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BMI Sues T-Mobile, Claims It Needs To Pay Up Over Ringback Tones

from the are-ringbacks-a-public-performance? dept

I'm still in the camp of folks who doesn't quite understand "ringback tones" -- the ugly stepchild of ringtones, where it's not what music your phone plays, but what music a caller hears when they call you and are waiting for you to pick up. While ringbacks have been a big deal in Asia, they're still a relatively small market in the US. But, that's not going to stop collections societies from demanding cash, of course. mike allen alerts us to the news that BMI has sued T-Mobile over its ringback tones. Of course, here's the thing: a court has already established that ringtones are not performances, so are ringback tones performances? Or, of course, T-Mobile could just ban the use of any BMI songs as ringbacks, and then see how those artists feel about how BMI is "protecting" their interests...


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  1.  
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    zcat (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    To be honest, I totally agree with ANY move that makes 'ringbacks' go away. The couple of times I've called a number with 'ringback' music I have immediately hung up assuming a faulty line, because the only time I expect to hear music over the top of an outgoing call is when there's a faulty connection and my phone is picking up a nearby AM station. The entire concept of ringback music is pointless technowankery and basically annoys the hell out of me.

     

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  2.  
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    mrtraver (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    @zcat: I second that!

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    On the other hand, I never would have even heard of ringback tones if not for this lawsuit, so maybe they're shooting for a Streisand Effect.

    Not going to get me to waste money on something so frivolous, mind you.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    I feel like such an aging goober. I didn't realize there was a difference between a ringtone and a ringback. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, Mike.

     

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  5.  
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    zcat (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 6:14pm

    Re:

    Oh, and also IMHO a ringback tone is very much in the same category as 'hold music' in terms of performance. I don't agree that hold music should have to pay a performance licence, but given that it does it seems quite consistent that ringback tones should pay the same.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 9:02pm

    http://xkcd.com/479/

    Although...I'd pay good money for a ringback that spouted out derogatory language about whomever is not answering their phone.

     

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  7.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re:

    well, I'd never heard of a ringback tone, so there you go.

    (that said, i barely even use our land line phone, let alone a cell... yay internet.)

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Chunky Vomit, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    Ringback tones are just a costly way to tell people that the user is a douche.

     

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  9.  
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    Jerry in Detroit, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    RE:

    Best way to deal with this is to focus attention on BMI. T-Mobile should boycott BMI and make sure that everyone who complains is told that BMI caused this. Turn off the T-Mobile ring tone store, cancel renewals on any BMI ring tones, and BMI is not allowed into the T-Mobile system from any 3rd party.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 10:27am

    While I fully support banning BMI from T-Mobile, I do understand the possible ringback-hold music correlation. Just because you've purchased the rights to certain music, doesn't give you the rights to perform it for someone else, and that's in essence what you're doing with a ringback tone. However, since you're not performing the song in its entirety, it might come under the "fair use" doctrine. Pretty grey area, but BMI AND ringback tone users both end up as douches!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 11:02pm

    BMI = Buttheads Morons & Idiots!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Yosi, Jan 10th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re:

    >> Just because you've purchased the rights to certain music, doesn't give you the rights to perform it for someone else

    By this "logic" when you've bought a CD you can't play it on your birthday party. Or wait, it gets even better:

    >> ...since you're not performing the song in its entirety

    So you will play only half of each song? And then watch together half of DVD you rented.

    One word - idiot.

     

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  13.  
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    Lachlan Hunt (profile), Jan 10th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    "On Hold" Music

    This is very different from a ringtone. With a ringtone, the owner of the phone owns a copy of the track being played on their device, to them, and maybe a few people who happen to be in earshot of the phone.

    I've not experienced ringback tones before, and until reading this article I had never heard of them. But the idea seems like it has more in common with on-hold music that many companies play when they put you on hold or when you're in a call centre queue. The only difference seems to be that this music is playing to the caller while the phone is ringing, rather than after the call has been answered, and it's being played by the telco, rather than the callee.

    I'm fairly sure the companies that do that have to licence the music for use on-hold, at least in Australia (I'm not sure about the US rules, but I'd assume they're similar). But assuming that in the US companies do have to licence it then, then surely those rules would apply to this too.

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 10th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re: RE:

    I agree just ban BMI ringbacks. Use the example taught by youtube ... "F" you! you need us more than we need you... and be done with it. Then tell your customers due to a law suit with BMI we will be charging you for the use of all BMI music... here is a list of music that we will not charge for.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2010 @ 10:47pm

    Ringbacks are in fact the product of Le Douche!

    If you ever call someone who uses a ringback, be sure to punch them in the face next time you see them.

     

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  16.  
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    Valkor, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    Agreed.
    Nothing says "I love music" like making someone listen to your favorite song through a crappy cell phone earpiece.

     

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  17.  
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    Vince, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 9:07pm

    I had no idea what ringbacks were; I thought they were the same as ringtones. Can you create your own ringbacks, like you do ringtones? I've seen sites like mobilespin.net that have tools for you to create ringtones for free, but not ringbacks.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    The Best BMI Calculator, May 9th, 2013 @ 2:07am

    The Best Body Mass Index Calculator

    A personís body mass index is a number calculated based on their height and weight. It is used for a comparative analysis of people with similar heights. The body mass index is a brainchild of a Belgian statistician and mathematician named Adolphe Quatelet who created the BMI sometime from1830 to 1850. To calculate the BMI, divide the personís weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

    History of Body Mass Index
    The Body Mass Index has been in use as a medical benchmark for obesity and is the statistical estimate for Adiposity. It is also the standard employed by the WHO (World Health Organization) for its obesity statistics.

    This number was introduced to the public through the governmentís efforts to promote sanguinity, nutritional knowledge, and healthy eating habits. This simple statistic has rendered itself very important since it can adapt itself to continuous changes inherent in a community and can indicate the economic development on a nutritional basis.

    http://www.coconutoil4health.co.uk/body-mass-index/

     

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


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