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Fresh Off Being Called Out For Collusion, Legacy Music Industry Players Cite Need For Greater Collusion On Political Front

from the yeah,-that'll-do-it dept

Just recently, we wrote about the collusive behavior by music publishing companies, led by ASCAP, to try to screw Pandora out of higher rates. A judge called them out for it and rejected their plan (though, with little in the way of other punishment). However, apparently the publishers and other parts of the legacy recording industry seem to think that in order to move the political debate forward, they need to all get on the same page concerning the story they tell to Congress.

Yes, despite all the statements since the death of SOPA about how the legacy players in the music industry have given up on legislation, that's bogus. Instead, they're trying to team up and get their story straight about what kind of legislation they want:
When it comes to the music industry’s lobbying efforts in Washington, it is time for some harmony.

That message has gained momentum among music executives, who worry that squabbling among the various players — record labels, music publishers, artists, songwriters — will undermine broader initiatives to push for new legislation and regulatory reform.

[....]

Music groups are pushing for a range of new laws and regulations that they believe are vital to help their businesses survive in the digital era. But the interests of these parties do not always align.
Oh, and don't expect any of this new "sing from the same songbook" effort to include actually working with fans to understand what they want, or with innovators to understand how these legacy players might embrace the future to improve their business. Instead, it's all about playing hardball politics to try to use new laws to prop up old business models. The article notes that the defeat of SOPA was a wake-up call to the various parts of the music industry to work together to stop "the increasing influence" from technology companies.

Of course, they're just playing the same old game: lobby, rather than innovate. Collude, rather than compete. It's an old strategy that worked for decades, but seems much less likely to work these days. That was the lesson of SOPA, but it appears that the legacy players still don't get it.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    arcan, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 5:28am

    Not Suprising

    I guess old dogs really can't learn new tricks.

     

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  2.  
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    MadAsASnake (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 5:29am

    End Run

    The thing is, whatever draconian legal processes they extract from various legislatures, regular folks will continue to simply download anyway. Throwing money at politicians will only serve to stop new ideas and innovative companies coming to the fore, it will do nothing to improve their bottom line. The Internet means they cannot keep the status quo - they already lost it.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:04am

    For too long the government has given IP extremists everything they want. IP extremists already have too much. 95+ year copy protection lengths and retroactive extensions (public domain theft). It's time IP laws be fixed in the other direction based on the public interest and not based on the campaign contributions and revolving door favors of politicians, industry collusion, secretive negotiations with politicians and industry, what industry executives want, etc... The government is supposed to serve the people.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    Re: End Run

    They may try to collect a memory tax. Of course that won't excuse you to 'pirate' what you want. There is always something they can do to try and extort the public. No, to some level we must participate in the legal process or else we will wind up with laws that are even worse than what we already have. Our current laws do have a negative social impact.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:24am

    Re: End Run

    Or even better, maybe regular folks will put their feet up and "do without". Maybe read a book, play a video game, play an analogue game, all of which were already legally purchased and owned.

    Or maybe they will meet their friends and do all those things anyway.

    Taking more time and money away from the industries. At that point no amount of laws, money or screaming and foot-stamping will help them.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:32am

    Industry interests are much more coordinated than the public. In addition to campaign contributions they also offer revolving door favors.

    Perhaps one way we can get coordinated is to raise kinda like a kickstarter results based bond. Whichever politicians vote for a bill that reduces copy protection length to something more reasonable and the bill passes will be given a certain amount of money on their next re-election if they choose to run (if they don't choose to run again then they are out of luck). The money will be split among all the politicians that voted for said bill.

    Perhaps the kickstarter project can write the bill so that there is no additional negative provisions hiding somewhere. If you get this bill passed then on your next election you will get a portion of the money. If a lot of money is raised for a particular cause there will be huge incentives to get that bill passed and those that start passing favorable bills will have a re-election advantage over those that don't. Perhaps a higher percentage of the money can be given to whichever legislator introduces the bill and the rest can be evenly distributed among those that voted for it. The public can raise a lot more money than industry interests but we must better coordinate our efforts.

    Giving money to politicians that make vague claims who haven't accomplished anything yet is probably a waste of money being that when they get in office they may do a 180 (see just about every politician in office). Money needs to be given based on results and that money needs to be pre raised so that the politician can know that if you pass a given bill you will get a given amount in campaign contributions.

    Then again there are probably laws against giving money in exchange for laws. and there are probably laws against offering revolving door favors in exchange for laws. But industry interests seem to do it anyways. So what do these laws do? They simply stop the average citizen from coordinating their money and doing the same to get laws passed in the public interest while allowing industry to do it in secret and get away with it.

     

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  7.  
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    zip, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Just like lobbying and complaining, isn't collusion in their blood?

    One of their traditional collusive behaviors was commonly known as payola - and it was definitely illegal, but regardless, the record industry got away with it for ages.

    It's a funny thing though, that the perennial "sky is falling" industry is no longer going around insisting that the blank cassette tape will exterminate their whole industry if the government doesn't intervene. Ditto for the CD-R. And the MP3. ...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    Nice Idea but.. Bribery has a habit of becoming more and more expensive over time. It would give politicians the idea that they could propose a terrible law, and vote it in unless the public paid them not to.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 6:49am

    Why. Won't. You. Die?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:14am

    Time is certainly not on their side.

    The tech companies are now on to them and know their playbook, and their lobbying presence will only continue to grow as time passes.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    As long as rich people hold office, the average person's plight will never be understood.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:31am

    "to try to screw Pandora out of higher rates"

    Come on. Can we possibly see a little objectivity here?

     

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  13.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    From the cited NYT article:
    “While we and record labels may agree that Pandora should pay a maximum amount possible of their revenue for music, it doesn’t mean that we agree that the money should be split 13 to one,” said David Israelite, the president of the National Music Publishers’ Association.
    The objective view is that there is no competition among the music industry for market share.

     

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  14.  
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    zip, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    It's a shame that politicians never seem to do anything unless there's a big-dollar lobbying effort pushing it, but that's (sadly) the way the game is played, and you can either play ball or sit on the sidelines.

    So in effect, the solution to bribery is ... more bribery.

     

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  15.  
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    Baron von Robber, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Re:

    Hmm, it's been reported before that the music industry wanted Pandora to pay higher rates than other outlets. Pandora showed how the music industry music industry wanted Pandora to pay higher rates than other outlets. And finally a judge declared that the music industry music industry wanted Pandora to pay higher rates than other outlets.

    What kind of delusion of objectivity are you wanting?

     

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  16.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:49am

    If you have to write laws to keep your business going, you're doing business wrong.

     

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  17.  
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    Lurker Keith, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 7:54am

    I thought...

    I thought this was what the RIAA was for. To represent/ lobby for the collective interests of certain, seemingly mostly non-artist, portions of the Record Industry.

    Good news everyone! It seems that the RIAA lobby is no longer working like that.
    That message has gained momentum among music executives, who worry that squabbling among the various players — record labels, music publishers, artists, songwriters — will undermine broader initiatives to push for new legislation and regulatory reform.
    Oh, I see the problem. The RIAA is having trouble w/ the actual creators fighting back for their rights. As always, they don't want to pay the people they're supposed to represent their fair share.

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re: I thought...

    Yeah, pretty much - labels & publishers vs. artists and songwriters... and that's even ignoring other concerns like retailers, broadcasters, venue operators and so on. Of course, I expect them to be given as much thought as the end consumer in this.

    "squabbling... will undermine broader initiatives to push for new legislation and regulatory reform"

    Well, no shit. If the people working in the industry can't decide how things should work or what's best for themselves, you sure as hell shouldn't be having it enshrined in law.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    The only problem with objectivity is that you don't like the results.

     

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  20.  
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    madasahatter (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re:

    Amen

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    Objectively speaking, they are trying to screw Pandora by forcing them to pay higher rates than anyone else doing the same thing.

    Perhaps it's the word "screw" you object to? How about "force"?

     

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  22.  
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    gigglehurtz (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 10:13am

    Music groups are pushing for a range of new laws and regulations that they believe are vital to help their businesses survive in the digital era.

    Perhaps they should review the lyrics of one of their own, because the times they are a-changin'.

    The whole song seems appropriate but this part stood out to me -
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’

    (The best part of reading these lyrics is the copyright notice at the bottom. So, yeah, Mr. Dylan, think about this.)

     

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  23. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 10:26am

    Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 10:28am

    Google spends about 30 times more than the musicians' organization on lobbying. And their "innovation" is mostly using other creators' works to make billions. Also, the NY Times actual article (selectively edited by techdirt) is about the GRAMMY org, which doesn't represent labels, only artists and songwriters. Finally, tech groups band together all the time in DC. It's called "petitioning the government" (see "Amendment, First"). So other than all of the facts being wrong, this was an aweseom article.

     

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  25.  
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    Blue Sweater (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re:

    I think that is exactly what he wants.
    Then he can go back to his bosses and say
    May the force be with you

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    "Google spends about 30 times more than the musicians' organization on lobbying."

    So a megacorporation spends more than a musician's organization? So what? Google is hardly representative of the tech industry. They're representative of themselves.

    "And their "innovation" is mostly using other creators' works to make billions."

    Huh? Please explain what you mean. Last I checked, Google makes most of it's money by advertising on a service that they do better than anyone else (search). Do you really consider providing a valuable service to be some kind of abuse? Besides, if all movies and music vanished overnight, Google's business would continue just fine.

    Do you also think that supermarkets are abusive because they make billions using other creators' work as well?

    "which doesn't represent labels, only artists and songwriters"

    Where did the article say otherwise?

    "Finally, tech groups band together all the time in DC."

    Big whoop. "Petitioning the government" is quite a bit different than lobbying, no matter what lobbyists keep trying to argue.

    Other than all of your points being misdirected, pure opinion, or incorrect, your comment was awesome.

     

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  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    Looking for facts? Sorry, wrong place. Mike Masnick is a documented shill for the multi-billllionaire corporation Google.

     

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  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re:

    " Google is hardly representative of the tech industry. "

    LOL

    what a fucking idiot...

     

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  29.  
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    musickid (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

    REAL TALK

    I think when concerning "extorting the public" readers and influencers should really look towards big business desire to enforce minimum wage laws and the disease of inequality it creates. correct me if I am wrong: I believe it is 1% of the population own about 50% of the worlds wealth...

    It's true the public has been extorted and that translates into the music industry. It's humane behavior to do on to others what has been done on to you. and thus, the public feels that if it can extort the music industry for every penny its got via piracy, or a terrestrial radio payment rate that has not been effected by inflation since the 20's (research the Fair Market Radio Act Royalty).

    But mostly i think what everyone wants is a little more equality. more equality in income wages, more equality on how we treat terrestrial radio verse internet radio, and more equality in terms of who gets compensated for the work they put into their craft (research the Songwriter Equity Act)

    Remember who the one percent is in the equation pertaining to the article.... it's the tech industries lobbying millions of dollars... not the collective leaders of the music industry who have banned together with the meager thousands of dollars they fight to make a difference with.

     

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  30.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re:

    You're projecting again AC...

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    With such witty reparteé, you must be the devil at parties.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Re: REAL TALK

    In the US, the inequality is such that the top 1% of wealth and income combined have 80% of the sum total of available money.

    However, if you go have a look at opensecrets.org, over the last ten years, the RIAA alone have spent ~$8m more than Google on lobbying. When you add in the MPAA, you have ~$40m more than Google over the same time period.

    So your assertion that Google spends more on lobbying than the RIAA is wrong over that time period, although they have spent considerably more in the last two election cycles than the RIAA.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately it is too late for Mr. Dylan to think about it, by 51 years.

     

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  34.  
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    Baron von Robber, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re:

    You're a funny guy. :D

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    LOL

    yeah, that's some hard hitting Google "criticism". Uh huh.

    It's what Masnick *doesn't* criticize Google for that gave him away as their shill.

    Well, that, and Google legal filings...

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And it's what you *don't* criticise the RIAA for that gives you away as their shill.

    If not complaining about something makes you a shill of it everyone's going to have to complain a lot more than usual. A lot more.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 8:25pm

    Re: REAL TALK

    "It's true the music industry screwed you over, but please blame Google!"

    Yeah, not convinced.

     

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  38.  
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    Achille Forler (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:48am

    Is technology the new faith?

    Excuse this music industry exec to pop into your congregation of unanimous, mostly anonymous, tech devotees during your music-business-bashing ritual. Mostly 'bashing' because the 'music business' that you describe is a caricature of what I know. Did anyone of you ever hold an exec job in our business? Or is a subscriber to a music business journal, aware of the issues in our industries (publishing and recording)? Why not give up the perceptions and study the facts, for a change?

    Contrary to what John says (the statistics don't bear him out), if you remove the content generated by copyright-based industries (music, video, TV, film, photos, games, etc.), then smart devices in general and search engines in particular become much less 'smart' or attractive to advertisers... and customers.

    The music industry may have been slow in adapting to the internet, but you should know that 1) mentalities and business practices don't change overnight and, 2) we must conduct our business on the basis of agreements with writers (publishers) or artists (labels) that were drafted prior to the advent of internet. Some of the clauses that were 'standard' at that time have become an obstacle to licensing today. Who wants to renegotiate those hundreds of thousands of contracts when you know that some lawyer will grab the opportunity to extract his or her pound of flesh? Anyone familiar with the licensing issues will know the constraints under which we are working and how much efforts have gone into resolving these issues.

    Remember also that, till date, half of the music industry's income is from physical sales, which require country-wise sub-licensing and brick and mortar offices. Artists too aren't virtual.

    When Spotify and Deezer started, we suddenly had to process reports of billions of streams. We were not prepared. Nobody had notified us. Some reports had incomplete data or did not match our systems. Every stream is a micro-payment, using 9 digits after the unit. So we ended up spending more money on processing than what we collected! The advent of streaming services cost music companies tens of millions of dollars in IT upgrade.

    We keep reading about the foibles of the music industry. I haven't read anything from your camp about the historic injustices, in the US in particular, meted out to the music industry such as the consent decrees imposed on ASCAP and BMI (any consent decree on broadband prices? On mobile handsets? on iPods?) Why have terrestrial radio stations been exempted from paying any royalties to record labels and artists? Why have hotels and restaurants been exempted for a very long time? Why do cinema theatres not pay royalties on music like they do in many other countries? The list goes on...

    Are you sensibilities not hurt when big tech companies set up virtual companies in tax havens and from there compete globally with other industries who need brick and mortar infrastructure and pay local taxes?

    The point I want you to take away is that things are not black & white, there are no good guys-bad guys in business. Most tech companies start their business by using content without license. The first to call me will be the artist: "Hey, my songs are available on that service: did you license it? No? And you haven't sued the bastard yet? Then why the fuck have I signed with you?" And they're right! With some companies you negotiate (a long time), with others you just have to litigate. All this costs time and money because you're faced with the best lawyers money can buy.

    We fight in some territories and collaborate in others. By partnering with Apple, Google, Nokia, YouTube and others, music companies have been able to generate revenues from territories that never paid us earlier.

    I can go on and on. Its just another day at the desk...

    In the end, all our business rests on artists: they are the ones we talk to every day. They are entrepreneurs in their own right but don't have stock options or golden parachutes like tech entrepreneurs. So they need to be paid, fairly. And if they don't get paid, it is us they will call up, not the tech companies.

    Cheers!

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 2:32am

    Re:

    This all predicates on the music industry having any credibility left behind. Which, thanks to the various actions taken by relevant organisations against consumers - punishing them for legally purchased product (rootkits), demanding money for artists not covered (various collection agencies worldwide), among other things - it has none.

    And you're telling us, day-to-day device users, consumers of legitimately purchased music, video games and applications - that it's all our fault, and you want money?

     

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  40.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re:

    "And you're telling us, day-to-day device users, consumers of legitimately purchased music, video games and applications - that it's all our fault, and you want money?"

    He's basically whining that business is too hard and those pesky tech companies had to make them work too much. He's also a caricature with many different lies to fall back on (people won't use devices without our beloved content to put on them!) and false equivalence (artists don't get golden parachutes like tech entrepreneurs! - conveniently ignoring those given to entertainment industry executives and the fact that most artists get royalties on work they did decades ago). They created the industry with its mess of licences, restrictions, etc., and now they're whining that it's too hard to deal with the realities of the modern marketplace.

    Just another dishonest asshole unwilling to get into a real debate based on facts...

     

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  41.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:19am

    Re: Is technology the new faith?

    "When Spotify and Deezer started, we suddenly had to process reports of billions of streams."

    Really? You instantly had billions of streams coming from Spotify's streaming launch in Sweden, and they didn't even negotiate streaming rights with you? Or, are you saying that you negotiated licences with them for their US launch with full knowledge of their European business and you didn't bother to check the figures for the last few years or ask them to wait until you had your own infrastructure in place? Call me unsympathetic on the latter, sceptical and requiring evidence of the former.

    "The advent of streaming services cost music companies tens of millions of dollars in IT upgrade."

    ...and now the infrastructure is there and you can start to profit from it, just as Spotify's own infrastructure didn't come cheap and presumably had to be built before you even licenced them to do their business.

    Just another dishonest person on the "side" of the music industry, but at least you're just attacking legal businesses and customers now instead of whining about piracy and pretending that nobody wants to give you money. Now you're just whining that it's too difficult to count the revenue that's flooding in.

     

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  42.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re: Is technology the new faith?

    "Mostly 'bashing' because the 'music business' that you describe is a caricature of what I know. Did anyone of you ever hold an exec job in our business?"

    My criticism of the mainstream music industry is based on the adverse effect it is having on the rest of society. There is no need to have any insider knowledge of the how the industry works to validate that criticism.

    "Contrary to what John says (the statistics don't bear him out)"

    Then please provide those statistics. I don't think that the mainstream music industry is essential to the existence of search engines because they existed just fine before there was more than an insignificant amount of such content.

    "then smart devices in general and search engines in particular become much less 'smart' or attractive to advertisers"

    I don't care one whit how attractive these things are to advertisers. The advertising industry also has a negative effect on all of this, after all. I already dealt with search engines, but I wanted to comment about smart devices. There's no historical information to go by, for these, of course, but most of the people I personally know who use smart devices don't use them primarily to listen to music or watch movies. Their primary value lies elsewhere. If mainstream music and movies couldn't exist on them, they would still have and use them.

    "I haven't read anything from your camp about the historic injustices, in the US in particular, meted out to the music industry"

    True. Probably because those issues don't really relate to the general subject matter this blog covers. The impact of music industry actions on technology, however, is clearly within the stated scope of this blog.

    "Are you sensibilities not hurt when big tech companies set up virtual companies in tax havens and from there compete globally with other industries who need brick and mortar infrastructure and pay local taxes?"

    I have a large problem with the whole "tax haven" thing. I don't actually have much of a problem with competing with brick-and-mortar stores, though.

    "Most tech companies start their business by using content without license."

    Evidence, please. From where I sit, it looks like most tech companies start their business by using stuff they produced themselves, not by using content without a license. The group you're talking about is a tiny (but often highly visible) segment of the tech industry.

    "They are entrepreneurs in their own right but don't have stock options or golden parachutes like tech entrepreneurs. So they need to be paid, fairly."

    Well, firstly, most tech entrepreneurs don't have stock options or golden parachutes. In fact, most of them go into debt to start their businesses, and are harmed when they fail.

    Secondly, I agree 100% that artists need to be paid fairly. I think 99.999% of the readers here agree with that. That's not the issue.

     

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  43.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's what Masnick *doesn't* criticize Google for that gave him away as their shill.

    Oh, you mean because Mike's isn't jumping on your bandwagon to crucify Google because your industry is lagging behind the times? Yeah, that proves nothing.

    Well, that, and Google legal filings...

    Get some new material dude. That's been refuted more times that I can count, yet you still can't let it go. I guess your inclination to cling to a incorrect, outdated notions puts you right at home in a industry that does the same.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 8:52pm

    The Recording Academy is a unified body of content creators, involving everyone who helps in the music creation process, like singers, songwriters, and well as producers and engineers. By working together with everyone, they can accomplish a singular goal, furthering the rights of musicians. The Recording Academy spent only a little over $468,000 on lobbying last year. That is a minute figure compared to what Google and others spend. But they aren't attempting to fool music consumers. They're being upfront about their ideals and fighting for a very noble cause.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 9:59pm

    Re:

    And that would because most of your money goes to paying Cary Sherman, Chris Dodd and Mitch Bainwol so they can have increased bonuses to shake their sabers at frightened grandmothers for crack money.

    You get why no one believes you?

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Angelina, Apr 13th, 2014 @ 12:20pm

    This article is ridiculous to say they are colluding, if anything this article is colluding. Completely false accusations.

    There is nothing wrong about aspiring and working towards fair rights for artists. If anything the artists are getting screwed. Screw Pandora for using their work? How is that possible?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2014 @ 10:07pm

    Re:

    Hello, another sockpuppet.

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Achille Forler (profile), Apr 13th, 2014 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re: Is technology the new faith?

    The issue, John, starts with the offensive title - "Legacy Music Industry Players Cite Need For Greater Collusion". One cannot makes such sweeping statements and hope for an enlightened debate: this is clearly fodder for believers, those who have adopted as a faith that the music industry is bad, or outdated, whatever.

    If it really were so "discredited" as someone mentioned above, and only filled with execs whose single purpose in life was to cheat artists, then how come artists still sign with a music publisher or with a record label? Barring two, every single person in my organisation is deep into music, either as musician, gig organiser, critic, vocal trainer... Music is their life. After work we go to gigs. We constantly think of new ways to increase the fan base of our artists, on how to pass on great old songs to the new generation...

    If you think that all music services launch only after obtaining proper licenses then, having loaded the music industry with all dishonesty, you presume too much honesty from your pet industry. Just type the keywords 'infringement, millions, copyright' etc. into your search engine and see the results.

    The music industry is a very old industry and it has a good memory. When record players came on the scene at the turn of the 20th century, manufacturers didn't want to pay and we had to sue them. Same story with the advent of commercial radio in the early 1920's: they lobbied very hard to change copyright laws to suit their interests, particularly in the 1928 and 1948 sessions to revised the Berne Convention. There were battles with both the film and television industries. The Internet tech companies are just another, bigger challenge to copyrights. Because without copyrights, without the recognition of real, exclusive ownership, you don't get paid at all, let alone "fairly".

    Everyone has committed mistakes, not the music industry alone. I agree that the RIAA's actions were stupid, but they were not without basis: the individuals prosecuted had shoplifted, didn't they? Moreover, it was an action limited to the US territory. Elsewhere the recording industry took different approaches. One must also acknowledge that the music publishers handled the issue differently.

    The constant barbs, insinuations and insults from new Tech Age converts are not only undeserved and offensive, bring no light to the debate, but are an attack on the artists themselves. If you agree that artists need to be paid fairly, then you cannot indiscriminately tar their legal representatives. The copyrights created by our artists are the only assets of our industry. Our destinies are entwined. Without a strong industry to defend their interests, artists will soon be reduced to passing the hat around.

     

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  50.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 14th, 2014 @ 12:27am

    Re:

    "if anything this article is colluding"

    You don't know what colluding is, do you? Let alone the history of the music industry.

    "There is nothing wrong about aspiring and working towards fair rights for artists"

    Indeed. So why are you trying so hard to defend the labels that have categorically screwed them over for decades?

    "Screw Pandora for using their work? How is that possible?"

    When you finally read about the history of the music industry, look into licencing. Particularly the part about how the labels are trying to make Pandora pay significantly more than other similar services do. You might learn what the actual argument is.

     

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  51.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 14th, 2014 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Is technology the new faith?

    "the individuals prosecuted had shoplifted, didn't they?"

    No they hadn't. Not even the ones sued successfully, even ignoring the dead, the children and the innocent who were sued. Stop using tortured, completely false analogies, and we might get somewhere with these debates.

    Try listening to the actual arguments, because your little essay here didn't address one of them, let alone address facts.

    "are an attack on the artists themselves"

    When you get yourself off the cross, we can talk about the artists that many of us here support deliberately because they managed to get themselves away from your cults - or were clever enough to never join them. There's many of them, and they make a lot more from me than any RIAA member ever will at this point. And no, that doesn't mean I pirate the labels' shoddy output either.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're right here, indiscriminately tarring people who read this site as "Tech Age converts attacking artists". And you want to be paid?

    Sorry, if you think we don't deserve anything for being "indiscriminate" "Tech Age converts", you certainly don't deserve to get paid for indiscriminately calling us that.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 1:09am

    Re:

    Why have hotels and restaurants been exempted for a very long time?

    Eateries with music have constantly and regularly been harassed by performance right organizations to pay for music they play from legally purchased CDs.

    Performance right organizations regularly demand money that small eateries can't afford, even for live music by bands performing their own original music, because said organizations refuse to believe that bands would play anything else other than Billboard Top 40 songs.

    Performance right organizations have stopped charity concerts playing folk music, which has been free for centuries, on the grounds that someone alive must obviously be holding onto the copyright and therefore deserves a cut. (But don't expect them to actually find said person and give them the money; that's far too much work.)

    Pardon me if I don't believe a word you say.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 4:49am

    Re: REAL TALK

    Ha ha ha! Easily disproved BS is disproved. Try again, shill.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Achille Forler (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re:

    You are dismissive, which shows that your mind is made up. So pardon me if I have to point out your ignorance of the law and of how PROs work.

    Take one of those CDs that you bought and read what is written around the edge of its body (the CD itself): what is written there? "Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, PUBLIC PERFORMANCE and broadcasting prohibited." The CD that you buy is for your private enjoyment only. To make commercial use you need a license. Point 1.

    Point 2. Nobody forces an eatery to play music: they do it because it is good for their customers and for their business. Eateries, however small, pay for their electricity, salt, pictures on the wall, everything! Why then should music, of all things, be free? ASCAP rates are very reasonable and one can even opt for payment in instalments or seasonal/occasional licenses. How dos the verb "harass" apply here?

    And if you agree that big eateries and restaurant chains should pay (which I assume you do), on what justification would small eateries, already offered pro-rated discounts, be entirely left out? In countries outside the US, small eateries (and hairdressers, small shops, etc) pay two Societies: one for the performance of the literary and musical works (to reward lyricists and composers) and one for the sound recording (to reward artists and producers). Do they whine?

    Anyone writing music is affiliated to a PRO (else, he/she doesn't understand how authors are remunerated) and gets paid, irrespective of who performs their music.

    "Charity" concerts? The PROs give free licenses every year to charity concerts that are of public interest. Do charity concerts organisers get everything - venues, stage equipment, transport, publicity, etc. - for free? Why do you want to force me, as a lyricist or composer, to give in to each and every "charity" concert under the sun? Are YOU giving money to every charity that solicits you?

    We are only asking for what we are entitled to, just as you do, I assume.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    All that garbage and not a single explanation of how you make sure the right artist actually gets paid.

    Not to mention you completely ignored the example of a band playing it's own original music, and you actually think that the band needs to pay the organization for the privilege of playing their very own music which they composed themselves.

    And what about folk music? Wait, don't tell me. You're the sort of person who believes that someone in the world is owed money every time someone sings "Happy Birthday".

    You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

     

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


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