Schrödinger's Download: Whether Or Not An iTunes Music Sale Is A 'Sale' Depends On Who's Suing

from the that-cat-is-dead dept

Steve Worona has a great post pointing out how the record labels have clear cognitive dissonance (the ability to hold two totally conflicting ideas in your head at the same time -- and argue for both of them) when it comes to the question of whether or not an iTunes purchase represents a "sale." He puts forth three examples of such cognitive dissonance in the legal context, with the final one being taken from two recent legal cases involving major record labels:

Example 1, the case of the kettle. As summarized by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, “Readers who’ve been to law school may remember the chestnut known as the ‘Case of the Kettle’. A man is charged with borrowing a kettle and breaking it. His reply is that, first, he never borrowed it; second, it was already broken when he borrowed it; third, it was intact when he returned it.”

Example 2, the case of the dog. Paraphrasing from a 1978 Wall Street Journal article about well-known Texas defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes: You say my dog bit you, but I don’t own a dog, and he doesn’t bite, and you kicked him first.

Example 3, digital downloads. Two recent court cases hinge on how the sale of an MP3 download compares to the sale of a conventional physical recording, known as a “phonorecord” in Copyright-speak. In one case, the singer Eminem demanded that Universal Music Group calculate his royalties for downloads based on the higher rate for licensed material instead of the lower rate for phonorecord sales. UMG refused, arguing that the sale of an MP3 download was the same as a phonorecord sale. In the second case, EMI filed suit against ReDigi, a company that allows purchasers of MP3 downloads to resell those files under Copyright law’s “first sale” doctrine. EMI argued that the MP3 files were not phonorecords and thus not subject to first sale.

What's being discussed here, of course, are two cases that we've covered. The Eminem case involved whether or not an iTunes purchase counted as a "sale" like a CD, where there was a very low royalty rate (probably around 15%), or as a "license" like for a movie, where the royalty rate was more like 50%. Universal argued stringently, and continues to argue in a series of follow-up cases, that an iTunes purchase is just like a CD purchase, and the much lower rates apply. However, in the ReDigi case -- where the company is trying to argue that if an iTunes purchase is just like a sale, then clearly the "first sale doctrine" applies and those files can be resold -- EMI, which is in the process of being acquired by Universal, argues that an iTunes sale is a license, and thus there's no first sale.

Worona sums it up beautifully:
Putting these two arguments together, we see the music industry imagining transactions where what’s sold is a phonorecord but what’s purchased isn’t.
To me this seems like the Schrödinger's Cat of copyright law. According to the record labels, if we're talking about it from the seller's perspective, it's a sale. But the second you flip the equation and look at it from the buyer's perspective, it's a license. The cat is simultaneously dead and alive. Either the major labels are full of it... or they're breaking new ground in quantum physics. I'll assume it's the former, rather than the latter.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    "it"

    And of course, those of us playing along at home have known for quite some time that the "it" they are full of is greed, pure and simple greed. The record labels will take whatever position is likely to get them the highest net profit in the given situation. They will additionally state that the given situation is unlike any other situation that has ever existed or will ever exist and thus, they are able to change their position in each situation at will.

    Given these facts, the media industry should also be aware, that we're on to them. We see their hypocrisy for what it is and we are starting to bypass them to fund the artists directly wherever possible. Say hi to the dinosaurs when you get to your final destination.

     

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  2.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    So if they wanted to be consistent they would need to choose the following:

    Digital sales is licencing:
    Pay Eminem his 50% licencing fee and not allow digital reselling since it is just like licencing.

    Digital sales is a sale:
    Pay Eminem his 15% sales fee and allow digital reselling since 1st sale doctrine applies.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    There's a word for this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

    cf. "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength"

     

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  4.  
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    Miles Barnett (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    You forgot option 3:
    Screw the artist and screw the customer at the same time. This would be completely consistent with past behavior.

     

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  5.  
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    John Doe, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Katy Perry said it best

    Its black when it white, its up when its down, it left when its right.

    I get the feeling with the MPAA and RIAA, if they tell you it is raining you better look outside and see for yourself.

     

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  6.  
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    Chris Brand (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Of course

    It's very simple:
    1. Copyright law's purpose is to ensure a steady income stream to the record labels
    2. "Sales" are better when it's the record label doing the selling
    3. "Licenses" are better when that's what the purchaser purchases

    The only way these can all be true if the record label sells it to you, but you license it to them. So clearly that must be what happens.

    Was that so hard ?

    On a serious note, I'd love to see their opponents in the two cases bring the record label's lawyers in the other case to the stand...

     

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  7.  
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    Chris Brand (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Of course

    I meant "you license it *from* them", of course.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    This isn't just a Big Media thing though

    Its how Big Business works. It was stated clearly at the start of the '80s in Risky Business: you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make a profit however illegal, everytime, thus its only when Tom Cruise tries to bribe his way into Harvard Business School that Harvard Business School deems him able to enter Harvard. To have any morals in business is a bad thing. Thats why its so impressive watching some of these new Tech companies trying to 'do good'.

    So of course these labels argue both ways.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    It's the same issue I pointed out a few days back (and you ignored outright).

    First sale rights may be dead in a digital world. Licensing can (and does) restrict resale by making the license non-transferable.

    Taking it further, if it is a license (and Eminem has proven this in court), then obtaining the material without a license would be a form of fraud. Oh, oh! You guys aren't just playing the copyright law game anymore, now you are into contract law and such. Nasty!

    Welcome to your worst nightmare - a valid way under existing laws to go after pirating sites legally, without having to prove copyright. Nice!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    Did you just miss the part where UMG is arguing that it *is* a sale?

    I know, I know, reading is hard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Ok, if EMI and UMG were the same entity, that criticism might make sense.

    Since they're not, it's just two different entities taking two different positions, unless you everyone who owns sound recording copyrights as some monolithic "recording industry."

    Moreover, the EMI position is supported by the prior UMG/Eminem decision.

    It's like saying Techdirt said Y, but the Washington Post said not Y. Therefor the online writing industry is contradicting itself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Cognitive dissonance is not what you think. It is a dysphoria caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The word you were searching for is simply hypocrisy. No need to gussy it up.

    Philosophically and linguistically, two different and even opposing statements can both be true, if they are evaluated in different contexts. This can and does often cause cognitive dissonance in the feeble-minded, but that is not relevant to the state of mind of RIAA lawyers.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re:

    Pretty much. It makes more sense to treat digital transactions as licenses rather than sales because while the files they send you are discrete (resembling the sale of a phonorecord for purposes of a market transaction), they're not subject to the exhaustion that underpins the utility of the first sale doctrine. The Eminem case was more a contractual quirk than anything, a case where language had yet to catch up to market realities.

     

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    W Klink (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    They are a license and a sale...

    ...but not in the order the labels portray them.

    The royalty rate is based on the sale (or license) to the retailer (e.g. iTunes). They claim that this is a sale, but it's clearly not. They deliver a single master copy to iTunes who reproduce it on demand for their customers.

    But the consumer, however, just downloads a single copy without the same right to duplicate that iTunes had. This looks a lot more like a sale.

    Maybe the consumer is just a licensee as well. I think not, but that can at least be reasonably debated. But IF the label is "selling" to iTunes, then there's no way that the consumer is doing anything but buying that same object from iTunes.

     

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    Jaerys, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re:

    UMG bought EMI's recorded music operations in November. They may not technically be the same entity, but they're much more closely aligned than your counter example.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re:

    No, I didn't miss that part - but I also didn't miss the courts ruling, which is way more important than someone's claims.

    See how that works? You have to actually weigh the information.

     

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  17.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Ex-Wife Logic?

    I think the labels are trying to twist legal terminology around to support their basic logic, which is basically the same as my first wife's:

    "What's mine is mine, what's yours is mine and everything you earn from now until the end of time is also mine."

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    I agree. The Content Cartels feel no discomfort whatsoever about exposing these conflicting positions.

     

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  19.  
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    sehlat (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Katy Perry said it best

    Actually, if the MAFIAA tells you it's raining, the liquid substance running down your back is heavily contaminated with uric acid.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    uh... *expousing rather.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    "Welcome to your worst nightmare - a valid way under existing laws to go after pirating sites legally, without having to prove copyright. Nice!"

    Why is this our worst nightmare? I, for one, would much prefer that this be the way they go about it. Then we can more easily move ahead with fixing copyright law so it stops harming society.

     

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  22.  
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    sehlat (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Ex-Wife Logic?

    "What we have is ours. What you have will be legally taken from you by force under the laws we bought."

     

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  23.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    I hate to be that guy but...

    shouldn't it be Heisenberg's download?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    We already know that they discovered a new law of physics

    They can have a theft occur while they are still in possession of the thing that was stolen.

     

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  25.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

    Re: I hate to be that guy but...

    nah, I'm wrong

     

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  26.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean, "espousing," right? :-)

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re:

    It's the worst nightmare because it would clear up all the confusion: Piracy would be clearly illegal, as a matter of contract law. If a party has the right to license, and all sales are licenses, all pirated copies are illegal by definition, with no requirement to prove intent to distribute, commercial, or otherwise.

    If you have it without a license, it is illegal. POINT.

    It's an argument that the pirate folks just can't counter.

     

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  28.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    "In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual."

    - Fraud

    How is obtaining material without a license an intentional deception?

    Sounds like good old copyright infringement to me. Also, contract law is irrelevant if you're not a party to the contract.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That sale hasn't been approved yet.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    how is someone who acquires a copy without a license a party to the original contract?

    which contract are they violating?


    at least, using your logic, they won't find themselves in criminal court

     

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  31.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re:

    Actually, you'd still have to prove a copyright infringement. Licenses would actually make it more difficult to determine what is and is not infringing behavior, as some of the rights are transferred durning a licensing.

    Only after a proven infringement could contract law come up, as there is no proof that the contract has been violated without both proof of infringement and proof that the party in question agreed to a contract forbidding infringement.

     

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  32.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If a party has the right to license, and all sales are licenses, all pirated copies are illegal by definition, with no requirement to prove intent to distribute, commercial, or otherwise.
    How are all sales being licensed related to all copies being illegal without using copyright law? The act of copying is not the same as the act of a sale. I can copy all day long and not have a sale involved. With copyright law not all copies are illegal, so merely being in possession of a copy without a license is not illegal. Eliminate copyright law, and being in possession of a copy becomes even less illegal.

    Trying to rely on contract law instead of copyright law is only going to hurt your cause. In that case, in addition to it not being illegal to have a copy, you would also lose the criminal trials against pirates, as I've never heard of a criminal violation of contract law.

     

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  33.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Alls I can say is any time Schrödinger's cat makes it into the conversation, I'm thrilled ... or not -- depending your perspective.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    1. If you buy a license, then they sold you a license.
    2. Then it's a sale.
    3. You got a license.

    Makes perfect sense.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: They are a license and a sale...

    I think this is a point many people don't consider and it's a valid point.

    EMI sells iTunes a CD with the permissions to sell licensed copies of it to me. THIS is how it can be both a license and a sale and really isn't no different than Ford selling a car to Avis and then Avis renting it to me.

    Of course, the difference is that all parties understand that renting the car is *renting* and is temporary, but digital downloads are not thought of that way by consumers.

     

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  36.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah buoy!!!!! Where you at now?

    "It's an argument that the pirate folks just can't counter."

    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:26pm Just handed you your ass with a smile. Where are you at now?

     

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  37.  
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    Jaery, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fair enough. UMG and EMI are not the same. I admitted that much at the start. They are however two companies in that have agreed to merge pending approval from a regulatory committee. They are still much more closely aligned than Techdirt and the Washington Post.

    My critism isn't your observation that UMG and EMI are different companies, but your analogy does not capture how closely involved the two companies are.

     

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  38.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course they violated the contract! It says so, right in the contract, that you're party to the contract whether you signed it or not!

    Pshaw. You'd know that if you ever read the contract, you damned-dirty-fatboy-masnicing-freetarded grifter!

     

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  39.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, sorry.

    I meant "-masnicking-"

     

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  40.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: They are a license and a sale...

    Nope, doesn't work. If it's a sale, your permissions stop when it leaves your hands. I can destroy the car, buy a car from a different brand and make a frankencar, share the car with my frinds every single day (either by carpooling or passing it around, etc.)

    However, you CAN dictate terms for use in a license.

     

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  41.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It's the worst nightmare because it would clear up all the confusion: Piracy would be clearly illegal, as a matter of contract law."

    There is no confusion on this point. Copyright violation (piracy) is already clearly illegal. And even so, I fail to see how making things very clear is a "nightmare".

    "If a party has the right to license, and all sales are licenses, all pirated copies are illegal by definition"

    Actually, no. All pirated copies would be evidence that someone violated the licensing agreement, true. But those copies would not be "illegal" in the sense that the person in possession of them is doing anything that is in violation of the law.

    If I get a pirated copy of something from a licensee, the licensee violated the license agreement, but I didn't, as I never entered into such a contractual relationship. I am not in violation of anything.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What about public domain work, or for that matter, fair use rights?

     

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  43.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    "The cat is simultaneously dead and alive."

    The cat should make up its mind already. Personally, I hope to open the box one day and see a rotting corpse.

     

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  44.  
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    sehlat (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Heh. It would be poetic justice if you opened the box and got clawed.

     

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  45.  
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    Paul L (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    I hate myself for saying this...

    There's a lot of "they" in these scenarios. Who is they?

    I don't buy my music from the major labels. I buy it from Google Music. Can it be a "sale" from the label to Google and then a license from Google to me with some of the license terms being dictated via contract between Google and the label?

     

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  46.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    Even if that could be true, it still doesn't work.

    If a consumer "purchases" a license, then the "sale" was of a license.

    If the consumer "buys" a license, then the artist gets a much higher royalty.

    If the "sale" is for a license, then violating that license is a civil matter, at least under current law.

     

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  47.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    That’s Not “Cognitive Dissonance”, that’s “Doublethink”

    Cognitive dissonance is a state that can lead you to disregard obvious facts, simply because they don’t fit in with preconceptions that you hold.

    The term you’re looking for—being able to hold multiple conflicting beliefs simultaneously, and not think twice about it—was described in George Orwell’s 1984 as “doublethink”.

     

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  48.  
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    hmm (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    Well

    I hope Eminem or his lawyers read this:

    Why not set up your OWN re-selling business selling eminem songs.

    This way, you have TWO lawsuits running concurrently and can safely and legally use the evidence from each to show how the record labels are and hate artists and just want to steal as much as they can from them.

    Then, since eminem is still popular he could write a song about how to screw over the record labels by buying direct from the artist.....

     

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  49.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    After a little thought, though, none of what I said right there matters. What is being called both a sale and a license at the same time is NOT the deal with the music distributor.

    It is the transaction that the consumer is making.

    The music labels want a SINGLE TRANSACTION (the consumer paying to legally acquire the music) to be a license when determining the consumer's rights, and a sale when determining the artist's rights.

     

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  50.  
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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

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

    Thanks for the clarification... I was really worried since I masnic all the time!

    Masnicking: the act of being a damned-dirty-fatboy-freetarded grifter

    Masnicing: the art the art of making a sandwich so exquisitely perfect and delicious that nearby babies cease to cry, small dogs stop yapping, and a nearby Lamar Smith or Chris Dodd will actually get a momentary glimpse of reality. Side effects known to include transcendence to a higher plane of existence, a realization that mint chocolate chip is the most superior of all ice cream flavors, and possibly being nominated for GQ's sexiest man of the year (Applies to female masnicers just the same).

     

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  51.  
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    Chris Brand (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    but in the absence of copyright, there's nothing to license in the first place! It's only because the Copyright Act grants you a monopoly that you get to choose who gets a copy.

    If you say in court "you don't have a license for that file", the first thing you're going to asked for is to prove that you hold the copyright, otherwise you don't have a case.

     

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    Anonymoose Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    Until we collapse the wave function (i.e. bankrupt and imprison the MAFIAA bosses), they exist simultaneously in a state of being full of it and having broken new ground in quantum physics.

     

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    mischab1, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    Re: That’s Not “Cognitive Dissonance”, that’s “Doublethink”

    ... is a state that can lead you to disregard obvious facts, simply because they don’t fit in with preconceptions that you hold.


    Don't the **AA's do that all the time in regards to piracy? :-)

     

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  54.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    From my dealings with the US legal system over the years (and the grey hairs that it causes) I am positive that the 'ruling' you are talking about is by one circuit court only and though telling does not really have any bearing on what a court may decide in the ReDigi case other than some guidance, and that's a big maybe.

    To make a binding decision wouldn't all of this have to go to your Supreme court anyway or at least to appellate courts if the Supreme knocks back hearing under cert?

     

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  55.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is NOTHING illegal under contract law ANYWHERE on the planet.

    If you commit a crime (illegal act) under Contract law it could maybe void the contract, though that would be up to the parties to decide or a civil court dependent on the terms within that contract,

    If a contract has been created for the specific purpose of committing an illegal (criminal) act then the contract is by default voided.

    If you acquire something and you don't have the license to go with it does not make it an illegal act, and it doesn't even make it a forfeiture of contract since you were never a party to the contract in the beginning (no acceptance nor offer). The ONLY thing you might be up for is a civil copyright breach though their are numerous lawful reasons why you wouldn't be.

    Next time, learn about the torts & laws before you type.

     

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  56.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re:

    And that's exactly what the dissonance is about. On one hand screw Eminem, on the other screw the purchaser.

    Wonderful when you can have your cake and eat it too. Over and over again.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

    Re: That’s Not “Cognitive Dissonance”, that’s “Doublethink”

    Certainly, they do that too. But it’s not what we’re talking about here.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 2:31am

    SMH

    If the record labels want the artists to stand united with them, they should really try compensating them properly. Paying an artist 50% for the sale/license of their music after recouping any advance should sound like a great deal.

    Think about it. The label invested and got that investment back and now gets 50% of the revenue for doing absolutely NOTHING. They have no costs associated with the digital sales. Everything they get is pure profit. How do they react? "But but but... that's not enough, we are a label."

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:12am

    Cognitive dissonance is the unease you feel when you hold contradictory thoughts in your mind. I think the word you are ACTUALLY looking for is psycopathy, because that is what you need to have to carry on regardless of cognitive dissonance.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, I didn't miss that part - but I also didn't miss the courts ruling, which is way more important than someone's claims."

    Then why are you criticising an article detailing the claims rather than the ruling for doing just that?

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    Re: Of course

    I know I certainly would. I also wonder if there isn't some law on the books somewhere they can be mass sued on for this sort of "double dipping".

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So when the sale is complete, one of these two positions will be reversed, and UMG will be totally consistent.

    Right?

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    shroedinger's cat and music

    The problem is the legal system. It allows litigants to pursue "alternative theories", that is, if one lie doesn't work, you can use another.
    As an attorney, I believe the legal system needs to be fixed. The underlying thinking even seeps into the IP system, and the results are always bad; encouraging deceit.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Well

    I hope Eminem or his lawyers read this:

    Why not set up your OWN re-selling business selling eminem songs.


    His contract probably prohibits him from doing that.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    DandonTRJ (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They just synthesize the positions. It's legally a "license" for the purposes of the actual end-user transaction (since it doesn't make sense to place exhaustion rights on a file that can be infinitely replicated), but contractually a "sale" for the purposes of calculating an artist's royalty (since it resembles a phonorecord sale more than, say, a traditional "license" for use in a movie). There's no real conflict between the two if the artist's contract is properly drafted to reflect the latter notion. Eminem's wasn't.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    ...and if it's a license then does copyright law even apply?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: SMH

    Wasn't the main complaint agaimst cyberlockers was that they were making money off someone else's work?

    That seems to apply equally to major labels. But they aren't in handcuffs?

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    Paul L (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for the sanity check.

    The whole sale/licensing/purchase/rental thing is just such a horrible mess, I feel like I should be consulting with my attorney before I make my next $0.99 music purchase. :)

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And with creative accounting you can make it look as though you never had the cake in the first place

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

    Looking for elementary music particles

    So now we know what the Large Hadron Collider was really built for

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Looking for elementary music particles

    To see if we can find the bozos^H^H^H^H^H bosons that imbue these properties

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

    To me this seems like the Schrödinger's Cat of copyright law. According to the record labels, if we're talking about it from the seller's perspective, it's a sale. But the second you flip the equation and look at it from the buyer's perspective, it's a license. The cat is simultaneously dead and alive. Either the major labels are full of it...

    The RIAA is an oxymoron...

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    Malformed RSS feed (because of this article's title)

    Hey, remember months ago when a band or something had an umlaut in its name, and you put the name in the title, and it broke the RSS feed? Well, it's happened again. Still no idea why RSS is broken by special characters like that...
    ...Anyway, if you could change that "ö" into an "o", it'd fix everything (same as last time). Thanks in advance!

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    Eldakka (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    IANAL, but wouldn't presenting an argument that competely opposes an argument already presented in another legal case be stopped by estoppel?

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 6:13am

    Re: Of course

    My bottom line is much better when I sell diamonds but my customers are buying coal.

     

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


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