(The following was in response to comments made about music contracts. [Mark Wynne])
To: Garfield J. Smith
Subject: Re: FREAKS digest 1545
Read your posting and found it interesting and wanting.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mark regarding the one sidedness of copyright ownership and have personally gone over the EMI contract with a nuclear toothpick, with assistance from a number of learned counsel. There were weaknesses to be exploited and I ran up a GBP150,000 legal bill in an attempt to extricate myself from the contract. My case was a lot stronger than one built around an argument around section 80 which with all due respect would be Exoceted rather quickly.
1. The tracks aren't edited, remixed, tampered with. We all ok'd them when previously released.
2. Budget priced releases are a normal pricing structure used by major labels (sadly more so nowadays).
3. Honor & reputation? Ask Gillian Taylforth about that one (english actress who attempted to sue a tabloid and lost - heavily)
4. Every album project released to retail and advertised is a commercial venture. We are paid according to a recognised contract. I was told in 1990 that 'idealism is not a strong foundation for legal argument'.
Therefore, section 80 is without definitive substance and any case attempted would prove costly and futile. EMI are a vast corporation with access to unlimited funds, we are but humble musicians. I had to quit my action for lack of funds and I don't intend wasting more time, energy and money fighting from a no hope corner.
The only people that benefit from such cases are lawyers. Justice is expensive in the UK and if the bills aren't paid you lose whether you're right or wrong. I declined the invitation because I was sick of legalese, idealistic posturing and the hypocrisy of some elements of the profession.
There is no point in crying about it - get on with your life. It took me a long time to get over the trauma and even now I still wince at the thought of how my career was nearly destroyed at the time.
There is Yang, you just have to see it!! I already know where it is and it's not in a legal portfolio!
(The following was in response to a review of the song Sunsets on Empire. [Mark Wynne])
To: Ed 'Kahuna' Sander
Subject: Re: Review of Sunsets on Empire
No problems with this. Is the review of the mastered album? If not re-review the finished item! I disagree on some points but I appreciate your opinions.
The lyrics are incredibly "deep" but the ice on the surface is very thick and requires a good knife!! Think cinema!
Email 28th January 1997