Busta Rhymes Backs Megaupload, Says Record Labels Are The Real Criminals

from the who's-hurting-who dept

Well, well. As we pointed out when the Megaupload shutdown happened yesterday, the company had recently named top producer (and husband to Alicia Keys) Swizz Beatz as CEO. Swizz knows tons of artists who respect him, and it seems that some of the biggest names in the business are pretty pissed off that the US government shut down Megaupload. First there's Diddy, who put out a couple tweets pledging support and telling him to never stop.

But what's a lot more interesting are the very direct statements from Busta Rhymes, who is clearly pissed off at the US government claiming that Megaupload is a criminal operation. Putting his tweets together, he states:
1st of all I am soooo proud of my brother @THEREALSWIZZZ 4 being apart of creating something (MEGAUPLOAD) that could create the most powerful way 4 artist 2 get 90% off of every dollar despite the music being downloaded 4 free...

With labels and companies doin' deals with Spotify and many other companies like it who doesn't give us shit continue 2 do what they do and blatantly show us how much they value the artist with doing deals of such disrespect and lack of value 4 our content...

I am proud 2 stand next 2 my brother @THEREALSWIZZZ and fight the good fight...Our freedom is truly being fucked with in a very significant way and I strongly suggest 2 all artist especially the 1's Swizz repped 4 comes out & reps 4 him!!!

Fuck that I say it again...I'M PROUD OF MY BROTHER @THEREALSWIZZZ #GREATMIND!!
You can see the tweets here (full version), here (full version), here (full version) and here.

There's a key point in all of this that we missed in our earlier analysis about paid accounts at Megaupload. In the indictment, the government seems to assume that paid accounts are clearly all about illegal infringing works. But that's not always the case. In fact, plenty of big name artists -- especially in the hip hop world -- use the paid accounts to make themselves money. This is how they release tracks. You sign up for a paid account from services like Megaupload, which pay you if you get a ton of downloads. For big name artists, that's easy: of course you get a ton of downloads. So it's a great business model for artists: they get paid and their fans get music for free. Everyone wins. Oh... except for the old gatekeeper labels.

In fact, this is part of the ecosystem, especially in the hip hop world. It's why the artists also support those hip hop blogs that the RIAA insists are dens of pure thievery. The artists release their tracks to those blogs, knowing they'll get tons of downloads -- and actually get money. If they do deals with labels, they know they'll never see a dime. Putting music on Megaupload is a way to get paid. Working with a gatekeeper is not.

And yet... Megaupload is the criminal operation? Seems like the actual artists know otherwise.

What Busta is pointing out is that services like Megaupload -- while it may be run by some sketchy individuals and probably crossed the legal line in some cases -- are actually a great new business model for artists, while also being the future of distribution. It's a great way to distribute, make money, and let fans get the works for free. And that's why the major labels are so freaked out by cyberlockers. It's not because there's so much infringement on there, but because it's a system whereby artists can get paid and can better distribute their own works to fans... without signing an indentured servitude contract with a label, which never pays any royalties.

Did Megaupload break the law? Perhaps. But it seems clear that the real fear on the part of the RIAA and the major labels is not so much about that. It's the recognition that such a distribution and payment system undermines much of their reason for existing, and takes away their ability to control artists. A smart label would learn to embrace these things. But we're talking about the major labels here, and so instead, they run to the US government -- who clearly knows nothing about the way modern artists monetize and distribute music -- and lets them try to paint a picture of just how "evil" services like Megaupload are.

But the artists know better.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    So then a bunch of hip hop artists are also complicit in the Megaupload copyright infringement conspiracy, fraudulently profiting through copyright infringement of their own songs (the copyrights for which they had transferred to their record labels through valid contracts).

    It seems like these artists' own public admissions (together with the details of their record contracts) ought to be enough evidence to indict them for criminal copyright infringement; it shouldn't even be too hard to show they were engaged in a conspiracy with Megaupload (whose new CEO presumably had some contact with them and knew exactly what they were doing on his site).

     

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      blaktron (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

      Re:

      Be careful with this argument, for down it lies the path that proves copyright law is at odds with the constitutional amendment that created it.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

        Re: Re:

        FYI No constitutional amendment created copyright law. The provision enabling Congress to enact it is in the original Constitution, article I, section 8, clause 8.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In "...that created it.", he means "...that created your argument", not "...that created copyright law".

          And he's right, because copyright was originally meant to give the "Authors and Inventors" (Content creators) exclusive right to their "respective Writings and Discoveries".

          So an argument saying that the content creators are illegally infringing copyright is basically doomed to failure.

           

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          The eejit (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Note that that particular clause is for artists. So, technically speaking, the corporations shouldn't be permitted to hold the copyrights, even if they funded the creation of the work.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      So now you want to put the artists in jail? Way to keep with your "protecting the artists" mantra.

      What about all the independent artists? Just a big fat fuck you to them? And I don't think anyone is talking about commercial music intended for sale.

      At least we can now say it's been admitted this has nothing to do with what is good for the artists. Just the gatekeepers desperate to keep control of the uncontrollable.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      Poe's Law is in full effect for me right now...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

      Re:

      I love to see that happen.

      I like nothing more than to see copyright holders abuse the monopoly granted to them and see it backfire bad in their faces.

       

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      Spaceboy (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

      Re:

      And what about artists that don't have contracts with labels? Are they guilty too?

       

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        demented, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Absolutely! If they don't have contracts with labels, they shouldn't put ANYTHING out, or they're guilty of piracy! Because their sales take precious dollars from the RIAA and labels! GUILTY!

         

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      Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      Brilliant... instead of suing your potential customers, now we'll indict the actual content creators so they are locked up and can't make new content. I think the RIAA has finally found a winning strategy in combating piracy! Since they can't stop people from downloading, they'll just lock up all the artists so there is no new content to be infringed upon. How did they not figure this one out sooner? Problem solved!

       

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      The Real AC, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

      Re:

      "the government seems to assume that paid accounts are clearly all about illegal infringing works"

      And so does fake Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

      through copyright infringement of their own songs & indict them for criminal copyright infringement proves what a fucking asshole you are, and I would love, just love, to see that go to a Jury trial. I bet the labels wouldn't.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

      Re:

      the copyrights for which they had transferred to their record labels through valid contracts


      [citation needed]

      Please provide a valid* contract or other copyright transfer document for each song in question. I seriously doubt you have seen any such document.

      *note, under US law, if the artists's contract specifies copyright transfer of works that have not yet been created, an additional contract or transfer document is required for each work thus transferred. Failure to do so means that the artist can be in breach of contract (which would be a civil matter, not criminal), but not breach of copyright.

       

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      FightTheCapitalistFascists, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

      Re:

      Beat it, corporate shill. We don't like your kind here. And we wield null pointers.

       

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      Richard (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

      Re:

      fraudulently profiting through copyright infringement of their own songs

      Priceless!

      You really think that argument will play with anyone in the world who isn't a copyright middleman.

      the copyrights for which they had transferred to their record labels through valid contracts

      Technically valid maybe - but undoubtedly obtained through a mixture of intimidation and deception.

       

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      Nastybutler77 (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

      Re:

      This is either brilliant sarcasm, or your head is so far up your ass it's cutting off the oxygen to your brain.

      I can't tell which.

       

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      KingFisher, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

      Re:

      Ummm..but can you all it criminal to infringe on yourself? That's a rather silly argument. A crime is when you steal something from others; Saying that stealing from yourself is a crime sounds like an oxymoron statement to me. If you think about it who would want to transfer copyrights to someone else. if the artist owned all the copyrights themselves, they can do whatever the hell they want with their work. Conspiracy of copyright infringement? More like Conspiracy to promote better competition. I'll repeat what many people have said, the staff at MU aren't saints but at least they are being innovative. Can you still call it copyright infringement if the artist, who owns all the copyright themselves gives permission for people to get their songs or content for free? No, its not. When the artist owns all the rights, those who claim its infringement (RIAA) are just trying to force an artist they haven't signed with into obeying them and signing a record deal or claiming theft when they have no rights.

      I do agree though on one point. Artists who are already signed with a record company can't do this because they are in a legal contract in which they don't own copyright anymore. But there are still problems thing here is when a contracted artist pulls a deal like on MU, it isn't dealing with copyright infringement but dealing with a breach of contract. It's a matter of by comparison being signed with one record company and saying you can't go anywhere else, and then turning around and writing songs for another record company. It's not a copyright problem at this point but a problem over executive contracts. A copyright problem would be over owned content(having song x owned by Company A be produced by Company B), not over what the artist does with future songs.

      But there is an option available for those artists signed with with a record company. Cancel your contract, with the record company that it has over any future songs you write. Simple as that. I hope I made a good point to all you fellow artists out there.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 3:33am

        Re: Re:

        But there is an option available for those artists signed with with a record company. Cancel your contract, with the record company that it has over any future songs you write. Simple as that.

        Unfortunately it isn't that simple - these contracts are written so you can't easily get out of them. See George Michael for example.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

      Re:

      Not all music is copyrighted by RIAA corporations. There has been a major shift away and I'd say less than half is signed with major labels. There's a good chance the genres like hip-hop has an even greater share of independents. There's some HUGE blogs with "house" music which is stuff people contribute - and download through a file host.

      I think they are pretty smart and this is an example of the "new" capitalism. In order to have a start-up business it needs to stay underground or under the radar of big business - at least until you have deep enough pockets to pay for lawyers defending it.

      Yup. That's the way it works now.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

        Re: Re:

        No, no... you see, remember how copyright used to be opt-in and now it's automatic? Well, the RIAA some time ago approved a law (yeah, RIAA approves laws now, don cha know) that not only is copyright is automatic, but also is automatically transferred to the nearest Big Record Label and a contract is unilaterally signed by default.

         

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re:

      Oh yeah, and I'd just LOVE to see a case like that in court. Label: Diddy infringed on a song he wrote and produced all on his own because he put it up on Megaupload not respecting the contract he signed with us giving us the copyright to all his stuff from the day he was born to 70 years after his death!! He stiffed us! We want our money!!!
      Lawayer: Wasn't your pro SOPA/PIPA rant something like "think about the artists!"?
      Label: We are! Diddy's not the artist! We are! Fine him! Take all his money! Take all his bling! Toss him in jail!!!

      Lawyer: I rest my case.

       

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      john jackson, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 11:47am

      Re: Anonymous Coward

      Not true, many artists put out Mixtapes which, since they aren't albums, are not obligated to the contracts they signed with Labels.

       

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      shortboy, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 1:29am

      Re:

      I think what you're missing is that they're mainly uploading songs that aren't signed to a contract.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 8:28am

      Re:

      Unless the contracts have changed significantly in the last 1.5 years artist have performance, gifting, and endorsement exemptions in their contract.

      While it might not be what the labels want, those clauses can be combined to legitimize the action busta rhymes is exploiting.

      BTW judging from what happened in the mega upload song, with will i am it is in fact an order of magnitude more likely that those exemptions still exist.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 5:12am

      Re:

      So what you mean to say is you're retarded? Use your brain for a second then talk (hint: what Busta and other artists are saying is the record companies are criminally liable for creating a monopoly on the music industry such that new artists are forced to work with them in disadvantageous terms, this is worse than copyright infringement if I am not mistaken ;) ).

       

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      cyberdog, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:43am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

      The whole issue with megaupload is based on bullsh1t charges. By the same framework, all other hosting companies on the internet are also breaking the law. I can just as easily open a gmail account, upload "copyright" material as I see fit, then share it out publicaly. Does this mean that google should be closed down as well.... Pathetic excuse to abuse the american system to attain their personal ends...

       

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Did Megaupload break the law?
    We all break the law every day, and in ways we don't even realize. The key question is:

    Among those with the power to hurt you, who have you pissed off today?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Won't someone please think of the record company executive's children.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

      Re:

      Won't someone please think of the guy that washes all of Kim dot com's cars?

      Seriously though, this is just more of the usual Masnick intellectual dishonesty.

      If labels were unhappy about artists monetizing themselves, then they'd be upset about Sound Cloud, Kickstarter, etc.

      They aren't.

      This article is just more of the usual lies that Mike Masnick churns out every day here.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

        Re: Re:

        You do realize that SoundCloud is listed as a "Rogue" Website on Group M's advertising blacklist created by UMG.. right?

        You want to try again?

         

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          identicon
          abc gum, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Details ?
          We doan need no stiinkin details !

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How about Bandcamp? That's a real example of artists selling and controlling their music themselves.

          The labels don't mind that at all.

          The premise of this article is just transparently false.

           

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            TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            For now.

            Of course you have to take up the premise of the tweets with the guys that made them rather than do it here. I'd take their opinion over yours.

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, the mistake is assuming piracy is a necessary component to musicians distributing themselves online.

              It isn't. Bandcamp is a tremendously awesome and innovative tool for musicians. And the labels don't mind it all.

              Mike Masnick makes this mistake over and over again. It's like he's trying to keep piracy as part of the equation.

              Why is that?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

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

                "Bandcamp is a tremendously awesome and innovative tool for musicians. And the labels don't mind it all."

                Until they shut it down without warning like they did MegaUpload.

                 

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                Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 3:37am

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

                It isn't. Bandcamp is a tremendously awesome and innovative tool for musicians. And the labels don't mind it all.


                and the labels don't dare (yet) to express their dislike of it in public.

                FTFY

                 

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                The eejit (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:05am

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

                Bandcamp competes with free. The majors don't. They BMW all the way to Congress, with their "lobbying money" in hand.

                 

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:31am

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

                Interesting site...thanks.
                Bet you're plotting ways how you can kill it though.

                 

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:50am

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

                  You'll probably just monitor it to see if it takes off, if it does, you'll buy it and make it shit...change the cut to 95% or something :)

                   

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:38pm

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

                Mike isn't trying to keep piracy as part of the equation. But by putting something out there, doesn't matter what, there will always be a certain level of piracy in regards to the end product. That's just how things are. What Mike does, that you and others don't seem to understand, is realize and accept this. There is no magic button you can hit, or switch you can flip, and no amount of hand waving will be able to stop/eradicate/prevent this. At all. It just is.

                Mike sees and acknowledges this and then points out that the best way to fight "the problem" is by not making it an issue.

                If people aren't buying your discs, what are they buying? Or not "buying"? Answer: Digital downloads.

                Are you providing digital downloads? Answer: To some extant, yes. (As in yes, you do provide digital downloads. Unless of course you live in Country B and not Country A. Unless you want it now, but have to wait three months, time release windows. Etc.)

                Are you providing digital downloads that are DRM free? Answer: To some extant, yes. (However, while most DRM has been done away with, there are other factors that come into play that restrict use of said digital downloads. Incompatibility with certain devices. Only usable on some devices. Etc.)

                Are you providing digital downloads at reasonable prices? Answer: To some extant, yes. (However, there are numerous products and "stores" where the digital equivalent of something is priced the same as, or even more than, the physical equivalent. Yes, prices for the most part are reasonable, but they're not reasonable for what you're getting.)

                I can go on, but of course you'll label me a freetard/piracy apologist anyway, so I won't bother pointing out YOUR shortcomings.

                Suffice it to say, piracy is a byproduct of a bad business/service model. You aren't giving the people what they want. Somebody else is willing to do that, even if it is illegally. We've reached a point where the majority DO NOT see downloading something as wrong. It's true. So how do you deal with it? Not with bad laws and by limiting innovation and start-ups. You beat it by giving the people what they want. Reasonably priced, drm-free downloads available in multiple formats. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. You provide that, make it available worldwide (a major problem) and ASAP, on a website or through a download service (you can even use torrents to distribute it, thus saving and bandwidth cost) where people log in and pay for the product easily (ala iTunes/Netflix) and you'll see piracy start going down immediately.

                Don't do that. And sucks to be you. Here's a tissue. Use it to wipe the tears that are caused by your own stupidity and inability to compete in a free market effectively. When I worked in retail we had one motto, "The customer is always right." (Even when they're not. But if you want them to remain customers, thus keeping their business and making money, you meet them halfway and DO NOT tell them they'll take what you're willing to give them. Do that, and they'll go elsewhere. Legal or not, moral or not. Etc. Besides, morality is all a matter of opinion. Legality is all a matter of time, what's legal/illegal today, might not be tomorrow.)

                 

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "How about Bandcamp? That's a real example of artists selling and controlling their music themselves.
            The labels don't mind that at all."

            Wanna bet, boy?

             

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The labels have publicly minded similar sites as rogue sites. "Not minding" Bandcamp does not absolve them "minding" SoundCloud. Any examples that haven't been mentioned simply haven't been noticed by the labels. Don't expect them to stay silent when they get wind of BandCamp.

             

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:57pm

        Re: Re:

        "This article is just more of the usual lies that Mike Masnick churns out every day here."

        Rarr rarr pants on fire.

         

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        Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 3:40am

        Re: Re:

        If labels were unhappy about artists monetizing themselves, then they'd be upset about Sound Cloud, Kickstarter, etc.

        Actually they did complain about Musopen's Kickstarter project to make new public domain recordings of classical music.

        They also complained about the BBC's freely downloadable recordings of Beethoven's symphonies.

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re:

        "...they'd be upset about Sound Cloud, Kickstarter, etc."


        Show me where Kickstarter can be used, and is being used, to host copyrighted material.

        Same with Sound Cloud.

         

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    gorehound (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    MEGA are not Saints but they are not the Devil either.An interesting read on this post.
    Would a car company get taken down because the cars are used in homicides ?
    Would a gun company have the same kind of treatment ?

    And yes we all know the MPAA & RIAA are scared and trying to hold on to their dinosaur ways of doing business.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    ...the recognition that such a distribution and payment system undermines much of their reason for existing...

    Oh, I get it! The problem is that the corporations are becoming existential! All humans do that some time in their life, and that includes corporations.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    What the first Anonymous Coward misses is that a famous artist doesn't have to release just the music created under contractual obligation to a label. If a content creator wishes to release something without having to give a chunk to the parasites, why hobble that ability?

    It's becoming more and more painfully obvious that this has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with an outmoded industry spending its warchest trying to stifle innovation. They will sacrifice a free and open internet in order to keep their claws sunk into the creative community.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:31pm

      Re:


      What the first Anonymous Coward misses is that a famous artist doesn't have to release just the music created under contractual obligation to a label. If a content creator wishes to release something without having to give a chunk to the parasites, why hobble that ability?


      It seems like it would depend on the specific details of the contract whether the artist would be allowed to produce their own non-label songs in addition to the songs they produce for the label. (When you're a label negotiating with an artist, the reason you hobble that ability is to maximize your own profits.)

      If you really think that's what's happened here though, please provide details of which songs these particular artists chose to produce and distribute (using Megaupload) themselves rather than distribute through their labels.

       

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        Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

        Re: Re:

        It seems like it would depend on the specific details of the contract whether the artist would be allowed to produce their own non-label songs in addition to the songs they produce for the label. (When you're a label negotiating with an artist, the reason you hobble that ability is to maximize your own profits.)

        I don't have a problem with a business maximizing its profits. But the least this business could do is stop pretending it's taking down sites like Megaupload in order to protect the livelihoods of its artists.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Ed C., Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Again, this is based on the dated assumption the artists currently, or ever, had a label contract.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Your operating assumption seems to assume that an Artist CAN NOT create anything that isn't controlled by a Label. I don't see why that should be the default condition.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Your operating assumption seems to assume that an Artist CAN NOT create anything that isn't controlled by a Label. I don't see why that should be the default condition.

         

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      •  
        icon
        Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 4:09am

        Re: Re:

        When you're a label negotiating with an artist, the reason you hobble that ability is to maximize your own profits.

        Those types of contracts are immoral and should be illegal. They would never happen were it not for the huge imbalance of power that exists between artists and record labels when their first contracts are signed.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Napster went offline about 10 years ago, it was questionable back then what happened, Somehow I think this suit will become a really big deal when the facts start coming out since there will be legally troublesome grounds.

    First you have to prove they were infringing and wanting to, instead they were getting contracts with rapers and cutting out the labels (like youtube).

    Next your tossing people in jail from all around the world most restrictive laws.

    Soon nations will start making laws protecting there citizens against being removed for violation of other country's laws much like the US has with the UK.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

      Re:

      The Napster end was not that hard. The labels just wanted too much money from him so it was a better idea to close the company.

      Free music back then did not make much money.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re:

        A earlier article listed some of the emails from MegaUpload trying to negotiate a licensing deal. They weren't interested and responded with threats.

        But youre right, this has happened before. I'm thinking of a Russian site several years ago that RIAA severed ties with the RU royalty agency because they wanted higher fees - then got the DOJ involved to shut down payment processing Wikileaks style because "they weren't paying royalties".

        And now they want to do it faster and wth less oversight?

        Reguardless, there is this whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. What if they are cleared? The business and everything they had is gone along with the time to fight this.

        Websites are already blocking the US. I can't go into BBC and use their iplayer. The rest of the world can.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 4:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Websites are already blocking the US. I can't go into BBC and use their iplayer. The rest of the world can.

          I think the reason you can't get iplayer is that you aren't in the UK (and hence haven't paid the licence fee) I don't think it is usable anywhere outside the UK.

           

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        •  
          icon
          PaulT (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 1:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Websites are already blocking the US. I can't go into BBC and use their iplayer. The rest of the world can."

          Erm, not exactly. Because the BBC is paid for by a licence fee (tax), it has been restricted to everybody outside the UK until recently. The recent global iPad app will allow paid access from Canada, Europe and Australia, not the US, AFAIK. The reason for this is licencing, not censorship, in the same way that nobody outside the US can legally access Hulu or Pandora, and until very recently UK viewers were not allowed access to Netflix.

           

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  •  
    icon
    Ruud (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    The bottom line

    What worries me is that all cyberlockers are now vulnerable to this kind of seizure. Another innovative technology is hurt by US copyright laws.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

      Re: The bottom line

      "Another innovative technology"

      Eh? It's storage on drives.

      Innovative business model though- anonymously and illegally distribute content.

      Yeah, real progress there.

       

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      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re: The bottom line

        "Innovative business model though- anonymously and illegally distribute content."

        Is that like your business model - anonymously lie, defame and misrepresent anyone who supports artists instead of corporations? I hope you get paid for it, at least, I'd hate to think anyone this stupid is sharing the same air as creative people.

         

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  •  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

    So when do the Feds go after Dropbox?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      My concern is that Federal resources are being used to infiltrate and monitor all lawful file-sharing businesses.

      Many of them should take a good long look at their employees and data systems. A full staff rotation may not be a bad idea for those that cannot be fully trusted.

       

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      •  
        icon
        TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Do you honestly think that the politicians and the upper reaches of the bureaucracy know whether or not government employees store material in file lockers or any other part of the "cloud"?

        While it would be fascinating to find out just how many are given IT cutbacks lately I'm not sure that the result would catch the eye of anyone higher up. And certainly not the politicians because there's no dollar bills paper clipped to the reports.

         

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  •  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Business Model

    I'd have to say that MAFIAA (you know, I really don't like that moniker much so how about DICKHEADS), I'd have to say that the DICKHEADS are not really interested in "securing archaic business models" much. No, no, they're much more interested in corralling in this new fangled intermahwebby thingermabob so that they can, in fact, create upgraded and modernised business models. No matter what they drag down.

    DICKHEADS don't give a rat's ass about infringement as they, more or less and more than less, are the cause of the "rampant infringement" to begin with.

    DICKHEADS want ALL the control over creation AND creators. Period. They definitely don't want the likes of Busta minting coin without their knowledge, advantage and control. They could give another rat's ass about the artist. I'm pretty tired of "for the artist" too (how about "for my DICKHEAD ass only").

    How many songs older than 10 years can you name where the musicians call out "The Labels" for polluting their cause and molesting their income? I got one from Bad Brains and one from Sublime just today. They've always been DICKHEADS and DICKHEADS never change. Down with DICKHEADS!

    And fuck all you bitches that try to provide cover for your DICKHEAD masters (yah, bob, I like the beer, good to loosen up my free speech muscles... speaking of..). out.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Dach, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

    Oh noes!

    Megaupload has been taken down. Now the only online locker left is Rapidshare. Now all we have left are Rapidshare. And HotFile, FileServe, FileSonic, WUpload, EasyShare, MegaShares, Uploading.com, FreakShare, TurboBit, DepositFiles, FileFactory, MediaFire, 4Shared, GigaSize, LeititBit, FileDyde, BitShare, UploadStation, Extabit, FilePost, Usenet, BitTorrent, Dropbox, box.net, skydrive...

     

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  •  
    icon
    BentFranklin (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    So, just start a file locker site that only accepts files from artists where you have confirmed they own the rights. Then sit back and watch RIAA die.

    Or, take files from anyone and get shut down.

    Which would you rather?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 4:19am

      Re:

      So, just start a file locker site that only accepts files from artists where you have confirmed they own the rights.
      And how exactly would you do that?
      After all Megaupload checked out all the rights for the megasong - but UMG went after them anyway...

       

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    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      The former would be worthless, because it would exclude most of the use of the site -- which is legal and legitimate.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Damian, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 12:46pm

      Re:

      The problem with this idea is that I own "legitimate" digital copies of movies and music. Now take an ipad for instance. With its limited space I can easily outgrow it at the rate I buy and watch movies. A file locker is the perfect solution for media on the go. You don't have to spend an extreme amount on storage space or buying the biggest and best ipads. Nor do you have to own a pc with tons of space at home to swap from. Just because you have these files on their doesn't make them infringing works. All my bluerays come with digital downloads. It's nice to have a portable system in place.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Damian, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 12:46pm

      Re:

      The problem with this idea is that I own "legitimate" digital copies of movies and music. Now take an ipad for instance. With its limited space I can easily outgrow it at the rate I buy and watch movies. A file locker is the perfect solution for media on the go. You don't have to spend an extreme amount on storage space or buying the biggest and best ipads. Nor do you have to own a pc with tons of space at home to swap from. Just because you have these files on their doesn't make them infringing works. All my bluerays come with digital downloads. It's nice to have a portable system in place.

       

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  •  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    Operation Litigation

    I am in hope that some big name celebrities can start suing the DoJ for seizing their lawful files with no word given they intend to give them back.

    There could soon be thousands of people suing the Feds.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

    What sort of implications does this have upon the entire "
    Cloud Computing business environment? Who in their right mind would trust that their hard work stored in the cloud would not be blown away by the big bad wolf in sheep's clothing?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    A problem is that all the news headlines are coming from entertainment industy's press releases and no one is going to understand how backhanded this was - and it wasn't about the money but competition and control.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Paul, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    I can't believe what a mistake MEGA made by basing themselves in NZ. New Zealand are the biggest RIAA whores on the planet, being the ONLY country in teh world to pass the 3 strikes filesharing law. Is Mr Dotcom really that stupid to have not seen this coming?

     

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  •  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

    This just in, Mickey Rooney supports reforms in the Bill.

    Much will be accomplished, I'm sure.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    Did Megaupload break the law? Perhaps.

    You know what'd be a good idea? Having some sort of meeting to determine whether or not someone broke the law. You could have one guy speaking for each side, and maybe a neutral third party who listens to both sides and gives a judgement based on their statements. Maybe get a dozen or so regular people to talk it over in private and give a consensus on whether it was legal or not.
    Something like that could revolutionize law enforcement. It'd probably never happen in this day and age, though.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    How was Megaupload making money?

    Many copyright holders have repeatedly said that they can't make money off digital downloads. The prices are too low, they can't offer them without heavy DRM, etc.

    So how is that Megaupload was able to do what they couldn't?

     

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  •  
    icon
    BentFranklin (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    The cloud is a lie.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

    How quickly so many of these well-know performers forget that their breakout from the crowd came as the result of music labels. One would think that this would temper to some degree some of their more outlandish claims. Unfortunately, it appears that many have very short memories, as a result of which they now see only one side of a complex issue.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:35pm

      Re:

      How quickly so many of these labels forget that their money is made from the result of performers.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re:

        Absolutely not! Their money is made from the combined efforts of a phalanx of persons who use their skills and sophisticated equipment to create the final product. It is a team effort, and that team is oftentimes quite large.

        The very same can be said for virtually every other business enterprise within the creative arts.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ! Their money is made from the combined efforts of a phalanx of persons who use their skills and sophisticated equipment to create the final product. It is a team effort, and that team is oftentimes quite large.

          What you are describing is not an inevitable it is merely inefficiency made possible by monopoly power.

          Given modern technology the large team is unnecessary and the equipment is now cheap.

          Also - in the current context - why should the labels also need a monopoly on songs they didn't contribute to?

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the performers don't count, eh? It's all about the support staff?

          I don't deny that in some ways, performers are part of the problem. At times they demand salaries and lifestyles that need to be propped up by legacy systems. But the way you're disagreeing with the above statement is suggesting that the artists don't matter squat to the equation.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 12:53am

      Re:

      Yet artists like Drake, Mac Miller, Nicki Minaj and many others who have come from the internet broke out on the internet without the labels help. They came in after they were already blowing up.

      The labels stopped cultivating talent and grooming artists years ago. You're responsible for getting hot and staying hot. The labels only get off their asses and give any project attention after you've done the work to make it buzz. The only thing the labels do well is bogart all the money and bully everyone into believing they are more important to the process than they really are.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        The internet offers an opportunity for talented persons who would otherwise be consigned to anonymity to showcase to the public what they have to offer. For some this is sufficient, and from that they can pursue a career in their chosen profession.

        If you are going to attack labels because all the do is bring money to the table and insist on controlling process for the creation of the eventual product, then you should probably do the same with respect to VC's in the tech sector. I have as yet never met a VC that puts up money and does not likewise almost total control.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Few would demand total control to the extent of suing children, grandmothers, homeless people, dead people, printers and iguanas to the beat of 150 grand for a single file.

          This is pissing a lot of people off, including the artists that labels are supposed to protect. More artists are deciding that they don't need labels, and there are people willing to support such ambitions.

           

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        •  
          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you are going to attack labels because all the do is bring money to the table and insist on controlling process for the creation of the eventual product, then you should probably do the same with respect to VC's in the tech sector."

          Personally, that's not why I attack labels. I attack labels because they are rabid, bald-face thieves & liars.

          They steal from the artists through accounting tricks and unconscionable contracts. They steal from the consumers through predatory pricing & unreasonable terms of use. They steal from the public by enacting laws that remove content that the public should own and causing collateral legal & societal damage that was far out of proportion to the problem they are purportedly trying to solve.

          If the labels behaved more like legitimate VCs, I would have some measure of respect & sympathy for them. But they don't. They are criminal organizations.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Please explain this

    I thought the whole purpose of being a musician was to create music in order that others may enjoy it. The major labels seem to want to do everything in their power to prevent others from hearing their music, so I ask the $64,000 question: What's the point in signing to a major label in this day and age when they do everything in their powe to incriminate their listeners? What kind of self-defeatism is that? Do the major labels get to be the world police by virtue of them "owning" copyrighted works, works which for the most part they scammed the artist out of ownership? And they're allowed to continue to get away with this... Does this make any sense to you?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Austin Hoffman, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 5:19am

    wrong

    that's BS...MU arrest was unfair + I don't think swizz he has any legal connections to MU...imo it was all fabbed up to get other celebrity endorsements.

    p.s. looks like someone is pissed - FBI vs ANONYMOUS video:
    http://www.peeje.com/anonymous-hackers-we-legion-211/

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Wow

    It is amazing how many whining idiots don't understand the difference between "selling music to fans through Bandcamp" and "giving away music to fans for free, while getting paid through Megaupload".

    I know that reading and thinking is hard, but please at least try.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 8:31am

      Re: Wow

      So, what you are saying is.. I do get what he's trying to.. I feel I'm steppin into a twilight zone..

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 6:46am

      Re: Wow

      Ah, I see. You're the sort of individual who believes that the tech industry (read: Google) pays off politicians more than the MPAA.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    iBelieve, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Hasn't it always been..

    ~about paying the lawyers in the valley so they can send some cha-ching up to those lovable cohorts on the hill?

    RIAA discussing dens of thievery.. did they forgot to mention themselves somewhere or was that the funny? What is there to miss? Did I miss something?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 11:03am

    You have obviously never dealt with very many VCs. Want to see unconscionable contracts? Take a look at shareholder agreements, their preferred stock provisions, their dilution provisions, their degree of control over the company in which they have invested, etc.

    Steal from artists? Give me a break. They front money, and the artists lap it up. Perhaps I am limited in my experience dealing with labels and studios, but as a general rule the money they front is not repayable with interest should the investment go bust. That is part of the risk assumed by all investors, whether in the entertainment business or otherwise.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Alfred Hussein Neuman, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Famous Amos

    Wally "Famous Amos" had to sell his cookie business in the mid-1990s. "Famous Amos" was trademarked and went with the sell of the company. Two years later, Wally Amos started Famous Amos Muffins, and was sued and lost in court. He sold the rights to use the name.

    When an Artist sells the rights to songs to the music industry, the song doesn't belong to the artist any longer.

     

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    icon
    Pirate My Music (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 5:05am

    The Industry is Fighting the Hydra and Losing

    For every site they take down, more will pop up in its place. Instead of solving the problem, they are making it worse for them.

    Killing off Megaupload will only fracture the users into seeking alternative means of doing what they're doing already. Megaupload provided a perfect "You can't beat em, so join em" system where artists could rake in cash while not having to worry about people getting their tunes for free (which is going to happen regardless of whatever checks and balances are put in place by the industry).

    Now instead of the artists getting paid, they're pissed and the content is still getting out for free... What have they solved? People earning money on their creations. That's all they've managed to stop.

    Keep chopping those heads, RIAA & Company, it's clearly working...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Merl, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    "We've taken care of everything
    The words you hear, the songs you sing
    The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
    It's one for all, all for one
    We work together, common sons
    Never need to wonder how or why

    We are the priests of the temple of Syrinx..."

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Penis

     

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  •  
    identicon
    james, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 9:06pm

    Bet your ass its not over

    The next step the fed will take is to create a task force, with many countries part of it, its going to be the next step in the eventual NWO One World Government. Just lok how the fed have destroyed america in about, oh, what is it, 65 or 75 years of its existence. You people need to wake up.. they just showed you how big their arms are.. New Zealand, Hong Kong.. You can bet there are more, and the task force will be made.. they will control everything.. EVERYWHERE

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Thomas Drexl, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Kimble vs. Music Industry

    For those who speak German, here is another blog that tells the truth bout Tim Vestor.http://brunokramm.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/der-feine-unterschied-megaupload-und-rapidshare/

     

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


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