Last.FM Demands Indies Waive Royalties

UPDATED: Last.FM has a stellar reputation as a place where all music is created equal.  Where music discovery is a wonderfully random event untainted by cash or influence. But Last.FM’s love for indie music does not extend to its checkbook. The contract that most indie and D.I.Y. artists use demands that they waive their rights to royalties in exchange for airplay on the personalized net music streaming service.

Last_fm “By uploading Licensed Material, You grant to Last.FM a non-exclusive, royalty-free license (including the right to sub-license for all purposes related to the Last.FM service (for example, embedding the Last.FM player on third party websites (such as personal blogs)"

After some public pressure, the Clear Channel radio network has just drop a similar clause from its indie artist contract .  But Last.FM which was recently bought by CBS continues the practice.

Bill_wilson"I’m a huge fan of and what they’ve done (or could do) for indie labels, bands and music fans," says IndieHQ blogger and Blackout label owner Bill Wilson. "However, it seems that their new media conglomerate sugar daddies are having an influence on their policies already. Wilson originally forgave the no royalties policy but now says, " isn’t a start-up anymore, it’s part of the global media biz."

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  1. That quote is misleading. Sure, they paid Soundexchange. However, they paid in as a small webcaster (about 20k) just prior to inking with CBS for 280 million. Not illegal, but not transparent to those who helped them build their company.
    I don’t dislike, I’m a paid subscriber to the service as well as keeping my stuff up on the site.
    I’d also like to find out what their recent deal with SONY cost. I’m pretty sure they don’t get the same deal.
    All I want is a level playing field and some kind of consideration for helping them raise 280 million.

  2. To clarify my previous comment below:
    What I want is for indie labels (30% of the market) to get some kind of consideration for being there from the beginning. SONY is late to the table and gets a sweeter deal?

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