Principles for sale.

Just before Warner Music went through their IPO, the band Linkin Park threatened legal action, ostensibly because they claimed that the company did not have the resources to promote them. Privately though, it seemed that the band just wanted a cut of the stock sale proceeds.

Now that Warner have offered a bunch more money and a higher royalty percentage, Linkin Park has re-signed with them:

Less than eight months after issuing a stinging, public vote of no-confidence in its record company, Warner Music Group, the multiplatinum rap-rock act Linkin Park has signed a lucrative new pact with the recording giant. The six-member Los Angeles band and its management company, the Firm, last week reached a deal with Warner calling for an estimated $15 million advance for the group’s next album, executives involved in the contract negotiations said. The pact provides the company’s Warner Brothers Records unit with an option for up to five more albums from the band, one more than had been called for in their original deal.

Warner also agreed to increase the musicians’ royalty rate to an estimated 20 percent. The next Linkin Park CD, still untitled, is expected to be released as early as mid-2006.

It’s hard to take these people seriously when it becomes obvious that their principles can be assuaged with more money. And it seems that contracts increasingly mean nothing. Linkin Park seems to not realize that they are just employees, albeit lucrative ones. They signed a contract that did not provide a share of any potential stock sale. That doesn’t mean that they can just tear it up when they don’t like the terms. Nor should sports stars, though they often seem to get away with it.


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