As some people may know, I host a night called The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow here in Boston where music videos are shown on a big screen. The venue is small but the show has received a decent amount of respectable publicity in places like the Boston Phoenix.
Imagine the surprise when I came home yesterday to find a UPS'd letter at my doorstep "thanking me for my interest" in music videos from the Universal Music Group (which I have none) and demanding that I cough up $7500 per year to get servicing from them!
This could be one of the most absurd moves I have seen.
TV broadcasters don't "pay" for advertisements, advertisers pay. Record labels don't "charge" people for music videos, they "expense" them as promotional items to write off their taxes AND charge the bands the cost of the videos. So, I'm left to wonder is this even legal for Universal to charge this fee? Do the IRS and SEC know about this? What's the real story?
At the time of this posting, it should be stated that #1: I am not a "broadcaster" and #2: I have never asked for music videos from Universal, and #3: a friend of an insider at MTV Networks (who own numerous channels) has yet to confirm that MTV has been asked to pay money as well. I'm left to the conclusion that this letter is most likely grossly unfair to the little outlets like myself and I'm also quite positive that getting paid for promotional items is probably illegal - meaning pulling a stunt like this will hopefully get them into serious trouble (although it's highly unlikely).
But, thankfully, now we have their address and phone number so I'm sure some bands and promoters and video outlets might want to give them a call and ask "what the fuck is this about?" Other people might just want to call to give them a piece of their mind.
Continue the major label boycott.
Don't buy into their scams.
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