Gary Glitter ‘Joker’ Sync: Convicted Pedophile Can Still Profit Even If He Doesn’t Own The Song


Never mind the controversial plot of the film. Jokerthe R-rated box office about a socially isolated man’s descent into violence, recently came under fire for including a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter in its soundtrack.

Much of the public outcry has centered on whether Glitter – who is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence for sexually abusing three young girls in the late 70s – will profit from syncing his classic from 1972 jock jam “Rock and Roll Part II”. during a pivotal scene. The answer is complicated.

As the Los Angeles Times first revealed, because Glitter sold his master recording and publishing rights to the song years ago, he doesn’t directly receive sync fees or royalties for most streams of the song – which grew to 1.5 million the week after the film. Released Oct. 4, up from 133,000 the previous week, according to Nielsen Music.

But there is a smaller revenue stream that could still be directed to Glitter’s pocket: digital performance royalties from the song’s non-interactive streams on Pandora, SiriusXM and other webcasters.

By law, these royalties are collected by the rights management organization SoundExchange, which then distributes the money primarily to the lead artist and recording owner, which is usually the record label. If Glitter is registered with SoundExchange, it should receive these payments.

A representative for SoundExchange declined to reveal Glitter’s registration status, which is standard. “We currently collect and distribute royalties on behalf of over 199,000 artists and copyright holder accounts, SoundExchange wrote. “To protect their privacy, SoundExchange does not disclose their registration status or share any of their royalty information.”

Neither Glitter’s stage name nor her birth name, Paul Gadd, show results of SoundExchange’s online search for unregistered artists with pending royalties, which seems to indicate that he is registered. (Late co-writer of “Rock and Roll Part II” Mike Leandre is not eligible for payments, as SoundExchange only handles royalties for artists and recording rights holders, not songwriters.)

Thanks to Joker sync, the sum of Glitter would be slightly higher than usual. Scheduled streams for “Rock and Roll Part II” were up to 6,000 for the October 4-10 tracking week, a 17% increase from the previous week, according to Nielsen. Without the Joker boost, the song normally generates around 5,000 scheduled streams per week.

Glitter, 75, was sentenced to prison in 2015 for attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one for having sex with a girl under 13 between 1975 and 1980. But even though an artist is behind bars, SoundExchange says that as long as the artist provides an address and direct deposit information, they will continue to deposit funds unless a court order blocks the exchange (again, as required by law).

If an artist is not registered with SoundExchange, the organization will continue to fundraise for a period of three years, after which the money is redistributed among other artists.

Similarly, Glitter likely still collects performance royalties for “Rock and Roll Part II” as a songwriter. This is because the way performing rights organizations generally operate, it is difficult, if not impossible, for an artist to assign their entire share of performing rights: half goes to publishers and the other half to songwriters. It follows that Glitter, which is affiliated with PRS for Music, would be paid each time the song received a “public performance”, such as being played in a bar, on the radio, at a sporting event or on television. , or Joker may eventually end.

It’s no secret that “Rock and Roll Part II” has been a stadium favorite for decades. The National Football League effectively banned stadiums from playing the song after Glitter’s 2006 conviction, but the rule wasn’t always followed: After the NFL’s version of Glitter was banned in 2006, a version cover was still used and even adopted as the Patriots’ New England Touchdown Anthem. Days before the Super Bowl in 2012, the league had to scramble to stop the Patriots from using the song in the big game. No such ban has been established by the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, or the National Hockey League.

Meanwhile, a source close to Warner Bros. Studios tells Billboard there are no plans to remove the song from the Joker soundtrack or future versions of the film, contrary to recent reports. And the only official soundtrack currently available to listen to is the music from the film.

Snapped Music has owned Glitter’s master recordings since January 1997, while Universal Music Publishing Group acquired 100% of Glitter’s publishing rights to “Rock and Roll Part II” decades ago. BMG has represented Leander’s publishing share since 2009, when it acquired Crosstown, which included Leander’s catalog under Palan Music.

A spokesperson for Snapped Music declined to reveal how much Warner Bros. had paid for the sync, but said between $100,000 and $200,000 is a “good estimate” of what it would cost to clear master and edit a large studio film – a sum considerable Glitter will not see a dime.

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