Citation

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Fania Records, Intellectual Property Rights, and Royalties

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Get this Document | Similar Titles



Abstract:

In 2005 Emusica Entertainment Group paid approximately $10 million for the entire catalog of Fania Records, the dominant “Latin” music label of the late 1960s and 1970s. Having started as a small grassroots label in 1964, by the height of the 1970s salsa “boom” Fania had created an infrastructure for the creation, circulation, and consumption of salsa that was unprecedented in Latin music. Struggling initially to make a return on their recordings, by the early 1970s Fania would undergo a financial transformation that allowed the company to extend its recording and publishing to Puerto Rico, formalize transnational distribution networks, and transform salsa into a global commodity.

Like other independent labels of the period that emerged as advocates of an alternative cultural sensibility, Fania cultivated an origins narrative that emphasized an organic relationship to the predominantly Puerto Rican communities in New York. The signing of talented artists who had been born, raised, and/or migrated to the city’s predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhoods; the release of the musical documentary Our Latin Thing (1972), which featured Latin New York and its “Spanish-speaking people” alongside extended clips of the legendary 1971 concert of the Fania All-Stars at the Cheetah Lounge; and free concerts in public spaces like Central Park helped foster this narrative.

The collegiality, collectivity, and creative autonomy emphasized by Fania complemented the innovative musical practices that would come to define the label long after it ceased to exist in all but name by the early 1980s. Yet the so-called “Fania formula” also included the increasing creative control the label tried to exert over artists, the exploitive contracts that most artists signed, and questionable business practices that continue to form part of the label’s legacy.

The latter of these factors would result in a bevy of allegations against Fania Records, including lawsuits filed by celebrated singer-songwriter Rubén Blades between 1984 and 2002; two lawsuits against Fania in the mid 1990s by separate individuals claiming to represent the estate of renowned vocalist Héctor LaVoe; and an additional claim in Puerto Rico during this time surrounding the rights to LaVoe’s life story.

Through an analysis of the legal, textual, and material contexts of these cases, I illuminate the complex social relations between Fania and their artists and between the artists themselves. An analysis of these two cases is particularly compelling because LaVoe and Blades collaborated professionally. Moreover, Blades penned the initial verses of the song “El Cantante” that became LaVoe’s signature piece. By tracing the trajectory of each artist’s career alongside the lawsuits, I illuminate the complex social relation between Fania and its artists as well as between the artists themselves. I demonstrate that the artistic relationship between performers while they were signed to Fania impacted the trajectory of each lawsuit in ways that the label could neither anticipate nor regulate. Ultimately, I argue that the outcomes in these cases are reflective of the subject position of each artist and the ways they negotiated their personal, artistic, and professional lives.
Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p570516_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Negrón, Marisol. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Fania Records, Intellectual Property Rights, and Royalties" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Caribe Hilton., San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2014-09-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p570516_index.html>

APA Citation:

Negrón, M. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Fania Records, Intellectual Property Rights, and Royalties" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Caribe Hilton., San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2014-09-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p570516_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: In 2005 Emusica Entertainment Group paid approximately $10 million for the entire catalog of Fania Records, the dominant “Latin” music label of the late 1960s and 1970s. Having started as a small grassroots label in 1964, by the height of the 1970s salsa “boom” Fania had created an infrastructure for the creation, circulation, and consumption of salsa that was unprecedented in Latin music. Struggling initially to make a return on their recordings, by the early 1970s Fania would undergo a financial transformation that allowed the company to extend its recording and publishing to Puerto Rico, formalize transnational distribution networks, and transform salsa into a global commodity.

Like other independent labels of the period that emerged as advocates of an alternative cultural sensibility, Fania cultivated an origins narrative that emphasized an organic relationship to the predominantly Puerto Rican communities in New York. The signing of talented artists who had been born, raised, and/or migrated to the city’s predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhoods; the release of the musical documentary Our Latin Thing (1972), which featured Latin New York and its “Spanish-speaking people” alongside extended clips of the legendary 1971 concert of the Fania All-Stars at the Cheetah Lounge; and free concerts in public spaces like Central Park helped foster this narrative.

The collegiality, collectivity, and creative autonomy emphasized by Fania complemented the innovative musical practices that would come to define the label long after it ceased to exist in all but name by the early 1980s. Yet the so-called “Fania formula” also included the increasing creative control the label tried to exert over artists, the exploitive contracts that most artists signed, and questionable business practices that continue to form part of the label’s legacy.

The latter of these factors would result in a bevy of allegations against Fania Records, including lawsuits filed by celebrated singer-songwriter Rubén Blades between 1984 and 2002; two lawsuits against Fania in the mid 1990s by separate individuals claiming to represent the estate of renowned vocalist Héctor LaVoe; and an additional claim in Puerto Rico during this time surrounding the rights to LaVoe’s life story.

Through an analysis of the legal, textual, and material contexts of these cases, I illuminate the complex social relations between Fania and their artists and between the artists themselves. An analysis of these two cases is particularly compelling because LaVoe and Blades collaborated professionally. Moreover, Blades penned the initial verses of the song “El Cantante” that became LaVoe’s signature piece. By tracing the trajectory of each artist’s career alongside the lawsuits, I illuminate the complex social relation between Fania and its artists as well as between the artists themselves. I demonstrate that the artistic relationship between performers while they were signed to Fania impacted the trajectory of each lawsuit in ways that the label could neither anticipate nor regulate. Ultimately, I argue that the outcomes in these cases are reflective of the subject position of each artist and the ways they negotiated their personal, artistic, and professional lives.

Get this Document:

Find this citation or document at one or all of these locations below. The links below may have the citation or the entire document for free or you may purchase access to the document. Clicking on these links will change the site you're on and empty your shopping cart.

Associated Document Available Access Fee American Studies Association Annual Meeting
Associated Document Available Access Fee All Academic Inc.


Similar Titles:
Intellectual Property Rights as a Challenge to the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Cases of Health, Food Security and Climate Stability

Strategic Intellectual Property Litigation: What IP Lawyers and Clients Say (and Do) About Asserting Intellectual Property Rights

Private Property Rights versus Maintaining Socialist Market Order: The Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the US and China


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.