Posts Tagged ‘Guy Forsyth’

You Can’t Find What You Don’t Look For: Big Tech Can’t Find Austin Artists

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

You may not know the names Shinyribs, Guy Forsyth, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Grupo Fantasma, Carolyn Wonderland, Sara Hickman or Jimmy LaFave, but we do here in Austin.  You probably know Willie Nelson and so do we.  We even have a street named after Willie.

What else do these artists have in common aside from being some of Austin’s most loved and respected artists and songwriters?  Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart can’t seem to find them and have sent “address unknown” NOIs for all of them.  (This issue involves mechanical royalties, not SoundExchange royalties or ASCAP/BMI/SESAC royalties.  For the background on mass NOI loophole see my article from the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Lawyer.)  The more we research this issue, the less anyone will believe that the Music Modernization Act is going to solve the problem of not finding what you don’t look for.  (You can search for yourself in the SX Works NOI Lookup database (account registration required) that indexes the 60,000,000 plus “address unknown” notices to the Copyright Office from companies like Spotify, Google, Amazon–although interestingly, not Apple.  Apple seems to be able to run their service on a loophole-free basis.)

Realize that this is not the fault of the songwriter–it’s easy to find these songwriters if you look for them.  The problem is that the only place these services are required to look is in the public records of the Copyright Office and the songs will only be there if the songwriter registered them which they are not obligated to do in order to be paid mechanical royalties.  Seems kind of confusing and circular?  That’s because it is and because it is a loophole that hardly anyone ever used since 1976–up until Big Tech found it in 2016.

It is particularly galling that these giant companies all come to SXSW with a big presence but can’t seem to manage to pay our top songwriters.  And remember–it’s not that there is a deferred royalty or retroactive royalty–until these songwriters either prove that they actually already registered their songs in the Copyright Office or do in the future, they don’t get a royalty at all courtesy of a loophole in the Copyright Act and the abject failure of the Congress to do anything about it.  And remember–there is nothing that requires them to register in order to enjoy all the rights of a copyright owner, including the right to make Spotify rich and Google richer.

That’s right–81 notices on the late Jimmy LaFave:

Jimmy LaFave

Ray Wylie Hubbard has 126:

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Shinyribs got 57:


Carolyn Wonderland racked up 189:


Sara Hickman has 111:

Sara Hickman

Grupo Fantasma gets 62:


Guy Forsyth has 103:

Guy Forsyth

And Willie Nelson has 2,897:

Willie Nelson

So when ya’ll tech bros are in Austin this week, make sure you drop by if any of the songwriters you are stiffing are playing a show.  You could even tip.  Maybe you can find them in the SXSW show listings.

And enjoy your visit.

A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Victims w/ Guy Forsyth & Friends (Aug. 31, Antone’s 9:30 pm)

August 29, 2017 Comments off


This Thursday, 8/31/17 Legendary Blues Club Antone’s (305 East 5th Street, Austin) will host “A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Victims with Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland & Friends” starting at 9:30.

Acting quickly, locally based but world traveling Austin music icon Guy Forsyth has donated his already booked show to the Red Cross to help raise money for the unprecedented disaster still unfolding on the Gulf coast.

“This is heartbreaking, and the only way to deal with something of this scale is find a way to help.” said Forsyth this morning. “So this is what we do, Texans take care of their own. Carolyn Wonderland was the first person I asked and she said yes in seconds.”

Carolyn Wonderland is known internationally for her soul saving voice and down right damning guitar playing. Other guests are expected…

Tickets on Ticketfly

To help people affected by , please visit or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.



The MTP Interview: Blake Morgan of ECR Music Group on the #irespectmusic campaign

March 31, 2014 1 comment

IRM blake


Chris Castle interviews Blake Morgan, head of ECR Music Group and the force behind the #irespectmusic campaign on Pandora, IRFA and the campaign for artist pay for radio play.

Theme music by Guy Forsyth.

You can also subscribe to the Music Tech Policy podcast on iTunes.


#NewMusic Weekend: Guy Forsyth, The Maccabees, Deaf Havana, Future of the Left, Lacrymosa

May 20, 2012 Comments off

The top five staff picks this week from Sempahore Music

1.  Guy Forsyth (Austin) “If I Was Sick” @guy_forsyth

2.  The Maccabees (London) “Went Away” @themaccabees

3.  Deaf Havana (Norfolk) “We Used to Talk” @deafhavana

4.  Future of the Left (Cardiff) “Sheena Is a T-shirt Salesman” @futureoftheleft

5.  Lacrymosa (New York) “Not About Want” @iamlacrymosa

5-19-12 Semaphore Music Top 5 on Spotify

New Music Weekend: Guy Forsyth, Ren Harvieu, Widowspeak, Gardening Not Architecture, You and Me at Six

December 11, 2011 Comments off

Staff picks from Semaphore Music

1.  Guy Forsyth (Austin) New Album coming in the New Year (and one of the best artist websites!) @guy_forsyth

2.  Ren Harvieu (Manchester) “Through the Night” @renharvieu

3.  Widowspeak (Brooklyn) “Gun Shy” @widowspeaking

4.  Gardening Not Architecture (Seattle) “Saboteur” @gnatweets

5.  You and Me At Six (Weybridge) “Loverboy” @youmeatsix

SXSW 3/19 Picks: Nikki Rowling award, Guy Forsyth, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Givers, Cary Brothers, In Tall Buildings

March 19, 2011 Comments off

Special event: Nikki Rowling receives the Cindi Lazzari Artist Advocacy Award from the State Bar of Texas.  According to the press release from the Texas Music Office:

“Long-time music professional Nikki Rowling will receive the 2011 Cindi Lazzari Artist Advocate Award from TESLAW, the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award will be presented during the Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall on March 19 (Saturday during SXSW) at 7 p.m.

Rowling was unanimously chosen by the TESLAW committee to be the 2011 Recipient.  Although Nikki has a long history of commitment to developing artists and the music community, it is her recent work as Chair of the Creditor’s Committee (representing over 500 musicians and songwriters) against Texas Music Group, Antone’s Records and affiliates in bankruptcy court that TESLAW would like to recognize as an extraordinary effort that has produced remarkable results. 

Antone’s Records—which bears the name of Clifford Antone but which he had sold many years before—and their affiliated labels had not paid royalties to the vast majority of its artists in over a decade. The companies filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to re-organize the company and continue doing business as it had for the last fifteen years.

Over the objection of the debtors record labels, Rowling was able to form a Creditor’s Committee to represent the rights of all the artists, songwriters and publishers and give them a powerful voice in negotiations over the reorganization.  She worked with attorneys to force the debtor labels to hand over bank statements and financials through the bankruptcy process, and she poured over the labels’ books and bank accounts, attended depositions, gave testimony, and led the outreach to find as many affected artists as possible.  

Most importantly, she oversaw the creation of a new reorganization plan submitted by the Creditor’s Committee that its members felt would best represent the interests of the artists, and which was in direct opposition to the label’s reorganization plan. She then led three exhaustive voting campaigns to defeat the debtor labels’ reorganization plan—resulting in court approval of the Creditor Committee’s plan. 

The Creditor’s Committee plan called for a sale of all assets belonging to Antone’s Records and it’s affiliated companies, including all recordings, to a third party through an open auction conducted by the federal bankruptcy court.  The assets were successfully sold to New West Records, one of the most highly awarded mid-size labels in the country which also has ties to Austin through its partnership with the world famous Austin City Limits television show.

In addition to a new label home, these artist creditors will receive:

– A funding pool of $275,000 to pay past creditor debt and attorneys fees, which is more than twice the funds Antone’s Records had proposed

– All previous unrecouped artist balances reduced to zero dollars on a go-forward basis

– Significantly higher rates for both artist royalties and mechanical royalties.”

It’s what Clifford would have wanted.

And now, on with the show.

Staff picks: 

Guy Forsyth (8:50 pm at Continental Club)

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger  (7:30 at Elysium) (Staff pick 1/26/11)

Givers (Emo’s Jr. 11pm)

Cary Brothers (St. David’s 11:30 pm)

In Tall Buildings (Speakeasy 7pm)

Be safe out there.

SXSW 3/17 Staff Picks: Guy Forsyth, The Resentments, John Maus, Fences, For the Fallen Dreams

March 17, 2011 Comments off
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