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 taking place, is what I see as a desperate attempt by a couple of former 'family' members to propel themselves into the public spotlight along with the appropriation of all of the music that came out of the group; completely ignoring, sidelining, and omitting or reimbursing the songwriters and musicians who wrote and performed on every single original piece of music that was made during 'the source family' experience.  In what I see as a pleasant form of piracy; a couple of people who were in The Source Family have taken it upon themselves to represent the entire body of former 'source family' members by entering into licensing agreements to market and sell songs and music, in order to promote themselves and maintain their false sense of control.  Oh, in the minds of two people, it's all been above board and legal; for them to license songs and music created by the individual songwriters and musicians who were in The Source Family, regardless of whether anyone approved or not, or signed anything!  The majority of songwriters and musicians who performed on what is considered 'source family music' have never seen a dime from any of the sales!  But, the two people pushing and promoting the entire Source Family mythos on to an unsuspecting public feel very justified in everything that they have done.  Operating on the assumption that nobody was going to challenge anything that either of these two did, they have 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 completely ignoring the feelings or wishes of some of the individuals who contributed to the volume of music produced.  Les Adam (aka Rhythm) was one of those individuals who was completely ignored and his rights trampled on and 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 he wasn't even credited in the 2012 documentary 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 documentary; 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 documentary 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 'source family' members, in order for them to maintain their tight control.  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 the two individuals did who had entered into licensing agreements to market and sell the albums that were made, during the brief window of time 'the source family' existed; albums which contain his songs and performances; receiving no compensation whatsoever.  He 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 documentary to fly around the country doing interviews and photo ops about herself.  Yet, 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; it is only a miniscule amount, and that statement alone is supposed to appease and placate all of the musicians or artists who have been completely taken advantage of, and essentially ripped off!  The fact that very little profit has been made, from the sales of music is beside the point; but has been the only excuse given by the two individuals who have ignored addressing the real issue; which is 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 seems 'the source foundation' is being dissolved (Thank God) and all 'licensing agreements' (that were obtained) had been passed on to Starry Records in Los Angeles; supposedly since June; so it will be interesting to see how that plays out; especially since 'the foundation' never secured licensing agreements with all of the songwriters!  But, that's what being in a cult does; it breeds a sense of entitlement among its former members to take and use, and profit from anything that was produced when the cult existed; in a delusional belief that any music produced 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 those sound recordings needed permission/a signed licensing agreement with the songwriter!  Wow, that didn't happen!  So, two former 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'.  I do not really fault the filmmakers though; 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 that was made, during 'the source family' 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' and all of the other lofty titles of one of the main people behind the sales of 'Father Yod' and 'Source Family' music is nothing more than greedy self-promotion, along with an in-your-face blatant ripoff of 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 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 does '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 off the songs and music of others where no licensing agreements or contracts are even in place!  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 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 they either wrote or performed on.  But, hey that's just me.