Apparently, even such venerable acts as The Pat Travers Band aren’t immune to the small print and allegedly questionable contractual dealings that were once pervasive in the music business. This kind of thing has been a problem since the dawn of the recorded music business, with the record labels taking advantage of the “legalese-challenged” bands and artists whom the record labels seek to sign to lucrative (for the label, anyway) recording contracts.
Case in point: the latest Facebook posting by Pat Travers, dealing with his current recording contract negotiations with LA-based Cleopatra Records.
I’ve been a fan of Pat Travers for a very long time, and this kind of blunt social media posting by him is definitely unusual, so I can only speculate as to what was contained in the contract proposal he is commenting on.
However, simply judging by the nature of Travers’ facebook post, and granting that it is only his side of the story we’re hearing so far, that with the myriad changes in the way the music business conducts itself — through the advent of digital downloads, intellectual property theft and Internet pirating issues, social media marketing, and the plunging sales of CDs, Albums, etc., all having an enormous collective impact on the industry — it is apparent that this kind of “small print chicanery” is still being practiced by some record labels in order to pad their profit margin on the backs of the bands and artists.
To be clear, I’m not taking anyone’s side in this dispute. What I am saying is that it is highly unusual for an artist to feel the need to go to such lengths to voice his outrage at contract negotiations in such a public forum as Facebook. I’m certainly no lawyer, and I’m also no expert on the law pertaining to this particular issue. However, I do think that this is going to have further repercussions for both Pat and Cleopatra Records in the days and weeks to come. I will keep my eye on this story as it develops.