Musicians Want To Be Paid Multiple Times If Concert Tickets Are Resold

from the perhaps-you-shouldn't-have-sold-it-so-cheaply-in-the-first-place dept

What is it with the music industry always running to the gov't to try to grant them a new "rights" that force people to pay up for things that the musicians have already been paid for? There are so many different "rights" involved it's nearly impossible for people to keep track of them -- and now they're asking for more. Specifically, the managers of a bunch of well known musicians are asking for a "resale right" that would mean that any time a concert ticket is resold the musician gets some of the money again. This is double (or triple or quadruple or whatever) paying. The musician chose to sell the tickets at a certain price, and if there's a resale market, that's between the buyer and seller -- not the musician.

This really highlights an increasingly disturbing trend of trying to create "copyright-like" regulations on what you can do with non-information goods. In a normal, functioning economy, if you buy something, it's yours. You are then free to do what you want with it, whether that's modify it, enhance it, destroy it or resell it. In the copyright world, there is some ability to mimic this behavior with a "right of first sale," but there are still so many limitations within copyright that others have looked to take those limitations beyond copyright. We've already seen efforts, such as the law in Japan to ban the sale of some used electronics as well as a push in the UK to grant artists a resale royalty as well (so that any time a piece of their artwork is resold, the artists would get another cut).

While the aims of the music managers may be good (they claim it's to protect consumers from being ripped off by scalpers), the means are highly questionable. A market is efficient for a reason, and giving the original "owner" the right to a cut from every resale messes with that efficiency and is simply unnecessary. It simply becomes a way to get paid multiple times for the same product, distorting the real market.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    canoneos, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    First

    Money grubbing morons.

     

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    Mike M (not Mike Masnick), Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:32pm

    WOW

    WOW...What's next...When I resell my used '99 s10 then Chevy get's a cut? Or if sell my baseball cards collection from when I was a kid, Topps get a cut? Or if my son sells lemonade on the corner, he owes the C&H (Sugar), city water district and lemon flavor company a cut?

    What would happen if I bought a ticket, resold it, and the person who bought it from me resold it...does that mean I get a cut?

    This is totally ludacris.

    I would like to know how they plan on tracking the reselling.

     

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    TheDock22, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Too bad...

    Representatives of more than 400 performing artists, including the Verve, Robbie Williams, Arctic Monkeys, KT Tunstall and Radiohead, have banded together to create the Resale Rights Society, which intends to license the unregulated secondary ticketing market on sites such as eBay, Viagogo, Seat Exchange, Seatwave and GetMeIn.

    And everyone was just starting to like RadioHead for being so hip and starting a "new trend" to shake the music industry.

     

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      Billy, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Too bad...

      It's the rep for Radiohead, not Radiohead themselves. It's important to make the distinction between the companies that do the actual ripping off and the artists whose interests the companies are supposedly protecting. Many artists disagree with the rules of their record company.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Too bad...

        Many artists disagree with the rules of their record company.
        Or claim that they do (good for PR). Yet, they sign on with them.

         

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Obvious Alternative...

    Hey dumbass musicians! Think you hot stuff???

    Try auctioning off your seats the day before the concert.

    Two possible outcomes:

    Maximum Profit$$$
    or
    Empty Hall.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:43pm

    Sounds good

    But if they are wanting to collect from the second sell, does that mean that they are going to give a refund to the original purchaser of the ticket?

    The way tickets sales are set up now, they get a cut per seat/ticket which would show that they are providing a service (entertainment) to the person sitting in that seat. Not sure how they would expect to collect twice on the same seat, since there is only one person sitting there and they have already been compensated for providing the service to that person.

     

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    Barrenwaste, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:47pm

    You know....

    ...maybe it's time we banded together and refused to buy any of this crap. Let them taste a year of no profits or so and then see what all the fuss is about. I know I have enough music at home that I could go for a year without purchasing more. We could still get live performances from local and bar bands during that year, might even liven the music industry up a little. It's been stuck on rap and hip hop for about 10 years now. Time for something new and fresh. Like those kids playing modern music on violins and whatnot.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:54pm

      Re: You know....

      if you do that, then they'll fight for a law to force you to pay to go to there events.
      After all if you're not going to there events, you must be stealing from them.

       

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    An attempt to discourage, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:56pm

    professional scalpers

    This may be a backhanded attempt at curtailing professional ticket scalpers. A lot of entertainment tickets are gobbled up by professional scalpers who resell on the secondary market. These resellers create artificial shortages and drive up prices to the real fans. [And they are just greedy f*cks trying to get another slice of the pie.]

    It will fail because how can you possibly track the original purchaser especially if it is an all cash deal? Dumb and dumber.

     

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      Vincent Clement, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

      Re: professional scalpers

      First, there is nothing wrong in being a greedy fuck. Greed is good. It forces people to determine what are their needs and what are their wants.

      Second, there is no artificial shortage. Tickets are already a scarce resource: there are only so many people you can fit into a venue. If the artist is popular those tickets will be even more valuable.

      Third, it takes two to tango. Scalpers can't sell tickets if there is no demand for them. When demand outstrips supply, prices tend to increase. Scalpers are simply extracting that price increase. The transaction is completely voluntary - no one is being forced to buy those tickets.

       

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    Devil's Advocate, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    Actually, this isn't exactly like reselling a car, or electronics, or even art as Mike suggests. It's far far worse.
    When you resell a car you're being "compensated" for not driving it again. Even if you end up selling it for more than you bought it - you're still not driving it again so Chevy can still sell you another car. Still, it could be argued that if you couldn't sell it they'd still make money selling your buyer a new car hence they want a cut (not that I agree with the reasoning but it makes more sense in CDs than it does in cars).

    When you resell a ticket you're selling something you haven't used at all. If you couldn't sell it and didn't want it you could probably get a refund (since you're either selling or returning the ticket ahead of time), and the artist wouldn't get any more money. Which makes sense - same amount of audiance members = same amount of money for the artists.
    You don't get paid for doing nothing. Unless you're a politician.

     

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      LBD, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 4:41pm

      Re:

      Except that you're being compensated for not being able to go to the concert... or you can buy a new ticket.

      The difference between digital goods and physical goods is that digital goods have a near zero cost of manufacture, and physical goods have non-zero scarcity.

      So with digital goods you give something away, and you still have it. With physical goods you give something away and it's gone.

       

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    Kelly Elder, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:03pm

    Money grubbing people

    As if making 5 million dollars a year isnt enough....

     

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    Vincent Clement, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:03pm

    Artists should recognize that tickets are a scarce resource and auction them off. Obviously fans are willing to pay a premium. Why not extract the full revenue potential of that scarce resource?

    I blame the extension of copyright to life plus 70 years for this sense of entitlement. Imagine this: 70 years after JK Rowling passes, her children (or her grandchildren), despite having nothing to do with the series, will still be receiving royalties for Harry Potter. How is that promoting innovation?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      Artists should recognize that tickets are a scarce resource and auction them off.

      Actually some artists do. Dave Matthews Band auction off some 1st, 2nd, and 3rd row tickets for popular concerts and give the proceeds away to charity. Last year, most pairs of tickets sold for $2000 +.

       

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    Steevo, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:11pm

    Their own medicine...

    Maybe the companies making the amps and guitars and other equipment should charge all the bands every time "their" equipment is used to make money for the band. Every recording, every concert, every jingle, every ringtone, etc. Oh, what's the matter musicians? Don't like the taste? *shrug* Anyway...I'll just go on DL'ing music that makes me pay too much and buying music I like from places that don't charge too much ( http://www.eslmusic.com/ ).

     

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    Kevin, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Slippery Slope.

    Quote:

    The musician chose to sell the tickets at a certain price, and if there's a resale market, that's between the buyer and seller -- not the musician.

    Couldn't this apply to the content sold by the writers in hollywood to the tv studio's? Isn't profit made by the buyer from advertisements accompanying online broadcasts "a resale market, that's between the buyer and seller -- not the [writer]"?

    It sounds like you believe the writers strike isn't justified. If so, why not?

    Kevin

     

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      Vincent Clement, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:22pm

      Re: Slippery Slope.

      The writers strike is not justified. They have already been paid for their work.

      In no shape or form should they be entitled to residuals. It's one thing to negotiate residuals when a movie studio or production company is interested in purchasing your script, it's another thing to have them apply automatically.

      If a movie or tv show loses money, do the writers owe the production company or movie studio money?

       

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      Mike (profile), Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Slippery Slope.

      Couldn't this apply to the content sold by the writers in hollywood to the tv studio's? Isn't profit made by the buyer from advertisements accompanying online broadcasts "a resale market, that's between the buyer and seller -- not the [writer]"?

      Yes, exactly.

      It sounds like you believe the writers strike isn't justified. If so, why not?

      I don't think it's justified. I explained why here:

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071115/162115.shtml

      And, yes, you'll note that the reasoning is the same.

      There's no slippery slope here. The reasoning is the same in both cases.

       

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      LBD, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 4:47pm

      Re: Slippery Slope.

      The difference is that the writers are not looking for a law: They are looking for a re-write of their contracts. In other words: They don't want a law compensating them for their work on the internet: They want their employer to pay royalties for all sales of their work in any form.... but only their employer. The people they have the contract with.

      A law means even if you don't have a contract with them, you have to pay them royalties for re-sale. It would be like the writers striking for a piece of every selling of a DVD in a garage sale.

       

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    David, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:16pm

    Probably not about repaying, but in stopping Recor

    I'd bet that the contracts between Artists and their Record Labels (or other ticket agencies) are structured such that in order to hold a concert the Artists are required to sell the tickets at a given price, then that buying entity quickly marks them up to a much higher number and resells them "pre-issue" through a number of shell companies effectively depriving the artists of deserved revenue.

    I'm all for a law prohibiting this kind game playing, but not for Artist's "resell tax" right to double and tripple diping.

     

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    Fred, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:20pm

    Scalping...be real

    If you are scalping a ticket the odds are you are not doing it legally. You are not collecting or paying taxes.

    Scalping is already considered bad. If the current laws to shut it down and curtail it don't work. Why make more?

    It is like outlawing committing suicide.

     

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    y8, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:40pm

    that's one idea

    I've been trying to come up with a way for performers to thwart scalpers. I know that most performers get upset that (1) the scalpers sometimes make more money than the performers, (2) the fans take the brunt of it, and (3) there are tickets sold that go unused because the scalpers can't sell them all at the scalping price.

    I think starting ticket sales at some rediculous high price and lowering the price as the performance date approaches will kill the resale market for high price tickets.

    Also, any seats that go unclaimed after the first 20 minutes of a performance could be given out at the box office (or re-sold if you're a pessimist). This would require tracking which tickets have actually been redeemed at the door. So fans could show up at the box office for '1st come -- 1st served' unclaimed seats. I would think that a scalper in Texas that can't unload all of his Chicago performance tickets on line would not be able to distribute those unsold tickets in an efficient manner to gain any value; so a fan could show up and claim a seat paid for by a scalper. Also, fans unwilling to pay outrageous scalping prices will have some recourse to actually see the show without falling victim to the artificial scaricty of product created by the scalping industry.

    Finally, limiting the quantity and/or quality of seats available on-line or by phone order would reduce the 'corporate' scalpers ability to buy tickets in venues outside of thier locality. This absolutely sucks for people that want to see a show in a nearby regional place (like people going from Indianapolis to Chicago). It also sucks for people that cannot get to the box office during normal working hours either because of work/school conflict or transportation problems. This method could also just give preference to 'local' scalpers. But I think it's better than the current situation.

    I'd love to hear if other people had reasonable ideas for how to slow the scalping trend without hurting fans or performers. My daughter would love to see 'Hanna Montana' but there's no way in heck I'm paying $2000 a ticket. I find it hard to believe that there are many people that would pay multiple hundreds of dollars for that show, yet the ticket prices have remained stable on-line. The problem that needs to be overcome is the artificial scaricty of product that is used to manipulate the free market of the internet.

     

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      Kevin, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:58pm

      Re: that's one idea

      any seats that go unclaimed after the first 20 minutes of a performance could be given out at the box office (or re-sold if you're a pessimist)

      This is not realistic. Most show's now have up to 3 opening acts. I generally do not show up for a concert until 90 minutes or more have passed since the show begins, because I want to see the headliner not the warm up acts. I don't think forcing everyone to show up within the first 20 minutes is reasonable, and I think it would reduce ticket sales on the whole. I may want to see the act but do I want to see it bad enough to accept being forced to listen through all the openers? Probably not.

       

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        y8, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: that's one idea

        "This is not realistic. Most show's now have up to 3 opening acts. I generally do not show up for a concert until 90 minutes or more have passed since the show begins"

        Fine, make the tickets worthess after 20 minutes of the premier act. I said give me solutions, not whining.

         

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    rEdEyEz, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:42pm

    Extortion...

    ...It's not just for mobsters, unions, spouses, and governments anymore.

     

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    dread, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Is this group of musicians willing to reimburse the original purchaser for tickets sold at less than face value? or not sold at all?

    ...I didn't think so.

     

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    Georgo, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    scalper solution

    A potential solution to scalpers buying up every ticket online was tested by The Arcade Fire for a few new york shows:

    If you bought the ticket online, you had to use your credit card.

    yup, that means people who don't have credit cards couldn't even buy a ticket.

    but it worked.

     

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      Kilgore Trout, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

      Re: scalper solution

      Um... how does this help? Did I miss something?

      If you buy something online, and don't pay with a credit card, how do you pay?

      Or did the joke go over at 10,000 feet?

      --KT

       

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    Paul, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    Tickets are not property

    A concert ticket is a revocable license, it is NOT property. Concert tickets come with terms and agreements, and if they choose to deny right of resale in that license then you are SOL.

    If you don't like it, don't go to the concert.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 5th, 2007 @ 1:53am

      Re: Tickets are not property

      "If you don't like it, don't go to the concert."

      Wow, that's the dumbest comments I've seen today. OK, smartass, tell me how you would be planning to go to the concert if I'm selling the ticket?

      Clearly, if I want to sell my ticket to a friend, neighbour or even on eBay, I'm not planning on going for some reason. Capitalism states that I should be able to attempt to make a profit if I do so. e.g. a friend says, "damn I'll give you an extra $40 for that ticket if I can go!". I say "sure", all of a sudden the artists gets another cut?

      This is dumb, and would only increase the illegal market for ticket if it were to be passed - scalper tickets would become cheaper than legit second-hand tickets. There is no second-hand market where the original creator of the product gets a cut from second-hand sales, and there's no justification for this being the first, other than "oops, we screwed the recorded music industry but live shows are doing well, let's milk that!".

       

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    george, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:53pm

    re scalper solution

    edit:

    you had to **show** the credit card at the door that was used to purchase the ticket(s). i think the limit was 2 or 4.

     

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    ecallene, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:53pm

    But the money doesn't really go to the musicians a

    The contract is between the venue and the ticket sales agent, since musicians don't actually get a portion of the 'ticket sales' (according to union regulations and standard contracts, musicians perform for a set fee, unless we're talking about an amateur bar band or something - a ticketed event does not pay the musician a portion of the door). So the money actually goes to the venue and the event organizer. Which once again screws both the musician and the audience.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:48pm

      Re: But the money doesn't really go to the musicia

      The contract is between the venue and the ticket sales agent, since musicians don't actually get a portion of the 'ticket sales' (according to union regulations and standard contracts, musicians perform for a set fee, unless we're talking about an amateur bar band or something - a ticketed event does not pay the musician a portion of the door).
      Sounds like they need to change their business model then.

       

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    Eric, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Why musicians? Why not teachers, firemen, doctors

    No, maybe they have the right idea, we just need to extend it to people who are really deserving. It's just that mere entertainers have had better negotiators. Let's get some of that negotiating power into the hands of teachers, for instance.

    That way, a teacher can own a portion of the 'rights' to any earnings or economic products their students produce. What effect would that have on the education system if as a teacher, you knew your future livelihood depended on how well your students do?

    Maybe if a fireman saves a building, he has 'rights' to a portion of the rents from then on, because he risked his life to save it. How many people would scramble to save a burning building then?

    Or how about the medical industry? Doctors and nurses would give away care for free, but get ongoing royalties from the patient only if they stay within certain health norms, are alive and able to work. I'd rather make that kind of regular payment instead of to a freakin' health insurance company - who does nothing for my health but try to minimize my care. Doctors would fall all over themselves to make sure I was healthy and happy with my care so I could keep working and keep up my subscription. No more 'quick fix' medicine...

    No, licensing is the right idea - just for the wrong industry.

     

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    dualboot, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

    scalpers go free, legit people lose money

    My concern with this attempt is that the highest scalping prices occur below the radar, with cash transactions. Hence, the actual scalpers (most anyway) would continue selling without paying any fees... while the legit people who had 2 people back out on going to a concert, but had already paid for the tickets, would be stuck. Besides, have you ever tried selling tickets on ebay? I did when *gasp* 2 friends couldn't get the day off work. Guess what? you can't sell them for more than face value, plus shipping. I would have lost money if I had to pay the artist for the resale, since I wasn't allowed to sell it for more than the $56 each that I paid. I lose, and the scalper on the street wins (unless they prefer me to become a scalper on the street).

    Another example of policy that's supposedly for our own good, that only hurts the legit people, and does nothing to deal with the "trouble-makers" they're trying to punish.

     

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    Overcast, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    Like... an entertainment tax.

    I wonder when they will lobby for that.

     

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    mike, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 2:49pm

    Really?

    What the retard are these buffoons doing now? Other than there being no way to do this, it's just an idiotic idea. Period. You get to sell tickets one time. Once you sell them, they're not yours anymore. There's no 'intellectual property' bs that you can claim you have rights to. It's a seat in an arena. I hate the music industry more and more as time goes on.

     

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    Netguy10, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 3:07pm

    If you want to end scalping then use a system that prints your name on the ticket you bought. You have to show photo ID to prove you are the original ticket holder or the ticket is invalid.

    You could also easily limit purchases to one to a person tracked from your name, address or credit card number.

     

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    Netguy10, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    Allowing a refund for legit customers that bought a ticket but find they can't attend the event would protect fans inability to resell their tickets.

    It seems reasonable to state that refunds will not be allowed x number of days before the event or even pro-rated.

     

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    Dan, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 4:07pm

    Tickets are not property by Paul on Dec 4th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    A concert ticket is a revocable license, it is NOT property. Concert tickets come with terms and agreements, and if they choose to deny right of resale in that license then you are SOL.

    If you don't like it, don't go to the concert.

    If you don't like it don't buy ANYTHING. Terms and CONDITIONS are part of ALL sales of ANY PROPERTY. Don't believe it? Next time you buy something look at the receipt or invoice. The T and C's are printed on the back. And, with T and C's you have a legally binding contract. So why do we need another law when we already have one? The best part is that T and C's can change with every purchase, even from the same vendor--and the most recent "paid for" invoice T and C's are the only ones that count... all others are void. Plain and simple that is contract law.

     

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      LBD, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      Contract law need some reforming, methinks... It shouldn't be possible to be bound to a contract that you don't even know about.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2007 @ 7:57am

      Re: Dan's a Goof

      Next time you buy something look at the receipt or invoice. The T and C's are printed on the back. And, with T and C's you have a legally binding contract.
      They can print whatever they on the back but that doesn't make it enforceable. It's amusing to listen to the people who think that they can basically make their own laws just by writing them down or putting up signs or that laws don't apply on private property.
      Plain and simple that is contract law.
      Dan is obviously not a real lawyer. He doesn't even do a good job of playing one.

       

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    common_sense, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 6:26pm

    why not?!

    our own government does it every time a car is sold, and wants it everytime any goods are sold (garage sales included). they're just following the example of a great tradition.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Eh, I didn't want to go see Hannah Montana anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2007 @ 7:05am

    I just sneak into concerts.

    After all, music should be free.

     

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      RIAA Troll, Dec 5th, 2007 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      I just sneak into concerts.
      After all, music should be free.


      Me too. And then after I finish stealing, I mean downloading, music for the night I go out and kill some neighbors with an ax and run over little kittens with a lawnmower. I'm just a typical file sharer.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Dan, Dec 5th, 2007 @ 7:04pm

    "They can print whatever they on the back but that doesn't make it enforceable. It's amusing to listen to the people who think that they can basically make their own laws just by writing them down or putting up signs or that laws don't apply on private property." uh huh... but that is the way it really works...someone has obviously never had any experience with corporate law and T and C's as applied to customers paying invoices.


    It is NOT about enforceability. It IS about having a contract in hand to complete a transaction. And, those contracts exist in all transactions whether you like it or not. Ask any corporate attorney. No, I am not an attorney, but I have consulted with them over this very issue. Enforcing contracts is totally different from the actual contract...again, ask any corporate attorney. If you have to enforce, you ultimately lose a customer... and that is the fallacy of the whole argument presented here. You enforce, someone loses--unfortunately and usually the person that "agrees" to the the T and C's by PURCHASING ANYTHING.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Steve, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 12:53pm

    Scalping

    As a shameless ticket scalper, I'd love to know how they intend to track these sales because you see, if that were possible I'd have been shut down 20 years ago and not living in a big house in the nice part of town.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Rande, Sep 18th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    You must not know any musicians!!

    If you knew any musicians, you'd know that they are historically paid a tiny fraction of what people with "real jobs" make. Popularity is typically fleeting, so making money while in demand is just plain smart. Next year, that same band may well be loading their expensive gear right back into the Corner Bar where they started out. . . and back to splitting $150 five ways . . . beer tabs not included.

    If you suddenly grew a second head and could carry on a conversation with yourself in public. . . and people wanted to pay to see it . . would you be happy to accept any amount?? Or would you try and get the most you can. . .not knowing when your good fortune might end?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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