Why Are The Record Labels Demanding Money To Let People Stream Legally Purchased Music?

from the isn't-that-music-that-I'm-free-to-listen-to? dept

Lately, I've been playing around with various music locker services, just to get a better understanding of how they work and to be able to access my (legally purchased) music collection on various machines and devices. So far, they're all a bit limited, but it shouldn't be long until they get better. However, the industry has always hated music locker services, and insisted that they somehow violate their copyright, even when the lockers simply allow individuals to place shift their own legal music. There's an ongoing lawsuit over Michael Robertson's MP3Tunes for which a decision is expected shortly. At the same time, Apple has been trying to quietly enter the market without disturbing the record labels.

Why? Because the labels have this bizarre theory of copyright that says that even if you have a music locker with entirely legal and authorized music, you still need to pay license fees to stream the music from the locker. It's difficult to understand how that makes any sense at all, either from a common sense or legal standpoint, and the labels may have a difficult time getting such a concept to stand up in court. But I'm reminded of the issue again as reports are leaking of Google's proposed music service, which would include a music locker component. Apparently a big stumbling block, however, is that Google wants to charge $25/year for it, and do a 50/50 split with the labels.

The labels, of course, are quite upset at such a proposal, claiming it's ridiculous, both in terms of the total amount and the revenue share. But I'm wondering what their complaint is here. If the music is legally purchased (or is given away in an authorized manner for free), then how can they possibly demand such exorbitant rates for streaming that very same music? This is going to backfire on the labels in a big way. Their constant refrain of "pay us every time you use," is looking more and more desperate.

Filed Under: lockers, music, streaming
Companies: google

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  1. identicon
    Grrr, 17 Sep 2010 @ 5:55am

    Is this ever going to end?

    Its none stop with this crap.

    Consumers want to buy the media, then play it on any format that suits them.

    Thats the digital way of things - Its here its happening & all attempts to exploit more money from the consumer is pushing them down illegal avenues. Avenues that were created for the 80's.

    As an artist myself, I will never sign to a label. Its far easier to connect with my fanbase directly, skipping the middle(Muddle)man.

    You buy a song from me & that gives you the right to copy to any media format that suits you, including making multiple recordings i.e. Car, Home, mobile player. I don't care.

    My fans pay for the song or album once. A fair days pay for a fair days work. I see no need to then hassle my fans into parting with more money in order to listen to the music in whatever format they like. Public broadcasting & Radio airplay costs the same - because this is free advertising so I have no problems with them just buying the song or album just like everyone else.

    The record labels can no longer justify their reaction to the digital world. Artists are starting to see that in their present form the labels are useless & damaging to the artists themselves.

    With a label free model a successful artist can make more money. Because their music is more accessable & there are no middle men taking large chunks of the proceeds to sue the very people who are paying for my work.

    Record labels really don't add any value now, they are dinosaurs & the meteor has struck. Time for a new species to arise from their ashes....

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