Indie Label Opts Out Of Apple iCloud Music Match; Says It's An Insult That Tramples Copyright

from the flattened-copyright? dept

Via Hypebot, we learn of an indie label called Numero that apparently has decided that it wants no part of Apple's iCloud Music Match offering:
In the coming weeks, many customers and friends will ask us this question: why am I not able to automatically access Numero in my iCloud? The simple reason is that Apple and their major label "partners" have created a reward system that is both incomprehensible in scope and totally out of sync with iCloud's streaming peers' (Rdio, Spotify, et al) financial mechanics. As we have been entrusted with an incredible wealth of creative assets, and our primary responsibility is to our partners; the artists, producers, and songwriters that make up the Numero catalog, we feel that Apple’s pittance is an insult not only to them, but every other musician, living or dead, and, if the latter is the case, their heirs.

With that in mind, we have declined Apple’s invitation to iCloud.
The label seems upset at the fact that Apple cut deals with the major labels, but I'm at a bit of a loss concerning the full reasoning here. Doesn't this just seem to harm consumers? I assume that users will still be able to upload Numero songs, as they would with other songs not in the iTunes database. It just makes it more difficult for them. The complaint about the financials being different than Rdio and Spotify is meaningless, because the service is totally different. This isn't about streaming music you don't already have. This is about sync'ing music you already have. I can definitely understand indie labels being upset about preferential treatment given to the majors, but I'm just not sure this sort of "protest" makes sense in response.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    I'm glad to use Google Music, not pay Apple $25, not double-pay the labels for music I already own.

     

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

  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Here's a fun question...

    "our primary responsibility is to our partners; the artists, producers, and songwriters that make up the Numero catalog"

    In what other industry is their primary responsibility to their "partners" vs. their "customers"?

    HP has partners. Do they focus more on them or to the people actually buying their equipment?

    Ford has partners. Do they focus more on them or on the people buying cars?

    The Govt. has partners. Do they focus more on them or on the people actually casting votes--, you know what, I don't wanna finish that one....

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Raphael (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Question

    and, if the latter is the case, their heirs.

    What exactly is the rationale for giving monopolies on ideas to the heirs of those who come up with them?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Just passing by, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Those who live in glass structures shouldn't cast stones.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Coco Was Screwed, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    are you really "indie" if all you care about is making money? seems to fly in the face of the whole indie philosophy...

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    I read about this yesterday, and the understanding I came away from the Ars article with is that iCloud is generating streaming revenue for the labels that are on board with it, but it's almost at a micro-transaction level (at least according to the Numero guys) and that indies' micro transactions would be so incredibly micro that they wouldn't even cover the cost of the accountant's hourly wage to keep track of the transactions.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Qritiqal (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Here's a fun question...

    The government is not a business.

    The government is like a high school class president that you elected based on popularity and now that they've been elected do crazy things that no one can understand. You know what, I don't wanna finish that analogy, it's too close to the truth....

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Why is there a reward system at all? The copyright holders should just be glad that their paying customers have a new way to listen to the music they've bought.

    I mean, this is a new, useful feature that's effectively been added to the music. It's worth a bit more, overnight, at no cost to them. Why are they demanding to be paid for getting a free upgrade?

     

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

  9.  
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    Vidiot (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Missed the boat

    This isn't the first time someone (who ought to know better) has failed to grasp the cloud concept, nor will it be the last. But it's fun to read the flowery language of a non-native English writer trying for sarcastic-up-in-your-grill, and winding up with foppish, John Cleese-like rants. I fart in your general direction.

     

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

  10.  
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    sumquy (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    "I assume that users will still be able to upload Numero songs, as they would with other songs not in the iTunes database"

    can they? apple apparently believes that it needs licenses from the labels in order to run the icloud service (in contrast to google and amazon service). so if you upload a song to apple that isn't covered by their agreements will apple let you stream that song to a device? the statement from numero seems to imply that it won't. if it will...then why did they need to pay any money to the major labels?

     

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

  11.  
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    jackwagon (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Here's a fun question...

    The government is not supposed to be a business. FTFY

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Question

    because the Disney kids still want to make billions of the things Walt bought for pennies or stole from other cultures

     

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

  13.  
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    ClarkeyBalboa (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if the labels could get past the whole 'licensing music you already own' and try and think up ways to turn these cloud services into opportunities to sell more music to people. To borrow from Netflix, create a way to give decent recommendations on music not in your locker that you might be interested in, and then provide a way to demo the music. Apple already has iTunes, why can't this be a natural extension? Oops, i probably should have patented this before i said anything.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Im pretty sure the only reason they licensed is for the music match feature, were they keep one copy of a song on their servers and if you have a song that matches they put it in your locker as opposed to that song being uploaded from your computer.

    Google/Amazon only allow you to upload not music match so they do not think they should have to get a license because it is the end user uploading into the end users locker instead of them putting songs in your locker for you.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    "Indie" is short for independent, meaning they try not to be part of the established structure of the business. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't want to make money.

     

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

  16.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    if it will...then why did they need to pay any money to the major labels?

    Numero themselves seem to be confused about the whole thing. They don't really seem to get that users already paid for the songs. They also claim that someone from Apple said the Big Four were not actually paid anything.

    As far as I can tell, they're opting out of Music Match, not iCloud itself. And this means it will be less convenient - not prohibited - for customers to use iCloud with Numero music. It also means they lose out on the opportunity to make any money whatsoever with the service.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    ConspiracyTheorist, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Just a Thought

    Perhaps Apple wants some small indie labels to not sign licensing deals. If their music happens to show up in the cloud, they can file suit against Apple, and crush the Indie label in court.

    After that, Apple can tell the labels to F*ck off with their licensing deal.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Call me old fashioined, but I still prefer to buy my CDs once I know they are worth buying, then rip them to whatever bitrate I want and transfer them to my non-apple MP3 player. Why do I need to store it in the cloud?

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    framitz (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Here's a fun question...

    My Sophomore class president was busted for selling pot...

    hmmm, no different than the hacks in DC.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Re:

    Too bad Google Music is such a trainwreck. Absolutely horrible.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Too bad Google Music is such a trainwreck. Absolutely horrible.


    How so? I've been testing out a bunch of these, and frankly, Google Music's has been the most workable/useful of the bunch.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Coco Was Screwed, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re:

    I know the definition of independent thanks, I was referring to the philosophy behind the "indie" music scene. Part of which I always thought put the music and fans first and the money second. What else would explain Bon Iver...

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    scriptmonkey, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Dude, its still a very early beta, give it time man

     

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

  24.  
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    nasch (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    Re:

    Some in the music industry believe that any added value to anyone must result in them being paid more money.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    Hardrive failure. It's always good to have a backup somewhere.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    "if it will...then why did they need to pay any money to the major labels?"

    Because those are the guys who will sue and, sadly, the music that will be noticed as kissing from the service by the biggest majority of users.

    "if you upload a song to apple that isn't covered by their agreements will apple let you stream that song to a device? "

    Of course the irony here is that if this is true, people who have bought Numero records but depend on iCloud for listening purposes will be less likely to hear the music. Therefore, quite possibly also being less likely to buy more.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Abbo, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    It all Beats me!!

    You know, I play my guitar sometimes and just let my music waft into the clouds all on it's own. Never seemed to have a problem with any labels or connections or hard drives, no money in it mind you're right there!! Cheerio!!

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    JohnA, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True - music and fans first but also the artist. Indie labels have traditionally signed smaller artists and given them a fairer split. A major company, and artists, would be able to make money from this whereas small independents would not.

    They aren't being greedy - if they and their artists can't make money from this then they can't make music.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They aren't being greedy - if they and their artists can't make money from this then they can't make music.

    That is true of a label, but an artist needn't make money in order to make art.

    (no, that doesn't mean I'm opposed to artists making money from their art)

     

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


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