Saturday, December 30, 2006

IP rights are one thing... The musicians ideas are another

Ukraine has made some strides in protecting Intellectual Property rights over the last number of years, though this is not the only problem that exists within the Ukrainian music industry.

While there are a handful of international labels in Ukraine, in talking to many musicians this is not necessarily a great thing, as the rights provided to market access of musicians signed to a particular label are/or seem to be a little onesided when it comes providing Ukrainian musicians access to markets abroad, and even giving a damn about Ukraine's contemporary cultural heritage.

While I may be simplifying the matter, the scheme works something like this:
  • International label enters market
  • Pushes its big names onto the market, with very little regard for local cultural product
  • Signs some local musicians to recording contract
  • Works their asses off (many musicians are not ready for this, nor the demands of the big players on the international market)
  • They get relatively little in return (little money goes into the local talent, and for good business reasons - just how much can they sell internationally)
  • The musicians burn out, and what do they have in the long run?

While I never did previously, today I track much of what is going on in the music industry worldwide using a number of Ukrainian sites, but primarly one site run by a guy by the name of Yuriy Zelenyj and his site - I met Zelenyj once or twice and I know our paths will cross much more in the future. While I am kind of rambling, the reason I bring this up, is that it is clear that he is doing a good job in staying abreast of events in the industry, not only in Ukraine but even back home in Canada.

Today, I learnt from Zelynyj's site, while siting in Montreal, that a group of well known Canadian musicans have joined together to form the Canadian Music Creator's Coalition, when I checked out what the Coalition stands for, it appears that my take on the big labels from their professional standpoint are pretty well in line.

Maybe it is time that the indies in Ukraine start think along these lines, start lobbying the government regarding cultural content, and not just paying lip service to those from north of the border who flood Ukraine with second rate Russian music.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to you and Yuriy in your fight to retain Ukraine's musical and cultural heritage.

    The big labels invading Ukraine are cut from the same cloth as most so-called "multicultural" broadcasters in North America. They care nothing about the cultural roots of music, much less its quality, authenticity and longevity. They are parasites that suck the life out of healthy hosts and who send their agents to slaughter geese that lay golden eggs. There is nothing good about them, they are a scourge.

    As for the Canadian musicians' coalition, I also came across them recently. They stand for a good thing, and good luck to them too. My only concern is that they share too much of the labels' big money, mainstream mindset. Hopefully Ukrainian (and perhaps other ethnic) musicians in Canada as well as Ukraine will join their ranks to enlighten, and eventually collaborate with, them.