Australian Gyms Swapping Out Pop Songs With Cover Versions To Avoid Ridiculous Royalties

from the and-that-helps-who-exactly? dept

Just recently, we wrote about how a ridiculous ruling by the Australian Copyright Tribunal, boosted the royalty rates that gyms needed to pay if they played any music covered by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). In some cases it went from less than $1 per class to $1 per participant per class. At the time, we noted that gyms were switching to music that wasn't part of PPCA, and apparently that includes swapping out popular songs for cheap cover versions. This is, of course, similar to what happened years ago with various music video games when record labels and bands demanded too much money to be in the games. Eventually, they figured out they were doing more harm to themselves by shutting themselves out of a market, but it's not clear if the PPCA is ever going to realize that.


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    Blatant Coward (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 3:24am

    Next they'll bribe...er...convince a court to include songs that may eventually be covered by the group.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 3:55am

    I can't stand music (or TV) playing when I'm trying to work out, anyway.

    Australia is a tiny market, and it shows in the distorted market economics. Add to it an old school business mentality, straight out of 1950's England, and well, you get what you get.

    AU has many nice things. Universal Healthcare, for one. It works because the country's exploitable raw material per capita (and variety) is possibly the highest in the world, it shares a border with no one, and the legal system is based on British Common law. Not because of any particular brilliance on anyone's part. Anyway, it should be good for at least a few more generations, which is all *I* need :)

     

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      Greg, May 28th, 2010 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      I know this is off topic, but since it was brought up..

      AU has many nice things. Universal Healthcare, for one.

      What?? How is that nice? It isn't free, if that's what you think. You're paying for it through confiscatory taxes.

       

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        Tiffin, Oct 6th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Universal Healthcare

        It means people don't suffer or die just because they are poor. The majority of Australians, myself included, think that is a very good way to run a society AND I am happy to pay the "confiscatory" taxes. Incidentally, Australia has one of the lowest overall taxation rates in the developed world, i.e. we also get very good value from our healthcare system, which outperforms most of the other ones in the developed world.

         

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    Yogi, May 28th, 2010 @ 4:17am

    Hilarious

    This was so predictable.

    I can't wait for the rest of the world to catch up on this.

    Culture is going to be free, whether the content industry likes it or not.

    Payment will be voluntary, out of love and appreciation, not coerced or decided upon by underhanded political machinations.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 4:26am

    I wish I understood the laws on cover music. Are you saying that someone can make an identical version of the song legally, if they just play it and sing it themselves.

    I'm pretty sure you can't just sing a copyrighted song and record it. You have to clear that with someone, right?

    If that's the case, an entire market of knock-off songs should emerge. You'd eventually have people competing to be the best cover band, since that would be what people listen to.

     

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      Richard (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 4:40am

      Re:

      I wish I understood the laws on cover music. Are you saying that someone can make an identical version of the song legally, if they just play it and sing it themselves.

      You can sing any song you like in provate - and also record it if you wish. However if you perform it in public or pass on the recording to someone else then you have to pay for a license to the composition. This license is compulsory (i.e. the composer cannot prevent you from performing or selling the recording) but you do have to pay. For public performances this is usually handled via a blanket license provided a rights society such as the PRS in the UK or ASCAP in the US (not sure what the Aussie version is called). The crucial point is that this is a different organisation from the PPCA. Using non PPCA cover versions puts you in exactly the same position as you would be if you hired a band to play the music live.

       

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        Richard (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 4:53am

        Re: Re:

        This license is compulsory (i.e. the composer cannot prevent you from performing or selling the recording) but you do have to pay.

        btw whenever you see "Song Title" as made famous by "Original Artist"

        then you are listening to a cover version. This happens a lot with collections of "Christmas Hits" or "Rock Classics" etc where they don't bother to license the original recording.

        Most of the tracks on the first few "Guitar Hero" games were done this way.

         

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        Paul`, May 28th, 2010 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re:

        APRA is the org if i recall correctly.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Go Indie

    Get songs from independent artists/bands who aren't tied with any company - free publicity - like advertise their iTunes or amazon page.

    Why play covers and risk? eschew major labels if they want to wring us dry?

     

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    Mike, May 28th, 2010 @ 6:25am

    They arnt supposed to be able to do that. Thats just unfair. The court ruling meant that they HAVE to pay royalties but its implied they also HAVE to use the record industries music. What part of this dont these lousy freeloading Gyms understand?

    You have to pay us for use and you have to use our product. period.

     

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    Paul`, May 28th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    They would be paying an APRA fee for playing any music I would assume... Does that mean they would have to pay double to use the PPCA songs despite already paying the blanket fee?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    There is a ton of money to be made here ....

    Put together a service that does Creative Commons, covers and indie bands wanting to be promoted. Charge 20 bucks a month for the service, or more if they use the covers. Then let the collection agency choke and fail.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    from the story: "he tribunal raised tariffs for playing original artists' recordings to roughly 85 cents (A$1) per class participant—capped at about $13 per class—boosting the annual tab for the typical Australian fitness center from around $1,300 to more than $19,000" - what i wonder is how many members does that average aussie fitness center have?

    the reason i ask is simple. 19k / 12 months is $1500 or so a month. with 500 members, that would be $3 a month. i dont know about aus, by my local fitness centers are all in the $35-$50 a month range (some higher), i cannot see where adding in $3 increase in the next year makes a big difference.

    yet, i can see a big difference in using cheesy cover tunes.

     

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      BigKeithO (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      You don't ever get tired of paying more for nothing? I'd rather the gym played cover versions than jacking my bill for no benefit to me.

      It's only music.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        it would be about customer experience, which falls exactly in the cwf rtb mantra that is chanted around here like words from god. they could buy cheaper brand exercise equipment, provide cheaper soap in the showers, use lower wattage lightbulbs, close a little earlier, open a little later, and compromise on 101 other things in their business. all of those things have to do with the customer experience. done right, clients will trip over themselves to pay a premium for the right experience. using pop-muzak just lowers the overall experience a bit, which in turn lowers the perceived value.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "cheaper soap in the showers, use lower wattage lightbulbs, close a little earlier, open a little later"

          All of which would degrade the experience a whole lot more than using cover tunes would.

           

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      Fuzzy, May 28th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

      Re:

      The McGyms would suffer little. The smaller fitness clubs (and martial arts clubs) would suffer greatly.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      "i cannot see where adding in $3 increase in the next year makes a big difference"

      The value of something is whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Value cannot be dictated.

      You may feel that a $3 increase/year (although the article implies it's much more than that, at $1/person/day), but clearly the fitness centers feel that most of their customers are of a different opinion. In this situation, what you're OK with doesn't meant a thing. It's what the customers are OK with that matters.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2010 @ 1:57am

    The best case against copyright ever is the copyright of DNA code.

     

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    Mesa's Gym, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    What Gym Royalties?**?

    Royalty Rates? what is this a joke, just having a Gym Membership should cover the music selection...GYMS these day's....

     

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    abdur rob, Jun 5th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    comment

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    http://adf.ly/1ht4w

     

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    abdur rob, Jun 5th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    comment

    very good site..



    http://adf.ly/1ht4w

     

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

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    abdur rob, Jun 5th, 2011 @ 3:16am

    comment

    very good site..



    http://adf.ly/1ht4w

     

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