Record Labels Using Intellectual Property Claims To Stop Ringtone Competition

from the keep-feeling-domination dept

When the recording industry jumped headfirst into the market for ringtones, they did so with their usual excessive, oblivious glee at finding another source of revenue. So maybe it’s no surprise that now they might be getting a little anti-competitive about it all. Copyfight points to a story in which a maker of ringtone cover tunes claims mobile operators are bowing to pressure from the labels to ban the cover tunes. The labels apparently threatened to withhold original song material from the operators if they didn’t stop carrying the covers, which are supplied by aggregators. As the story goes, the labels claim the covers are either illegal or confusing to the public. Unfortunately for the labels, the covers are being made in completely legal manner — karaoke-style, with the appropriate licenses. This smacks of anti-competitive maneuvering rather than legitimate intellectual property concerns. The real issue is controlling (and milking) the ringtone market, which the labels see as easy money. Oh, and the guy selling ringtone covers happens to offer them at a fraction of the labels’ typical price.

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