Jared Leto Taught Me a Lesson

Posted: December 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Have you bought a concert ticket lately? Have you complained about the exorbitant cost of watching your favorite performers on stage? Until this past weekend, I complained too, which is why I haven’t been to a concert in decades.

But before this weekend, the weekend I saw the documentary, Artifact, starring Jared Leto, his brother Shannon Leto, and Tomo Milicevic, all part of the band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, I didn’t realize how much producing a record COST THE ARTISTS, who were signed through “prestigious” recording companies, such as EMI. By the time artists pay the record label’s exorbitant fees, musicians are often left OWING the recording company!

Many recording artists, abused by their record labels, have to wait until their contracts are over before they can leave the record company. Other recording artists have been held hostage by record labels, because, as well all know, once we sign a contract, we are bound to that contract. Once artists sign agreements to have a record company produce and release their music, musicians hope the recording company will support and promote its artists.

But because of all the turnover in the recording industry, artists are sometimes left with no real support at all. And sometimes, because those contracts are the size of encyclopedias, some artists, in their zeal to release their music, don’t read the fine print which, if they took the time to read it, says something similar to: “We own you. We owe you nothing.” Read Behind the music: When artists are held hostage by labels for more.

After watching Artifact, I’m surprised that groups of artists haven’t banded together to file class-action lawsuits against these major recording companies. Big corporations need to be held accountable for their actions!

Yes, I think some performers charge outrageous fees for concert tickets, but at least now I understand why. Unless you have a legal background and can understand book-length documents that hide unnecessary fees between the lines, you won’t realize how much those companies are raping their clients – with those clients’ supposed consent. And I can see why people are opting for independent record labels instead of the big recording corporations.

But independent companies cost too, so what’s an artist to do? Before I get into what artists can do, I’d like to say what WE, the consumers, can and can not do. We can NOT pirate music. We can purchase CDs or PAY for downloads. You wouldn’t give away your products or services for free, would you? Unless you are a charitable organization or are so wealthy, you can afford to give everything you own away, you will most likely require payment for your products or services. If you like the music you’re stealing, you owe it to the musicians to pay for it.

As far as the artists themselves are concerned, I’d recommend finding a reputable entertainment attorney who comes with great recommendations. The job of an attorney is to PROTECT the client and that client’s property. I’ve worked for some squirrelly attorneys, so I would recommend contacting the American Bar Association or the local State Bar to find an honest lawyer, meet with him or her, and ASK QUESTIONS. I would also find a reputable accountant. A good place to start might be the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Both an attorney and an accountant will cost! But maybe artists can weave the cost into their contracts. Uh oh, do artists need financial services lawyers to monitor their entertainment attorney and accountant?

Watch the documentary, Artifact, and visit the Artifact Facebook Page. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll learn. Thank you, Jared Leto, Shannon Leto, and Tomo Milicevic. You’ve opened my eyes!

Watch the documentary, Artifact, and visit the Artifact Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtifactTheFilm

  1. Totally interesting! Can’t wait to check it out.

  2. susanintheboonies says:

    If we can teach our kids that pirating music is WRONG, we will have done something in this world to help ensure that musicians can be professionals and not necessarily needing to work two other jobs to support their families. That’s a start

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