RE: Courtney Love on the music biz, the RIAA, and Napster (very, very long)

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From: Meltsner, Kenneth (
Date: Wed Jun 14 2000 - 07:29:46 PDT

It's an impressive speech, if only for the detailed explanation (and clear
understanding) of how the current system works. Personally, I'm amazed how
bad music publishing is -- it manages to make the book publishers look like
angels by comparison. Whoever thought of "recouping" expenses from
royalties is clearly an unsung genius (or Satan incarnate) -- most book
publishers pay for all of those expenses from their share of the revenues.
An author's 6-10% of the retail book price is (largely) his or hers to keep,
I believe, and if the advance exceeds the royalties, most contracts state
that the publisher "eats" the difference. [There are always contractual
changes that allow the publisher to recover "unearned" advances from
subsequent books in a series, but most authors know enough to fight over
such terms.]

Interesting hypothesis: Will e-books be less successful than e-music given
the less evil (by comparison) behaviors of traditional book publishers?

Ken Meltsner

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