The purpose of this note is to examine the legal causes and consequences of what many consider poor label accounting practices, and to propose a solution: imposing a duty on record labels to correctly and transparently collect and distribute artist royalties. If labels operate under a fiduciary duty to their artists when receiving and paying royalties, artists will get paid what they are due. If they are not, artists will have viable remedies available to them--remedies that create an incentive for labels to make positive changes in the way they handle royalty accounting. This will, in turn, work to repair the relationship between artists and labels and restore trust where distrust is rampant. Once recording artists and their labels are able to resolve their differences on issues such as accounting practices, the two can work together in facing the many pertinent problems plaguing the music industry today.
Fiduciary Duty: Can it Help Calm the Fears of Underpaid Artists?,
6 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/jetlaw/vol6/iss1/11