EA Has To Back Off Sims Karaoke Due To Licensing Problems

from the yay,-royalties dept

It’s been quite a difficult time lately for various online music efforts. Pandora on the verge of shutting down, Muxtape already shut down and now EA is apparently scaling back its online Sims On Stage karaoke offerings over a vague, but unexplained, song licensing issue. How dare people sing along online? You get the feeling that the recording industry would go after people singing in the shower if they could.

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Companies: ea

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Comments on “EA Has To Back Off Sims Karaoke Due To Licensing Problems”

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zcat (profile) says:


You got it the wrong way around. They don’t fine the passengers, they just expect the driver of the car to pay the appropriate performance royalties (Simple to calculate, it’s just Use weight * Licensee weight * “Follow the dollar” weight * “Time of day” weight * “General licensing allocation” + premium credits) to ASCAP.

No really, that’s the name of the organisation that collects the royalties.. It’s pronounced “Ass Cap”

MAtt says:

Re: #1

ASCAP and BMI really do perform a valuable service to musicians. The problem is that they perform a major disservice to business owners by claiming that damn near everything is a “performance.” The radio station pays them, and if I play the radio in my business then I have to pay them.
Songwriters need to protect what they create. Unfortunately, the institution which protects them also hurts them by making their music less accessible.

Chris Howell (user link) says:


A few years ago I heard that the song “Happy Birthday” had some sort of licensing restrictions.

In 1990, Warner Chappell purchased the company owning the copyright for US$15 million, with the value of “Happy Birthday” estimated at US$5 million.[7] Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claims that US copyright won’t expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to it.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You

Composer says:

EA is just cheap

EA just doesn’t want to pay $.01 for a song play. It’s pathetic that a huge billion dollar corporate company can’t just fess up to the fact that they were hoping that artists would bend over and get raped. Rockstar Games I’m sure paid for it’s soundtracks to Grand Theft Auto and artist should get at least a couple of cents for SIMS ON STAGE.

(PS, Anonymous Coward, Happy Birthday is in the public domain, singing it till the end of time, make recordings of it and sell it… no one will sue you)

Anon says:

Not sure...

Maybe Francodemore, but I can just see the RIAA suing some poor user as an example to the rest of us. Its the single users who get the worst end of the deal. Not the big corporations. As a musician, I can’t believe that other musicians are not standing up to this sort of treatment of their customers. As a musician, I would expect the radio to pay for my music, but not a business owner who is playing the free radio station – he can’t be responsible for what plays on a public radio station? Now if he was playing a CD that would be different. But a radio station is free. Plus it gets music heard. The bottom line is that the RIAA are not working for the benefit of musicians. They are working for the benefit of themselves. The more rights they infringe upon the more musicians themselves will take a stand and take their business elsewhere- the more power they get the more likely government will intervene. That day will soon come, as they become more and more ridiculous.

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