Dean McIntosh | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Touch and Go v. The Buttholes

Gibby et al are right about a couple of things. Corey has his whole roster to rely on in terms of income, whereas they have only themselves. It is therefore unsurprising that they would start to want to look elsewhere if they thought Corey was not throwing straight dice.

Whether he was or not also kind of misses the point. When a band feels that way about you, your options basically boil down to talking to them and rectifying that situation, or sorting out the best terms to part with them on. Nobody wants to be tethered to a partner they do not feel they want to be with.

It also misses the point to argue about how much better Corey's terms are than what is standard in the industry. Better terms in a relationship where you feel you are losing out is still a relationship where you feel you are losing out. Which sort of illustrates the whole problem that people like Corey do not understand. The reasons why contracts are put on paper with explicit terms (and need not necessarily be written by lawyers although it helps to get a lawyer to give it a once-over) is because when arguments like these happen, it makes it that much easier to resolve them.

Corey would do well to look at what he did and how the Surfers presented their complaints. They argue that his promotion of their works was not up to scratch. They explain in interviews about the whole he has a whole label we have just us dynamic. He would do well to listen to that in case he does end up with another act that makes his label as well-known. I never heard of Touch & Go before I was a fourteen year old boy, and even then only after hearing of the Butthole Surfers. That they felt compelled to repossess their back catalogue says a lot.

He would also do well to learn from the appellate court ruling. An oral contract really is not worth the paper it is written on, and whilst a short and sweet bit of paper spelling out the basics is good, people ought to remember that a contract silent as to its length can be terminated at any time by either side. At least have the sense to spell out the conditions under which it can be terminated in future. And owning peoples' work in perpetuity? Show me an artist that will agree to that, and I will show you a fool.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dean McIntosh on 11/05/2014 at 8:53 PM

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