Featured Artists Coalition co-CEO Crispin Hunt says the music industry must show to the public it is the good guy in its fight against the likes of Mega founder Kim Dotcom.
Hunt, also a successful songwriter and former member of Longpigs, dubbed Dotcom “chubby Che Guevara” at the BPI AGM on Wednesday and said he was someone “hell-bent on furthering his own corpulent interests rather than some of our more corporate ones”.
But Hunt suggested the one thing labels and artists could do was strip Dotcom of his argument for piracy.
“We can reveal him as the self-interested privateer that he is and not allow him to hide behind the mantra of, ‘Fuck the man it all goes into the coffers of the brothers,’” said Hunt. “The artist gets jack shite. If we make an effort to rehumanise music, to connect with the real fans of music, to educate the casual consumer away from a life on the high seas and offer better music onland not just for some kind of guilt-driven charity where the listener feels sorry for the artist and feels that he really ought to pay for the music or the band will starve, but to successfully rebrand the music industry as the good guys that give us decent music rather than the bad guys who exploit young talent.
“I’m not sure how the industry ended up with such a bad reputation, but there’s often no smoke without fire.
He also discussed in detail the relationship between artists and labels and, while he noted, “we no longer live in the days of Colonel Tom Parker where it was 99 for me and one for you”, it was still “90 for me and 10 for you after packaging deductions, TV advertising, tour support, returns, discounts and distribution is taken into account”.
“The age of ,’Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it, you just concentrate on playing your guitar and what hair product you are using today we’ll take care of the cut so to speak’ is thankfully over. Artists are increasingly business savvy. For every Goss brother there is a Logan. Lana Del Rey maybe great at being Marilyn singing Happy Birthday Mr President, but inside she is the president or maybe one day will be. PRS the global flagship of collecting societies and a hugely successful business has a 50/50 artists-rights holders board. Partnership and transparency can work.”