Amie Street Also Takes Away Features... But At Least Is Honest And Upfront About How They Hate Having To

from the take-a-lesson,-emusic dept

We've covered how eMusic (which had a fantastic reputation for a while) totally failed in communicating changes to its service, which involved increasing prices and taking away many valued features. The company tried to bury that news along with the fact that Sony Music would now be included, not recognizing that many of its users didn't care, and were pissed off at the way eMusic presented this as a good thing. At least some others may be learning. Ragaboo alerts us that online music site Amie Street is also removing some features (such as the ability to redownload tracks -- just like eMusic has done), but did so by admitting that it sucked and apologizing, but basically saying its hands were tied. They also gave advance warning of the changes. While Ragaboo isn't thrilled about he, notes that he appreciated the honesty from the company. Here's the email that he received:
"In several weeks we're going to be making a change to how Amie Street handles downloads, and we want to be certain you are fully informed in advance about this change. In brief, starting on August 5th we'll only be able to offer a single download of your purchased music unless you've encountered a technical problem.

Although most people only download their music one time, we've noticed that you have done so more than once on occasion. We realize that the ability to re-download files has been important to you, so it's understandable that you might be disappointed to see this no longer available. Unfortunately a number of factors beyond our control, including legal and royalty concerns, have made this impossible going forward.

We're very happy to say, however, that you can continue to stream all of the music you've purchased on Amie Street. That means wherever you have access to the internet, you also have immediate and unrestricted access to stream the entirety of your Amie Street music collection from your Library.

To make sure that downloading music continues to be as easy as possible, we'll be keeping a close eye on the user experience and making updates to the site as needed. The primary voice that directs any such changes will be yours, so if you have suggestions based on your experiences using the site, we'd love to hear from you. Tell us exactly what you like and don't like, and we can make Amie Street even better!

Peace,

The Amie Street Team""
Of course, the fact that both Amie Street and eMusic have removed the ability to redownload tracks over royalty issues makes you wonder what exactly is the issue here. Are record labels really demanding a royalty payment every time people redownload a song?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Well of course they are. Just like they expect a cut if you buy a second cd. How else are they going to make money if they don't wring it out of the consumer?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Re:

    Nothing like jumping to an unproven conclusion. Perhaps the services were trying to make money by buying a cheaper license and not passing the savings on to their customers, and can't afford to pay a full license that would include re-download options.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Huh?, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    But ... but ..

    "The primary voice that directs any such changes will be yours, ..." That's why we're notifying you of a change not driven by your voice, but by the lawyers of the greedy corporations trying to control all access to all music, including music you have legally and profitably(for them) downloaded, but you don't really own.

     

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  4.  
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    Matt Tate (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not a doctor, but I believe you just proved his point. Why should re-downloading a song require a more expensive license?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Matt Tate

    It should require a more expensive license because then someone could potentially download a song FIFTY TIMES, and then they'd have FIFTY SONGS and they only paid for one!!

    Jeez, sometimes reading these things makes me so irrationally angry inside. It makes me want to highlight my entire 5000+ mp3 library and just press Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V Ctrl-V Ctrl-V till my harddrive is full, just to spite the record companies. The sick thing is that I can almost imagine the record companies demanding a royalty for that. "HEY THAT KID MADE A HUNDRED ILLEGAL COPIES OF THAT SONG ON HIS HARDDRIVE, LETS CHARGE HIM TWO MILLION DOLLARS HAHAHA"

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Gregory Carrier, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    royalties

    I understand that it can be difficult to coordinate complex web systems and rules with laws and contracts. However, one shouldn't start distributing intellectual property without understanding the laws and contracts governing the royalties and distribution. Greg DashBook: Royalty Software

     

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  7.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 8:25pm

    Re: royalties

    And who here in this particular situation is "distributing intellectual property without understanding the laws and contracts"?? I'm confused, WTH are you talking about?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:38pm

    "While Ragaboo isn't thrilled about he, notes that he appreciated the honesty from the company"

    shouldn't that be
    "While Ragaboo isn't thrilled about it, he notes that he appreciated the honesty from the company" ?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Matt Tate

    "It should require a more expensive license because then someone could potentially download a song FIFTY TIMES, and then they'd have FIFTY SONGS and they only paid for one!!"

    I understand that common sense might be a difficult concept for you, but if they wanted to do that they could just download the same song ONCE and make FIFTY COPIES.

     

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  10.  
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    Fatduck (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:05am

    *WHOOSH*

     

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  11.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: royalties

    I think he's just here to promote his own software. Not really to comment on the stories.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Hugh, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:47am

    I have a friend that gets royalty checks, and yes the writers and producers do believe that they should be paid everytime you listen to a song or download a song.

     

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  13.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    What they should have done .....

    They should have set this up so that the songs author/copyright holder decides which songs can be re-downloaded and for how much on a song or album basis .... That would have removed amie street from the fray and shown the users of Amie street who wanted this.

    Not sure if this is on my list I am to lazy/wiped to check this my past posts AM ....

    246 note/entry) Allow the songs owner to set the re-download fee from $0.0 (free) to $n.n (what ever fee they want to charge)

    Again I love this place there are so many Gems here....

    Mediocre Ole grin

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Dey Martin, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    mTraks re-downloads

    mTraks is a subscription download service like emusic but it also allows for unsubscribed users to make a la carte download purchases AND you can re-download any track that you have purchased from the service. www.mtraks.com.

     

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  15.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matt Tate

    Please read his entire comment again, and then if necessary adjust your sarcasm detector.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Frank Hecker, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Concerns about abusing re-download capability?

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned one underlying concern about re-download capability: That some customers could abuse it by sharing their account information with their friends, who could then download their own copies of the tracks already downloaded by the subscriber.

    I personally think this concern is overblown. After all, people who want to abuse their subscriptions could just make copies of the tracks for their friends, or upload the tracks to a P2P network. Nonetheless I think this concern has at least some validity, and IIRC it was mentioned by eMusic and/or some eMusic subscribers when discussing the similar change at eMusic. One obvious way to address the issue is to limit the number of times a subscriber can re-download a track, which IIRC is what eMusic did. (I don't think they prohibit re-downloading entirely.)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    magnafides, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Re: Concerns about abusing re-download capability?

    The statement in your second paragraph is precisely why nobody has mentioned it:

    "After all, people who want to abuse their subscriptions could just make copies of the tracks for their friends, or upload the tracks to a P2P network."

    This is so obvious (to us, not to the record companies) that it doesn't need to be explicitly stated.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Richard, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: royalties

    If you really were "distributing intellectual property" then you would actually be assigning copyright to the people you were distributing to so afterwards they would own the rights and be able to do whatever they wanted with it.

    Seems like YOU don't really understand what you are talking about. I think what you meant to say was "distributing data that is subject to intellectual property rights" or as I would prefer to say - and it makes more sense this way - "distributing data that is subject to Intellectual Monopoly Concessions"

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matt Tate

    I'm sorry, it's just that so many people sincerely post stupid things it's hard to know when someone is being sarcastic anymore.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    "It should require a more expensive license because then someone could potentially download a song FIFTY TIMES, and then they'd have FIFTY SONGS and they only paid for one!! "

    As contrasted to the situation of them downloading once and then copy/pasting it 500 times in a folder in their comp.

    /facepalm.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: /facepalm

    You should really read the whole comment before you make faulty and/or premature assumptions.

    "It should require a more expensive license because then someone could potentially download a song FIFTY TIMES, and then they'd have FIFTY SONGS and they only paid for one!! "

    =

    Sarcasm.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2009 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Concerns about abusing re-download capability?

    Yeah, exactly.

    That's part of the reason why this stuff is getting criticised. The only remotely logical reasons for these changes are so that the labels either a) get paid for multiple copies or b) try to prevent file sharing.

    However, this really does neither one. A person who downloaded an album, only to have it wiped from their hard drive or otherwise lost before they had chance to back it up is probably not going to buy another copy. They'll more likely either write it off as bad luck, or download a copy off P2P (after all, they already paid for it, and since it costs virtually nothing for the label to produce another copy, why should they pay full price again?).

    The file sharing argument is also bunk, as you pointed out. It only takes one digital copy of the original file on P2P for infinite copies to be available. These restrictions yet again only affect paying customers and does more to promote "piracy" than prevent it.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    frogkopf, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    I think a big reason for them doing so this a result of the worry that people might share their account information with friends and they with their friends, etc..

    This would allow multiple people to download the songs instead to the only original purchaser. With nothing more than a user name and password. If the original user has to pay for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., downloads, they're not apt to share that info.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    roxanneadams (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 3:37am

    Re:

    I've been buying MP3s for years, and never once have I felt the need to let a friend log into any of my online accounts to download a song that I'd already paid for. It seems like a ridiculous policy change that will irritate the hell out of the customers without accomplishing anything useful.

    The media companies - networks, movie studios, record companies, online MP3 stores - are doing everything they possibly can to alienate their paying customers. From neutering Hulu to suing RedBox out of existence, the entertainment industry is hastening its own death.

     

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


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