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TheStreet Open House

Silence From Music Industry on an Issue Bigger Than Royalties

Stocks in this article: P AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Earlier this week on Twitter I got into an exchange with a guy who works in a relatively high-level position with The Grammys.

I'm not going to publish the Tweets for several reasons.

One, he asked me not to. He was speaking as a private individual, not on behalf of his employer, and did not want that fact to get lost in the spectacle. I respect and understand his position so I decided to abide by his request. Secondly, it's not this particular executive I have an issue with; his Tweets merely illustrate a bigger -- and very troubling -- picture.

Last week, in Pandora Isn't The Enemy, The Music Industry Is (Part 2), I chronicled the struggles of musicians attempting to navigate the unjust local music/bar/club scene of Los Angeles and places like it. Please read that article if you haven't already. It sets the table for all that follows. I intend to not only expose the injustice, but, one way or another, get the music industry to address and do something about it.

So, on Twitter, I asked this particular music industry executive to provide an opinion on the structure of local music scenes across the country, particularly Hollywood, California. Despite repeated requests -- I even begged him -- he would not address the issue. Small artists work in what amount to sweatshop conditions and nobody -- not one soul from the music industrial complex -- is willing to offer a thought on the issue. Do they not consider this important? Not worthy of a response?


Musicians and indie labels certainly do. Quite a few started following me on Twitter after that article. Several, as well as a handful of very respectable journalists, reached out asking me to keep the story alive. But, again, either silence or out and out dodging from music execs.

Music industry types ripped me on their blogs. But they didn't address the issue I asked them to. In fact, they blatantly ignored it. They just restated their opinions and distortions -- for the umpteenth time -- on royalties.

The Grammys guy told me I was trying to tie the Pandora (P - Get Report) royalty issue to the local music scene injustice (though he never even admitted that an unjust situation exists). I told him I was treating the two issues both ways -- as related and as independent of one another. Because that's exactly what I have done.

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