After last year's successful legal shakedowns of peer-to-peer services Napster, Kazaa, and Bolt.com yielded a rumored $400 million for major record companies, artists and their managers are wondering when they might see some of that money. The answer? Probably never.
According to Wednesday's Post, artists are considering filing lawsuits for their share of the settlements, even though recording-industry sources say, after legal costs and other expenses, there isn't much left to go around. Funnily enough, we actually sort of believe the labels — if there's anyone wasteful and inefficient enough to make that kind of cash disappear this fast, it's definitely them. Yesterday, EMI's new owner Guy Hands (possibly joking, although probably not really) claimed it would be more cost-effective to package the label's CDs with $100 bills than to employ an unreliable high-paid A&R staff of 260. Now, the RIAA says it will pay artists just as soon as it figures how much each one is owed. Sadly, the guy whose job it is to determine that probably gets paid $400 million a year.