Removing Songs From iTunes A Great Way To Help Cover Bands

from the as-for-yourself?-not-so-clear... dept

A few weeks ago, we noted that some record labels were choosing to wait until a song had become popular to remove it from iTunes on the highly questionable theory that this would encourage fans to buy the full CD instead of just buying a single track. This seems quite unlikely (more likely is that people will simply go pirate the one track). However, the LA Times notes that in the case of the band the was discussed in the initial article, the removal of the official song has proven a boost to cover bands that have stepped in to fill the void. Even if the tracks aren't that good, a lot more people are buying them since they can't find the original. That's probably not what the record label intended when it pulled the songs from iTunes, but if there's one thing the recording industry has shown over and over again for years is that it has trouble figuring out how the market will react to its more braindead moves.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Rajio, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    no problem

    they can just sue the cover bands. problem solved.


    ....right?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 7:52am

      Re: no problem

      Of course.... suing fixes everything!

       

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      Dave, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:07am

      Re: no problem

      they can just sue the cover bands. problem solved.

      I already patented that business model... you owe me $100

       

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      Wrong Answer, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 9:36am

      Re: no problem

      They can't sue the cover band, at least not in the US.

      US Law provides for compulsory licensing, whereby anyone is free to record a cover version of any song once it is released. The writers of the song would receive royalties (approx 9 cents per song) for each copy sold. If the original band were not themselves the writers of the song they would receive nothing.

      There is no real way of rpeventing cover bands from recording the song and selling it. Copyright protection for music is far different than say patent protection or even literary copyright.

       

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      Brian, Oct 9th, 2008 @ 7:53pm

      Re: no problem

      Actually, as soon as an artist records a song into a fixed tangible median and distributes it, anyone can record it and the artist has no say. As long as whoever recorded it has gone through the Harry Fox Agency and payed the transcription license (which if the song is on iTunes, chances are, they have), it's fair game. Completely legal

       

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    Overcast, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    All of this in general encourages me to avoid the hassle altogether. The hassle of spending too much for too little music, as in a CD. And the Hassle of too much BS, even if I can pick what I want - digital downloads.

    I just find other hassle-free (or less hassle anyway) places to spend cash.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    eMusic

    As a member of eMusic for several years now, one of the biggest issues is that people don't seem to notice the "independent music" aspect of the site before joining. So, they come in, download a bunch of tracks, then post some messages to the message boards about how the service sucks because it doesn't have the latest major label tunes. They feel misled, and usually cancel their account shortly afterwards, despite the fact that there's a lot of great original music there they could download instead.

    I wonder if iTunes users use the same complaints, since the prices there are several times higher than eMusic's? If so, they may believe they're being ripped off and refuse to buy from iTunes, but that won't necessarily translate to more sales elsewhere - they may simply return to P2P. Yay for idiotic music industry practices once again...

     

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    shmengie, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:05am

    it's a scientific fact!

    one instance = trend. i'm disappointed, mike, that you would pass along this highly questionable article. i think you add to the fud by giving an air of legitimacy to this fud-based article. it's early, i can't get my thoughts out. must...inject...coffee...into...veins...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:13am

      Re: it's a scientific fact!

      I miss where in this article or any linked articles one instance of anything is equated with a trend.

       

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        shmengie, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re: it's a scientific fact!

        the declarative nature of the the title states that it is a fact and it's happening, and does soin a very general way as to imply that it a standard practice.

        that;s how it reads to me, anyways.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: it's a scientific fact!

          Well, it IS happening -- whether general or not I'd say is up for debate. But in theory, given what the premises are, it's a reasonable generalization to draw. If you plan to let a song get popular and then "cut off" the supply, anyone else offering a similar product (like a cover of the song) now benefits from the popularity you let grow. No, it's probably not very scientific (at least not in this form), but it's a rational conclusion.

           

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      Mike (profile), Sep 9th, 2008 @ 11:07am

      Re: it's a scientific fact!

      one instance = trend

      I wasn't saying it was a big trend, just pointing out what happened, and how it helped cover bands. I think, given the facts of the situation that it's also reasonable to assume that something similar would happen in other instances as well.

      A few months ago there was another article talking about how some cover bands are having tremendous success on iTunes by doing covers of all the popular tunes that bands refuse to sell on iTunes. So I think it's perfectly reasonable to suggest that's what would happen.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    They can sue the cover bands all they want but they'd lose every case due to the compulsory license. As long as the cover bands pay the applicable license fees, they're good. I don't know why any cover band would bother because those license fees are higher than what the cover band would make from iTunes sales. They can make some money on CD or vinyl sales as they can set their own price.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    Bah, iTunes. I absolutely loathe the "we're only going to release bonus tracks on iTunes" garbage.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      Indeed. Went looking for a few songs from the 80's. iTunes has everything from that band except the few songs I wanted. Found them on PB. Problem solved.

       

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    Davis Freeberg, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    The Same Can Be Said For YouTube

    I've seen a number of small indie bands use YouTube cover songs to get their career to take off because the media companies keep pulling their videos off the site and people are finding the covers instead. If bands want to ignore the promotional value of having all that traffic tuning in that's fine, but this trend doesn't seem confirm their claims about being harmed by the "piracy" on the site. When small bands are able to take cover songs and turn them into record contracts and sales, it's clear that the studios are leaving money on the table. I hope that this trend continues because hopefully, it will encourage more bands to distribute their content online, instead of letting the indie bands eat their lunch.

     

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    Replica Fairings, Dec 2nd, 2008 @ 8:35am

    That is a war they would not win unless the prices of CD's get cheap enough to allow people to better buy the CD instead of an ITune.

     

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    Hannah, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Hot guitar solos

    What do you think of this YouTube video showcasing the nice guitar licks by Daniel Minteer off his ablum?

     

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