24.04.2008: Is IMRO really doing what you think it is...?:

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Did you know that, apparently, if you are a member of IMRO, you cannot sell music online? Nor can you allow anyone to listen to it streaming from the Internet. Even, technically, your own website or MySpace page?

While we are fans of the likes of IMRO in theory, we are a bit put off by the idea behind the amount of rights you give them when you sign up (and they do nothing in return, for the VAST majority of bands at our level of the Industry).

I would suggest, boring as it sounds, that you think seriously (or even take independent advice) about what you are giving IMRO and what you are getting back in return. If anything. There is no reason why you cannot join alternative societies than IMRO, nor is there any reason why you have to just accept what IMRO offers. It is, after all, a Membership based society, and you have to sign an 'agreement'.

Most grass roots bands will be familiar with downloadmusic.ie and outersounds.ie

Apparently, IMRO are trying to scrounge YOUR MONEY from these organisations (perhaps the most accessible and useful organisation for unsigned and independent bands). It appears that if you allow a sale of YOUR music from any site, that site must pay IMRO a fee, which is actually supposed to go back to you, but doesn't (it goes into the main distribution pool, which is shared amongst, mostly, the big names in music). Now, these download sites will have to pay part of what they currently give you, to IMRO instead. You'll never see a penny of it, if you want my humble opinion, so don't allow it.

IMRO took in about 35million in Royalties in the last eyar I have figures for. About 5million or more went on 'admin'.

Now, they want 1/3 of a CENT for every time someone listens to YOUR music, even on YOUR site...? Even when is listened to in order to evaluate and let the listener decided if they like it enough t BUY it...?

When the user decides to buy it, they then want another 8c off each sale (apparently), which means about 20% of what you would get from the download sale. Seems fair? I don't think so.

If you are a member of IMRO, there is nothing to stop you telling them to leave your money with DownloadMusic or Outersounds, so it can be paid direclty to you, without IMRO taking a cut of each sale.

Get along to www.downloadmusic.ie to see what's going on

Ron, IrishUnsigned

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