Monday, December 21, 2015

The Ripoffs and Piracy

Probably the hardest thing to swallow about the regurgitation of The Source Family and the 'branding' that's taken place, is what I've seen as a desperate attempt by a couple of former members to propel themselves into the public spotlight, along with the appropriation of all of the music that came out of The Source Family while completely ignoring, sidelining, and omitting or reimbursing the songwriters and musicians who wrote and performed on every single original piece of music.  In what I see as a pleasant form of piracy, a couple of people who were in The Source Family took it upon themselves to represent the entire body of former Source Family members and entered into licensing agreements to market and sell songs and music, in order to promote themselves and maintain their false sense of control.  But, in the minds of two people, it seemed all above board and legal for them to freely license songs and music that had been created by the individual songwriters and musicians who were part of The Source Family, regardless of whether anyone approved or not, or even signed anything!

The majority of songwriters and musicians who performed on what has been labeled 'Source Family music' never saw a dime from any of the music sales!  But, the two people who were pushing and promoting the entire Source Family mythos on to an unsuspecting public felt extremely justified in everything that they did.  Operating on the assumption that nobody was going to challenge anything that either of those two did, they entered into contracts with outside entities to market, license and sell all of the albums and music that were produced, during the brief window of time at The Father House in Los Angeles, while only involving a couple of musicians and completely ignoring the feelings or wishes of other individuals who contributed to the volume of music that had been produced.

Les Adam, who was called Rhythm, was one of those individuals who was completely ignored who had his rights trampled on and was never compensated properly for the use and sale of his own original songs and performances!  Les Adam was by far the most accomplished musician of the entire group capable of playing both acoustic and electric guitar, piano and electric keyboards, as well as being one of the strongest and best songwriters and singers in The Source Family, during its existence.  Yet, Rhythm wasn't even credited in the 2012 film for three of his songs that were used (Take A Ride, Party Song and Woman), but rather due to the usurping of the individual musician's rights in order to push through completion of the film; the credit for Take A Ride was given to the wrong person, and no credit whatsoever was given for the other two songs written and performed by Les Adam.  Instead, the film credits read that all songs used in the 2012 film were 'by permission of the source foundation'!  What a joke, when no permission was obtained on the part of the actual songwriters!

Tim Garon was also completely left out/ignored in being given any film credit for his songs Every Morning and Woman Beyond The Sun.  Unbelievably, neither Tim or Les were even given a 'Gratitude' credit!  No effort was made to make sure that the music credits were done correctly in the film; primarily because the two former Source Family people who were working with the filmmakers did not want to involve any other former members, in order for those two individuals to maintain their tight control over the entire project.  Les and I spoke on the phone quite a bit about how angry he was about the way that he was just expected to comply with whatever those two individuals did who had entered into licensing agreements to market and sell the albums that had been made, during the brief window of time The Source Family existed----albums that contained Les Adam's songs and performances and receiving no compensation whatsoever.  Les told me over the phone a week or so before he died that he had called and asked one of the people if they could help him out with money, since he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer, but was told there was 'no money' for him; yet the person he had asked for money had used profits from the film to fly around the country doing interviews and photo ops about herself.

The defense made by the two individuals who have marketed and sold music calling it 'Source Family music' (this has been going on since the mid-nineties) continue to say there has been no profit made from the sales of any music, and if so that it has been only a miniscule amount----that statement alone was supposed to appease and placate all of the musicians and songwriters who were completely taken advantage of and basically ripped off!  The fact that very little profit has been made, from music sales is beside the point, but it was the only excuse given by the two individuals who ignored addressing the real issue----which was that songs and music have been taken and used without any prior approval or compensation going to the individuals who created the music!  The main issue has been completely ignored, until recently where it appears The Source Foundation is being dissolved (Thank God) and any licensing agreements (a few that had been obtained) had been passed on to Starry Records in Los Angeles supposedly since June, and so it will be interesting to see how that plays out especially since The Source Foundation never secured licensing agreements with all of the songwriters!

But, that's what being in a cult does----it breeds and creates a sense of entitlement among former cult members to take, use and profit from anything that was produced when the cult existed; especially in the delusional belief that any music produced, during the cult belonged to the collective.  It's my understanding from the copyright office that any song recorded after Feb. 15, 1972 was automatically covered by Federal Copyright law and that anyone wanting to sell or distribute albums containing sound recordings needed permission/a signed licensing agreement with the songwriter!  Wow, that didn't happen!  So, two former Source Family cult members put their 'foundation' stamp of ownership on all of the songs and performances made by the individual singers, songwriters and musicians who populated The Source Family.

Although, I do not really fault the filmmakers, because I believe that they were given false, misleading and incorrect information to begin with by the two individuals hellbent on their own self-promotion who convinced the filmmakers they owned all of the rights to all of the music recorded during The Source Family cult daze.  Les Adam died a few months ago never seeing a single dime from the use and sales of any of his songs or performances from his time spent in The Source Family, because two individuals felt that they had more right to his music than he did.  For me, this was and is unforgivable and amidst the self-proclaimed 'high priestess' and 'keeper of the archives' of one individual and all of the other lofty titles adopted by the two people behind the licensing and sales of what has been called 'Father Yod' or 'Source Family' music has been nothing more than greedy self-promotion, along with an in-your-face blatant ripoff of all the songs and music created by individuals who should have been rightfully acknowledged and compensated.  Weak platitudes after-the-fact are the only thing offered, by the person who is the worst offender.  I ask the public this:  how would you feel if your deceased husband's or wife's or own parent's songs and music were taken and used in both a film and on a soundtrack without your prior knowledge or approval?  And how in God's name did The Source Foundation have the right to pass on or sell the 'rights' to all of the albums produced during the heyday of The Source Family to another record label, when they/'the foundation' held no rights to the music, to begin with!  This makes no sense to me whatsoever----how other entities can sell/profit from the songs and music of other people where no licensing agreements or contracts were ever obtained!  Do you think that it is ethically, morally or legally right that someone else sell your family member's songs and music with absolutely no compensation going to the artist or the artist's family?  In my mind, the rightful heirs ie the sons and daughters/wives/husbands (including Jim Baker's own biological children) of any singer/songwriter/musician who performed on any of the albums that were produced and recorded during the time the entire Source Family lived together (circa 1973) should be compensated for the continued sales or use of any of the music.  But, hey that's just me.