> I hope I don't start a flame war here, but I disagree in part with the
> other posters on this thread.
No, no flames perceived. We can agree to disagree.
The record companies give away promos to get
> air play/advertisment, which results in more sales and more money for both
> the artists and the company. These promos are often unsolicited gifts, and
> as such I can't see how the company can legally or morally complain about
> anything the recipient does with it - does anybody know if the 'illegal'
> signs have any meaning or if it's just intimidation? I don't buy promo
> copies myself, but that's just a personal decision
The point behind the "ownership retained by the company" warning stickers
is that the record companies are at least claiming that promotional
copies are *not* gifts. I don't know that this has ever been put to a
legal test, and anyway it's pretty unenforceable. But obviously if those
who have obtained promo copies then turn around and sell those copies,
they are not doing their job of advertising, writing about, providing airplay,
etc. They're just making some quick change.
> Of the $16 or so that you pay for a CD, only about a dollar goes to the
> artists (and about the same to press and print the CD), most of the rest
> is split between the record company, retailer etc. If you want the artist
> to make a few bob, buy the albums at their concerts - they make a much
> bigger cut on those [these albums are often defaced like the promo copies]
> than from record store sales.
True enough. Labels sometimes catch flak from their distributors and
retailers over the practice of selling direct to artists, who in turn
sell direct to the fan. There was a lot of discussion of this recently
on BGRASS-L, with some input from both artists and record company folks.
A few labels have a policy against sales to artists, and some artists
have taken to announcing where one can buy their CDs locally in lieu of
selling from the front of the stage, but it's pretty clear that the only
time most performers make any real money from sales of recordings is when
they sell direct to the fans.