Re: Lib DeVitto Sues Billy Joel.
I only read about 10% of your post; but what I did read was very interesting. :)
The legal merits of the Liberty De Vitto case are unknown, but I think you are very correct in stating that this is an example of a high profile musician doing something that needs to be addressed on a broader scale, and the examples you gave like 50 Ways are really great indications of the problem. There are some great grooves out there, and in many contexts the groove not only adds something unique to the song, but also sells the song from the get go. There are examples of where the groove writes the song. Take Five is one.
I think that this is a larger scale problem in the music industry. Many musicians up front sign away a lot of their royalty rights. In the book confessions of the Record Producer, Moses Avalon talks about this. He states the the record companies best asset is the young green kid who has been told his whole life he has no talent. When the record company signs him to a three record deal, he is just so happy to be making music his life, he signs away all his royalties.So one always needs to be clear.
I think we as musicians ourselves have a lot of biases about making music. We want it to be something special,. It is nice to talk to people who don't have those types of biases and see what they say about the business of making music your livelihood. There is really nothing 'special' about it.
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"