Despite a legendary catalog of music that includes five Platinum-selling albums, R&B icon Anita Baker is now asking fans to halt the purchase and streaming of her music.
In a host of tweets, Baker disclosed a battle she’s currently embroidered in with her label. Commenting on how she’s “miraculously” outlived her artist contracts, the Detroit native pointed out that her rightfully-owed masters are still not in her possession. Referencing copyright reversion, which is an artists’ ability to regain copyright of their work after an allotted period of time, Baker says she prepared to fight for her bodies of work.
“They no longer ‘Own’ My Name & Likeness,” she wrote. “And, by Law…30 yr old, Mstrs are 2B Returned, 2 Me.”
Masters recordings aren’t owned by artists initially because record labels finance the money to produce and promote the album and artists are paid via record sales. For singers like Baker, who have outlived their contracts, royalties from their work are still being paid elsewhere when they don’t have copyright possession of their master recordings.
Responding to a fan who showed support on Twitter, the ballad vocalist wrote, “Hello Sweetheart Thank You 4 Sending Me, Your Love. But, let’s not Advertise *Spotify Streaming, which is, a Publicly Traded Company, with a 50 Million$ Valuation… but doesn’t pay Artists/Creators what their Worth.”
Since its inception, many artists have become overwhelmingly hesitant of music streaming services. Prince notably removed his catalog from Spotify and YouTube as he believed that digital sales brought no real profit to artists. The legendary musician later signed an exclusive streaming deal for his discography with Tidal in 2015.
In following tweets, Baker broke down rates of streaming services and even referenced streaming service giants as “thieves in the temple” who use her name and likeness for free advertising.