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Canada Government Media Piracy

Copyright License Fees Drive Pandora Out of Canada 254

Posted by timothy
from the bargaining-chip dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Online streaming music services such as Pandora are abandoning plans to launch in Canada, claiming licensing fees are too high: 'These rates ... are astronomical,' Tim Westergren, founder of California-based Pandora, wrote in an email to The Canadian Press. The agency that collects music royalties in Canada on behalf of record companies and performing artists wants to charge web-based music sites that stream to mobile devices the greater of two figures: 45 per cent of the site's gross revenues in Canada or 7.5-tenths of a cent for every song streamed. Meanwhile, record labels are blaming the lack of online music services in Canada on piracy: 'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?' said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents major record labels."
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Copyright License Fees Drive Pandora Out of Canada

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  • "I eat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I eat." Fat (non-Canadian) Bastard

  • Slacker (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bhcompy (1877290)
    Money is tight for companies like Pandora, which is why they should go in to the hardware business like Slacker, or at least partner with Slacker. Slacker blows the competition away because of the availability of portable hardware specifically designed for it. Pity Woot! hasn't had a Slacker for sale in quite a long time, though.
    • Re:Slacker (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:15PM (#33679678) Journal

      Money is tight for companies like Pandora, which is why they should go in to the hardware business like Slacker, or at least partner with Slacker.

      Why would they do that? No one wants to lug around Yet Another Gadget. Although you can buy Pandora-equipped stereos, Pandora apps work just fine on smartphones. Even back in '07 Pandora partnered up with Sprint for firmware packages on Sprint phones so Sprint customers could use Pandora on their phone... nowadays you can use Pandora on just about any new smartphone. Especially since any smartphone worth its salt supports multitasking... why would you need a separate device?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bhcompy (1877290)
        Because Pandora needs a better revenue stream in order to properly serve the people they want to serve?

        And Pandora doesn't allow you to record multiple streams in advance and skip around between streams and songs with fastforward willynilly. Slacker does that.

        Also don't need to remain connected over a shitty cell network, instead I have a dozen hours of streams already recorded and I can listen to them whenever I want without draining the my phone battery during constant 3g use(which is just short of
        • by cgenman (325138)

          I was under the impression that Pandora's recording and skipping restrictions were due to licensing restrictions. I'm not really seeing how making a huge investment in hardware manufacturing is going to help that.

          Also, didn't Slacker give up on dedicated hardware in 2009? [wsj.com]

        • Because Pandora needs a better revenue stream in order to properly serve the people they want to serve?

          That doesn't really make sense. It has nothing at all to do with getting their product (eardrums) to their customers (advertisers).

          Also don't need to remain connected over a shitty cell network

          I've never had a problem with using Pandora on my cell.

          instead I have a dozen hours of streams already recorded and I can listen to them whenever I want without draining the my phone battery during constant 3g use(w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What's Slacker Hardware? I think I may have a patent on that from my school days.

      >>>45 per cent of the site's gross revenues in Canada or 7.5-tenths of a cent for every song streamed.

      0.0075 times 60 million songs per month == $450,000 (CAN). Or 45% of revenue collected, which is outrageous. No wonder Pandora decided they could no longer continue. I suspect music companies are secretly run by people with IQs below 90. That's why they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        Wow. 45% of gross revenues? Holy crap I read 45% of gross revenues as profit. I think my mind did a substitution without realizing it to account for the stupidity of that value.

    • by alen (225700)

      didnt slacker kill their hardware business since you have to be a complete moron to pay $199 for a box that only plays slacker radio content? just get an 8GB ipod touch for the same amount.

      i like slacker since my $50 a year buys me a lot more customization than pandora will allow. I don't know if it's licensing fees or the pandora CEO is an egotist like steve jobs but they are designed to make you listen to what they think you should. with slacker i can customize the amount of favorites played, year, if it'

    • by Itninja (937614)
      What's a Slacker? Some kind of pants-themed TiVo?
    • adding to what red flayer said, there are also DVD and blue ray players, and TVs with pandora built into them.

    • Re:Slacker (Score:5, Funny)

      by camperdave (969942) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:04AM (#33684140) Journal
      Money is tight for companies like Pandora, which is why they should go in to the hardware business

      Wait... You want Pandora to build a box? Have you learned nothing from mythology?
  • Rdio works (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quaelin (172970) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @03:59PM (#33679456) Homepage

    I'm happily streaming music from Rdio [rdio.com] for $4.99/mo in Canada. I recommend it.

    • But when Graham Henderson hears about it, you're stuffed....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Machtyn (759119)
      But that costs you $4.99/mo. Pandora's service is "free", non-gratis. They get paid through adverts sent with the music. Every song I stream on my blackberry is free to me minus the cost of the very non-intrusive ad they display. I don't know what they get per advert displayed (can someone enlighten us?) it possibly isn't $0.0075 per song for which the CRIA is asking for.

      CRIA... CRIA me a freaking river?
      • by Andorin (1624303)

        Non-intrusive? Maybe they've switched up their advertising model in the last year or two, but the last time I tried Pandora, I got a 30-second video ad playing after EVERY song. That was way, way too much, and I instantly dropped their service.

        • Re:Rdio works (Score:4, Informative)

          by Machtyn (759119) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:32PM (#33679914) Homepage Journal
          I'm using the Blackberry client on the Sprint network. I only get a little text advert that fills up a third of the screen real estate. I usually don't even see it. Occassionally, like once every couple of days, there is a 15-30 second audio advert for the service.

          When I'm at home and have the website up, I've never noticed any adverts. The one annoying thing is that it will stop playing after 30+ minutes to ask you if you are still there. -click the Yes button and I'm off again-
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm happily streaming music from http://player.radio.com/player/RadioPlayer.php?version=1.1.9780&station=13987 [radio.com]

      for $0.00/mo and not even any commercials. I recommend it. In fact most of the HD2s are free and commercial free. (Click Music and Cities for the full list.)

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        I've become a huge fan of Jamendo.com. It's available for streaming through RhythmBox, but I generally just download the albums and throw them on my media server and mp3 players. I've been bored of radio for a while, but I can find stuff I like very easily. As far as I know the record company weasels don't get a dime. Highly recommended (If you're Canadian, check out Jamie Rumley, very good in a Sheryl Crow kind of way).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tixxit (1107127)
      I'm happily streaming music from Last.fm [last.fm] for $3/m in Canada. I recommend it too.
  • hey now (Score:5, Funny)

    by BigJClark (1226554) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:05PM (#33679542)

    I've bought and paid for every single Nickleback album I have in my collection. Which is none.
    • So Sayeth Graham Henderson:

      "(Canadians) just seem to have no appetite for a legal marketplace."

      Damn you and your illegal market tastes. We hate your for your love of violating the law and living on the edge of civil and criminal lawsuits.

      -Rick

      • >>>Damn you and your illegal market tastes.

        Is there such a thing as legal and free? Something like open source for pop/dance music?

        • Actually yes [wikipedia.org]. The wording is a little vague, but downloading music to put on an "audio recording medium" is perfectly legal in Canada. We pay levies on blank media, so your definition of free may or may not apply.
          • Not in Canada I am not.
            I love this. The slightly more expensive blank media grants me the right to copy. Works for me.
          • by c6gunner (950153)

            We pay levies on blank media, so your definition of free may or may not apply.

            So .... not free as in speech, or free as in beer .... free as in health-care?

        • I'm a bit biased in my linkage here as I know personally some of the people involved in the bands and the websites, but check these out:

          http://www.deathtofalsehoperecords.com/ [deathtofal...ecords.com]
          and
          http://quoteunquoterecords.com/ [quoteunquoterecords.com]

          They both definitely have a more punk rock vibe to them, but especially Death to False Hope has been getting a ton more bands lately. There's probably something on there you'll like. Both labels offer their records for free downloads, but you're encouraged to donate something in exchange.

          An
    • Hey now. Some of us like Nickleback (especially their song Photograph). And if they ever release a Greatest Hits CD, I'll be sure to buy it for $1 on amazon's used market to show my support!

      Okay maybe RIAA has a point about fans not being willing to pay.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:05PM (#33679544)

    I buy blank CD-Rs, as do so many other people I know of. The cost of music is built in those. Once you have a stack of CD-Rs, you are no longer able to pirate music in Canada, as long as you only leech. It's the law. They made it. If they don't like it, tough.

  • Henderson is a liar (Score:5, Informative)

    by starfishsystems (834319) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:08PM (#33679568) Homepage
    "Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?" said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents major record labels.

    Somebody please tell Mr. Henderson to take his head out of his ass. The fact, as he well knows, is that Canadians already pay hefty fees. We already pay for recorded music at a rate far in excess of the cost of distribution. Radio stations already pay royalty fees. And everyone already pays a surcharge on recording media and players so that we can be legally entitled to generate copies for personal use.

    How did this media surcharge come about? Because Mr. Henderson's own organization, the CRIA, successfully lobbied for it! [arstechnica.com] That's right. They insisted that Canadians must pay a surcharge in order to legally record music. And so we have been doing, ever since the late 1990s.

    Mr. Henderson finds this convenient to forget, but the rest of us have not forgotten. Even those of us who do no music copying at all have already paid in full for entitlement to copy.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:17PM (#33679702)

      How did this media surcharge come about? Because Mr. Henderson's own organization, the CRIA, successfully lobbied for it! [arstechnica.com] That's right. They insisted that Canadians must pay a surcharge in order to legally record music...

      Not quite all the truth. Those fuckers lobbied for surcharges on media that I use to back up my OWN PERSONAL DATA. That's right, I have to pay fucktards like him and shitty "Canadian" artists (that can't make a hit) to use media that has absolutely no copyright material on it, just my family photos. Fuck them all to death.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SweeBeeps (1827982)
      It's par for the course to see that a recording industry exec is completely out of touch with reality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cruciform (42896)

      I rarely pick up new music these days. I'd rather listen to a podcast or open university course.
      But when I do grab something, I'm torrenting it. If I have to pay a piracy fee to use media or hardware, then might as well make the piracy fee earn its keep.
      But I don't pirate software. As far as I know, I'm not taxed by software companies every time I've bought storage media.

  • by veganboyjosh (896761) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:09PM (#33679586)
    What about labels who don't belong to the RIAA? It seems like this would be a great way for Pandora--especially Pandora, since they're pretty popular, and people know the name. Probably more so than any other free-to-stream radio--to stick it to the major labels. Just stream indie labels, those who don't belong to the CRIA, or labels who give their stuff away for free, or license it for free for this kind of thing.
  • by who's got my nicknam (841366) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:12PM (#33679612) Homepage
    Mr. Henderson is an idiot, no offense to the intellectually challenged out there. He, like everyone else in the music industry, has blinders on, and is clueless as to what the people with the money (ie, the CUSTOMERS) want. I'd love to get Pandora here. It was brilliant while it lasted, and nothing else I've tried has been able to beat it. And here's the irony for CRIA and their ilk: since Pandora got shut off in Canada, I've simply gone back to downloading. Yes, it's still legal here, as long as we're paying the blank media levies we do. And Mr. Henderson can kiss my shiny metal ass, because I'll NEVER pay a cent for music from artists he 'represents'. Not even to a 'legal' streaming service. Am I sad Pandora has given up on Canada? Yes, because I loved their system. And no, because it really doesn't affect me anymore. iTunes has Genius, which is pretty damn good these days, and since I can happily download tunes till I'm out of drive space.
    • by who's got my nicknam (841366) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:15PM (#33679682) Homepage
      I'm reminded of a story (probably apocryphal) about the first McDonald's that was opened in Moscow. When the staff were being trained by the American reps, one of the managers put his hand up and asked, "Why do we have to be polite to the customers? WE have the hamburgers!"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Not just customers, but clients. SOCAN is rubbish. I used to be a recording and performing musician, and SOCAN was nothing but a hassle, and certainly hasn't represented me, my views on music distro, or assisted in making a single cent off my music.

      The whole system is corrupt and consists of liars and cheats ripping off musicians and music lovers.

    • by mauriceh (3721)

      No, he is NOT an idiot.

      His bosses ( the record labels) have decided that every day they delay change is a another days of obscene profits.
      The status quo suits them just fine.
      They absolutely do NOT give a crap about you, me or anyone who is not a member of the RIAA.

      He is merely doing his job.

      Do you like it? No.
      Do I like it? Of course not.
      Why should that matter?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      ``Mr. Henderson is an idiot, no offense to the intellectually challenged out there.''

      I'm not sure who is the real fool here. Is it the man who spouts the lies, or the people who fall for the rhetoric?

      We have a similar situation in the Netherlands: we pay a levy on blank media, which is used to compensate rights holders for the copying we are allowed to do. Downloading of music and video is included among the things you are allowed to do. Yet, our copyright watchdog, BREIN [anti-piracy.nl], has issued statements and publicat

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:13PM (#33679640)

    Unless you're running a cost-free operation, with no employees, servers, or bandwidth, gross revenues are not equal to profit. Say that you have a low-cost operation and 70% of gross revenues are profit, though. That means that the recording industry wants a licensing fee of 2/3 of your profits? And even 70% is pretty good; it's not uncommon to be running profit margins that are 45% of revenues or less, in which case the recording industry would actually be taking all of your profit, plus possibly more.

    • Most companies would kill for a 45% profit margin. Even the oil companies and financial firms come in at only about 10%. Generally, only software companies or consulting firms make those high profit margins, and then only when market leaders.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      Trepidity: Not to be too semantic, but I got a little confused.
      For the rest of you who might still be confused, what he meant to say was:

      That means that the recording industry wants a licensing fee of 2/3 of your revenue?

      In other words. Say your profit margin, before this licensing fee, could be 45% of your revenue. [insert Police Squad joke here) That means the licensing fee will take 100% of your profit, and you'd still owe 21.67% of your revenues.

      Let's see if my math works out correctly. Revenue = $100. Expenses, not including license fee = $55. Profit = $45. License fee = $

  • Figures. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:14PM (#33679666)

    The agency that collects music royalties in Canada on behalf of record companies and performing artists wants to charge web-based music sites that stream to mobile devices the greater of two figures: 45 per cent of the site's gross revenues in Canada or 7.5-tenths of a cent for every song streamed. Meanwhile, record labels are blaming the lack of online music services in Canada on piracy: 'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?

    Now we all know who the real music pirates are.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:18PM (#33679712)

    I used to buy a lot more music on iTunes when it was 99 cents but now, with variable pricing, virtually all songs on the Canadian iTunes are 1.29 CAD each so I have stopped buying so much.

    The record companies need to stop running their businesses like they are some big movie studio and start finding ways to save money so that they can offer music for less and offer artists less money upfront but more royalties for each song sold electronically.

    The old model of upfront contracts will not work anymore in this new digital world.

    • by dubbreak (623656) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @05:38PM (#33680748)

      I used to buy a lot more music on iTunes when it was 99 cents but now, with variable pricing, virtually all songs on the Canadian iTunes are 1.29 CAD each so I have stopped buying so much.

      What really sucks is you can only vote with your wallet by not paying, in which case they just blame reduced sales on piracy.

      I wish there was a way to put your money where your mouth is and have a "Buy At $X", so you could refuse the song at $1.29 but make a binding offer to buy it at $0.99 that month (there would need to be some kind of time limit to the offer). That would create realistic metrics of what people are willing to pay and give the seller the opportunity to accept the offers. You could calculate pricing elasticity a lot more accurately that way and maximize profit (you CAN make more money by selling for less, especially when you have infinite supply.. for some reason the music industry doesn't get this).

  • "Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?"

    I think the question companies are asking themselves is "Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when fees paid to the CRIA make it impossible to make a profit from such a service"?

    It's the lack of decent cost-effective services (we're already paying lots for our music with fees on media) that drives everyone in Canada to use file sharing services in the f

  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andorin (1624303) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:20PM (#33679740)

    Meanwhile, record labels are blaming the lack of online music services in Canada on piracy: 'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?' said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents major record labels."

    Let's not forget that the CRIA is facing a six billion dollar lawsuit [boycott-riaa.com] over commercial copyright infringement of over three hundred thousand songs. Regardless of your position on piracy, these guys have no leg whatsoever to stand on. If they're going to go after individuals for noncommercially sharing music, first they'd better clean up their own mess.

    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:46PM (#33680096) Journal

      the infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of CRIA.

      The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute, and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences...... Over the years, the size of the pending list has grown dramatically, now containing over 300,000 songs. From Beyonce to Bruce Springsteen, the artists waiting for payment are far from obscure, as thousands of Canadian and foreign artists have seen their copyrights used without permission and payment.

      Bastards.

      How DARE they accuse us Joe Nobodies of being "pirates" while they aren't even paying their OWN employees, the singers and musicians? Fucking, fucking hypocritical bastards.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Incredible.

        If I pulled the same stunt, my home would be raided, my computers would be seized, and my name would be splashed all over the media as a professional pirate. I might even score jail time.

        The big four labels in CRIA? Barely a whimper in the press. I hope they get smacked in the courts.

    • Second attempt:

      The defendants [owe 50 million dollars and include] Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of CRIA. The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute, and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences...... Over the years, the size of the pending list has grown dramatically, now containing over 300,000 songs.

      Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Sarah McLachlan, Bruce Cockburn, Sloan, or the Watchmen, the artists waiting for payment are far from obscure, as thousands of Canadian and foreign artists have seen their copyrights used without permission and payment..... At $20,000 per infringement, potential liability exceeds $6 billion.

      Bastards.

      How DARE they accuse us Joe Nobodies of being "pirates" while they aren't even paying their OWN employees, the singers and musicians? Fucking, fucking hypocritical bastards.

  • De Facto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davegravy (1019182) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:21PM (#33679766)

    Piracy is the de facto reason given for not doing something in these industries. "We aren't developing this video game title for the PC platform due to piracy concerns", "We aren't offering this broadcasting service because of piracy concerns"... it's a never ending guilt trip. If there's a demand for something and you can't/won't fill that demand for whatever reason, blame piracy!

    • by cgenman (325138)

      To be fair, PC game sales are approximately 1/10th of their console cousins, while some PC game developers have seen 10 pirate users for every 1 legitimate user. I would personally expect PC games to be a very different space than consoles for different reasons, but PC game piracy is genuinely rampant. It's also the reason why most PC game development has turned to multiplayer games, which involve a central licensing server and are harder to pirate.

  • by archer, the (887288) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:22PM (#33679774)

    20 songs per hour, 52 weeks a year.

    40*20*52 = 41600.

    At the latter rate, that is 41600 * 0.0075 = $312.

    And that's before Pandora's own expenses, such as bandwidth and payroll.

  • Vicious Cycle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TraumaHound (30184)

    'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?' said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association

    How are Canadian music lovers supposed to pay for music if no one builds a service to do so?

    • how are you supposed to FIND new music is the bigger question..

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toriver (11308)

        You read the Facebook updates from Spotify posted by your European friends. And then cry because you do not have Spotify.

  • This is because of all those moose pirates up in Canuck territory. You would download music too if all you had were Alanis Morriset and Bryan Addams.
  • 'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians don't want to give their hard earned money to a corrupt, bully-run industry of assholes who think they are above the law?'

    There yah go Mr. Henderson, I FTFY. Retard.

  • 'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?' said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents major record labels."

    The CRIA was the ones who whined and lobbied so that all blank media in Canada has a surcharge on it to pay them for piracy. The led to the widespread conclusion that since we're already paying for it, we're allowed to. The courts have backed us up on this too.

    And th

  • Uhm we pay for the right to copy. The Canadian branch of the RIAA fostered a levy on CD-R media a while back the levy also applies to MP3 players and the like.
    We pay for it so they can take their complaints about pirates and stuff it.

    http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/1657

    Actually after lobbying for years and being happy about getting the levy they now want it removed.

    http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2007/09/17/cria_disputes_canadian_mp3_player_levy

  • I've brought up the issue of Canadian content in music with friends and in several university classes. I've yet to hear a convincing argument. Maybe someone here can provide an insightful answer. Slightly off-topic, but on subject, since many of these fees are intended to protect "Canadian Content".

    When I hear of Canadian Music or Canadian Content, I know that the intention is 1) to protect the Canadian Music Industry and 2) from the perspective of the government to protect "Canadian Identity" and "Canadian

  • Smart (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:50PM (#33680150)

    'Why would you spend a lot of money trying to build a service in Canada when Canadians take so much without paying for it?' said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association...

    Smart. Very smart. Rather than adopt a business model of offering affordable alternatives which most people would be happy to go with they're going to cut off their noses to spite their faces. They're happier to take 45% of nothing rather than a reasonable licensing fee of a reasonable price.

    These people are so utterly daft that the mind absolutely boggles. Is it any wonder that they are incapable of adapting to a new technological age and prospering in that age? sigh...

    The worst part is these individuals are getting rich from high salaries while the rapidly drive their industries into the toilet. And, once everything gets flushed away, these individuals will walk away with their vast savings and live happily ever after while they've demolished an industry and left it in the stone ages.

    sigh...

    • Smart. Very smart. Rather than adopt a business model of offering affordable alternatives which most people would be happy to go with they're going to cut off their noses to spite their faces. They're happier to take 45% of nothing rather than a reasonable licensing fee of a reasonable price. These people are so utterly daft that the mind absolutely boggles. Is it any wonder that they are incapable of adapting to a new technological age and prospering in that age? sigh... The worst part is these individuals are getting rich from high salaries while the rapidly drive their industries into the toilet. And, once everything gets flushed away, these individuals will walk away with their vast savings and live happily ever after while they've demolished an industry and left it in the stone ages. sigh...

      THIS!

      Their profit margins and revenues are soaring higher every year, and still they pretend that piracy has their entire industry on the brink of collapse.

      More likely, they're just butthurt that some pirates are eating the scraps that fall from their table.

  • by asdbffg (1902686) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @05:18PM (#33680506)
    The linked article mentions "the agency that collects music royalties in Canada," which should be understood to be a separate entity from the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

    It's worth pointing out that there are several different agencies and several different sections of copyright law at work here. Purchasing a song for your own use and playing a song in a public place (or over internet radio) are two different things. I often see people in the US confusing the RIAA with ASCAP and vice versa, and a little clarity might be helpful.

    So, in the US:
    The RIAA represents distributors and publishers.
    ASCAP and BMI represent songwriters and publishers, who are supposed to get a royalty when a piece of music is performed or played in a public place (or over internet radio).
    SoundExchange represents performers or recording copyright owners, who are supposed to get a royalty when their recordings are played in a public place (or over internet radio).

    So when all hell breaks loose and Justin Bieber does a cover of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean that is then streamed over Pandora, Soundexchange would collect royalties for Bieber's performance and ASCAP would collect royalties for Michael Jackson songwriting. If the original Billie Jean is streamed over Pandora, then Jackson would be (I believe) entitled to royalties as both the performer and the songwriter. These are performance royalties and are typically paid by the entity playing the recording (in this case Pandora).

    When 100 trillion pre-teen girls try to buy a copy of Bieber's version of the song, they pay iTunes or WalMart or whatever, which is then supposed to pay the distributors. These are not performance royalties and are not administered by ASCAP, BMI, or SoundExchange. When you, out of morbid curiosity, illegally download the track, the RIAA will sue you to the tune of $xx,000,000 on behalf of the distributors.

    I say this because it's important to know that even though these organizations are related, they are not the same. Also, performance royalties in most cases actually make it to the artist, so I'm hesitant to hate on ASCAP (I'm a member) although sometimes I wish they would just chill out a little bit.
  • Wow. Sounds like they are more screwed up then us down here in the US.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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