Musicians Taste Sweet Revenge
Reports The New York Times: "A number of aging pop and rock stars has returned to the studio to recreate their signature tunes and pitch them to Madison Avenue and Hollywood. Attentive fans may notice remakes by bands including Twisted Sister, Foreigner and Simply Red in commercials, movie trailers and television programs." The use of even a few seconds of music can be worth five or six figures.
Under most record contracts, ownership of the phonographic copyright goes to the label, and the artist receives modest royalties only after many deductions have been made and conditions met. By making fresh recordings, musicians effectively generate fresh copyrights, leaving them free to license the music themselves. According to the Times, contracts often forbid re-recording, but only for a fixed period.
Music publishers are actually encouraging the practice of re-recording because it leaves them free to cut deals directly with artists and their managers. And for the budding ad executive, the temptation to pour money into the pockets of a personal hero may be overwhelming.
So far, this is my favorite news story of 2007.