'm refraining from a reply. On the other hand, I'd really like to teach that guy. I just dunno how. Yeah, maybe ignoring is the best option!

Have a great weekend!:)