Cal State Senate is probing further into major label accounting practices:
- The state Senate has widened its probe of music industry accounting practices and is investigating whether major record companies defrauded artists out of royalties through undisclosed licensing deals with record clubs and video channels.
The Senate Rules Committee in Sacramento issued subpoenas late last week seeking documents from artists’ lawyers and managers to substantiate the allegations, which first came to light at a hearing last month called by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) and Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) to examine accounting practices in the music industry.
During the July 23 hearing, artist representatives accused the world’s five largest music companies of collecting millions of dollars annually from licensing deals with record clubs and video channels never shared with artists. Attorneys also alleged that companies employ fraudulent accounting formulas to bilk artists out of earnings on music sold overseas.
….The Recording Industry Assn. of America, a Washington trade group that represents the nation’s five biggest music companies, declined to comment on the allegations, except to say that artists are paid in accordance with their contracts. Record executives privately say labels do not cheat artists on music sold overseas nor do they profit from covert licensing arrangements at artists’ expense.
Entertainment attorney Don Engel, who has sued labels on behalf of Luther Vandross, Meatloaf, Don Henley and the Dixie Chicks, told lawmakers last month that companies routinely cheat artists out of royalties.
In an interview, Engel spelled out what he characterized as a series of schemes perpetrated on artists by the music industry…..