Restoration – The Lifeblood of  Human Recovery

By Errol Michael Henry

RESTORATION

noun:

The act of renewal, revival or re-establishment

The return of something to a former owner under legal restraint


Hope springs eternal. Hope and expectation provide food for the soul. The prospect of gains (however they are defined) inspire people to go the extra mile, dig a little deeper and believe even more in the possibilities that hope affords. Losses occur when hope is dashed. People lose confidence in the power of ‘more’ and the prospect of attainment moves ever further away. The loss of valuable assets effects humans on multiple levels and the music industry has always been adept at taking away precious assets from creative people. The bottom line is that ‘treasure’ is an extremely personal concept and means different things to different people, but anyone who has lost what they deemed to be ‘treasure’ – is going to mourn until it is recovered.

Losses only hurt if we care about what was lost. If you get word that an adversary is no more, I doubt that you’d be too disappointed, but the loss of a valued friend or a relationship you held dear would most likely cause measurable discomfort. Losses are unpleasant, but give rise to a feeling that is hard to properly explain. Restoration makes that which was lost ‘taste’ even better once it has been recovered. We (human beings) don’t necessarily set out to be perpetually ungrateful, but the phrase: “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” should be partnered by “but you’ll appreciate it much more – if you ever get it back.” Restoration is certainly a welcome balm, but always remember that prevention is better than the cure.

The prospect of career advancement is an attractive enticement but often leads to enslavement.

I guard the well-being of my intellectual assets like a hawk and value them greatly. Do I appreciate them more now than I used to – most definitely. I have learned (through bitter experience) that music is more than mere data. It is more than a product simply to be traded for cash. I did deals that required me to surrender ownership of my music. I was prepared to let my creations go because I sincerely believed that others were better placed to take them to a level beyond my reach. I later discovered to my great costs that all I had actually done was leave myself open to be abused, cheated and let down by dishonourable people.

I signed over ownership of my most valued assets in the false belief that I was doing what was best for the compositions themselves. I doubt that I will be the last person to discover that trusting vast corporations to take proper care of creative resources represents an expensive mistake. I want to forewarn as many people as possible of the risks involved in dealing with major music companies because I found out too late how little regard many of them have for written contracts and just how readily they are prepared to breach them. Once it became clear that my decision to entrust my recordings to these companies was a grave error – I had only one objective in mind – I had to get my music back.

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It hasn’t been easy but there have been some notable successes in the fight against ‘the big boys’.

I felt that I had no choice but to fight behemoths like Atlantic Records, Universal Music and Warner-Chappell Music for the return of what rightfully belonged to me and after much stalling, evading, bullying, threatening and denying any wrong-doing, they all eventually returned my property. The return of resources once considered lost, is a wonderful feeling. The return of assets that were previously held captive represents a new beginning and a meaningful opportunity to try again. Restoration is an amazing thing and I am fully committed to helping as many people as I can to experience the sheer joy of getting back property or freedoms they perhaps believed were lost forever.

Global conglomerates are highly skilled in separating musicians from their rights with promises of investment, promotion and international sales, but even after these promises prove false, they remain determined to keep the resultant recordings forever. Many people don’t realise that hanging on to other people’s creative assets represents a fundamental policy designed to secure the long-term survival of some of the biggest and best-known companies on the planet. Many of these massive companies literally have no idea what music assets they have acquired over the years and even less idea about the artists who created them, but flatly refuse to set those people free. For some, keeping people or their musical output tied up isn’t really about commerce – it’s simply about greed and power. Restoring music copyrights to their rightful owners would enable those artists to gain greater economic strength whilst weakening avaricious, unreasonable corporations, so I am very motivated to aide creative people in this regard.

Anyone who has ever benefited from it knows precisely why restoration is so important.

Music moves listeners in a variety of ways. Some delight in the soulful offerings of Marvin Gaye, while others prefer what the Rolling Stones have to offer. Music has the power to stir thoughts of love, rage or nostalgia, yet the general public have no idea how much some artists went through to create the music that generates those memorable experiences. There are musicians sitting somewhere right now being ‘tortured’ by the sound of their own performances. They were never recognised, rewarded or given the opportunity to profit from their own creations, so every time someone mentions how much the love that particular piece of music, the knife twists again in an already wounded heart. Music companies would cease to exist without a constant supply of creative output, yet too many of them treat musicians with complete contempt. If a company has no desire to promote or commercially utilise someone’s music – they should just give it back to them and let them get on with their lives.

Money is only one aspect of restoration. The return of people’s self respect would also help them become better citizens within the global music community. The recovery of my own copyrights had a profoundly positive effect on me and inspired me to take practical measures to enable others to see their freedom, assets and hopes restored too. Music Justice is fully committed to aiding those who want to escape the cycle of mistreatment that has for too long been an accepted facet of the entertainment industry. We are encouraging people to share their experiences – for the good of others who have yet to discover what the music business is really like under the surface. If more artists speak-up about the abuses they have suffered, the losses they have endured, the detrimental compromises they agreed to or the deals they should never have done, they could help to prevent the same damaging things from happening to the next generation.

Restoration empowers people to rebuild their lives and to recover their self respect.

Having seen it first-hand I can attest that there is something incredibly empowering about restoration. Confidence returns. Inspiration returns. Hope is reborn and passion once dimmed, rushes back like a flood. I have lost some recordings – and I have received some back again. I have given this matter a great deal of thought and there isn’t a single deal that resulted in the loss of my music that I’d ever do again given the opportunity to remedy my former mistakes. I definitely made some poor choices and paid dearly for them, but I have no regrets about my decision to fight for the return of my music. It was very important for me on a personal level to stand my ground and to let the companies know that I would never back down and would persist in hounding them – until they returned my property to me. Getting my music back gave me the practical means to put my badly broken life back together – one song at a time and provided demonstrable evidence with which I could encourage others to fight for their rights too.

Music Justice wants to ensure that artists and musicians are properly represented, protected and empowered to manage their careers as they see fit – free from manipulation, abuse or theft. If you believe that our experience and expertise in recovering rights and negotiating advantageous settlements might be of interest to you, Contact Us Today. “Let us fight for you.” – Errol Michael Henry

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