Get Ready For Classic Songs Of The 50s & 60s To Disappear From Internet Streaming Thanks To Copyright Lawsuits

from the bye-bye-1960s-classics dept

Say goodbye to the musical hits of the 50s and 60s, if you like that sort of thing and listen via online services. Chances are they may start to disappear, as the places where you now get your streaming music realize they need to protect themselves against a possible massive liability. As we've covered for some time, there have been a few lawsuits filed recently over the licensing status of pre-1972 sound recordings. There's a lot of history here, but a short explanation is that in 1909, when Congress redid copyright law, it didn't think that sound recordings (then a relatively new concept) were copyrightable subject matter. Of course, in the years following that, as the "music business" turned into the "recording industry" pressure mounted by that industry led to a bunch of state regulations and common law creating copyright or copyright-like rights for sound recordings.

With the 1976 Copyright Act, rather than "federalizing" all sound recording copyrights, Congress basically left all pre-1972 recordings under those state laws, while effectively wiping out those laws for everything else. Since then, all copyright is under federal copyright law, but old sound recordings are still subject to those state laws. But those state laws were somewhat limited -- and at no point did anyone seriously believe that there was any sort of public performance licensing required for those recordings. Well, not until a few years ago, when some big record labels started searching under the couch cushions for other ways to squeeze money out of online services. They'd already convinced Congress to force internet streaming sites to pay compulsory performance royalties (at insanely high rates), even though radio doesn't have to pay those.

But that wasn't enough. So, they started to focus on those pre-1972 recordings and said that while those aren't subject to the compulsory rates, perhaps they could hold them hostage and force the streaming sites to pay insane amounts for them. The streaming sites, rightfully, pointed out that none of those state laws really had a public performance right as a part of it, and thus there was no licensing required to perform those works and... eventually the lawsuits began.

Late last year, there was a series of separate but similar rulings in courts in California and New York that more or less upturned decades of copyright consensus about what rights were afforded to pre-1972 recordings.

And now additional lawsuits are starting to show up -- and you can expect a lot more of them. A holding company called Zenbu Magazines has sued Apple's Beats Music along with Google, Songza, Slacker, Rdio, Sony and Grooveshark using the same basic template as those earlier lawsuits. Zenbu claims to hold the copyrights for recordings by the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Tuna and New Riders of the Purple Sage. And it wants to get paid. Big time.

In fact, Zenbu is looking to make this a class action lawsuit, meaning that the holders of lots of other copyrights on pre-1972 recordings may pile on as well -- and the potential liability facing all of these streaming services could quickly grow to astronomical numbers.

Given that, it seems quite likely that at least some, if not all, of these services are going to quickly realize that their best move is to simply remove all pre-1972 recordings from their catalog. History for music may end in 1972 thanks to these self-defeating lawsuits from copyright holders desperate to squeeze extra money out of these services. It's hard to see how that benefits culture in the slightest.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:22am

    Call the bluff

    Every single music streaming company should immediately pull all pre-1972 songs from their playlists. If a couple of greedy schmucks want to try and threaten music streaming companies like this, a fair response would seem to be to remove entirely every single track and album beyond the cutoff point, therefor removing any potential issues. If a particular band wants their music added back to the playlist, then it's up to them to do the legwork and secure the licensing rights for the streaming company, not the streaming company. They want their music heard, then they get to work for it.

    Let's see how they enjoy having their music simply cease to exist on such services, I'm sure they'll love that little change.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:06am

      Re: Call the bluff

      Honestly I agree with you on the course of action but I have issues with this sentence:

      They want their music heard, then they get to work for it.

      I'm going to risk saying bs but most artists for the songs in question aren't probably alive anymore so it's a question of either their Estate destroying what they lived for or some copyright morons that bought the rights and are trying to squeeze money out of it now that they noticed the legal route is open. You see, if you bought it for pennies and couldn't care less about the music itself then it doesn't matter if the works go into oblivion as long as you make a good buck out of them.

      And this, my friends, is the marvel of copyright. Fucking up culture and hurting creativity since it was enacted it seems.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: Call the bluff

        True, I imagine to most bands, and most musicians, they'd take less money if it meant more people listening to their music(especially considering the alternative here is no money, and no listeners), the real money grubbers here are almost certainly those other than the bands, who don't care one bit about the music, all they care about is the possibility of getting more money.

        That their actions are likely to result in less money in the future is an issue that they completely ignore, preferring to focus on the possibility of some money now.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Call the bluff

          Most bands and musicians (pre '72) have nothing to do with the rights or (potential) earnings.

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      • identicon
        The Ogre, 31 Jan 2015 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re: Call the bluff

        Well, maybe not SINCE it was enacted, but it's certainly growing into that. It's kind of lost that original intent to protect the creator's right to their work for a short time, and then let it fall into the public domain. Because sharing, remaking, adapting, etc. are all good things, and add to the culture. Copyright law is keeping these works penned up longer and longer at the expense of truly adding to our culture. The balance is off. And as soon as Mickey Mouse gets a little closer to slipping into the public domain, that balance is going to get worse...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:28am

      Re: Call the bluff

      And that helps how? It shure won't hurt them. They simply don't care.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re: Call the bluff

        By eliminating any potential lawsuit ammo, or at least lessening it. They can try and claim 'back-pay' for their music being played in the past, but if a streaming service no longer has their music, they can hardly demand more money in the future from them.

        Also, if you don't think 'No listeners and no money' won't hurt them, you seem to underestimate their greed, money is pretty much all they care about, losing any will get their attention very quickly.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Call the bluff

          No, it won't hurt them. They have their cashcow and they won't lose any money if streamers have the oldies available or not. And the consumer will be stuck with less options.
          The only way I see is to fight back, lobbing with EFF, etc.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:28am

    To save time

    Also, just in case someone decides to pull the 'Well they should have just paid up for steaming the music then!' card, due to the mess of copyright regarding pre-1972 sound recordings, pre-1972 sound recordings are not covered under statutory licensing, which means each streaming company would have to individually work out a deal with each copyright owner, and as the only ones able to license out a particular song/album, the negotiations would almost certainly be ridiculously one-sided and prohibitively expensive, both in terms of time and money.

    And, just in case you don't already know, take a wild guess as to who has been the staunchest opponents of harmonizing pre- and post- 1972 copyright law, such that it would all be covered under federal copyright law? Yeah, as if you even had to guess...

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:09am

      Re: To save time

      Thankfully, if there is any means to get them before they vanish there will be a pirate making them available and preserving culture.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:34am

      Re: To save time

      There's also the possibility of requiring a separate license for each state as well, since the copyright laws of each different as well.... I can see that argument coming up later too

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  • icon
    Jeff (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:25am

    Why aren't radio stations lumped in with this? explain it to me like I'm five please... Shouldn't they (Zenbu) be also suing Clear Channel & others like them? Not only does Clear Channel have radio stations that play oldies, but you can also listen online via iHeartRadio... which last time I checked was a streaming site.
    I smell the distinct odor of collusion here.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      You answered your own question.

      I smell the distinct odor of collusion here.

      'Hey now, you know those of us in the radio business have always been good to you, providing a relatively cheap way to dictate what is and is not popular in exchange for some small sums changing hands. But lately, those internet streaming sites, they've been posing a threat to the both of us, threatening to take away our listeners, and your ability to dictate what gets played. As such, don't you think it would be a good idea to do something about them, hmmm?'

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      Generally, they get a mechanical license or something.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:33am

      Re:

      Well radio stations are basically advertising, as it is not very convenient for the listener to make their own copy; and you listen to what they give you. Also, radio relies on the labels for the music it transmits.
      The Internet is more of a distribution service, allowing listeners to listen to what they want to. It also enables independent musicians to reach an audience.
      The Internet therefore threatens the labels monopoly on music distribution, and must be killed by ant means that are vaguely legal.
      Also, vague laws are fodder for trolls who want to extract tolls from society.

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      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:48am

        Utter nonsense completely detached from reality.

        > as it is not very convenient for the listener to make their own copy

        Bullshit. It's pretty trivial and has been since the 70s.

        If anything, it's much easier to pirate off of radio than any of these streaming services. Radio is an unencrypted analog medium and most playback devices have had built in recorders for decades now.

        Just hit the record button.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:56am

          Re: Utter nonsense completely detached from reality.

          After recording what comes over the air, there is the problem of editing out those songs, commercials and announcements that you do not want. The alternative is to switch recording on and off to only capture what you want. The mechanics of recording may be easy, but controlling what you keep is inconvenient.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:26am

          Re: Utter nonsense completely detached from reality.

          Just hit the record button.

          I think it's been many years since I saw a radio that had a record button. If I'm not mistaken, most of the devices people use to listen to music these days (phones, iPods and other MP3 players, and personal computers) don't have radio tuners in them. And most of the devices people use to listen to the radio (car stereo) don't have recorders. In the 80s and 90s it was easy when lots of radios also included a cassette recorder, but these days it's WAY easier to get music from a torrent site than to record it off the radio. And that doesn't even get into the editing issues AC raised.

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    • icon
      Karl (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:09pm

      Re: Terrestrial radio

      Why aren't radio stations lumped in with this?

      Legally speaking, they are. It's just that rights holders haven't gotten around to suing them yet.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 7:55am

    Copyright today is nothing more than a war on culture.
    It is not about creation.
    It is not about promoting art.
    It is not about promoting science.
    It is not about getting artists paid.

    It is about taking things away.
    It is about control.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:20am

      Re:

      It's a competing culture of greed in which all other things (including people and the art that they create) are sociopathically considered a means of making more money and nothing else. If you have to kill art to make more money, they don't have a problem with that.

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  • icon
    DeadBolt (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:06am

    the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Tuna and New Riders of the Purple Sage


    OK, I work for a vinyl collecting magazine for 5+ years now, so I constantly get introduced to obscure music, not counting the fact my father collects some obscure stuff, but I've never even heard of these bands

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    • identicon
      Nigel, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:28am

      Re:

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      I know (and have recordings of) all three of those bands. I never thought of Hot Tuna as "obscure", but I suppose they are that now.

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    • identicon
      wallow-T, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:44am

      time marches on

      Ha, you remind me of a younger music fan I was BBS-ing with in the 1990s. She was a huge R.E.M. fan and wanted to know, after one concert, who the old woman was who came out to sing with Michael Stipe.

      It was, of course, Patti Smith. I couldn't believe that she'd become invisible to a serious fan of indie rock by the 1990s, but there it was.

      The Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Tuna and NRPS were all bands which serious rock fans would have been aware of in the 1970s. Hot Tuna had the highest visibility because of their connections to Jefferson Airplane, and New Riders of the Purple Sage had some association with the Grateful Dead.

      But listening to 1970s rock bands now is like listening to Glenn Miller & the swing bands when I was in college.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      These bands were reasonably well-known in the 1970's. Not as well-known as, say, Jefferson Airplane, CSN&Y, or the Doobie Brothers, but roughly one level below that. All them have released albums that achieved modest success and a certain amount of critical acclaim, but more significantly, they were influential among other musicians. It's worth your time to dig up an old version of the Rolling Stone Guide to Music, read the entries on them, and listen to anything rated three stars or higher. (The FBB included people who turned in the Eagles and Poco and Firefall. Hot Tuna was a side project of Casady and Kaukonen from Jefferson Aiplane. NRPS had several members who wound up in the Grateful Dead: Garcia, Hart, Lesh.)

      I strongly doubt that any of the numerous people who participated in any of these will ever see a cent from the record companies. (Especially since a number of them are dead.)

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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:09am

    Since it is pre 1972

    Our Rallying Anthem must be the best song of 1971...

    Bye, Bye Miss American Pie


    Shed a tear for culture.

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  • icon
    Chris ODonnell (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:12am

    And people think I'm being a cranky old guy when I explain why I'd rather own the music I listen to, instead of relying on a streaming service that may go away tomorrow, leaving with nothing to show for potentially years of $10 a month payments.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      This. Streaming services are of no interest to me because they are essentially radio that you pay for. If I'm going to pay money for music, it's going to be for a copy that I can keep and play any time, on any device, and without using proprietary software to do so.

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      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        You don't have to pay for streaming services. Most have perfectly fine free options.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          For varying degrees of "perfectly fine", I suppose. The ones I've seen either inject ads into their "free" offerings (in which case, I might as well listen to the radio) or provide very limited service. Also, it looks to me like they require special client software to use them.

          I fully confess that I've not looked at very many such services and even then it was a few years back, so thing s may be different than my perception. Nonetheless, I personally cannot see an advantage to streaming services that makes it worth investigating them. That's not a knock on streaming services at all -- it's just that they don't meet my personal desires. Others certainly differ.

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          • icon
            Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I fully confess that I've not looked at very many such services and even then it was a few years back, so thing s may be different than my perception.

            Same for me. Streaming hasn't caught my fancy either. Since I already have an extensive mp3 library, most of which was ripped from my wife and I's combined CD collections. When you add in the fact that I'm not very impressed with most of today's new music, then streaming just seems like another scam to pay for music I already own.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Also, it looks to me like they require special client software to use them.

            I think the big ones all run in web browsers.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That counts as "special client software" as the requirement means that there are a bunch of devices that I can't play the streams on.

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              • icon
                jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Listening to radio requires special client hardware, and it's becoming increasingly hard to find something that will play radio these days. For a lot of people, streaming software is more readily available than radio when they want to listen to music.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                That counts as "special client software" as the requirement means that there are a bunch of devices that I can't play the streams on.

                Interesting, I've never heard a web browser described that way. Obviously there are a bunch of devices you can't play it on. A car, a refrigerator, a ten year old iPod, a dumbphone, a Commodore 64, the list goes on and on. I don't see how that makes a web browser "special client software". After all, there is literally nothing that will run on every kind of device ever invented.

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                • icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 8:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Let me clarify. If a stream adheres to one of the standards (as hoc or otherwise), then I can play it using pretty much any player software I wish. If a stream does not, then I am required to use a specific piece of software to play it.

                  That's what I mean by "special client software". If that software is browser-based, then that just means the special software required is a combo of the browser + whatever javascript/plugin is required.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 11:42pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Out of interest: does this mean you're against plugins of any kind, or would the streams be acceptable if they, say, adhered to the HTML5 standard with whatever that ultimately includes? Is it the concept of DRM that puts you off (something I don't really mind since it's a rental anyway, so DRM is not as odious as it is on something you supposedly own), or just desire for the ability to use the service however you choose?

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                    • icon
                      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Jan 2015 @ 8:39am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Does this mean you're against plugins of any kind, or would the streams be acceptable if they, say, adhered to the HTML5 standard with whatever that ultimately includes?"

                      If the standard id HTML5, then it's a web service. A web service means that you need to be using a web browser of some sort. That's "special software". Also, the mere fact of using a new standard for streaming means that existing devices won't work, so it doesn't satisfy the "use any device I want" part. Better to use the standard formats that we've been using for years.

                      "Is it the concept of DRM that puts you off"

                      DRM factors into it, but not in a philosophical sense. In this discussion, I object to it for the same reason that I object to requiring a web browser to stream: it means that I can't play the stream on any device I wish.

                      "just desire for the ability to use the service however you choose?"

                      It's this. A service that requires me to use prescribed software is a service that is less valuable. In the case of something like a music service, it's a lot less valuable.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 28 Jan 2015 @ 11:45pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        OK, I get you now. The problem is what you're asking for is never going to happen in the current climate, at least not for streams where you choose the content (Spotify vs. a radio stream).

                        It is the DRM at issue. Being able to cache local content unencrypted, as most open standards tend to, is a big no-no for the industry. I seem to remember this being one of the things that got Pandora unjustly attacked (and ultimately walled off from most of the planet).

                        I agree that we should just be able to stream on whatever we choose, but that day is not here yet. At least DRM is only a practical issue here - I despise DRM on purchases but understand where it has its place in rental situations like this, even if practically we'd all be better off if they didn't waste the time and effort on something that doesn't even impede piracy.

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          • icon
            jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Listening to the radio is fine if there's a radio station in your area that plays the music you like. With streaming you have a lot more say in what kind of music is being played - but otherwise it's still very similar to radio (with fewer ads).

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  • identicon
    DigDug, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:38am

    Meh - anything over 15 years is public domain anyway...

    Just treat anything that's been out for more than 15 years as if it were public domain.

    Control copyright by returning it to it's original timeline. If the governments won't do it, do it yourself.

    If the entire population of the planet did this, what are the governments going to do?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:45am

      Re: Meh - anything over 15 years is public domain anyway...

      If the entire population of the planet did this, what are the governments going to do?

      Tax everybody 200% of their income to replace the lost income of the publishers, labels and studios. That way they reduce the people to servitude by creating a debt that they cannot pay.
      /S

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      • identicon
        DigDug, 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re: Meh - anything over 15 years is public domain anyway...

        Not a chance in hell that this would happen.
        The Governments would topple after every member was hung up by their balls until dead.

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  • icon
    LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:47am

    For 1,159,000 spins, Pandora paid a total of about $1,370.[http://theunderstatement.com/post/53867665082/pandora-pays-far-more-than-16-dollars]
    Streaming services pay less then other forms of radio even with the performance royalty and the statement "They'd already convinced Congress to force internet streaming sites to pay compulsory performance royalties (at insanely high rates),"Just shows the author's inherent bias. Other countries pay performance royalties. Is there some reason the U.S. should not? These are the "insanely high" performance rates for the 3 different webcaster types:

    Broadcasters Per Performance Royalties

    2011 – $.0017 per performance
    2012 – $.0020 per performance
    2013 – $.0022 per performance
    2014 – $.0023 per performance
    2015 – $.0025 per performance

    Statutory Webcasting Per Performance Royalty Rates

    2011 – $.0019 per performance
    2012 – $.0021 per performance
    2013 – $.0021 per performance
    2014 – $.0023 per performance
    2015 – $.0023 per performance

    Pureplay Webcasters Per Performance Royalty Rates

    2011 – $.00102 per performance
    2012 – $.00110 per performance
    2013 – $.00120 per performance
    2014 – $.00130 per performance
    2015 – $.00140 per performance

    http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2011/03/articles/final-webcasting-royalty-rates-published -a-comparison-of-how-much-various-services-pay/

    The amount streaming services pay is well documented as unsustainable and many artist will continue to pull their catalogs in Taylor Swift fashion if they don't increase. It is interesting to imply that content is asking too much without exploring whether streaming services are paying too little.

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    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:53am

      Lies, damned lies, and total innumeracy.

      A "spin" on Pandora is not comparable to anything on radio. A single "spin" on a large market radio station can reach a million distinct listeners.

      So a SINGLE spin on KROC could be equal to that entire bad statistic you're throwing around up there. By your own calculus, a single spin on KROC should cost $1370? Does it?

      A "spin" on Pandora is a single person hearing a single recording ONCE. What's the value of that? Pretty miniscule I would imagine

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      • icon
        Karl (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:32pm

        Re: Lies, damned lies, and total innumeracy.

        A "spin" on Pandora is not comparable to anything on radio.

        You're absolutely correct about this. However, the rates that LAB (and the Broadcast Law Blog) are quoting are all rates for Internet streams. They are paid to the artists and copyright holders, not songwriters; they are the royalties that terrestrial radio stations don't pay at all.

        This makes LAB's argument even less persuasive, since the amount paid to these people by "other forms of radio" is zero.

        Some other details that LAB (intentionally?) left out:
        Broadcasters who are streaming their programming on the Internet pay lower per performance royalties than webcasters paying the statutory rate in the first years of the 5 year period, but higher rates at the end of the period. (See a summary of the Broadcaster royalty agreement here). "Pureplay" webcasters, like Pandora, pay significantly lower per performance royalties than either broadcasters or those paying under the statutory rate, but are required to pay a minimum fee of 25% of the gross revenue of their entire business – ruling out these lower rates as an option for any service that has lines of business other than webcasting.

        Emphasis in original.

        Note the detail about the minimum 25% rate. This is about five times higher than terrestrial radio stations pay to songwriters.

        Also make sure you read another article that LAB posted in another comment:
        For example, AM/FM paid him $1,373.78 for 18,797 spins. That’s 7.3 cents per spin. If only 10,000 listeners heard each spin, terrestrial radio is in fact paying just half the songwriter fee Pandora paid him per listener. And of course it’s likely to have been far more than 10,000 – even the intentionally miniscule South Dakota radio station Pandora just bought manages to average 18,000 listeners.

        - Pandora Paid Over $1,300 for 1 Million Plays, Not $16.89

        Make no mistake about it: digital streaming is far, far more of a "sustainable" business model (for musicians) than terrestrial radio ever was or will be.

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        • icon
          LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:02pm

          Re: Re: Lies, damned lies, and total innumeracy.

          To imply I left details out purposely is amusing. My purpose for placing the performance royalty rates was to show how small they actually are. Terrestrial radio does not pay performance royalties. And, as I stated earlier, many countries do pay performance rates for terrestrial radio. So, for the author to imply it is a practice that is dishonest is misguided.
          The rates are unsustainable in that many artist just won't license their music or license very few songs to a streaming service(i.e T, Swift).
          The point has been made that a spin on terrestrial is more valuable than on internet. I agree. However, I would argue that in many instances, one spin reaches more than one person. To ignore many small businesses use streaming services, artificially devalues a spin on the internet because the number of listeners is inaccurate.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Lies, damned lies, and total innumeracy.

            "The rates are unsustainable in that many artist just won't license their music or license very few songs to a streaming service(i.e T, Swift)"

            I can name at least 3 artists who have lost money from me due to this - many more if we include the artists I'd already bought music from before streaming existed (and thus am not in the market for, although I would stream if I could).

            You need to consider all sides of the conversation.

            "However, I would argue that in many instances, one spin reaches more than one person."

            But, surely you're not saying they have the same reach as a standard radio station?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      The amount streaming services pay is well documented as unsustainable and many artist will continue to pull their catalogs in Taylor Swift fashion if they don't increase. It is interesting to imply that content is asking too much without exploring whether streaming services are paying too little.

      Funny you should use her as an example. Those 'unsustainable numbers' don't really seem to match up, because while individually they might be minuscule, with a couple million people listening, they can get pretty freakin' huge.

      'With Taylor Swift’s entire back catalogue now removed from Spotify, fans using the service can’t stream her tracks, including recent single ‘Shake It Off’.

      Which, as it turns out, was the most-streamed song on Spotify globally in the three weeks before its removal. How do we know? We have the stats, harvested from the streaming service’s APIs by Music Ally’s Leonardo Toyama.

      ‘Shake It Off’ rose from the 35th most-streamed track in the week ending 21 September with just over 3.5m plays to third with 10.1m plays in the week ending 28 September; second with 11.3m plays in the week ending 5 October, then first in each of the next three weeks with respectively 11.9m, 11.6m and 11.4m plays, for a total of just under 59.9m Spotify streams.

      Or – because we can never see a Spotify play-count without wanting to cross reference it against the company’s claimed average per-stream rate of $0.006 and $0.0084 – a total payout of between $360,000 and $500,000 to rightsholders (Swift’s label and publisher) for that one track. Or, in those last three weeks before its removal, around $84,000 a week.


      Source:
      http://musically.com/2014/11/05/shake-it-off-spotify-taylor-swift/

      If $84,000 per week, for one song, is 'unsustainable', then someone at the label is really bad at managing money. Or, more likely, really bad at making sure much of that money actually made it to Taylor Swift herself, leading her to think that Spotify, rather than her label, was screwing her over.

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      • icon
        LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re:

        Interesting you would site the number of spins Taylor Swift was receiving before she released her record, that is the point. She pulled her catalog because she asked not to have her entire record on the free version of the site during the record's initial release and Spotify said no. So she pulled her music from the site entirely. This move aided in her in having the best first week sales figures for a record since 2002. Let us not lose sight of the initial purpose of all radio, promote and sell records. If people aren't buying records (which many streaming services subscribers don't) then wouldn't an artist want the streaming service to pay more?

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you're saying she made a wise business move. So why was she throwing a tantrum about it and trying to tell Spotify how to run their business?

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "wouldn't an artist want the streaming service to pay more?"

          And this attitude is exactly the problem. For starters, of course artists want more money. Artists (and labels) will always want more money, and always argue for more and more. Just because they want more money doesn't mean they deserve it.

          But the real problem is this assumption that streaming services are required to make up for album sales. They believe they must be equally compensated and must make the same amount of revenue. Why should they be equal when they are not equal things?

          Consider that if someone buys the CD today, that's all the money the label gets. The customer presumably has the music for the rest of their life. But a streaming customer might still be listening and creating revenue 5, 10, or 15 years from now. Yeah, streaming's never going to match sales the first week of release, but after a couple of decades it will bring in a whole lot more.

          And isn't that the whole point of these companies pushing for these ridiculous copyright terms - to monetize the same content for a century or more?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And isn't that the whole point of these companies pushing for these ridiculous copyright terms - to monetize the same content for a century or more?

            The works that sell for 10 years or more are rare. The reason for long copyright terms is to maximize sales, and profits for this weeks, or years new works. Long copyright terms mainly keep works off of the market after the first few years.

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            • identicon
              A/C, 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Long copyright terms mainly keep works off of the market after the first few years." which, of course, removes a source of competition for the new offerings

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            • icon
              jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Except all the artists I've been listening to for 30 years would have made a lot more money off me on a per listen basis than they ever would have from the one-time purchase I made back in 1988. If the labels had any long-term strategy they would abandon one-time sales and push streaming services on everyone. The only artists it doesn't help are the ones people stop listening to.

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          • icon
            LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "wouldn't an artist want the streaming service to pay more?"

            And this attitude is exactly the problem. For starters, of course artists want more money.

            The argument of Swift and many others is that the service cannibalizes record sales. That is why they might want more. I suggest to any artist. Don't release a new record to a streaming site until it's sales run has completed. Why should Swift or any other artist wait 5,10,15 years for the monetization from streaming services when they can just hold it initially from the site, increasing demand for the purchase of the music?

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            • icon
              jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your suggestion is fine - don't put your content on a streaming service if you think it will hurt your income.

              But demanding streaming sites simply pay more because of a drop in album sales is ridiculous.

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              • identicon
                Pragmatic, 27 Jan 2015 @ 5:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                This is the reason there is so much piracy, LAB: people want the item but are not permitted to have it in the way they want it.

                Though the market is not free, market forces DO exist, forget that at your peril.

                The idea that content is property is the crux of your argument and on that rock it falls and breaks. Pretending that a non-scarcity is actually scarce and attempting to maintain control of it is where the problem lies.

                You've been reading Techdirt long enough; why have you not realized that yet?

                Artists need to stop trying to control their output and work with the market. Otherwise, they'll be desperately clawing for control for the rest of their lives, and wondering why the ****s won't do what they're told.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Interesting you would site the number of spins Taylor Swift was receiving before she released her record, that is the point.

          The point? The reason I posted those numbers was the debunk the ridiculous idea that streaming is 'unsustainable'. She(or more accurately her label, as I imagine the cut she got from that was drastically lower) was making, on average, $84,000 per week, for a single song. If that kind of money is 'unsustainable', then like I said, someone is either terrible at managing money, or terrible at making sure the actual artist sees any of it.

          So she pulled her music from the site entirely. This move aided in her in having the best first week sales figures for a record since 2002.

          And while that may or may not have increased CD sales, those CD sales are a one time purchase. Once that money is in, that's it, the bulk of the money she will get from that album is in, with only a tiny trickle from new purchases likely to follow.

          Streaming however, is long term. The payment at a given point may be low, but it's also repeatable, musicians signed up to streaming services, assuming they can keep their fans interested in their music, will be getting paid over, and over, and over again for the same music. The musician can essentially 'sell' a given song numerous times to the same person, it's not just a single purchase and nothing after that.

          CD sales might be good for a quick buck, and showing a nice immediate profit, but for long term sales, streaming and similar services are where it's at, and where it will increasingly head. I hope she enjoys the money she got from the CD's, because by removing her entire catalog of music from Spotify, she'll be getting nothing more from them.

          Another point. Assume you're right, that pulling her music was a large contributor to the boost in CD sales due to people who were listening to her music going out and buying CD's so they could continue to do so. By pulling her music, she's eliminated that first step for her following albums, taking away the ability to 'sample' her music, and thereby increase demand.

          She's eliminated the publicity that Spotify was providing her, and paying her for. As the whole payola crap shows, those in the music industry know that that sort of publicity is quite valuable, and yet she has completely eliminated it for an entire service. You can bet that's going to have repercussions when it comes time to release her next album, as those that heard her music on Spotify, and decided to pick up a CD as a result of that, will now not be able to listen, and get excited for, her new music, decreasing the odds that they'll care enough about it to buy her next album.

          If people aren't buying records (which many streaming services subscribers don't) then wouldn't an artist want the streaming service to pay more?

          CD sale drops have less to do with streaming services, and more to do with people tired of being screwed out of their money by being forced to pay $15-20 for a CD, when they only want one or two songs off of it. Unbundling, selling songs on an individual basis is where the market is headed, those that cling to CD's are just stuck in the past, and their shrill cries about how it's 'unfair' that their little plastic discs aren't selling as well are nothing more than whining about how the market has moved past them.

          As well, it's not the streaming service's problem to 'make up' for 'lost CD sales' that might be caused by their company and it's offering. People who listen to radio might pick up less CD's, should the radio stations be forced into paying out the difference as well?

          Musicians and labels are not owed any set amount of money, they do not have the 'right' to always make today what they made yesterday. If the advent of streaming services decrease CD sales, and profits overall? While that may be unfortunate for those used to the profits CD's allowed them to make, they are not owed those same levels of profits, so tough luck for them.

          Now, would they like to be able to demand more from Spotify and other streaming services? I have no doubt they would, but they are already taking a 70% cut from Spotify, how much more do you think they should get? And if they drove Spotify into the ground, which I have no doubt would happen if they got the cut that they felt they were 'owed', then they'd be getting nothing, and while I'm sure they imagine that without streaming services people would just go right back to buying CD's, that ship has sailed, and the sooner they get used to it the better off they'll be.

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    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      The amount streaming services pay is well documented as unsustainable....


      I keep seeing this phrase tossed about and I would really like to know you mean by it. Unsustainable for what? Unsustainable to retire upon? Unsustainable to live until a new song is written? Unsustainable for your grandchildren to live on?

      By your metrics a CD sale is also "unstaianable" too. Quick back-of-the-napkin math says this:

      Price of CD = $15.00
      Price per song = $1.25
      Lifespan of CD = 10 years
      Estimated plays a year = 25

      $1.25 divided by 250 = 0.005 per play

      Then consider that a CD is a one time purchase for most. Streaming is now until forever. Then toss in the fact that a purchase from I-Tunes is also an one time purchase for a file that will never degrade like a CD.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, but that's where new formats come into play. You just need to come out with a 'new and improved' format every couple of years, and convince the sucke- I mean loyal customers to buy the same music they already own again. Do that every few years, and you can get a nice chunk of change for a single song or album.

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'll pay - if it's an actually improved format.

          The only improvement I've seen over CDs is 5.1 surround on DVD. mp3s are an improvement on portability, but since they can be easily made from CDs, it's easy to have both.

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      • icon
        LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        I believe we are in agreement that the price of a CD was inflated and artificially high, and the collapse was over due.
        The unsustainable royalty rates for streaming comes when an artist realizes,(like Taylor Swift) " wait with the royalty rates streaming services are paying, they are essentially giving my music away for free and destroying my album sales which, in this day and age is hard enough as it is. The move by Spotify to work counter to her efforts selling her new record made her pulling her catalog the only logical end result.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          they are essentially giving my music away for free and destroying my album sales which, in this day and age is hard enough as it is.

          I think the artists making more money from album sales than anything else are a very small percentage, and shrinking. Just to be clear your argument is about a very tiny slice of the very most successful musicians.

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        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I still do not understand your usage of "unsustainable".

          Recorded music is and has always been a small portion of an artist's income. This report on data from musicians themselves shows it to be around 25% or so for pop & rock musicians and even less for those not in the top 5% earning percentiles.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:27am

      Re:

      "The amount streaming services pay is well documented as unsustainable"

      Maybe that's true and maybe that's not -- but the figures you cite don't address the claim one way or another. What counts isn't the per performance payout at all. Because a single "performance" on radio actually reaches thousands of people, where a single "performance" on a streaming service reaches a single person, comparing payouts on a per-performance basis is illegitimate. If you want to do that sort of comparison, you need to cite the figure per listener, not per performance.

      And, I would argue, even that doesn't mean very much. What actually matters is the total amount of royalty payouts.

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      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        If you want to do that sort of comparison, you need to cite the figure per listener, not per performance.

        Exactly, I see this kind of fuzzy math on that silly Trichordist site all the time: "I'm comparing apples to oranges, so it's quite obvious that the selling price for kumquats is way too low."

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      • icon
        LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        I think what is more important is that a subscription to a streaming site almost negates any reason to buy a record or song. So if the listener is not going to buy it because of the streaming site, then the low royalty rate they pay adds insult to injury.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's an argument that also requires some numbers to back up. When a song is streamed, the fee is paid multiple times per listener (once every time they listen). When a song is purchased, only a single payment is made.

          It's far from obvious which method is the more profitable to the artist involved, so some sort of analysis is needed to make the argument anything more than pure speculation.

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          • icon
            LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I can only use myself and my buying habits for this argument. However, I don't believe I am alone in this behavior. Some artists' music I buy. Others I only stream.
            As for profitability, for Swift it was a no-brainer. And I believe her first week sales speak for themselves.

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            • icon
              jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Restating my point, but first week sales have nothing over potentially decades of streaming revenue.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "However, I don't believe I am alone in this behavior. Some artists' music I buy. Others I only stream. "

              I'm not saying that behavior isn't common. I'm saying that it's not clear that it actually reduces income for the artists. The ones you "only stream" get paid each time your stream. The ones you buy get paid once and never again.

              Which way gains the most profit for the artist? It would depend on a lot of factors, and the answer to the question isn't obvious on the face of it. I rather suspect that there is no one-size-fits-all answer as well. Some music may do better one way and other music may do better the other.

              In any case, as I said, we're engaging in pure speculation until those numbers are crunched.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "The ones you "only stream" get paid each time your stream. The ones you buy get paid once and never again."

                Plus, the crossover between the two categories is ignored. It's not uncommon for people to buy an album after streaming it. It's also not uncommon for people to stream music after they've bought a copy. If you block streaming, you're definitely blocking the latter income stream but you may also block the first as well.

                Taylor Swift is a bad example, because her music was pushed so heavily through standard mainstream outlets (and allowed to stream through all but one of the big streaming services, to the best of my knowledge), that the benefit to her from the discovery and sharing aspects of Spotify would have been minimal. I honestly think there's money being left on the table, but we'll have to wait for the industry to stop creaming itself over the single successful datapoint they have tried to provide.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Some artists' music I buy. Others I only stream. "

              Some, I stream *after* I've already bought them, because it's easier to stream while I'm on the move than to accurately predict which songs to sync with my phone before I leave. Some, I've not bought because I've been ripped off so many times on blind-buys and I won't buy something I've not been able to preview first. Since I don't pirate, no streaming = a lost sale from me. I'll listen to other music.

              It's not a black-and-white issue, and pretending it is devalues any point you're trying to make.

              "And I believe her first week sales speak for themselves."

              Correlation != causation, especially since she pulled the tracks from Spotify AFTER the album had been released (music was pulled from Spotify on November 3rd 2014, the new album was released on October 27th, 2014 - i.e. the first week sales INCLUDE the time that Spotify had the tracks).

              I can see where you're getting your logic from, but it's faulty.

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        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So if the listener is not going to buy it because of the streaming site, then the low royalty rate they pay adds insult to injury.


          Again, that's an apple to oranges comparison. That low royalty rate is spread out over many, many years.

          Calculate the total royalties for the entire span it's on the streaming service (say 20 years or so) and compare that to a one-time sale and where do you end up?

          Whenever I see people using stats to slam streaming services they always leave out the fact that streaming is cumulative and ongoing. Your money keeps flowing in with streaming.

          Maybe streaming isn't that great of deal for artists or maybe it is. I don't know because no one can seem to give me an actual apples to apples comparison. Comparing the profit from one month of streaming to one month of sales is meaningless because it doesn't include the cumulative profit over the lifespan of the streaming service.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So if the listener is not going to buy it because of the streaming site, then the low royalty rate they pay adds insult to injury.

          And if the listener was not going to buy it anyway, then the royalties are just gravy.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      The amount streaming services pay is well documented as unsustainable and many artist will continue to pull their catalogs in Taylor Swift fashion if they don't increase.

      Great idea, give people more reasons to get the music illegally rather than paying for it. What does she think, people are going to go buy her CDs en masse if they can't get her music on Spotify?

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      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re:

        No, she thinks pulling her music will cause streaming services to negotiate a higher royalty rate. That's the game they play.

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      • icon
        LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, that is exactly what happened. She had the best first week sales for a record since 2002.

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course, there's no real way to know if pulling from Spotify helped or hindered that. It's pure conjecture.

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          • icon
            LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think you would have to concede, with the best first week sales in 12 years, she did something right.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But you're claiming her best week is a result of her pulling her music from Spotify. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but you haven't given any basis to make that determination. It may be that her best week was because of something else not related to Spotify.

              Also, if we say for the sake of argument that it is because she pulled from Spotify, that still means little all by itself. There may be something unique about her audience that makes Spotify a less desirable distribution avenue for her music.

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            • icon
              jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I say she got more sales because of all the publicity surrounding pulling her music from Spotify. How can you prove otherwise?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      Hey, if they want to sell something (t swift or whoever), perhaps they should pay to have their songs played - you know payola?

      In the 50's labels were paying quite a bit to get airtime, The artists should be paying spotify to promote their music - you see, that will lead to sales of their (whatever they are selling).

      I like the steaming and radio logical fallacy, but I like to use to drive my payola agenda.

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    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:57am

      Re:

      Pay per spin? That's the problem, right there.

      New business model required.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:06am

    The Right to be Forgotten . . .

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:15am

    Mike Masnick is being his usual intellectually dishonest self, so if anyone reading this blog is interested in the truth about this issue, I suggest heading to digitalmusicnews dot com, or musictechpolicy dot com to get updated and informed.

    Like I said, that's if you're interested in the truth, as I know many here aren't interested in that at all.

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

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:15am

    All this music should be in the public domain and free for everyone to use and enjoy.

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

    • icon
      Pronounce (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 3:14pm

      Re: Should Be,

      true, but won't be. Just like when Disney made sure Mickey Mouse didn't go public domain.

      As far as I can tell our current culture is ran by a group of One Percenters that see the U.S. economy as a resource grab, and they are trying to out grab each other before the current culture collapses or they die.

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  • icon
    davebarnes (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:16am

    Torrents are your friend

    Will drive more people to "pirate" music.

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  • icon
    Votre (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:35am

    Do as Google does

    I can't help agreeing with the other posters that suggest broadcasters and streaming services just remove pre-1972 music from their playlists if copyright fee hunters start making good in their threats to file claims and reverse how the pre-72 rule has been interpreted for decades.

    Musicians depend on distribution more than anything else. That's what put the recording industry's attorneys and businessmen at the top of the food chain in music. Even though they didn't create the music themselves.

    Today's musician depends on search engines and streaming. If some misguided individuals become too intent on reversing the clock, let them do without. After a (small) initial outcry from the listening public, their songs will rapidly fade into a well-deserved oblivion.

    Being a child of that era, and therefore a fan of that sort of music, I'll miss it. But not too much or for too long. Because any time somebody tells me "Take it or leave it - and we need you answer now!" my first, last, and final answer will always be: "No."

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:57am

      Re: Do as Google does

      "Because any time somebody tells me "Take it or leave it - and we need you answer now!" my first, last, and final answer will always be: "No.""

      This is an excellent policy, and is a rule I follow without fail. If someone is pressuring you for a fast decision, their goal is to prevent you from making an intelligent decision.

      As an aside, I also follow the "chandelier rule": if you are being sold something (usually a business deal), the bigger the chandelier in the room during the pitch, the worse the deal is for you. I have turned down a few business deals because I was treated lavishly during the wooing phase, and in every case that ended up being a fantastic decision.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 9:45am

    What they are really saying is:

    You don't tug on Superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
    And you don't mess around with Jim

    (with Jim being a euphemism for 'Lawyers out for a buck')

    With thanks to Jim Croce for those culturally deprived young'uns reading this.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:01am

    Spotify

    Or the services could just do like Spotify and actually pay for the music?

    All these companies knew this was a gray loophole that copyright holders would likely challenge.

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:31am

      Re: Spotify

      It wasn't a "gray loophole" until the rights holders said it was.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:34am

      Re: Spotify

      All these companies knew this was a gray loophole that copyright holders would likely challenge.

      Doesn't seem like a loophole to me, they were just doing something nobody had been given an exclusive right over. Now courts have started deciding retroactively that such a right does exist.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 10:39am

      Re: Spotify

      All these companies knew this was a gray loophole that copyright holders would likely challenge.


      Now you did it. You've stepped into a pet peeve of mine....

      Following the law as written is not a "loophole". It's following the law as written, no more, no less.

      I'm sure you don't consider crossing the street at the crosswalk a "loophole" to jaywalking laws, do you? So why would you frame it like that for laws concerning music?

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

    • icon
      LAB (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:13pm

      Re: Spotify

      "All these companies knew this was a gray loophole that copyright holders would likely challenge."

      I disagree. They were following the policy set for decades. However, it is supply and demand. If these services really want the music then they will pay. If they don't then they won't. It should be a simple cost benefit analysis by the streaming services. I am sure some will be pro-active.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:53pm

        Re: Re: Spotify

        Great, then someone should tell the MPAA to stop trying to keep pre-1972 sound recordings from being included under federal copyright law, so that the companies can pay.

        As I noted in my second comment, the current problem is that the state copyright laws, which the pre-1972 sound recordings fall under, do not include statutory licensing, not to mention differ state by state, which means that to stream that music, the streaming service would have to work out individual deals, on a per song or per album basis, via extremely one-sided negotiations, something that would be prohibitively expensive to do.

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

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 27 Jan 2015 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re: Spotify

        Constrained, artificially shrunken supply, LAB. That is why I always say there's no such thing as a free market.

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

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:07pm

    These streaming Companies, etc should all pull the music and not sell it.They should not carry MAFIAA TRASH.Boycott these big labels is what needs to be done.

    And for those who have to have old tunes then get on a vpn and p2p.Or go on music blogs.

    FUCK THE MAFIAA !

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 1:49pm

    The comments here are priceless. You people truly have no clue that all you're doing is providing evidence of musician's civil rights being trampled and that this problem is so flippantly viewed. Thanks.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      You people truly have no clue that all you're doing is providing evidence of musician's civil rights being trampled and that this problem is so flippantly viewed.

      Ummm...ok.

      Care to explain what "civil rights" are being trampled and what "problem" we are being flippant about?

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

    • identicon
      jackn, 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      This has absolutley nothing to do with musicians.

      Talk about clueless.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Musicians are the ones that filed the lawsuit.

        You're a complete fucking idiot.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A holding company called Zenbu Magazines has sued Apple's Beats Music along with Google, Songza, Slacker, Rdio, Sony and Grooveshark using the same basic template as those earlier lawsuits. Zenbu claims to hold the copyrights for recordings by the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Tuna and New Riders of the Purple Sage. And it wants to get paid. Big time.

          That does not look like the actual musicians to me, but rather some middlemen buying up copyrights to try and make their fortune from the streaming sites

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "using the same basic template as those earlier lawsuits"

            I don't really care what it "looks like" to you, pirate boy. Those "earlier lawsuits" were filed by musicians. Y'know, those people you tech douches love to try and screw.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Right, and if you don't file these lawsuits there'll be less classic songs from the 50s and 60s being produced.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2015 @ 5:12am

              Re: screwing the musicians

              We don't want to screw the musicians but, we'll gladly screw their groupies, their fangurls and their old ladies.

              Also, we'll gladly screw over their bloodsucking lawyers, their scumbag managers, insane PR reps and the lame-brained idiots giving them lousy advice regarding preventing people like me buying and playing their music how, when and where I want to. If a musician doesn't want to make his/her music available to me in a way that allows me to purchase it then he/she should stop being a musician and go back to waiting tables and sweeping floors

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

          • icon
            edinjapan (profile), 31 Jan 2015 @ 7:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Zenbu loosely translated from Japanese means everything, in entirety as in "I want everything you own!" ie; As I hold a knife to your throat I scream out "Kusama! Omae no mono wa kore kara ore no mono!"

            But, no worries... You Americans are used to having a knife held to your throat. I get the feeling that you like it.

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:13pm

      Re:

      Please explain how her civil rights have been trampled.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      You people truly have no clue that all you're doing is providing evidence of musician's civil rights being trampled

      Copyright is not civil rights.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:44pm

      Re:

      Lowery? Is that you?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re:

        This is another one of my favorite tropes you dolts toss around: pretending that David Lowery is the only advocate for musicians out there. LOL

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... pretending that David Lowery is the only advocate for musicians out there.

          The only time I suspect it's Lowery is when the so-called "musician advocate" cannot debate the actual issues on their merits and resorts to childish insults instead. That's Lowery's modus operandi to a tee. He's nothing more than a schoolyard bully who thinks that yelling louder wins arguments.

          Thus far with your use of "pirate boy", "tech douches" and "dolts", I'm putting you in the same category as Lowery. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't really matter if you are actually Lowery or not, your comments are disregarded as insignificant and childish anyways.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's rather telling that you're happy to be led by an idiot who can't stand the idea of consumer choice and has to resort to spamming a website via multiple IP addresses.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 11:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He's one of the few of you lying disingenuous dicks who's not been too afraid to put his name against the easily debunked crap he spouts, so we don't have many choices. Why are you so afraid to do the same?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 2:32pm

    I just realized...

    ...I've recently been seeing an increase in 60's and early 70's material showing up on Usenet, including the acts mentioned in these comments.

    Coincidence?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:20pm

    > Let us not lose sight of the initial purpose of all radio, promote and sell records.

    That made me spit my coffee out.

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

  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 5:21pm

    The worst part of this is that...

    there's no such thing as bad Doo-Wop

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

  • icon
    edinjapan (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 7:18am

    Obvious question

    Does the streaming service have to be based in the USA? If, for example, Canada or some country other than the US had laws in place that favoured streaming music services, wouldn't it make sense to use those services and boycott the American based services?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2015 @ 3:33pm

    No problem there. Stations playing pre-1972 music could simply move outside of the United States, where state copyright laws would not apply.

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

  • identicon
    wasatchu, 16 Oct 2015 @ 7:17am

    Copyright holders

    Hi guys.

    New to this forum. This is a shot in the dark. I want to include song snippets (20-30 second portions) of 50s and 60s songs in an eBook via hyperlinks. My problem is tracking down the copyright holders to get permission. I've talked to BMI and ASCAP. They suggest I contact the writers/composers. There I hit a dead end. Any thoughts appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Dennis

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


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