Found/read this on dubstep forum earlier this morning:
Please note: The statement below is simply word for word an email that I received to my inbox this morning. This email appears to be doing the rounds to lots of label owners originating from an unknown source, the sender obviously wishes to remain anonymous, as do I. The motivation for posting this is that (as a label owner with content on their site) I believe everything written below to be truthful and there is solid reasons to believe that the people behind D&BA are ripping off labels. (The parent company 'AEI Media' are also involved in bankrolling projects such as UKF)
Did you know Drum N Bass Arena are currently stealing hundreds of pounds of your labels digital sales revenue each year?
Here is how:
1 - MCPS / PRS deduction:
Notice those deductions for "MCPS / PRS" on your statement for 8% of retail (less VAT)? Do you not think it is funny that none of that money ever gets paid back to you via the PRS / MCPS?
After speaking to the PRS / MCPS something funny turned up - AIE media (DNB Arena) have never paid a penny to the MCPS or the PRS. The PRS were indeed a bit confused as to why they were even taking money from labels as the MCPS have absolutely nothing to do with collection of money from retail stores so were uncertain as to why they would even have been quoted on a retail stores statement as a reason for deduction.
The PRS also state that they have no reason what so ever to ever need to ask DNB Arena / AEI media to make deductions from labels sales as the terms of the business that they are running do not qualify for any of the PRS collection schemes.
So where has that 8% deduction been going? no where just straight into DNB arenas pockets - Theft number one
2 - Billing delivery and storage
10% deduction here ask yourselves this do any other stores charge you this? have a look in your contract does it have anything regarding you being charged for this in your contract?
How much does it cost to deliver a MP3? Many of you run your own stores do you notice the costs of this in your business? as for storage how much exactly do you have to spend storing your MP3's online? last time we checked it was nothing as your websites hosting covers storage space (not forgetting the fact that DNB Arena is run off their own servers anyways)
Was this charge agreed between yourself and them in writing? if not they can not charge you for it!
3 - VAT
Last time we checked VAT was 20% not 17.5% or 25% which is some of the amounts we have seen charged over the past year and a half since the 20% VAT rate was introduced. Yes if they only charge you 17.5 % VAT that means you are in pocket more BUT would the VAT man see it as their mistake or yours if they start to look at it all? also when they run out statements with VAT @ 25% do you think they are overpaying to the VAT man or pocketing the difference?
4 - Simple math's
Check the amounts and calculations on your statements and you will see that the sums don't add up anyway nearly every statement we have had from them has mistakes in the calculations always to the benefit of DNB Arena.
Also worth noting:
Do you know about Basscamp? this is the back end site that DNB Arena use for sales and statements.Everyone used to have a log in for this but they don't like to give anyone a account on it anymore as sales on here were coming back higher than what they accounted for on statements - ask them for a log in and go and check the amounts on there compared to what your statements say - Don't expect DNB Arena to be fast or cooperative in sorting out log in information out for you though.
If you do manage to get a Bass camp log in from them you will also notice that the amounts bounce up and down every day just like someone is manually editing the amounts!
Back cat sales - don't you think its weird that every other online retailer consistently sells back cat but DNB arena seem unable to even sell one unit of a release older than six months after release? so did we so over the past 12 month's we have made over twenty test purchase's of back cat release's and funnily enough none show up on label statements - more theft
So why are we telling you all this?
Everyone is struggling and companies like this make it even harder for labels and artists to survive
1 - Please email the PRS about this as the more people pushing them for action will result in the money actually being paid back as the MCPS / PRS have the powers to get the money they have been deducting paid back to you. They are currently investigating it but the more evidence they have the better so please drop them a email about it to : email@example.com
and tell them about it or call them on 020 7580 5544 Just ask to be put through to someone in writer relations and let them know you want something done about it
They are already investigating this and the more of you who contact them means they can do more to get this money paid back.
2 - Make a stand and tell your distributor to pull your label from sale at DNB Arena and stop them from stealing your money - DNBA like to make out they are some global super power in online sales but how many of their customer's would simply go and buy your product from somewhere else - most of them.
With many many reputable online retailer's out there why let a company take the piss with your music make a stand now and shut these rip off merchants off from getting the opportunity to steal form you
Please pass this message on to as many other label owners as possible.
they know who sent the email (at least i think they know)
hope this isnt true, so many people including dexcell working fucking hard to supply the scene and dont exactly make alot of money, prob fuck all mainly for love and passion
this will ruin dnba, who ever reads this will never buy anything from them again. people buy mp3s to support artists, poeple know how easy it to illegally download and dont for the simple reason that alot of people who make tunes live like the rest of us lot still holding down a 9 to 5 and struggle to pay the bills.
Wow. The bare faced cheek surprises me, but maybe they were just going with the hide in plain sight ideology. It makes things difficult for producers, as they are still the biggest name in dnb mp3 sales. It would need a United stand for a boycott to work
Thanks man. We've always said from day one that doing this music lark isn't about a money thing. It's just about making music that (hopefully) someone out there will appreciate. All three of us have day jobs, as doing Dexcell full-time isn't going to pay the bills. Not at this stage unfortunately. I mean, yeah sure it'd be nice to make a nice wedge and pack in our jobs and crack on the music in the future, but that's gonna be a long way away, as we're still small fry's in the scene.