January 20, 2009

Music Videos Authorized by Artist - Where does the Label Come In?

Recently, OTCS was forwarded a link for Black Cab Sessions. For fans of indie music, this site is a must. In sum, it's "unplugged" - but in the back of a taxi driving around London. (Favorites include Bon Iver, and Jens Lemkin.)

The site got OTCS thinking. Generally, an artist's recording agreement provides that the label owns all rights in recorded live performances and music videos. But, where an artist agrees to be recorded for online distribution, where does the label come in? Is it a "bootleg" if the artist agrees to be recorded without the label's consent? Do labels even care, and if yes, how can they capitalize on it? What sort of protection can a indie video producer/web-site receive from the artist? Where does the publisher come in?

OTCS doesn't have the answers, nor does it have any idea about the specifics of Black Cab. But, these issues might arise in the future.