Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Outing the Content Lawyers - MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY - 2014-12-22 | Joe Cocker RIP - by Chris Castle | http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/joe-cocker-rip/#comment-2207


Many years ago, Roger Davies walked into my office in the green bungalow on the A&M lot with a list of issues to cover for his artists. One was a license of “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker for a major motion picture. We came to have Joe on the label due to Jerry Moss’s relationship with the late Howie Richmond that also gave us a couple other artists called The Move and Procol Harum back in the day.

Roger’s feeling was that “You Are So Beautiful” was one of Joe’s signature recordings and it had become undervalued due to overlicensing at less than premium prices. Remember, Joe hadn’t been on A&M for years, but when you have a catalog of classic recordings by an artist who was as much of a creative force as Joe Cocker, those relationships are timeless. Also remember that Roger Davies had just pulled off the revival of Tina Turner’s career (and we had released “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike & Tina Turner).

So I was very much interested in respecting that history. I asked Roger what he had in mind, and he said $250,000.

Now, that’s a lot of money for a licensed track, even for an end title. I kind of looked at him.

And another $250,000 for trailers.

I said, just so I have this straight, you want $500,000 for an end title license on a 20 year old master?

That was, of course, exactly what Roger wanted. This was not going to go over well. I thought about it for a few seconds and then thought, fuck it.

I put in a call to the head of music for the major studio that was releasing the picture and said I got your request here for Joe Cocker. The quote is 250.


And my comment (which never gets published):

What a load of self-serving bullshit.

In the day when 'shooting fish in a barrel' was what the selling of content was - and in that particular day - in the dying days of that formula - you guys got a sweetheart deal from a studio that was also feeling the same pinch that your record industry was - now-gone-by.

Copy-right is over - all the Christmas story of that by-gone era are irrelevant.

Michael Holloway


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