Electronic musician Whitey, who has published records with Shoreditch’s 1234 music label, has condemned a big TV company’s attempts to use his work for free.
Betty TV, the production company behind ‘factual entertainment’ series like ‘Joys of Teen Sex’ and ‘Shopaholic Showdown’, emailed the musician asking for permission to reproduce his track ‘Stay on the Outside’, claiming not to have any budget for music.
Whitey, whose work has been featured in popular TV series like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’ decided to publish his angry response on his Facebook page in order to “see a public discussion about this kind of abuse of musicians”. His email has since gone viral on social networking sites.
In it, he says: “I am sick to death of your hollow schtick, of the inevitable line ‘unfortunately there’s no budget for music’, as if some fixed law of the universe handed you down a sad but immutable financial verdict preventing you from budgeting to pay for music. Your company set out the budget. So you have chosen to allocate no money for music.”
He continues: “The culturally ingrained disdain for the musician that riddles your profession leads you to fleece the music angle whenever possible. You will without question pay everyone connected to a shoot – from the caterer to the grip to the extra – even the cleaner who mopped your set and scrubbed the toilets after the shoot will get paid. The musician? Give him nothing.”
Blaming the company for their alleged hypocrisy in denying their own wealth, Whitey concluded by declaring: “The answer is a resounding and permanent NO.”
Betty have since responded to the accusations through the following statement:
“We use a collective licensing system through which we gain access to music which ensures both the recording artist and composer are paid. We apologise for any confusion and we have contacted the artist to clarify this. We would never use music without permission and going through the proper procedures.”
Whitey is renowned for using independent means to manage his music. Rather than publishing his work through big record labels, he has employed the website bandcamp to release his music and the crowd-funding platform kickstarter to raise money for his latest album, ‘Bare Bones’.
Whilst being critical of profit-making big companies, he claims to support independent creativity: “I donate music all the time to indie projects, students and those who need it but cannot pay.”
Read the full email on Whitey’s Facebook page.