The major labels aren’t the only ones accused of ripping off artists. This why publicity and media coverage of these kinds of things are so important: when victims of pedophile priests, women sexually harassed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, or artists ripped off by record labels hear about others in the same boat, they are emboldened to come forth and tell their tales.
Now a bunch of Irish and Irish-American music stars are claiming the Green Linnet label has been systematically ripping them off and are staging a protest:
- Major Irish and Irish American recording artists have combined to take legal action against Green Linnet Music in a law suit unprecedented in the history of Irish music. They plan to lead a musical protest at the company’s offices in hopes of galvanizing this grass roots cause. There will be renditions of old labor movement tunes and appearances by guest artists joining them in the protest — the likes of which has not been seen since the mid 1960’s. They ask that fellow musicians, their fans and others who believe in their cause come out to support them.
The famed Irish groups Altan and Cherish the Ladies, nine time All-Ireland fiddle champion and musical star of Riverdance, Eileen Ivers, National Heritage Award winner Mick Moloney and All Ireland Champion multi-instrumentalist Joanie Madden have come together because they share a common outrage at the way they have been treated by one of the major recording companies in world music.
Green Linnet Records has been a leading force in recording and distributing Celtic music for over 25 years. The company has over 300 masters licensed and features a star Irish music roster. Owner Wendy Newton has been quoted to say, “We certainly have the best profile of any Celtic label, because we not only release the records, we actively sell and promote them.”
“It would probably shock most Irish music fans to know that the artists who recorded their favorite Green Linnet albums have not been paid,” said famed fiddle player Eileen Ivers. The law suit recently filed by the artists (who irreverently refer to themselves as “The Green Linnet Five”) highlights the fact that Green Linnet has consistently failed and refused to provide timely accountings or royalty statements to their artists; that the company underpays and fails to report income regarding the commercial exploitation of the artist’s master recordings; that they improperly reduced the rate of royalties due and inappropriately applied deductions without a contractual basis to do so and to everyone’s amazement has the unfettered gall to continue to commercially exploit master recordings for years after the licensing agreements for these albums expired. Additionally the company fails to list income and pay royalties on a number of compilation albums that contain recordings from the artists. World-class musician Joanie Madden pointed out that “we tried to negotiate with them for a year. Ultimately we realized that they had no intention of bargaining in good faith or paying us.” [The Harp and Thistle]
They want you to join them:
- If you love Irish music and want to support these artists PLEASE JOIN US!
WHEN: OCTOBER 13, 2003
WHERE: 81 BEAVER BROOK ROAD,
TIME: 5:00 P.M
Directions: Take I-684 North towards Brewster. Merge onto I-84 East – exit 9E towards Danbury. Take Exit 8 US-6 E / Newtown Road Exit. Turn Right onto Newtown Road go down 3/4’s of a mile (you’ll pass Holiday Inn, Taco Bell and McDonalds). Make a right at light onto Old Newtown Road. Go 3/10ths of a mile and the road comes to a Y. Bear Right before the stop sign onto Beaver Brook Road. After 2/10th’s of a mile you’ll see West End Power Equipment on your left. Go slow and turn left into next driveway. You’ll see a big red Brick Building with Pilgrim Electronics written on the side – address is 60 Beaver Brook Road. Park in rear of the building.
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