Singing The Same Song: 1962 Article Demands Stricter Copyright To Stop Jukebox Loophole

from the sound-familiar? dept

With the news of the latest push by the RIAA to close the "radio loophole" to squeeze more money out of their music, it's worth noting that this is really nothing new. The industry has been doing it for ages. Thanks to Tim Lee and Matthew Yglesias for pointing to an article from 1962 where (oh no!) the industry was claiming that copyright law needed to be strengthened to deal with greedy business owners who weren't paying their fair share every time their jukeboxes played a song. Apparently there was something of a "jukebox exception" in royalty rates, where jukebox owners only needed to pay for the records they bought, and not each time they were played. Luckily, the law was changed in 1976, allowing the recording industry to survive. Otherwise, it surely would have perished.

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  • identicon
    Gary, 25 May 2007 @ 7:26am

    The jukebox industry died instead. Dunno if that's a direct result of the 1976 change in copyright law, but I bet there's a connection.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      Yet, you can still find several digital/CD jukeboxes all round town, located in sports-bars, pool-halls and even some restaurants.

      The jukebox industry did not die, it changed and adapted itself to new technologies over the years.

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

      • identicon
        Dave, 25 May 2007 @ 7:45am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe you can find several jukeboxes "all around" your town, but I can only think of one bar of the many I frequent in Atlanta that has a jukebox. Weren't these EVERYWHERE years ago? You would think that technology would make digital jukeboxes more affordable and more attractive with larger catalogs available, but they seem to be more of a novelty now, and more expensive to play than it's worth.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Yet, you can still find several digital/CD jukeboxes all round town, located in sports-bars, pool-halls and even some restaurants.
        You must be too young to remember how jukeboxes used to be much more common than they are now. And it was in the late 1970's when they started disappearing in large numbers.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 12:44pm

        Re: Re:

        Yet, you can still find several digital/CD jukeboxes all round town, located in sports-bars, pool-halls and even some restaurants.
        You must spend a lot of time hanging out in bars too cheap to hire bands because that is about the only place to find a jukebox anymore. Jukeboxes used to be standard equipment in family burger joints and the like. Not any more.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 25 May 2007 @ 7:34am

    RIAA

    O How the RIAA sucks ass, let me count the ways.....

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

  • icon
    Steve R. (profile), 25 May 2007 @ 7:42am

    While copyright owners are entitled to certain privileges so that they can make some money, the word "strengthening" when applied to copyright is doublespeak for aggrandizing the privileges of the copyright holder by depriving the content users of their privileges. I wouldn't be adverse to "clarifications" that better define how the monetary (not privileges) pie is to be sliced between the content producer and use.

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 25 May 2007 @ 7:42am

    OMG, Jukeboxes will make artists starve and recording company execs might... just have to eat at a 4 star restaurant.

    Err wait, the second thing would never, ever happen.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      I've never thought about it before, but I don't think I've ever seen a real jukebox in my life.

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

      • identicon
        Just Me, 25 May 2007 @ 11:23am

        Re: Re:

        OMG, you're right...neither have I.
        I've seen countless ones in movies and TV, but never in real life.

        The closest I've seen are those multi-disc changers and that's only in peoples homes.

        ...weird.

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

  • identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, 25 May 2007 @ 7:45am

    Why can't

    Some university researcher do his/her thesis on the RIAA / MPAA and their response to every new technology in the last 50 years (oh however long they have existed) I think it would be interesting reading. First the Jukebox, to VHS to Radio, to MP3 players (least we forget the RIO and Diamond Multimedia) to XM, to p2p.

    I think the theme would be, they cry, scream and sue every time anything that remotely has the wiff.... of being in contact with... anything that may or may not threaten 'the Artist' (Read:their monopoly).

    Then submit it to congress or something...just a thought

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

  • identicon
    rEdEyEz, 25 May 2007 @ 8:38am

    Rockin' (and rumblin') around the Clock

    ...How many times in the media have you seen the tired, hackneyed, barroom brawl, in which the only real casualty/victim of the violence is the "innocent" little jukebox, setting in the corner?

    Well, now all of that has changed! (innocence, that is)

    Coming to a jukejoint near you...

    The RIAA Teamsters vs. The Jukebox Syndicate!

    ***LIVE on pay-per-view***

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 8:42am

    Greed has no boundaries.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 8:43am

    I have never been in a non-sports (i.e. one that always has some sport or other playing on a large TV) bar that doesn't have a jukebox.

    And the digital ones are awesome. I've spent hours on it putting obscure band names into them to try and find one it doesn't have, and it always has them.

    ALWAYS.

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

  • identicon
    Don, 25 May 2007 @ 9:02am

    Another point not often brought up is that the economic balance has shifted. Back in the early days (say the 50's and 60's) there was a relatively small legion of bands and musicians competing for an rapidly growing market of consumers. Now that music is "big business" there are tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of artists competing for a relatively fixed consumer base (with a correspondingly relatively fixed amount of disposable income). If, for example, Mary Wilson of the Supremes can't live off of the welfare system the are continually trying to turn copyright into because I instead choose to spend my money on someone like Disturbed, or let's say even Carlos Santana, who are actively working for their livings, that's her problem.

    The entertainment industry also needs to understand they aren't just competing amongst themselves, but with other industries as well. I read somewhere that food prices have risen 4% in the past month. And gas has risen over $1 since the election in November. That's an extra $15 every two weeks the oil companies are getting of my money. $15? Hey isn't that the price of a CD? I could be buying an extra CD every two weeks if the oil companies weren't gouging the consumers at the pumps.

    And I for one (and most people I know as well) are not going to work lots of overtime to earn that money back to spend on someone who wants to live off of work they did 30 years ago (or whom merely can't compete in the marketplace anymore). There's no law saying you get the privilege of making a living doing what you like to do. Try getting a job at Walmart. I can guarantee most of the people working their aren't doing so for the sheer pleasure of it.

    Here's an idea: Maybe the RIAA should sue Exxon for taking money away from them by jacking their prices. Now that would be amusing.

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

  • identicon
    bucko, 25 May 2007 @ 11:03am

    Can't tell you how many times (way back when) we would hear a song on the jukebox and somebody would end up buying the album (yeah, the vinyl thing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Check the roadhouse

    The local Logan's Roadhouse has one of the touchscreen digital jukeboxes. Too bad it does not have 1000s of things to pick from. Nice mix of music though. Something there for most anyone.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Thieving Pirates of '76

    Apparently there was something of a "jukebox exception" in royalty rates, where jukebox owners only needed to pay for the records they bought, and not each time they were played. Luckily, the law was changed in 1976, allowing the recording industry to survive.
    And then came the Pirates of '76. Beginning in 1976 a new breed of pirate was born. These thieving pirates would hang out in places where jukeboxes were know to be located. Then they would just hang around and listen to the music that others paid for for FREE! That's right, they listened without paying! Now, as the RIAA tells us, we all know that if you didn't pay for it then you stole it. So just remember, if you ever find yourself in a place with a jukebox (not that common anymore) and a song comes on that you didn't pay for you are morally obligated to either cover your ears or leave. Unless, of course, you're a thieving pirate.

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


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