The Evolution of Artist Ownership

The Evolution of Artist Ownership

By | Hip Hop, Intellectual Property, Music, Music Business

When industry recognition finally knocks, it doesn’t come bearing a manual on how a musician should make smart choices. But for artists, making smart choices and deals early is critical to ensuring the integrity of their work and securing future earnings.

This past week, rapper Mase took to social media to call out his former label head, Diddy. His concerns centered around ownership of his masters — the recordings from which all licensing and royalty agreements flow: “You bought it (Mase’ master publishings) for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other.” Read More

Queen and Slim Pickings

Queen and Slim Pickings

By | Antitrust, Diversity in Film, DOJ, Independent Film, Movies

Before we return to work slightly hungover from too much turkey and sweet potato pie, let us give thanks for the visual feast, powerful perspective, and beautiful blackness of “Queen & Slim.” A story that is equally glorious as it is defiant, reminded us of the importance of black autonomy in creative expression.

But as moviegoers rushed to see “Queen & Slim,” the Department of Justice took actions that could undo the diversity in storytelling we now celebrate. This past week, the Justice Department filed a motion in federal court to terminate the Paramount consent decrees, the agreements that have governed the theatrical business for 70 years. Often referred to as the Paramount decrees, they were the result of 10 years of antitrust litigation, which ended with a Supreme Court decision in the government’s favor in 1948. Read More