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Fairness Rocks exists because musicians, composers, actors, screenwriters, film directors and their fellow artists all over the world have one thing in common – the belief in fair reward for creative contribution.

For too long, rights-owning conglomerates have failed to ensure the creative artists behind the works receive their rightful share of the rewards. The media companies have also failed to get to grips with the world of downloading and online distribution and, as a result, incomes of creators have been decimated. Movies or albums rarely recoup their costs, no matter how great a box office hit or how large the sales from records or streaming. Surely, the mathematics should be transparent.

So, just occasionally, individuals with both resources and guts take a large media company to court to highlight the mistreatment commonly experienced by creators and artists, and the lack of transparent accounting - as we, the creators of Spinal Tap - are now doing.

If you’re a creative in a similar boat – we hope this site will help you in your quest for fair reward.

Vested interests will play hardball. It’ll be uncomfortable for some.

But fairness is worth fighting for.

We all just got louder.

Harry
Shearer

Rob
Reiner

Micheal
McKean

Christopher
Guest

What's on Fairness Rocks?

Fairness Rocks is a site designed to inform the talent who seek to ensure they are receiving fair reward for their artistic endeavour. There is an imbalance in the financial reward received by media companies and the talent. This problem appears widespread.

Vivendi, Studio Canal and Universal did not single out the Spinal Tap creators to treat them badly. The unfair treatment the four have received is meted out to the talent everywhere, every single day.

We hope the site will be useful to the talent, informative for journalists and insightful for others in the media industry who are willing to learn about what really goes on in the world of culture and entertainment.

The operators of Fairness Rocks accept no responsibility or liability for the accuracy, or otherwise, of the material featured. The information is intended only as a general guide to the film and music industries. Nothing on this site should be relied upon as legal advice. A specialist copyright legal adviser should be consulted where a reader has a particular legal or commercial issue in relation to matters referenced.  

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Money & rights

Fairness Rocks How Copyright Protects Authors

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How Copyright Protects Authors

If you create an orginal piece of creative work your investment in its creation can be protected by law, and traded or assigned to a third party, usually for money.

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Fairness Rocks How Performers Are Protected & Paid

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How Performers Are Protected & Paid

Performers are also protected by the law and will usually get an upfront fee for their services. However, mechanisms for royalties payments differ between countries.

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Fairness Rocks How Performers Are Protected & Paid
Fairness Rocks Moral Rights

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Moral Rights

In some countries, creators have a "moral right" over their work - allowing them to control aspects of a work's use and the effect upon the creator's reputation.

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Fairness Rocks Licensing & Terminating Rights

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Licensing & Terminating Rights

Consent is required when a third party wants to use either a copyright work or a performance. Consent takes the form of a licence. Copyrighted work can be carved up in a multitude of ways providing numerous, but specific, licences of a single work or performance at any one time.

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Fairness Rocks Licensing & Terminating Rights
Fairness Rocks What Digital Did

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What digital did

Online streaming to mass audiences seemed like a great way of creating popular demand. Until creators realised that digital service providers were failing to pay reasonable rates for content. What's more, the talent has to rely on the streaming industry to provide acurate data to match downloads to artists/performers. The reality is digital has decimated the livelihoods of thousands of artists/performers.

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Fairness Rocks What Digital Did
Fairness Rocks Collective Rights Management

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Collective Rights Management

These international organisations assist the talent in the management and collection of royalty payments and are set up to navigate the differing local royalty regimes.

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Talent Fighting back

About Spinal Tap

Fairness Rocks About Spinal Tap

The Spinal Tap Story

It's been 40 years since the band Spinal Tap was formed and 34 years since "This is Spinal Tap” (TIST) the feature film was released.

Yet we, the creators, have been told that global music sales from the soundtrack album total just US$98.

We’re also, apparently, only entitled to share US$81 (between us) from global merchandising sales.

This shocks us, given Tap’s enduring popularity.

So we are suing Vivendi and UMG, the TIST rights owners. We want the giant rights conglomerates to show us how exactly they are exploiting our creative work and to pay us, the creators, a fair share.

#FAIRNESSROCKS

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More Talent fighting

Read stories of creators and artists who are standing up for their rights.

Fairness Rocks This is spinal tap

This is spinal tap

Fairness Rocks Bill Nye

Bill Nye

Fairness Rocks Duran Duran

Duran Duran

Fairness Rocks Demolition Man

Demolition Man

Fairness Rocks Abbott & Costello

Abbott & Costello

Fairness Rocks What about Bob?

What about Bob?

Shocking Facts

The truth behind remuneration imbalances.

Shocking Facts

Fairness Rocks Screenwriters

Screenwriters

Who can help?

Having got here, you may now need more information and support in your fight for fairness. Collective associations are the best place to start.

Although you may feel David to the industry's Goliath, having the backing of trade bodies helps level the playing field.

Information is power!

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Wanna be a whistleblower?

Learn about the steps to take and the protections afforded to those who wish to call out wrongdoing.

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News

Fairness Rocks News Paying a Director or Screenwriter:  The Truth is (Now) Out There

Fairness Rocks News

Paying a Director or Screenwriter: The Truth is (Now) Out There

Being a film director isn’t all foreign travel,” willing” ingénues and red carpet glamour. It is all too easy to assume, because a screenwriter or director is in the public eye in an exciting industry, that they are rich. A study by the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe … Continue reading "Paying a Director or Screenwriter: The Truth is (Now) Out There"

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Fairness Rocks News Harry Shearer’s Keynote Speech at the W&DW conference in Venice on November 2017

Talent Talks

Harry Shearer’s Keynote Speech at the W&DW conference in Venice on November 2017

Keynote: Harry Shearer                                               Thanks very much.   I’m honored to have been asked to speak you today.   As a humble laborer in the twisted vineyards of comedy, there’s nothing really new I can tell you.   So, I invite you to enjoy a few minutes not so much of enlightenment, but more of a slightly dyspeptic … Continue reading "Harry Shearer’s Keynote Speech at the W&DW conference in Venice on November 2017"

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