Recent issues from around the world paint a horribly greedy picture for distribution companies that took risks and where rewarded heavily while leaving nothing for the artists.
Over in Sweden where the Pirate Bay trial just ended, the $675,000 ordered by the courts to be paid to the music labels and intended to compensate the artists whose royalties were depleted by piracy will not go to the artists. Instead, the will be applied to future anti-piracy activities. In other words, the music labels are bigger crooks than the pirates.
In 20 years Jim & Erren, and I (the producers) have still not “earned out.” This is to say, according to the accountant at the legal entity involved, we still haven’t shown a profit. I am of course open-minded, but skeptical. It’s the way of the world.
Hollywood accounting can make a $450 million dollar movie “unprofitable.” That is exactly what happened to the makers of Return of the Jedi according to The Atlantic. Studios basically took a 32 million dollar budget and made it appear like the expenses cost more than the 450 million it took in.
Time for some legislation to protect the artists?