Monthly Archives: September 2009

More Music Industry Silliness

The music industry is at it again. This time led by ASCAP instead of the RIAA. ASCAP is The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
They are the industry group that supposedly represents the Songwriters, composers etc behind the music, the ones who actually write the songs, compose the scores etc.. that we then “enjoy” in TV shows and movies.

This time, they want additional fees for digital downloads and any streaming “performances” of their works. Despite having been paid for their work already. Basically they equate downloading a movie or T show from amazon or iTunes as a “public performance” and want to collect fees for such. They view any streaming of their as a public performance and want to get paid for it and, get this, the 30 second preview on iTunes, Amazon or other online retailers,… that’s also a public performance and should be charged fees for that too.

When are these “Industry” groups going to learn, you can only steal from consumers and keep dipping into their wallets for so long before there’s a revolution and everyone starts pirating your stuff, just because we can. Metallica, just as an example, came out against the digital revolution and Napster to protect their cozy deal with a label, and promptly had their entire discography pirated multiple times by multiple people.

C|Net has an article that lays out the basics, here, and here’s an excerpt from the article;

Songwriters, composers, and music publishers are making preparations to one day collect performance fees from Apple and other online retailers for not just traditional music downloads but for downloads of films and TV shows as well. Those downloads contain music after all.

These groups even want compensation for iTunes’ 30-second song samples.

The comments from readers go’s on for 5 pages at the time I write this but I think I sum it up best with the following comment,

It is really simple.

They want performance fees for the download the preview and a streamed “performance”.

A download of a TV show, song etc is basically equivalent to buying the DVD or CD at WAL-MART. You don’t get a performance fee for every DVD or CD sold at WAL-MART, and you don’t get a fee for a download either.

As for streaming, OK streaming MAY be a performance and you may collect an additional fee for that. That is something you will need to negotiate with your distributor or licensing agent.

As for paying for the preview, are you insane? I’m not paying any amount for 30seconds of something that may or may not confirm that it is in fact the item I was looking for.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, if you keep trying to go back to the well to dip a few more fees out of people who, as you said, grew up in the digital age,… you are going to lose. There are more ways to get it free, or “steal it” if you prefer than there are police, governments or lawyers to find, catch and prosecute them.

The only way to make piracy go away is to make it so affordable that it costs less to buy it than it does to steal it.

Good luck with that, we’re all counting on you, and quit calling me Shirley,… oops, my bad guess I owe the creators 0f “Airplane” a fee now for “performing” their quote in public, tell you what, come and get it!

The measure of intelligence is not only learning from one’s mistakes, but in turn learning from the mistakes of others. The RIAA hasn’t learned from theirs, and it looks like ASCAP is unable to learn from them either. The world and the digital revolution marches on and the “music industry” insists on remaining stuck in the last century,… intelligence? none found captain!

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