Quantcast
Connect with us

Universal says artists owed ‘transparency’ over devastating fire

Published

on

The world’s largest music group Universal owes artists “transparency” over revelations that a 2008 fire devoured some 500,000 recordings in its care, its chief said in an internal memo.

Universal Music Group CEO and chairman Lucian Grainge released the note to staff Tuesday following a bombshell New York Times magazine investigation that found the blaze tore through a warehouse housing irreplaceable master recordings spanning decades.

ADVERTISEMENT

The work of stars including Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny and Cher, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Nirvana and Tupac was reportedly engulfed in the flames.

“Let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency,” Grainge — who took up his post three years after the fire — said in the memo published by industry tracker Music Business Worldwide.

“We owe them answers. I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this,” Grainge said.

News of the loss of such a treasure trove of master recordings — one-of-a-kind source material used to create vinyls, CDs and digital copies — sent shockwaves through the industry, while accusations that UMG downplayed the incident for 11 years sparked an angry backlash.

ADVERTISEMENT

Howard King, a prominent entertainment lawyer based in Los Angeles, is preparing lawsuits on behalf of a number of artists and could file as early as next week, his office told AFP.

Some artists or their estates negotiate ownership of masters, but even those who don’t expect labels to preserve them for future use; master recordings are the raw material for lucrative reissues and posthumous releases.

Grainge said reports on the fire had “prompted speculation, and having our artists and songwriters not knowing whether the speculation is accurate is completely unacceptable.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Part of ‘owning this’ is redoubling our efforts to be a leader in preserving the rich cultural legacy upon which our industry is based,” he said.

A subsidiary of French media giant Vivendi headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Universal Music Group is considered one of the “Big Three” music conglomerates alongside Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

UMG’s market share is nearly double that of its closest rival Sony, however, thanks to contemporary big hitters like Ariana Grande and Drake, and an impressive collection of back catalogs including Frank Sinatra’s and Queen’s.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

‘Martyrdom for snowflakes’: CNN analyst knocks Republicans who desperately wanted to be arrested at protest

Published

on

CNN host Don Lemon reported Wednesday evening that many Republicans wanted to be arrested for storming the secure room where the House Intelligence Committee depositions were taking place.

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted that he was told "there was never any chance [members] who barged into SCIF would be arrested by [capital police], but some members asked to be arrested. They wanted the optic of being frog-marched out of the SCIF in front of TV cameras. That would help w/GOP narrative of Dem process abuse."

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1187173332682182656

Commentator Wajahat Ali called it the perfect example of "martyrdom for snowflakes."

Continue Reading

Facebook

Seth Meyers says Republicans storming classified room looked like a protest at a pharmacy that ran out of Viagra

Published

on

"Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers couldn't help but lambast the far-right Republicans angry that they're not being included in the depositions ahead of the impeachment hearings.

Wednesday, Republicans stormed a secure room known as a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), because they seemed to misunderstand the difference between a deposition and a hearing. In Congressional hearings, witnesses will be presented for members of the committee to question. In a classified deposition, the witness can give information that is considered classified for security reasons. Oddly, some members who are allowed in the room were also protesting.

Continue Reading
 

CNN

WATCH: CNN’s Don Lemon bursts out laughing over Trump’s new wall in Colorado

Published

on

CNN's Don Lemon typically deals with difficult and intense topics at the top of his weekly show. Wednesday night, however, after a serious opener about Syria and ISIS, Lemon broke into hysterics over President Donald Trump's flub saying he would build a border wall on Colorado's border.

"You know why we're going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on our border. And they didn't have it," said Trump. "And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we're building a wall in Colorado. We're building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works — you can't get over, you can't get under. And we're building a wall in Texas. And we're not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image