North of $100K: DJ’s cashing in on electronic dance music mania

KWIKA partner Greg Korn was quoted by the Daily Journal in Ryne Hodkowski’s piece (“Electronic dance music opens new legal realm”) on the zooming popularity of electronic dance music and the resulting demand for legal representation of artists as this latest musical genre pushes its way into the musical mainstream.

While the movement has existed mostly underground to this point, it has begun to break out at major venues such as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which signed a 20-month deal with one of the biggest names in the business, Deadmau5.  These major artists are pulling down some very big bucks, in some cases as high as $500,000 per show.

Greg comments:  “Turn on KISS-FM and I would guess that one out of every two songs is infused with some sort of electronic dance element.  It used to be that you couldn’t turn on the radio and find this stuff other than maybe a weird station low in the order.  I don’t think this current movement is relegated to the underground anymore.”

Most of what an electronic dance music artist does is compile bits and pieces of existing music in different ways, sometimes even adding original material of his own.  It’s kind of like putting together your own recipe using ingredients created by others.  What has made this possible is the way music is recorded in modern times, in digital format, which enables anyone with a computer and the right software to slice and dice parts of songs and reassemble them in any way he pleases.

From a legal standpoint, however, this opens a can of worms since it’s illegal to duplicate any part of a copyrighted song.

Greg’s comment:  “Any portion of someone else’s sound recording, even if the mass public doesn’t recognize it, needs to be licensed.  You’re certainly operating at your own peril if you don’t.”