Featured Artists Snowed Under

As Britain ground to a halt under a flurry of snow, the Featured Artists Coalition was forced to scrap its first meeting in London because people couldn’t get to it.

The city’s buses weren’t running Feb. 2 and neither were many of its tube trains, which meant the musicians’ bid for a bigger slice of digital royalties had to be put aside for another day.

Photo: Rod Tanaka
Radiohead bring their enigmatic musc to life at the Denver area’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The coalition, which includes Radiohead, Gang Of Four, Robbie Williams and Billy Bragg, was founded last year. It has 700 members and says recording rights, largely owned by the music labels, should be owned by the artists and then leased back to the music labels or other business partners.

Radiohead took the lead in 2007 and released its In Rainbows album through its Web site at a price of the consumer’s choice. The album’s success proved that established acts could survive without record labels.

In many cases, the ones with the biggest contractual problems are the artists whose deals were signed before the online music retail explosion.