The latest music artist rowing with their major label over digital royalties is Def Leppard.
The band is taking a hardline stance in its negotiations with Universal Music Group over usage of its back catalogue, choosing to re-record key songs rather than grant any more usage rights to UMG “until we come up with some kind of arrangement” for digital payments.
“Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, ‘No matter what you want, you are going to get “no” as an answer, so don’t ask,” frontman Joe Elliott told Billboard. “We’ll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did.”
This fits into a wider and growing row over how artists have been compensated for the last decade of digital music. As we’ve said before, it has serious implications for the next decade too – hampering the efforts of access-based services like Spotify to win trust from artists and managers that their business model will benefit those artists over time.