Music Publishers, Songwriters To Congress: Our Royalties Should Be Guaranteed, No Matter What The Market Says

from the songs-from-luddites dept

In digging deeper into the request from music publishers and songwriters' representatives after they started demanding performance royalties for the 30-second previews in iTunes, Greg Sandoval was able to get a copy of the letter that was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning copyright laws from the National Music Publishers Association, ASCAP, BMI and the Songwriters Guild. Reading the quotes is stunning, in that you could basically paraphrase them as saying "we are luddites -- do not let technology change the way the world works." Here's one quote:
"Technology should not be used to strip rights from songwriters, composers and music publishers. The choice of certain audiovisual delivery systems or methods over others should not result in a diminution of creators' rights or royalties."
Read that one carefully. They are saying that as technology changes, and as the market changes, their royalties should never be allowed to drop. Notice that they're not taking responsibility for adapting to a changing market. They're not saying that they need to adjust and put in place smarter business models. No, they're saying that Congress somehow needs to guarantee that no matter what happens in the market, their royalties remain the same.

What's really revealing is that this quote highlights the fact that these representatives view their royalties as "rights" to be protected -- not revenue to be earned.

No wonder they're lashing out and doing all sorts of ridiculous stuff like trying to get extra royalties on embedded videos, ringtones and 30 second previews. These are the same groups that have publicly decided they need to try to start a PR campaign against people who are trying to protect user rights and fair use. Since that time, we've noticed various people associated with ASCAP and the Songwriters Guild putting up various blogs attacking copyright skeptics in the most ridiculous ways. There's one, which isn't worth pointing out, where a lawyer who works with these groups regularly mocks Larry Lessig, William Patry, Michael Geist and myself -- using nicknames and making up fanciful stories about us. It's the sort of activity you'd expect from a 12-year-old.

It looks like these groups simply feel entitled to having the government force everyone to hand over money. Songwriters who belong to these organizations are being led down a dangerous path. It seems like there's room in the market for groups to represent songwriters' interests without being anti-fan or anti-technology. Quite clearly, ASCAP, BMI, NMPA and the SGA do not fall into that category. Instead, they're pretending that the world owes them money just for existing, and they're going to lash out anyone who tries to suggest otherwise.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    "They are saying that as technology changes, and as the market changes, their royalties should never be allowed to drop"

    You are reading it sort of wrong, attempting to get into the old "right to get paid" trap you often lay on this blog.

    If song writers have rights to royalties, the method used to deliver, play, or distribute the songs they write should not change those royalties. They aren't asking for an assured payday, they aren't asking to get paid for nothing, they are only stating that they shouldn't lose the rights they already have.

    If you want to change the way songwriters are paid for future work, go for it. If they aren't making enough, most of them will choose not to be songwriters. But don't go back and try to renegotiate the contact that is already there. Have some respect.

     

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  2.  
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    Ed Woychowsky, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:58am

    So...

    They want to go on Welfare?

     

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  3.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    "But don't go back and try to renegotiate the contact that is already there. Have some respect."

    You mean like how the industries have gone back and renegotiated copyright several times in the past already? Or how they are doing it now to remove things that were originally covered under fair use? Or how they are doing it to charge for the same thing twice? Or how they're doing it to charge for things things that were never covered before? Or how they renegotiated to be able to charge for things that they don't even own the copyright on?

     

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  4.  
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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    But they do not have "rights" to be paid. They do not have "rights" to write up contracts that circumvent the way technology works. They do not have "rights" to convince customers to sign away their rights (especially buried under ten tons of legal jargon).

    Last I checked, it was any business' job to convince consumers that there was something of value worth paying for. These organizations are attempting to charge people to do things that the people can do themselves.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re:

    Nice arguments. They fail thought.

    The fair use deal has everything to do with international trade agreements. Get over it already.

    They don't charge for the same thing twice. They charge for two separate things separately.

    Copyright wasn't "renegotiated", it was changed by congress, the house, and signed into law by the president.

    "Or how they renegotiated to be able to charge for things that they don't even own the copyright on?"

    This one doesn't even make sense. What are you babbling about?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re:

    The write your own songs and enjoy them.

    If you want to enjoy the song someone else wrote, well, pay for it already.

    Nobody is forcing you.

     

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  7.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you want to enjoy the song someone else wrote, well, pay for it already."

    If you don't want your song to be copied, imitated, parodied, etc., don't put it out there where people can hear it.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean, pay for the 30 second preview and then pay again for the song?

    Oh, of course you don't mean that, you just forgot to actually comprehend the article before spewing the shilling.

     

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  9.  
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    Kevin (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:37am

    Perhaps I am just being cynical

    I have to unfortunately say that this letter will carry weight. The people who make decisions today may have people in their employ that have an understanding of how technology allows people to connect these days and that what is really needed is a change in the music industries business model, but it will fall on deaf ears. Amidst the current economic climate and how the US Government has handled these types of situations in the past I see them getting most if not all their demands met. Personally it sickens me though since with my career if I do some great I might get a raise. I might not. But I sure as hell am not going to receive residual checks for the next few decades on everything that I have built or sold, and I have never even wanted to get paid for something that someone was looking at in my storefront. Might as well charge admission to have people even enter my store and see what I sell.

     

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  10.  
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    NullOp, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Royalties

    Hey, its getting closer to Christmas. Now is the time for everyone to join the push to leave all the media on the shelves this Xmas. Find something else for that someone you would have given media to. Send the industry a little message about what you think of their behavior!

     

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  11.  
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    lavi d (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Mike...

    No wonder they're lashing out and doing all sorts of ridiculous stuff like trying to get extra royalties on embedded videos, ringtones and 30 second previews.

    Honestly. If you ever find yourself being followed by a black sedan, lose them!

     

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  12.  
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    imfaral (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The fair use deal has everything to do with international trade agreements. Get over it already."
    You mean the ones they made in secret so they could force the US to change it's current laws?
    "Copyright wasn't "renegotiated", it was changed by congress, the house, and signed into law by the president."
    Pretty sure that they negotiated the changes in Congress. It's possible that everyone in Congress had an epiphany all at once but I am going to assume that since I am still alive that didn't happen.
    "This one doesn't even make sense. What are you babbling about?"
    The Happy Birthday song....Or another example http://techdirt.com/articles/20091005/0146316418.shtml

     

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  13.  
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    Sheinen, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    9/10 songs I USED to download on itunes (Stopped when it went up to 99p per song because thats a FUCKING RIP OFF!) were bought and paid for specifically because the 30 second preview sounded really good.

    Without that I'd have bought very precious little!

    Many an hour I spent using the Genius function to find similar artists and check out their songs like that...

    Now they'll just have to flounder in obscurity I guess!

     

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  14.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    This is the incorrect part: songwriters do *NOT* have rights to royalties. Royalties are just a contract which is enforceable, not a law.
    It's like we say: just because you make something, doesnt' mean everyone else should/has to pay for it. Make a song? great. If we're making money off it, do you deserve a cut? NO. This would be because: your music is not the cause of the money, only a part of the result.

    example: I make a lemonade stand and play music at the same time. Do you deserve a cut for the music being yours? no. Do I have to go back and pay the lemon makers again for letting me profit by making lemonade? no.

    People already pay for your music in plenty of forms, saying people have to pay, is a misnomer.

    Be nice to people, and they'll gladly share though. Or you can go to congress and lobby and make yourself look like an ass in which case we will go out of our way to make you look like an ass, and not pay.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you want to enjoy the song someone else wrote, well, pay for it already. Nobody is forcing you."

    Ah but there is the rub. With all of the 'copyright levies' we are forced to pay these days, I AM being forced to pay for songs others wrote.

    And besides I think Mike's interpretation is correct... the quote specifically says "...should not result in a diminution of creators' rights OR ROYALTIES", implying that they are treating rights and royalties as different things, the opposite of your interpretation.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you want to enjoy the song someone else wrote, well, pay for it already. Nobody is forcing you."

    Ah but there is the rub. With all of the 'copyright levies' we are forced to pay these days, I AM being forced to pay for songs others wrote.

    And besides I think Mike's interpretation is correct... the quote specifically says "...should not result in a diminution of creators' rights OR ROYALTIES", implying that they are treating rights and royalties as different things, the opposite of your interpretation.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you want to enjoy the song someone else wrote, well, pay for it already. Nobody is forcing you."

    Ah but there is the rub. With all of the 'copyright levies' we are forced to pay these days, I AM being forced to pay for songs others wrote.

    And besides I think Mike's interpretation is correct... the quote specifically says "...should not result in a diminution of creators' rights OR ROYALTIES", implying that they are treating rights and royalties as different things, the opposite of your interpretation.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry this appeared 3 times, had network troubles :(

     

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  19.  
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    dorp, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    One of these days this particular AC will grow balls to at least not hide with all the other ACs.

    The fair use deal has everything to do with international trade agreements. Get over it already.

    Speaking of failing, do you even know what point you were trying to make there? International trade agreements are driven by industry talking heads, so get over pretending that they just happen.

    They don't charge for the same thing twice. They charge for two separate things separately.

    They do charge twice and will charge more if they can. Try reselling your mp3s and tell us how it goes.

    Copyright wasn't "renegotiated", it was changed by congress, the house, and signed into law by the president.

    Ah, yes, ignoring reality again. Nice move. Industry lobbied/bribed/bought politicians to change the copyright. Stop pretending that it just happens on its own out of nowhere.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    Or, you can look for songs from artists that release them for free. CreativeCommons.org

     

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  21.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nobody is forcing you.

    That's exactly the point, Mr. Shill, that strikes fear in the hearts of so many lazy "artists" who want to keep getting paid for doing absolutely nothing. No one can force us to buy anymore. We have so many other options that circumvent your silly "sell plastic discs" business models that you fear that you might have to get off your collective asses and work again. So you and your Executive Overlords are lobbying fast and hard to apply old laws to new technologies, or worse, to outright eliminate the new technologies. Your fear is not my concern. If any of you had talent, you'd know that the future is with you. However, somewhere along the lines "talent" has been replaced with "marketability". When I can download your entire shitty catalog and make an informed decision to not give you my money, you call it theft. When I can stream your shitty song to my computer for free, you act to apply old rules to that technology to cripple it, if not to outright kill it. *You* are so afraid of having to work like the majority of us that you have resorted to attacking your own fans, who ask only that they get what they want, when they want, how they want for a price they want. Your fans are not the problem, My Shilly friend, it's the people who download your song and decide you are a shitty artist, *that* is who you should be dealing with. Those are your so-called "lost sales", the one who are informed about your complete lack of talent and refuse to fund your "artistic" endeavors.

    The standards of being a musician have now been raised. Those without talent need not apply.

    Good day, sir/ma'am.

     

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  22.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re:

    "Or, you can look for songs from artists that release them for free. CreativeCommons.org"

    I just an idea! Goes along with a previous commenter in a past post about crowd sourcing book writing...

    Release a general premise and the first chapter for a novel with a CC license on a blog/site/whatever. Build interest in concept. THEN solicit entries by writers to write their version of the next chapter, charging say $25 per entry . Put each chapter up on the site for review for 2 weeks, the one with the highest vote ranking is incorporated into the novel. I, as the original author, write Chapter 3. Repeat process on submissions/voting for, say, 20 chapters.

    Ideally you'd want this to have the backing of a forward thinking publisher that would agree to assist to publish the end result in some form. Royalities on the full book would be shared with contributing writers.

    Thoughts?

     

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  23.  
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    wallow-T, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    all pirate, all the time

    I think the final trend is clear. Because of the publishers' refusal to budge, no authorized music service can set a price which the market will accept. Because of the lawsuit mine fields, venture capitalists are losing interest in the music space.

    The future of music is all pirate, all criminal, all the time.

    "The Internet interprets unreasonable price demands as censorship and routes around them." :-)

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and nobody is forcing you to write and release a song. If you don't want others to copy your song then don't write and release it. But don't ask the government for ridiculously long intellectual property terms.

     

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  25.  
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    Jason, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    Funny, the very thing that convinces me to spend money on a song (the 30s sample), is what they're trying to get paid for.

    But if I can't sample the song in many cases, I'm also not going to buy, and if prices go up I'm not going to buy either. There are many cases where I've looked for 20 year old songs on iTunes and found them listed for $1.29 and walked away.

    They will LOSE money if they win this. If they eliminate samples or increase the price, the well sell far less music and not more.

    Also, if the only way to hear samples of music is to download it illegally, they'll have shot themselves in both feet.

    Their unparalleled greed in this case is stunning...

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Shill?

    Screw that. I ain't no shill.

    You miss the point - nobody is forcing you to buy - but it you want to consume, there is a price to pay. It's your choice, no different from eating food. Do you want to eat here and pay, or there and pay? If you want to go into the woods and pick berries, those are probably free. It's your choice. There is no obligation.

    It's Mike's approach on this to make it sound like musicians and song writers are trying to get something for nothing. They are not. They are trying to get a little something from everyone who enjoys their music, rather than trying to get one person to pay them a huge amount of money for their work. It's a user pays system at it's finest.

    You go off on a huge rant, but at the end of the day, you are saying "artists don't deserve to get paid for their work". I just hope like hell that your boss doesn't decide that for you this week.

     

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  27.  
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    Trails, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    What is this contract you speak of? I never signed it, to be sure.

     

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  28.  
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    Jason, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But here's the real point.

    I will NEVER pay to listen to a preview. If the cost of the music I want to buy goes up because of a charge for previews I will stop buying.

    I buy a lot of music on iTunes, I preview most purchases. Why the hell are these bastards trying to get paid money for the ADVERTISING that they get from the 30s previews. Without the ADVERTISING that is the preview I WILL NOT BUY THEIR SONG.

    And no, you can't say I've heard it on the radio or should know what it sounds like. There are sometimes many different versions and mixes of songs. I want to hear the f$%#$ing preview before I buy. If I have to pay for that in any way or lose the ability to hear it I WILL STOP BUYING MUSIC on iTunes, period.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ""talent" has been replaced with "marketability"."

    Correction, "talent" has been replaced with "lobbying"

     

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  30.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Screw that. I ain't no shill.

    Then who are you, O Anonymous One? What do you do?

    but it you want to consume, there is a price to pay.

    I think you are confused about who needs whom. I can make a copy of music for far cheaper than $1.29. Hell, ignoring the overhead costs of my computer and internet connection, I can do it for nearly free! Explain to me again why it costs $1.29 per copy, again?

    Musicians should get paid to make music. I agree with this wholeheartedly. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that every time a musician makes music, he or she should get paid. I, however, do not agree that musicians should get paid to make copies of music. I can make copies of music. That cute little girl from the Windows 7 commercials can probably make copies of music. It takes no skill, and no money, so charging for it is a worthless endeavor.

    Read this again: Musicians get paid to make music, not for making copies of music.

    It's Mike's approach on this to make it sound like musicians and song writers are trying to get something for nothing.

    They *are* trying to get something for nothing! How do you not see what it is you are arguing for? With *ZERO* additional work they want to increase, without limit, the money they make. No extra work != more money.

    at the end of the day, you are saying "artists don't deserve to get paid for their work".

    As I've stated before, an artist should get paid for the act of making music, not for a digital recording of music.

    Try again, Mr. I'm-not-a-shill-I-just-play-one-on-the-internet.

     

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  31.  
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    Jordan (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Agreed Jason. Then the industry will bitch that sales have gone down and the Government should require everyone to by $1,000 worth of music every year.

     

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  32.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    At this point I don't think I have to say this but:

    "The fair use deal has everything to do with international trade agreements. Get over it already."

    Fair use has nothing to do with international agreements. It has all to do with the industries forcing complete control over a work that was legally purchased.

    "They don't charge for the same thing twice. They charge for two separate things separately."

    Oh yes they do. They charge the radio station to broadcast music then they charge an listener to play that music if more than two people can hear it even though the same music could be played by separate radios without paying extra (just one example).

    "Copyright wasn't "renegotiated", it was changed by congress, the house, and signed into law by the president."

    Who the fuck do you think pushed it threw? You think the government just makes something that goes against the constitution for the hell of it? I guess "renegotiated" may be the wrong word. How about "bribed" "extorted" "blackmailed"? How about just "bought and payed for"? You think it's called the "Micky Mouse Law" because they like animated rodents?

    "This one doesn't even make sense. What are you babbling about?"

    I'm actually bitching about how collection agencies pushed to be allowed to collect on music played by radio stations (even web radio) even if the agency doesn't represent the artist. They charge because you can play copyrighted music, not because you are.

     

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  33.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Jason:
    "They will LOSE money if they win this. If they eliminate samples or increase the price, the well sell far less music and not more.

    Also, if the only way to hear samples of music is to download it illegally, they'll have shot themselves in both feet."

    I predict this is their plan. When everyone stops buying music because of these stupid royalty requirements, the industry will blame piracy for their failure and demand even harsher laws.

    This kind of stuff infuriates me, because I am an artist, and it pisses me off to see these guys giving creative people a bad name. We're not lazy, greedy people, we are hard working people trying to scrape by on well under minimum wage.
    I can sympathize with these people. I want more money, too; but I understand that demanding money for something that is available for free is foolish. It may not be desirable; in fact, from the artists point of view, its devastating. But, it is reality.
    Digital content is free, and supplies are infinite. Wishing that it wasn't isn't going to change things. Deal with it.

     

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  34.  
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    DocMenach (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Shill?
    Screw that. I ain't no shill.


    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. You sure fooled me. With nearly every single one of your posts (you seem to come here nearly every day) being in 100% support of whatever nonsense is being spouted by RIAA, MPAA etc.

    Obvious Shill is obvious (and oblivious)

    You go off on a huge rant, but at the end of the day, you are saying "artists don't deserve to get paid for their work".

    You always seem to come back to this same statement. Guess what, YOU ARE WRONG. Nobody here thinks that artists don't deserve to get paid, we just don't think that they should receive payment in perpetuity for the rest of their lives. You also seem to make the statement that "everyone here just wants everything for free" which is also totally wrong. I have no problem spending money on music, but if you expect me to pay for a song before I even know what it sounds like then you are badly mistaken.

    P.S. You are the definition of coward since you come here every day and make tons of posts, yet you always post anonymously, even though you have said in the past that you would start posting using a profile.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You miss the point"

    No, You missed the point. Nobody is forcing you to create and release content to the public and if you do nobody owes you a monopoly on it in the first place.

     

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  36.  
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    Ben (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Previews do not always equate to lost royalties

    Barring traditional previewing (Radio, TV, Concerts) the 30 seconds snippets are a new technology. They never existed before. They will only result in LESS royalties if you suddenly try out some album tracks and find out they're shit (as opposed to having had to buy the album to find out).

    There is a clear dividing line. Good artists will benefit from this technology. Bad or lazy artists will suffer. Royalties are affected in proportion with how good the product is. That's how any market should be.

     

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  37.  
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    johnney (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    As long as I get to download everything for free, we may have struck a deal.

     

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  38.  
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    Casey, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    Don't give them any additional ideas :)

     

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  39.  
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    How Old Are You, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    Or maybe you could listen to pandora which does the same finding of similar artists.

     

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  40.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You miss the point - nobody is forcing you to buy - but it you want to consume, there is a price to pay. It's your choice, no different from eating food. Do you want to eat here and pay, or there and pay? If you want to go into the woods and pick berries, those are probably free. It's your choice. There is no obligation.

    Yes and the price relates to the marginal cost of production - that is the cost of making the particular instance of the food that you eat. Any upfront costs (such as working out the menu etc) have to be covered by adding a "tax" to the marginal cost.

    The problem the music industry now has is that the marginal cost has dropped to zero and so the tax percentage has become infinite. In general the public will rebel against an infinite tax rate - for the same reason that they don't accept poll taxes -it doesn't relate to the "ability to pay".

    Given that the use of various modern technologies (including the internet) by the public to avoid this tax is unstoppable, the music industry has to find other models. Passing laws to try and stop piracy will be as ineffective as bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly or King Cnut trying to turn back the tide.

    Unfortunately these attempts tend to get in the way of the people who are trying to find new models. Societies like the PRS and ASCAP work on the assumption that all composers - or at least all important composers (what a disgusting piece of snobbery) belong to them. Therefore they try to tax all music whether it belongs to their members or not. This of course causes big problems for those trying to work outside the system. It's a bit like Microsoft forcing everyone to pay for a copy of Windows when they are actually going to run Linux.

    Incidentally - using your mixed metaphors - the best food I have ever eaten has been what I have grown in my own garden or gathered myself from the wild. Likewise the greatest pleasures I have ever had from music have come from performing it myself. (and that is all old music which is in the public domain)

     

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  41.  
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    mike allen (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    one sentence

    who do they think they are kidding!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Yes, artists SHOULD BE PAID, but --

    NOT for copies. That billion dollar ship has sailed.

    AND NOT for licensing. All companies should be free to use an artist's work whenever and however they want, free of charge.

    AND NOT from royalties. After all, 35 year old, white, cubical drones like us don't get paid like that so why should anyone else?

    So YES! I wholeheartedly agree that artists SHOULD BE PAID (in theory) so long as it's not very much (I.E "more than me") and that companies and consumers aren't the ones footing the bill.

    - Sincerely, the TechDirt Community.

     

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  43.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    How about we just pay them to.. I dunno, make music? Ya know, at a concert?

     

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  44.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    "How about we just pay them to.. I dunno, make music? Ya know, at a concert?"

    Brilliant! If only there was some way to gather a large number of people in some sort of venue....

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Can we pay them in the rotten vegetables and empty bottles that we chuck at them from the front row? I hate the idea of actually giving them money. That just seems so...wrong. Why can't artists just be happy to starve like in the old days before copyright? We got some of the best art of all time from those days! Besides, performing music at a concert doesn't qualify as "work", right? Plucking a few strings, banging a few drums, that's not work! Anyone could do it. Hell, I sing in the shower every morning, well no, not every morning but certainly every time I take a shower so you know, at least once a week or so...

    -Sincerely, the TechDirt Community.

     

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  46.  
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    wallow-T, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Repeating something I wrote a week or so ago for the Hypebot blog: The trouble with the statement "Artists should get paid when their music is used/copied/consumed" is that it is a passive statement. It's like "Money should fall from the sky."

    For the statement to have any economic sense, it needs to include an active subject which would indicate who should be doing the paying. Only then could one start to think about where the payments get assessed. And how...

    To steal someone else's quote, "Paying for music has become a voluntary activity," and I think we're going to end up figuring out how to encourage more of it.

     

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  47.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    While I disagree with what I imagine to be your point, I find your sarcasm tasty and delicious.

    -Sincerely, The Dark Helmet Community of One (Feel free to sign up at the nonexistent signup page...)

     

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  48.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I imagine if I wanted the largest possible crowd to come listen to me make music, I should get my music to as many ears a possible! (Assuming my music is worth listening to in the first place)

    If only there were some platform to distribute digital media to many people in a cost effective manner. Maybe one that would indicate how many people thought my music was worth sharing, and thus how popular it is.

    Why, if I got enough people interested in my music they'd be sharing it with as many people as possible-- my, that would be quite a torrent of bits!

     

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  49.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re:

    While I agree with your disagreement with what you imagine to be his point, I find tasty and delicious things to be sarcastic.

    -Sincerely, Joe

     

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  50.  
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    Glaze, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    yeah... like a big outdoor area, we can construct a stage, hire some big burly biker guys for security... who knows it could be such a great time be will be dying to get in...

     

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  51.  
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    McBeese, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    You Missed Their Point

    "They are saying that as technology changes, and as the market changes, their royalties should never be allowed to drop."

    No, I don't believe that is what they're saying. I believe that the point they're making is that they own their content and the rights to it. As technology evolves to create new distribution models, which in turn lead to new business models, it is up to the content owners to decide how they will (or will not) adapt. It is not up to you or I to decide on a new business model for them.

    If I develop a radio gadget that allows me to unlock and start your car, that doesn't entitle me to decide that cars are now shareable vehicles and drive away in it. However, every development creates an opportunity for a new business model and Zipcar is making a business out of exactly this example. But Zipcar's choice to make a business out of shareable cars doesn't mean that you or I give up the rights to the cars that we own.

     

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  52.  
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    DocMenach (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    Re: You Missed Their Point

    But Zipcar's business of making it possible for multiple people to use one car does not entitle the car manufacturer to additional royalties. If the car manufacturers followed the same logic as the music industry then they would be demanding additional money from Zipcar because they would view each person sharing the same car as a "lost sale".

     

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  53.  
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    1DandyTroll, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Who's paying for previews?

    But Apple.

    Apparently Apple pays for potential customers frivolous use of the absolute evil preview button.

    Even if that's the Darwin Award for a sales pitch of the year (oh you wanna test drive it before you make up you mind, sure that'd be $4.95 per mile) the issue at hand more seem to be the underlaying problem the artists have with the big ten, which is that they get less royalty for format that is, by the big ten, defined as a new format. So with the advent of CDs, less royalty, with the "advent" of MP3s, less royalty, with the advent of DTS master HD, less royalty, and so on. Mp4, flac, doesn't matter. A song writer or a director only gets "full" royalty, today, with LPs and VHS, and analog radio and telly. For HDTV they might get it for the mpeg 2 format, in Japan and US, but not for the mpeg 4 format.

    It's actually just a clever tactic of side stepping the copyright legislation, i.e. the stuff that has to do with not screwing the creator with, for the creator of a work, a poor contract.

    It's actually a copyright infringement to make a creator sign a bad contract.

    But there's nothing in the copyright legislation that says the royalty has to be the same for what ever technology, or format, i.e. neutral. Which is kind of ironic, since most of the copyright legislation today is supposedly technology neutral, especially when it comes to the evil deeds of pirates.

    Though, painters got the protection the artist, writers, directors, et cetera, should have had from the beginning. But then again, painters get screwed every which way any way, which probably isn't that odd considering who, pretty much the big ten and their ponzi scheme organizations, created the legislation (probably should be plural what with the spread of it.)

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Let me see if I have this right. An article is presented here that is based on an article presented elsewhere that is based upon a letter that is presented nowhere. Kinda hard to view anything as a compelling presentation without the letter in hand.

     

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  55.  
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    songwriter 1, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    This is a shortsighted argument. The simple fact is that copyright law exists for a reason. The performing rights societies represent copyright owners public performance rights. These actually are "rights" by law. This isn't an argument, just a simple fact. To say that a songwriter or publisher doesn't have a right to control it's intellectual property is not only ignorant but actually quite insulting.

    It's actually the broadcast/online companies that should be adapting their business models to work within the current copyright law - not the other way around.

     

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  56.  
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    McBeese, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: You Missed Their Point

    No, that doesn't work. Zipcar users are sharing, not duplicating. The music industry equivalent of Zipcar would be the hand-off of CDs or digital files from one person to another. This would be completely legal.

    If a Chinese company (for example)started pumping out copies of high-end BMWs for half the price, there would be issues.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 12th, 2009 @ 1:49am

    Re:

    This is a shortsighted argument.

    How so? Please explain.

    The simple fact is that copyright law exists for a reason.

    Yes, to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. Technically, copyright was just to promote the progress of science (patents were designed to promote the useful arts). Does your songwriting promote the progress of science?

    The performing rights societies represent copyright owners public performance rights. These actually are "rights" by law. This isn't an argument, just a simple fact.

    Indeed. Put in place by a very strong music industry lobby.

    To say that a songwriter or publisher doesn't have a right to control it's intellectual property is not only ignorant but actually quite insulting.

    Well, first, no one said they don't have a right to control their intellectual property -- we were talking about the laughable claims that royalties should be kept the same no matter what. But, furthermore, how is it "insulting" to argue that these societies are *abusing* copyright law well beyond its intended purpose?


    It's actually the broadcast/online companies that should be adapting their business models to work within the current copyright law - not the other way around.


    I see. So, everyone else should stop doing what technology allows because you can't come up with a business model? Fascinating...

     

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  58.  
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    Michael, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 4:40am

    Interesting

    I was in a record store the other day (you know, the place where they sell those stupid plastic disk things) and noticed a device attached to the stand the little plastic disks were on. It was a curious device that allowed me to hold the case for the little plastic disk under it and then it would allow me to preview the music associated with that disk and case.

    I was astounded. I will not name the record store that is doing this, but I would think the music industry would be up in arms that this type of preview of music was not accompanied by royalty payments. In addition, I saw a couple listening TOGETHER. This looked very much like a public performance to me.

    Did the internet make this possible? It doesn't look like technology forced the sellers hand in offering free previews. It looks like the market did.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    different anon, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Some people like studio recorded music. (notwithstanding the diy movement). Without the huge studio budget, there never would have been The Wall (and possibly no laser light shows ;-) - which came first? Stonerdom would look very different, let me tell you).

    I don't think I should have to pay for a 30 sec preview, but I do think musicians should also get paid for making studio music, which is much different than live music.

     

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


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