Canadian Music Collection Society Demanding Payment For 30 Second Song Previews

from the the-very-definition-of-promotion dept

Remember last year, when ASCAP and BMI suddenly started claiming that the 30-second previews in iTunes and other online music stores should count as public performances for which they should be compensated? Yeah, that didn't get very far, as the courts shut that down quickly. Colin Ross alerts us to the news that up in Canada they're going through something of a similar debate with the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada demanding royalties for the 30-second previews. Back in 2007, the Copyright Board in Canada told the group to get lost but it's kept on appealing, and now the Supreme Court is going to hear the case. Hopefully, they took it to shut down this nonsense forever. 30-second previews are the very definition of a promotional good. Demanding payment by claiming they're a public performance goes beyond greed to an insane level of entitlement.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    The reason dinosuars in canada went extinct: they lacked critical thinking skills. How are people going to say "hey I like this song, I will go buy it" if they can't ever hear any of the actual song because the shop selling the music is discoraged from offering previews due to the cost?

     

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  2.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Sometimes it's like they care about piracy more than their own industry... and that they want to destroy their own industry, just so they can blame the 'pirates'.

     

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  3.  
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    vastrightwing, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    The ultimate conclusion

    Artists will not be heard because no one will pay for a 30 second performance. This is like asking a consumer to purchase a car without first being able to drive it. Is it not? I will not pay to buy something without a sample of some kind. No way.

    So what is the threshold? 5 seconds? zero?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Why do the courts have to decide this? Couldnt the music companies pull their content for those who don't want to sign agreements for pay for 30-second previews?

    If they really want to go that route, let have at it and see how it goes.

     

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  5.  
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    Matthew (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Who wins?

    Who wins if they get what they are pushing for? Definitely not the consumer and certainly not the artists. I don't even think the groups themselves will ultimately gain in money, prestige, or power if they get their way. I also don't think this will have any effect at all on the 30-second song clip pirates.

    More proof that either these groups do NOT have the artists' best interests at heart or they are amazingly out of date, stupid, and incompetent at their advocacy. Either way, if i were a member of one of these groups i'd be pissed.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Sounds like Apple et al need to start saying fuck you, if you don't want us promoting your music we won't help you sell your goods. We will continue to offer it but without previews, album art, or recommendations. The only way customers will find it is by specifically serching for it.

    alternately they can pay a performance fee for the 30 second preview and recoup it by charging a promotional fee back to the record label to cover the fee plus administrative costs plus a reasonable profit margin. If the labels are dumb enough to go down this path it could be more lucrative for Apple than actually selling the music.

     

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  7.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Remember last year, when ASCAP and BMI suddenly started claiming that the 30-second previews in iTunes and other online music stores should count as public performances for which they should be compensated? Yeah, that didn't get very far, as the courts shut that down quickly.

    The link you provided for the "courts shut that down quickly" is to a story about a court, singular, saying that a ringtone was not a public performances. Do you actually have a story where a court said a 30-second preview was not a public performance? Thanks.

     

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  8.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Just play 29.999 seconds of the song

    Problem solved. If they complain about that, then play 28.999 seconds of the song. They'll get the message.

     

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  9.  
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    Hulser (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Sometimes it's like they care about piracy more than their own industry... and that they want to destroy their own industry, just so they can blame the 'pirates'.

    It's called, "Cutting off your nose to spite your face." If I remember correctly, there was a TD piece about a study which found that people weren't satisified with more if their peers had even more. There's just this weird thing in the animal part of the human brain that makes you think you're getting screwed if the other guy has more than you even if you have more than you used to.

    I think that the record labels can't see past this mentality. They are so focused on the "lost" revenue from charging for song previews that they can't see the long term benefit.

     

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  10.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    So instead of discussing the article at hand, you take one sentence out and use that in some kind of effort to discredit the article in whole?

    By ignoring the actual problem, you agree with SCAMP that 30 seconds worth of a song is a performance. You must be a joy to have at kids pageants. You just stand at the back door demanding payment for the "artists", don't you?

     

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  11.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    "There's just this weird thing in the animal part of the human brain that makes you think you're getting screwed if the other guy has more than you even if you have more than you used to."

    While I'm not one for the mystical aspects of religion, there is a wonderful biblical parable Christ told his deciples about a vineyard owner and three workers that tells this story of our human aspect perfectly....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Workers_in_the_Vineyard

     

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  12.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re:

    "So instead of discussing the article at hand, you take one sentence out and use that in some kind of effort to discredit the article in whole?"

    Joe's post seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

     

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  13.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    "Do you actually have a story where a court said a 30-second preview was not a public performance? Thanks."

    There are actually two links there, one next to the other. The second one links to the story you want.

     

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  14.  
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    JH, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    No more previews

    Next are they going to require that I pay a fee to look at logos on merchandise before I buy it?

    Celine Dion t-shirt #1 $19.99
    click to preview Celine Dion t-shirt ($1.00)

    Celine Dion t-shirt #2 $19.99
    click to preview Celine Dion t-shirt ($1.00)

     

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  15.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks, vivaelamor. I saw that link too. That story doesn't say anything about a court ruling that 30-second song previews are not public performances either.

    Has a U.S. court ever held that a 30-second song preview is not a public performance? Mike's post indicates that "courts" have indeed held this. Is that true, or is it a mistake? That's all I want to know.

     

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  16.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re:

    So instead of discussing the article at hand, you take one sentence out and use that in some kind of effort to discredit the article in whole?

    By ignoring the actual problem, you agree with SCAMP that 30 seconds worth of a song is a performance. You must be a joy to have at kids pageants. You just stand at the back door demanding payment for the "artists", don't you?


    I simply asked a question. I'm curious if U.S. "courts" have really held that 30-second song previews are not public performances. Apparently my inquisitive nature offends you. Curious.

     

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  17.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 11:59am

    Poison Apple

    I wonder what kind of heart attack they had when they heard that itunes increased the song preview to 90 seconds. That's as long as *three* performances in Canada!

     

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  18.  
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    abc gum, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re: The ultimate conclusion

    You bring up a good point - and similar situations are rather funny. How many people would pay for a vehicle test drive or grocery store samples.

     

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  19.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    it didn't offend me. my sarcasm-o-matic is broken it seems. take me entire previous comment with a healthy does of /s (or sarcmark (all rights reserved, patent pending))

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Even if this law passes, surely they can get around it by offering 29 second previews?

     

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  21.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe that this got all the way up to the 9th Circuit. I'll try and find the link for you, okay?

     

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  22.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The parable of the prodigal son has a similar theme.

    25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

    28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

    31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

     

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  23.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    Re:

    The link you provided for the "courts shut that down quickly" is to a story about a court, singular, saying that a ringtone was not a public performances. Do you actually have a story where a court said a 30-second preview was not a public performance? Thanks.

    Hmm. I had thought that discussion covered both issues, but you may be right that it did not...

     

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  24.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Just remove the previews for those who complained, watch their sales plummet, and tell them that they can only have 30 second preview in the Store if they pay a preview fee.

     

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  25.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Re:

    A preview fee for EACH TIME the preview is played, of course. I mean, people pay TV stations to air their commercials, don't they?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Is that pay per click?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Do ASCAP and BMI have an anti-trust exemption? How is it that they can seem to collude on things like this given the monopoly they hold?

     

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  28.  
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    Super Sponge, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 12:23am

    Re: Charge a preview fee.

    I believe you have struck upon a most marvelous idea! :)

     

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


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