Sony Music Exec: The Internet Is Full Of Opportunities & Not A Problem; Intransigent Collection Societies, However...

from the more-people-getting-it dept

We've detailed a few times the ridiculous standoff in Germany, where the incredibly aggressive music collection society GEMA is involved in a big lawsuit against YouTube for posting videos with music in them. YouTube has done licensing deals with collection societies around the globe, but GEMA refuses to even sit down to start a conversation until after the lawsuit happens. Because of that, all GEMA music in Germany is barred from YouTube entirely. This leads to some situations in which totally licensed videos are banned in Germany. This has been going on for years and years with no change.

GEMA, of course, says that it's doing this to "protect" the artists. But as I've pointed out in the past, many, many artists in Germany don't believe that at all. In the past we've noted that GEMA tried to ignore Creative Commons licenses as well as barred members from offering their music for free (two years ago, when I was in Germany at a music conference, I had multiple artists explain to me they had an "official" website where they would "sell" music to keep GEMA happy... and an "unofficial" website where they'd offer their music for free. The whole thing is crazy.

In fact, it's gotten so crazy that apparently even the major labels are getting sick of it. TorrentFreak has the news of a top Sony Music exec, Edgar Berger, who runs their international business, talking about how the internet hasn't been a problem at all, but has created tons of new opportunities. The ones creating the real problems for the industry? GEMA. Because the music is blocked "to protect the artist," it appears that the labels and artists are missing out on large revenue checks from YouTube's ContentID...
“There is absolutely nothing to complain about. The Internet is a great stroke of luck for the music industry, or better: the Internet is a blessing for us,” Berger said.

“You can not blame the Internet for harmful excesses. On the contrary. It has brought us tremendous new opportunities,” he added.

But with these new opportunities come new rivals from an unexpected corner. According to the Sony boss, music rights collecting agencies are now preventing innovation in certain countries.

In Germany, for example, most YouTube videos by Sony artists are blocked due to the music rights group GEMA, and not because Sony wants it that way. When asked why Sony’s music is not available on YouTube in Germany, Berger responded bitterly.

“It’s not because of us. You must direct this question to the German collecting agency GEMA, they licensed the copyright very restrictively.”
Quite a contrast from the "old" story, right? Here's a situation in which technology and business model innovation via Content ID are creating massive new revenue opportunities for the entertainment industry -- and the old school system of excess protectionism is denying them that revenue.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    OK Sony, now you're complaining about overly restrictive licensing and copyright. Weren't you one of the ones that helped create this situation in the first place? Oh, you were? Oh well, boo...hoo...cry me a river and all that.

     

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

  2.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Anything Sony says should be taken with a salt quarry.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    White is black, up is down, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    On the other hand, I really enjoy watching Sony having to deal with the same bs the rest of us do. *munches popcorn*

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cow, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Wow.

    If even *Sony* thinks you're a bastard...

    Wow.

    Just wow.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Re: The whole chorus...

    *(clears throat)
    (cue accordion music)
    Everything you know is wrong
    Black is white, up is down and short is long
    And everything you used to think was so important
    Doesn't really matter anymore
    Because the simple fact remains that

    Everything you know is wrong
    Just forget the words and sing along
    All you need to understand is
    Everything you know is wrong
    Everything you know is wrong


    If you've never heard this song, drop everything and look it up on youtube.

    In fact, I'll save you the trouble.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    He's gone

    Oh yeah, this guy is going to be out of a job by next week. You cant just speak the truth like that, and you for SURE cant paint the internet as some kind of blessing to the music business. I mean, you're pretty much taking your life in your hands by spouting off like that. Expect either a "scandal" on this guy or a suspicious "car accident" in the near future. Remember, the talking points are "piracy", "stronger enforcement for the artists" and "extending copyright" and thats ALL you should be talking about.

     

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  7.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Re: He's gone

    ...Adam Curry, is that you?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Sony does it and it's fine. a company does the same thing on Sony's behalf and it's wrong. apart from some of the money collected going to the other company, the difference is what, exactly?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Shhh...shhhh...shhhh...shutup people! Watch! Watch them! They're learning! We've proven that they can learn! Is someone documenting this? Can we repeat this result?

     

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

  10.  
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    Zos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    How's the rootkit business these days sony?

     

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

  11.  
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    ovvalsen (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    This article was a nice break from the tedious lecture of the latest Playstation 3's license agreement which I started to read 11 days ago and which Sony asks me to wholly read and accept before moving on playing that game with great reviews which I bougth. If all goes well, I have only 17 more days of reading before I can decide whether I accept the agreement. (By the way, what happens if I don't accept?)

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    Correction... The war is being fought in Eurasia. Nice name btw. :)

     

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  13.  
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    Liz (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re:

    Perhaps if they see the error of their ways they can make changes to the betterment of their business as well as society of a whole. Not to mention their customers world-wide.

     

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

  14.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: The whole chorus...

    Curse you! I just spent 45 minutes on YouTube watching Weird Al videos.

     

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

  15.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Re: He's gone

    I mean, you're pretty much taking your life in your hands by spouting off like that. Expect either a "scandal" on this guy or a suspicious "car accident" in the near future.

    Woah. I distrust the music labels as much as the next guy buuut.... not if the next guy is you, apparently, because that seems a little over-the-top. I wouldn't be surprised if an exec lost their job over something like this, but I don't think Sony's at the point of offing people with suspicious car accidents.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    Your PS3 kills a puppy. You wouldn't want it to kill a puppy now would you?

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    You see--what they're really mad at is--"How dare anyone use our own weapons against us". This is to be expected, soon enough it will be impossible for anyone to create anything out of fear that someone will come along and bludgeon them with copyright/patent infringement suits or gouge them with ridiculous licensing fees.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    Middlemen do not like middlemen taking some of their middleman fees.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    "By the way, what happens if I don't accept?"

    You have a very cutting-edge paper weight

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    Sadly it doesn't seem like their learning anything. It looks more like them whining, "Someones trying to take too big a piece of our pie". When they start saying that we need to start loosening copyright/licensing restrictions across the board then I'll agree that their learning.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    Velociraptors.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re:

    What did that puppy ever do for me!?

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: The whole chorus...

    And you are better off for it.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    letherial (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "Perhaps if they see the error of their ways"

    I was laughing so hard, i didn't read the rest.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    johnny canada, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Edgar Berger

    Edgar your days are numbered at Sony if you think that way.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    letherial (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    They moved from the root kit business to getting hacked and giving out customer info business.

    Cause we all know that customers dont mean shit to sony, they would rather spend more money on DRM then security.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    Endtimer (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Edgar Berger

    Or he'll get praised by making sony seem like a mere douchebag compared to the colossal douchenozzle that is gema.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Feb 27th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re:

    To them, DRM is internet security.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    the puppy urinated on your best shoes to show its love for you!

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    Nina Nailed It

    GEMA = German Entitlement Music Authoritarians

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    mercutioviz, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Does this guy *really* work for Sony?!?

    A music exec uttering such heretical drivel is almost too good to be true, but a music exec who works for Sony?! That is too good to be true. Mike, are you sure you didn't invent this guy in your mom's basement?

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    sehlat (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Awwww. Poor Wittle Sony Exec

    Duzza wuzza gotta wittle bitty headache from someone ELSE acting the way Sony has about entewtainment distwibution. Awwwww.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: The whole chorus...

    I sure hope "Don't Download This Song" and "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me" were a part of that medley.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 6:34am

    So what good is a copyright if the owner of the copyright has no control?

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    All of you must be freetards D:, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Instead of looking at how GEMA might have screwed up I'm going to accuse Nina Paley of being responsible for all of this. Sita Sings the Blues, chubby, two-faced, cultureless, broadbrush, etc buzzwords.

    [/sarc]

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: The whole chorus...

    "Drop everything, leave Germany, and look it up on youtube."

    FTFY

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    anon, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re: The whole chorus...

    It's funny. I even cannot look up this video because it is blocked by YouTube! Thx to GEMA you *** * ****.

     

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


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