You've Got Tunes, Like It or Not

from the but-no-payments...? dept

Wired is running an article talking about how anyone who calls AOL’s phone line now has to listen to a message and songs from famous recording artists. They are, of course, then told that they should go buy that artist’s music. AOL sees this as a promotional opportunity. Now, here’s the odd part (though, the Wired article doesn’t make that much of it). The current artist is LeAnn Rimes… and she is not being paid for this. As I understand it (and as the Finnish Supreme Court seems to understasnd it), this is certainly a public performance of the music, and thus subject to royalty payments. So, is this really a case where the company understands the difference between a promotion (where the music can be used to convince people to buy something) and the insatiable need to charge everyone who hears a song? Or does it mean that when the music labels themselves want to use their songs publicly, the rules don’t apply? Of course, there’s a third option which is that the royalty payments are being paid for the public performance… they’re just being paid directly to the label, and this article is emphasizing that Ms. Rimes is getting screwed out of money by her label…

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