Music industry misfires again

RIAA Misfires, Grazes PCMag.com article points that the music industry has gone off the deep end. The RIAA and other music industry organizations have spent the better part of the decade fighting the digital transition, with only a shrinking business to show for. It’s time for these music execs to pull their collective heads out of the sand and fully acknowledge and accept all the ways their industry has changed.

The advent of digital media and analog/digital conversion technologies has vastly increased the concerns of copyright-dependent individuals and organizations, especially within the music and movie industries. The industry has tried digital restrictions management approach to enforce access policies everywhere, but not with great results.

The stupid CD copy protection experiment failed on music industry because “the costs of DRM do not measure up to the results”. The end result of this stupid experiment was money spent, angry customers and falling CD sales. The incentive to buy CDs dropped for me considerably when I found out that the CDs don’t play in all my devices and some CDs were even spreading malware. I learned that time that buying new CDs was not fun anymore, and I practically stopped buying new CDs…. Stupidity of many DRM systems has been also a reason why many on-line music shop experiments have failed and very few have succeeded well.

Nothing will stop technology’s inexorable march forward. Things will continue to change. Music downloads and sharing will never go away no matter how much the music industry hopes that. They have to start to live in this new environment (maybe new to them not them but now new to the consumers) or prepare to die slowly. People who have business models that depend on strong controls for everything — those are flawed models.

46 Comments

  1. Led Display says:

    Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks.

    Reply
  2. Chris says:

    I agree with your opinion. If there is no music industry, how can we download music?

    Reply
  3. Jenny Torbston says:

    I agree with your opinion too. But where does it lead to finaly?

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Piracy May Boost Sales, Judge Concludes
    http://torrentfreak.com/piracy-may-boost-sales-111102/

    A Spanish judge came to an interesting conclusion in a case dealing with a seller of pirated copies. According to the judge the defendant doesn’t have to pay compensation to the rightsholders because it is not possible to determine to what extent piracy actually decreases sales. On the contrary, the judge suggests that piracy may even boost sales.

    Piracy problems? US copyright industries show terrific health
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/piracy-problems-us-copyright-industries-show-terrific-health.ars

    Things are going so “badly” that a major new report commissioned by copyright holders says that these “consistently positive trends solidify the status of the copyright industries as a key engine of growth for the US economy as a whole.”

    I saw those articles mentioned at
    http://www.tietoviikko.fi/kaikki_uutiset/oikeus+musabisnes+voi+hyotya+piratismista/a717178?s=r&wtm=tietoviikko/-07112011&

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIAA and Homeland Security Caught Downloading Torrents
    http://torrentfreak.com/riaa-and-homeland-security-caught-downloading-torrents-111217/

    If there’s one organization known for its crusade against online piracy, it’s the RIAA. Nevertheless, even in the RIAA’s headquarters several people use BitTorrent to download pirated music, movies, TV-shows and software. And they are in good company. The Department of Homeland Security – known for seizing pirate domain names – also harbors hundreds of BitTorrent pirates.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Angry Birds boss: ‘Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business’

    Rovio’s Mikael Hed tells music industry audience that embracing pirates can attract new fans

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/jan/30/angry-birds-music-midem

    “We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have,” he said.

    “If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”

    Reply
  7. Tomi says:

    Sad but true: Napster ’99 still smokes Spotify 2012
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/17/parker_fanning_on_napster/

    The Napster of 13 years ago was vastly superior to any legal music service available today, including Spotify, says Sean Parker, a mover and shaker in both companies. And he’s right.

    Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning were speaking at the SXSW Music Festival and Conference this week. Parker is an investor in Spotify, a legal licensed service, unlike the original pirate Napster. So you’d expect him to talk it up – and he does.

    In 2001 Napster was finally closed down by a music industry fearful of its impact. But the “evil” aspect of Napster wasn’t that it was P2P: it was that it didn’t return any money to the creators. But the concept and the software were widely admired, so quiet attempts were made to fix that.

    “The Napster subscription model we proposed works. It used fingerprinting, it was a walled garden P2P system,” Chris Castle, an attorney at Napster, explained.

    There’s little doubt that a legal P2P Napster, even at a relatively high price of $50 a month, would have what marketroids call a “rich consumer experience”.

    What a pity the large labels a decade ago didn’t appreciate that Napster was a social network – just one built around music

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Games sales overtake videos for the first time in the UK
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2162885/-games-sales-overtake-videos-uk

    MARKET ESTIMATES reveal that games sales have overtaken entertainment videos in the UK for the first time.

    ERA estimated that games accounted for 40.2 per cent of the entertainment market, compared with video at 37.6 per cent and music at 22.2 per cent.

    Kim Bayley, ERA director general said, “This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market. It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight.”

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    With A Budget Almost Cut In Half And 40 Percent Staff Cuts Can The RIAA Survive?
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/23/bad-news-for-the-riaa-budget-almost-cut-in-half-40-percent-staff-cuts-and-still-irrelevant/

    RIAA’s budget comes from music labels and distributors. In theory it represents the interests of the music industry. Therefore, it depends on their willingness to pay them to represent music in all its forms. That’s not going so well.

    TorrentFreak obtained its latest tax filing and the RIAA is facing the same difficulties as the major music labels. Its budget has been cut to $29.1 million for 2010-2011 from $51.35 million two years earlier. Yet, the most important shift comes from the anti-piracy strategy adopted by the RIAA.

    Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, the RIAA is supporting the copyright alert system and its six strikes, a policy inspired by the unpopular and ineffective French anti-piracy law called Hadopi.

    In other words, the RIAA is still wasting a lot of money that could have been better used to foster novel Internet services or music experiences and to create new sources of revenues for the artists.

    With that new-found austerity, the RIAA cut its staff by nearly 40% from 117 to 72 employees. A budget item stays stable over the years, however. Their lobbying activity is still active to the tune of $2.3 million a year.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIAA Revenue Dwindles As Labels Cut Back
    https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-revenue-dwindles-as-labels-cut-back-120817/

    The latest RIAA tax filing shows that the revenue generated by the anti-piracy group has reached a new low. In just two years the membership dues from music labels have been cut in half and have now sunk to below $30 million a year. While the group has 72 employees, payouts to the top two executives including CEO Cary Sherman amount to more than $3 million, some 25% of the total wage bill.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pop music is getting sadder and more emotionally ambiguous
    http://research-digest.blogspot.ca/2012/08/pop-music-is-getting-sadder-and-more.html

    Have you heard older generations lamenting the way pop songs don’t sound like they used to? There’s a sense that the hits from yesteryear had an innocence and feel-good quality that’s missing from today’s pop offerings.

    Now Glenn Schellenberg and Christian von Scheve have confirmed what many suspected – pop music over the last five decades has grown progressively more sad-sounding and emotionally ambiguous.

    Schellenberg and von Scheve found that the proportion of songs recorded in minor-mode has increased, doubling over the last fifty years. The proportion of slow tempo hits has also increased linearly, reaching a peak in the 90s. There’s also been a decrease in unambiguously happy-sounding songs and an increase in emotionally ambiguous songs.

    Why has pop music changed like this? Schellenberg and von Scheve can only speculate. They point to the rise of consumerism and individualism, which produces a demand for more choice; increasing cultural and societal ambiguity (such as the erosion of traditional gender roles); as well as the desire among pop consumers to demonstrate distinctiveness and sophistication in their taste.

    Unambiguously happy songs like Abba’s Waterloo sound, to today’s ears, “naive and slightly juvenile”, the researchers noted.

    And whilst modern songs in a similar style, such as Aqua’s Barbie Girl, can still enjoy huge commercial success, they’re usually seen as a guilty pleasure and savaged by critics.

    It is interesting that they did not examine the lyrics of the song to determine the emotional content.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bruce Willis to fight Apple over rights to music collection after his death

    BRUCE Willis is preparing to take Apple to court over who owns his huge digital music collection after he dies.

    But under iTunes’ current terms and conditions, customers essentially only ‘borrow’ tracks rather than owning them outright.

    So any music library amassed like that would be worthless when the owner dies.

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/4517317/Bruce-Willis-to-fight-Apple-over-music-rights-after-his-death.html#ixzz25ThOLNqa

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bruce Willis Isn’t Suing Apple Over iTunes Music Ownership Rights
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/03/bruce-willis-itunes-music-library/

    Earlier today, there was a rumor that Bruce Willis was considering to sue Apple to clarify who owns content downloaded from iTunes. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported – and as with all things involving British tabloids, you should take this with a grain of salt – that Willis “is said to be considering legal action against technology giant Apple over his desire to leave his digital music collection to his daughters.” While contemplating his death, Willis apparently noticed something most iTunes users also conveniently ignore: even though Apple now provides you with DRM-free files, all you own is a license to play your music on up to five devices under your control and you can’t legally pass them on to others.

    Still, the question of what happens with somebody’s digital assets after their death (including music, ebooks and social networking profiles) is something we haven’t quite figured out yet and that’s worth contemplating, even outside of this slow news day story.

    Sites like Deceased Account, for example, lists numerous major web services that don’t currently have policies for how they handle the accounts of deceased users.

    Reply
  14. Tomi says:

    Neil Young Pushes Pono, Says Piracy Is the New Radio
    http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/12/09/20/1523251/neil-young-pushes-pono-says-piracy-is-the-new-radio

    “Kia Makarechi reports that Neil Young isn’t particularly concerned with the effects of piracy on artists but is more concerned that the files that are being shared are of such low quality. ‘It doesn’t affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio,’ says Young. ‘I look at the radio as gone. Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around.”

    “Young wants to see better music recording and high resolution recording”

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Universal-EMI Merger Could Yield New Mega-Label To Threaten The Future Of Music
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/universal-emi-merger_n_1897901.html

    Today, music lovers have more ways than ever before to access their favorite songs and discover artists they’ve never heard of.

    The digital revolution that Napster heralded at the turn of the millenium finally seems to be bearing fruit. At the time, record labels decried the file-sharing program as an existential threat to the industry. To protect record sales, they sued everyone from tech startups to children, and lobbied Congress for new laws to curb piracy.

    Now, though, digital music services have gone mainstream, promising listeners a world of perfectly legal possibilities and an end to the major labels’ vice grip.

    If only it were so.

    Far from becoming obsolete, the four largest record labels — Universal, Sony, Warner Music Group and EMI — now control almost 90 percent of the music market. And if the Federal Trade Commission signs off this week on Universal Music’s controversial $2 billion takeover of EMI, the new behemoth would control over 40 percent of the market alone — enough to make the company the gatekeeper for all sonic innovation, from Silicon Valley to Sweden.

    “Napster has changed everything,” Henley said. By failing to establish a sustainable, standardized system for licensing digital music, “the record industry fiddled on the sidelines while the digital revolution went on without them.”

    In the years since Henley’s testimony, the music market has changed dramatically.

    One service above all others has been responsible for creating a viable commercial market for music online: iTunes.

    There are no statutory royalty standards for recorded music in the digital universe, giving record companies the ability to demand any form or amount of payment they want from a new tech startup. Without buy-in from the major record companies, any new platform is limited to a tiny fraction of the music universe

    “Within the new UMG-EMI there will be only a handful of senior executives who make these key licensing decisions. So this small group will become the gatekeepers for music startups that require these licenses.”

    The iTunes talks demonstrated that a multibillion-dollar corporation running its own sophisticated legal and lobbying operations could take on the major labels and win. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs armed with a few million dollars in venture capital generally don’t fare so well. Neither do artists, especially independent ones with even fewer resources at their disposal.

    “In simple terms, the post-merger firm would have a strong incentive and increased ability to exercise market power to undermine, delay and distort new digital distribution business models, in a market that has been a tight oligopoly for over a decade,” said Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America. “The FTC must take steps to prevent this severe harm to competition and consumers.”

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Exude sex music videos and album covers are commonplace. A growing number of female stars in the music video and concerts show in only undergarments.

    A multiple Grammy Award winner, and sales and a list of the record-breaking week British star Adele not amongst these women.
    Adele wants to keep clothes on and trust the stunning voice.
    - I just stand on stage and sing.
    - sex selling artists give their fans a false image of themselves

    Source: http://www.iltalehti.fi/viihde/2012092616124229_vi.shtml

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Byrne Breaks Down How Music Works in New Book
    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/09/david-byrne-how-music-works/

    David Byrne’s impressive output over the past four decades reaches far beyond his work as a musician, most famously in Talking Heads and in numerous solo albums and collaborations.

    But in his new wide-ranging tome, How Music Works, he finally tackles it head-on. Much of the new book, which came out earlier this month, focuses on the future, not the past — centering on Byrne’s insights on where he thinks the music business is heading. He is also radically transparent about his own business dealings in the book, detailing his own experiences in colorful pie charts and hard numbers.

    “I want folks to see the fairly simple math that pushes us towards making certain musical and career decisions,” Byrne said in an e-mail interview with Wired. “The book is about how myriad external factors influence the music itself, and money is one of those factors.”

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “Vinyl just sounds better”
    Although more and more of your music is spreading in uncertificated form, a certain set of music fans continue to rely on vinyl. This demand is met by Turku.

    Turku Svart Records has risen from one of the world’s largest publisher of vinyl records. Jarkko Pietarinen and Tom Pulkin company started from a genuine love of sound.

    - Vinyl record sounds just so much better than anything else, assuming that it is very well done, explains Jarkko Pietarinen.

    Svart Records vinyls to make about 350-2000 copies.

    - Even if the band had sold hundreds of thousands of CDs, it does not necessarily sell vinyl than two hundred pieces. It may be that it will take years to sell the 2000 installment of the song, says Pietarinen.

    In qualitative terms, the sound of the best are black and transparent plates.
    - Customers, wholesales and bands wanted a variety of colors and picture disc.

    Vinyls publishing company to inject up raised eyebrows for example, some of the larger record companies.

    - Well, that no one believed that the vinyls are selling. It was thought that this is a bit of a crazy work. Who vinyls now no longer buy it?

    Pietarinen was, however, noticed a couple of years earlier, and in Europe and in the U.S. interest to vinyls had increased and new releases became more and more.

    Source: http://yle.fi/uutiset/vinyyli_vain_kuulostaa_paremmalta/6317020

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Happy birthday, Compact Disc
    First commercial release 30 years ago today
    http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/01/compact_disc_is_30_years_old/

    The first commercially release disc and player – respectively, Billy Joel’s 52nd Street and Sony’s CDP-101 – were introduced in Japan on 1 October 1982. The disc was released by Sony’s recorded music subsidiary, CBS.

    CD production commenced in Europe that same month, on the 17th, with Abba’s The Visitors the first ever disc to roll out of Philips’ Hannover, Germany pressing plant – the first of its kind.

    US and European music lovers had to wait until 2 March 1983 for the first discs specifically tailored for them.

    They embraced the format wholeheartedly. In the UK, Dire Straits’ 1985-released Brothers in Arms was immediately snatched up by early adopters keen to put their new CD players through their paces. It was one of the first CDs produced from a digital master made from digital recordings – a so-called ‘DDD’ album.

    Neither the SACD nor DVD Audio ever won the broad appeal enjoyed by the CD, which proved a major driver for the music industry as consumers dashed to replace old or scratched vinyl LPs and hissy cassettes with shiny new compact discs.

    By the late 1990s, however, in part due to the growing popularity of computer games, and first sell-through videotapes and later DVDs, but also the advent of both the MP3 music format and peer-to-peer file sharing networks, CD sales had begun their inevitable decline.

    Worldwide, CD sales slipped by 20 per cent between 2000 and 2008. In 2011, UK CD album sales fell by 13 per cent to 86.2 million discs.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Vivendi Label Asks Judge to Close Music Service ReDigi
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-05/vivendi-label-asks-judge-to-close-music-service-redigi.html

    Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Capitol Records told a federal judge that a new online music service that allows people to buy and sell used digital songs should be shut down.

    “You are selling and distributing that recording,” Richard Mandel, a lawyer for Capitol, said of ReDigi to the judge, “In order to do that, you have to make a copy and that is a violation of the reproduction right of the Copyright Act.” Mandel requested a judgment without a trial.

    “There is no copy involved,” ReDigi’s lawyer, Gary Adelman, told Sullivan. “The actual file is being transported. That’s how the technology works.”

    Mandel argued that songs at issue are not original tracks acquired on iTunes but digital copies of them. Adelman said that instead of being copied, songs “migrate” from users’ computer hard drives to ReDigi’s server.

    ReDigi said in court papers that it is protected from liability by the first-sale doctrine, which allows an individual who has lawfully purchased music to sell it to whomever he wishes without being liable for copyright infringement.

    Mandel argued that the first-sale doctrine doesn’t apply “if the work distributed is not the one you started with.”

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kim Dotcom Teases Megabox, Reveals Exclusive Artists?
    http://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-teases-megabox-reveals-exclusive-artists-120926/

    Kim Dotcom is determined to put the major music labels out of business with Megabox. At the same time he promises to give artists full control over their own work and a healthy revenue stream. Today Dotcom released a video on the making of Megabox which unveils some of the service’s features. The video also shows “The Black Keys,” “Rusko,” “Two Fingers” and “Will.i.am” as exclusive artists.

    December last year Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom revealed his plan to put the “dinosaur record labels” out of business.

    Not through piracy, but with the release of a revolutionary music platform called Megabox.

    The goal of Megabox is to give the public access to free music and compensate artists through advertising revenue. Megaupload’s founder believes that this “free music” business model has the potential to decrease music piracy while giving artists proper compensation for their work.

    This revenue comes from the Megakey application that users have to install. Megakey works like an ad blocker, but instead of blocking ads it replaces a small percentage with Mega’s own ads. Those who prefer not to install the app have the option to buy the music instead.

    “Music will be free for users who install the Megakey App. Anyone who does not like the App can just purchase the music,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak previously.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    File-Sharers Buy 30% More Music Than Non-P2P Peers
    http://torrentfreak.com/file-sharers-buy-30-more-music-than-non-p2p-peers-121015/

    One of the most comprehensive studies into media sharing and consumption habits in the United States and Germany reveals that file-sharers buy 30% more music than their non-sharing counterparts. The result confirms that file-sharers are actually the music industry’s best customers. In addition, the research reveals that contrary to popular belief, offline “copying” is far more prevalent than online music piracy.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    10,000 Artists Sign Up for Pirate Bay Promotion
    http://torrentfreak.com/10000-artists-signed-up-for-pirate-bay-promotion-12110/

    While the major record labels and movie studios do what they can to shutter The Pirate Bay, thousands of lesser known artists are eager to become featured on the site’s homepage. Since the start of the “Promo Bay” initiative in January, 10,000 independent artists have signed up to be promoted by the world’s largest torrent site. Those who were lucky enough to be featured have enjoyed a healthy career boost and in some cases earned thousands of dollars from file-sharing fans.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paulo Coelho Supports The Pirate Bay
    http://torrentfreak.com/paulo-coelho-supports-the-pirate-bay-090415/

    If anti-piracy lobbyists are to be believed, all content creators hate The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites. The truth is obviously more balanced. In fact, some of the most creative minds are BitTorrent users themselves, including best selling author Paulo Coelho, who offered to travel to Sweden to testify in favor of The Pirate Bay.

    Reply
  25. tomi says:

    A month after download law, consumers spending less on music: survey
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/a-month-after-download-law-consumers-spending-less-on-music-survey?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2012-11-07_AM

    On Oct 1, knowingly downloading copyrighted music and video in Japan became punishable by up to two years in prison and a 2 million yen penalty.

    The law was passed in June after the Japanese music industry, the second largest in the world after the U.S., reported continued financial losses, with analysts suggesting that just one in 10 downloads were legal.

    Since the law came into effect, there have certainly been some changes, and many Internet users have become reluctant to click that download button for fear of receiving a hefty fine, meaning that the law has been a success in a way.

    According to a recent statistical survey, however, since the law was passed, sales of music in Japan have continued to fall and consumers are actually showing less interest in music than ever before.

    Is this the effect of the new download restrictions? Has Japan’s new draconian law actually had a negative effect on music sales? Or has the Japanese government simply noticed that music sales continue to fall and mistakenly pinpointed illegal downloads as the cause?

    It’s interesting to see that, although one or two people suggest that the tough new law has put them off buying new music, the vast majority of responses suggest that – just maybe – the reason music sales have fallen so much recently is due to a general lack of interest and that new albums are simply not particularly good value for money.

    It would seem that the public’s perception of the music industry has changed, and that fewer and fewer people are willing to invest their hard-earned cash in music that they simply use to fill the silence rather than sit and listen to for pleasure.

    Perhaps the enormous rise in illegal downloads is a sign that people are interested enough in music to take it for free, but not so in love with what’s on offer that they’d willingly pay the asking price. There seems to be a general vibe on Japanese online message boards that, with the option to download removed, few people are interested in today’s music enough to pay, and so would rather not bother entirely.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIAA: Pirates Are Bigger Music Fans Than Average Consumers
    http://torrentfreak.com/riaa-pirates-are-bigger-music-fans-than-average-consumers-121113/

    After a study pointed out that file-sharers spend more money on music than their non-sharing counterparts, the RIAA felt the need to respond. The music industry group is now characterizing news reports on the findings as “misleading” and is ready to burst the bubble. According to the RIAA there is a straightforward reason why P2P users buy more – they are simply better engaged music fans than average music consumers. … Eh?

    The RIAA wasn’t too happy with this result (or how the media reported on it) so they brought in research firm NPD to counter with some statistics of their own.

    “Some commentary has misleadingly reported that people who use P2P services like BitTorrent buy more music than non-users, implying that there’s some sort of causation,” he writes.

    According to the RIAA there is a very simple explanation for the finding that file-sharing music consumers buy more music – they are simply more interested in music than average music consumers (to begin with).

    “In reality, the comparison is unfair – what it’s comparing is people who are interested in music with people who might not be interested at all. Of course people interested in music buy more,” Friedlander writes.

    Eh..?

    So the RIAA is now arguing that among music consumers, P2P users are more interested in music than non-sharers?

    An interesting conclusion, and exactly the same as ours when we reported on the study.

    “A likely explanation for these results is that true music enthusiasts simply want to consume, sample and discover as much new music as they possibly can, and the most straightforward and convenient way to do this is through file-sharing networks,” we wrote at the time.

    So we all agree, at least on this part.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ask Slashdot: Which International Online Music Stores Are Legit?
    http://ask.slashdot.org/story/12/11/19/0633255/ask-slashdot-which-international-online-music-stores-are-legit

    “How do I know which CD/online music stores are legit and actually benefit the artist?”

    “What’s the best way to identify which labels or online stories are authorized to sell them? ”

    Comments:

    AFAIK, the line between “legit” and “illegal” is blurry in at least two of the countries the author mentions.

    That and I think “legit” and “benefit the artist” are largely mutually exclusive most of the time.

    National and international music federations like the RIAA, IFPI, etc. seem to get to decide what sites are and aren’t legit, yet they’re also the organisations whose sales least benefit the artist.

    As someone else said, paying the artist direct where possible is the best option, but even that assumes the artist has the rights to sell directly their produce and hasn’t signed over all sales rights to an organisation as described above.

    All of them are legit for certain values of ‘legit’, ‘international’, ‘music’, ‘benefit’, and ‘artist’.

    Seriously, if you find a store that meets ALL of those criteria, anywhere, it’ll be the first. I think the only way to do that is to find a copy of the music anywhere you want, then throw a buck or ten to whomever you decide is the artist. In the case of a RIAA (or local equivalent) band, there’s a good chance that the actual artist is not the official artist of record.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bob Dylan’s new album is ‘Copyright Extension Collection’
    The times they are a-changin’, thanks to Cliff Richard
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/08/bob_dylan_copyright_extension_collection/

    Europe’s decision to extend copyright on music recordings from 50 to 70 years has just produced a curiosity: a four-disk compilation of Bob Dylan tunes that publisher Sony Music has come right out and called “The Copyright Extension Collection”.

    The new laws were introduced in September 2011 and became known as “Cliff’s Law”, as they meant Sir Cliff Richard could continue to cash in on songs he recorded in the early 1960s. US and Australian recording artists already enjoyed such a right, as copyright periods in those nations were already 70 years.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anti-Piracy Group Rips Off Pirate Bay Website, Faces Lawsuit
    http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-rips-off-pirate-bay-website-faces-lawsuit-130213/

    A Finnish anti-piracy group has copied the design of The Pirate Bay website for their latest anti-piracy campaign. The Pirate Bay is outraged by this move and says it will sue the group for breaking their site policy, which clearly states that organizations are not permitted to steal the site design for nefarious purposes. “People must understand what is right and wrong,” The Pirate Bay says.

    Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC, known worldwide for tracking down a 9 year-old “pirate girl” and having her Winnie The Pooh laptop confiscated, launched a controversial campaign yesterday.

    The group copied The Pirate Bay’s design for their campaign site, including the CSS stylesheet, and replaced the logo with one of a sinking ship.

    Of course the site doesn’t host any torrents. Instead, all links point to a page which informs visitors that there are plenty of legal alternatives to The Pirate Bay.

    The Pirate Bay, generally quite supportive of copy-pasting, is not happy with CIAPC’s apparent infringement and plans to take legal steps against the anti-piracy group.

    “We are outraged by this behavior. People must understand what is right and wrong. Stealing material like this on the internet is a threat to economies worldwide,” a Pirate Bay spokesman told TorrentFreak.

    CIAPC effectively copied The Pirate Bay CSS stylesheet. This is a violation of The Pirate Bay’s usage policy, which specifically prohibits the use of any site material without permission.

    “We reserve the rights to charge for usage of the site in case this policy is violated”

    Comments:
    That’s brilliant. If they rule in favor of The Pirate Bay, the group has to pay. If they rule against them, Pirate Bay gets legal precedent to say that copyrights are invalid.

    Copyright infringement is copyright infringement regardless of who carries it out – however as TPB is not a hosting site, they don’t infringe diddly squat – stealing the code of their website and reusing it without permission is a blatant infringement.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Pirate Bay Reports Anti-Piracy Outfit to the Police
    http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-reports-anti-piracy-outfit-to-the-police-130218/

    The Pirate Bay has asked the Economic Crime unit of the Finnish police to investigate the alleged criminal actions of anti-piracy group CIAPC. Last week the group copied The Pirate Bay’s design, violating the site’s usage policy. In their complaint TPB cite a similar case where the owner of a parody site was prosecuted recently. “We will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright,” TPB comments.

    The “parody” defense doesn’t apply under Finnish law, TPB argues, citing a recent case in Finland.

    “In a similar case, the prosecution and the Helsinki Court of Appeals have found that a parody site can violate the moral rights of the original author. Changing the logo or making slight edits to the text are not enough to remove this liability,” they informed the police.

    While The Pirate Bay recognizes the irony of the case, they feel that they have to pursue this matter.

    Should The Pirate Bay be awarded damages they won’t keep that money for themselves. Instead, the money will go to the 9-year old girl who was “harassed” last year.

    But, even if they “lose” it wouldn’t be a big deal, as that’s a win for the right to parody.

    “It’s interesting to see, how the police reacts to Pirate Bay’s demands. On facts the case is indeed very similar to Matti Nikki’s case, in which the prosecutor decided to bring the charges on behalf of Save the Children.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Musicians accused of ‘buying virtual fans’ on YouTube
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/21775499

    Some music artists are buying social networking statistics to get into the charts, a Newsbeat investigation has found.

    The statistics, which can be bought, include YouTube views, Twitter followers and Facebook likes.

    Newsbeat has found that you can buy 10,000 YouTube views for as little as £30.

    There is also a market for buying comments to attribute to the views to help authenticate them.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIAA Thinks LimeWire Owes $75 Trillion in Damages
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/223431/riaa_thinks_limewire_owes_75_trillion_in_damages.html

    The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right . . . $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”

    U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion

    the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.

    Reply
  33. Tomi says:

    EU court decision heralds multi-country European music licenses
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/12/entertainment-us-court-collectingsocieti-idUSBRE93B0SQ20130412

    (Reuters) – Europe’s music royalties societies must now allow artists to sign up to a society of their choice and make multi-country licenses available to the likes of Amazon and Apple after a court backed an EU veto on national monopolies.

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Universal Music: Classical Downloads Done Wrong
    http://www.mcelhearn.com/2012/05/19/universal-music-classical-downloads-done-wrong/

    Shame on Universal Music for selling downloads like this.

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIAA Makes Drastic Employee Cuts as Revenue Plummets
    http://torrentfreak.com/riaa-makes-drastic-employee-cuts-as-revenue-plummets-130522/

    New tax records reveal that the RIAA has made heavy employee cuts after revenue dropped to a new low. Over the past two years the major record labels have cut back their membership dues from $33.6 to $23.6 million. RIAA staff plunged from 107 to 60 workers in the same period. The IRS filing further shows that the music industry group paid $250,000 to the six strikes anti-piracy system.

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Concert Industry Struggles With ‘Bots’ That Siphon Off Tickets
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/business/media/bots-that-siphon-off-tickets-frustrate-concert-promoters.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    As the summer concert season approaches, music fans and the concert industry that serves them have a common enemy in New York. And in Russia. And in India.

    That enemy is the bot.

    “Bots,” computer programs used by scalpers, are a hidden part of a miserable ritual that plays out online nearly every week in which tickets to hot shows seem to vanish instantly.

    Long a mere nuisance to the live music industry, these cheap and widely available programs are now perhaps its most reviled foe, frustrating fans and feeding a multibillion-dollar secondary market for tickets.

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How does the music industry get people to pay for digital content?
    http://www.themediabriefing.com/article/what-publishing-can-learn-from-the-music-biz-about-making-people-pay-for-digital-content

    Music and news are very different businesses, but the digital age presented them both with a very similar problem: how do you get someone to pay for something they can get for free?

    It’s a question the music industry is tackling with some success according to the latest Ofcom report on media piracy. So what can news and entertainment publishers learn from this?

    The fall in piracy has accompanied growth in digital sales which helped the music industry grow revenues 0.3 percent last year – the first rise since 1999 when physical CD sales were at their peak.

    After years of protesting about illegal downloads and filesharing killing paid-for sales, the music business has focused on convincing people to pay by building and supporting better and more convenient digital products.

    Apple’s iTunes provided an easy way to buy digital music when it launched in 2003, but its success had no effect on burgeoning online piracy. The real innovation has come from affordable, good quality streaming services, most notably in the UK and across Europe with Spotify.

    Getting people to pay isn’t just about good products, it’s also about price.

    All those newspaper groups that have arbitrarily set their subscription package prices at around £10 a month should take note that the likelihood someone will pay takes a sharp upward turn under £7.50.

    Nevertheless, good digital products, sensible pricing for an attractive package and investment in marketing, can all persuade people to pay for content that is easy to get elsewhere.

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Piracy? Removing DRM Boosts Music Sales by 10 Percent
    http://torrentfreak.com/what-piracy-removing-drm-boosts-music-sales-by-10-percent-131130/

    DRM was once praised as the ultimate tool to prevent music piracy, but new research shows that the opposite is true. Comparing album sales of four major labels before and after the removal of DRM reveals that digital music revenue increases by 10% when restrictions are removed. The effect goes up to 30% for long tail content, while top-selling albums show no significant jump. The findings suggest that dropping technical restrictions can benefit both artists and the major labels.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Heavy metal shows piracy is not killing music, offers new business model
    http://www.deathmetal.org/news/heavy-metal-shows-piracy-is-not-killing-music-offers-new-business-model/

    The music industry — and the television and movie industries — appears to be in free-fall. After years of having an exclusive means of delivery, its market hold has been fragmented by the internet and increasing distrust of big media. Looking over the past decade, the picture adds up to a slow and steady decline with downloaded forms of media failing to replace the profits of their physical counterparts.

    Although the industries responded with initiatives to stop piracy, many observers disagree that piracy is the root of industry’s woes and think instead that there is a need for a new business plan in the media industries because the old profit model has failed. However, no one is sure what that plan will be, since media is no longer a high margin industry with tons of excess profit between cost and sales price, but a low margin industry where people aren’t willing to pay much for media. Think of the difference between a 1990s-era $150/month cable bill and today’s $15/month Netflix bill.

    The new holy grail is to find a business model that allows bands to have more promotion than being independent can provide, but does not lead to the excess and inefficiency of the big record labels of the past.

    “Iron Maiden’s BitTorrent data suggests Brazil is a huge driver of fans – and given Brazil is one of the biggest file sharing nations on the planet, this is a strong indicator of popularity,” said Greg Mead, CEO and co-founder of Musicmetric.

    “With their constant touring, [the] report suggests Maiden have been rather successful in turning free file-sharing into fee-paying fans. This is clear proof that taking a global approach to live touring can pay off, and that having the data to track where your fan bases lie will become ever more vital.”

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ron Miller: DRM has always been a horrible idea
    And there’s mounting evidence that it’s counterproductive
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244818/Ron_Miller_DRM_has_always_been_a_horrible_idea

    A recent report found that when you remove digital rights management from albums, revenue actually increases. TorrentFreak reports that music revenue increased 10% on general content and 30% on what it called long-tail content — proving that buyers don’t like it when you place restrictions on content.

    Back in the ’90s, probably about the time Napster surfaced, it suddenly occurred to executives in the entertainment industry that they might have to confront this Internet thing. But they feared this new distribution channel too much to embrace it, and instead they sought to control it with digital rights management (DRM).

    Movie studios and record companies were already regretting the digitization of their content. For them, CDs and DVDs were bad enough, allowing for perfect digital copies, but the Internet was much worse: a channel through which people could share these digital copies and bypass the entertainment companies altogether.

    Reactionary fear just seems to come natural to the entertainment industry. It had feared cassette tape players (“Mixtapes are stealing our revenue!”). It had feared radio (“Who’s going to buy records when they can hear music all day long for free?”). And of course the movie and television industry had feared cable and VCRs and fought them tooth and nail.

    With that history, it isn’t exactly surprising that entertainment executives didn’t engage the Internet phenomenon with forward thinking. They weren’t about to build distribution networks of their own to battle Napster and its ilk. Instead, they fell back on their default mode, a defensive crouch, and came up with what they thought was a way to control digital distribution by attaching DRM to the digital content they sold.

    It was warped thinking, and it produced bizarre results. Does DRM punish pirates? Not really. The people it hurts most are the entertainment giants’ paying customers.

    And the content could be stolen because, of course, DRM, like all technology, could be broken. This effort to use brute force to control the uncontrollable was doomed to fail, but the entertainment industry seemed incapable of even imagining that it could find a way to take advantage of the best distribution platform the world has ever known.

    Is it any closer to seeing the truth today? A few enlightened executives might be, but for the most part, the entertainment companies are still obsessed with control.

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Record Label Asks Google to Censor Artists’ Twitter Accounts
    http://torrentfreak.com/record-label-asks-google-to-censor-artists-twitter-accounts-140112/

    In an effort to make it difficult for the public to find pirated content, copyright holders send millions of takedown notices to Google every week.

    Unfortunately not all of these requests are accurate.

    Spinnin’ Records, one of the largest independent dance music labels, has been sending several unusual takedown requests to Google. The record label asked the search engine to take down the Twitter pages of several of its own top artists, including Afrojack, as well as its own account. Google, thus far, has refused to help out with this blatant attempt at self-censorship.

    Reply
  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Perhaps It’s Not The Entertainment Industry’s Business Model That’s Outdated
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070222/002451/perhaps-its-not-entertainment-industrys-business-model-thats-outdated.shtml

    He suggested that despite the common wisdom many of us have suggested, the entertainment industry’s business models aren’t actually obsolete. What is obsolete is what people think the industry’s business model is. And, the worst thing is that the people most guilty of this are the industry execs themselves.

    We’ve been arguing that there are plenty of business models that don’t involve actually selling the content, but involve selling other, related products that are made valuable by the content. In fact, that’s what both the music and the movie industry already do. Everyone may think that you’re buying “music” or “movies” but that’s very rarely what you’re actually buying. You’re buying the experience of going to the movies. Or the ability to have the convenience of a DVD. Or the convenience of being able to listen to a song on your iPod. And, in many cases, it’s not just one thing, but a bundle of things: the convenience of being able to hear a song in any CD player, combined with a nice set of liner notes and the opportunity to hear a set of songs the way a band wants you to hear. It can be any number of different “benefits” that people are buying, but it’s not the “movie” or the “music” itself that anyone is buying.

    So the problem isn’t that the industry’s basic business model is obsolete — it’s just that everyone thinks they’re actually selling music or movies, and that leads them to do stupid things like put DRM on the music to take away many of those benefits, or making the movie-going experience that much worse by treating everyone like criminals. What they’re doing, and why it’s hurting them, is that they’re actually taking away the features that they used to be selling — and missing out on opportunities to sell other benefits as well. So while we may still point out that the basic business model is obsolete, it may be more accurate to simply say that it’s the understanding of the business model that’s really out of date.

    Reply
  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The era of buying music is over:

    The Death of Music Sales
    If CDs are “dead,” so is iTunes.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/buying-music-is-so-over/384790/

    CDs are dead.

    That doesn’t seem like such a controversial statement. Maybe it should be. The music business sold 141 million CDs in the U.S. last year. That’s more than the combined number of tickets sold to the most popular movies in 2014 (Guardians) and 2013 (Iron Man 3). So “dead,” in this familiar construction, isn’t the same as zero.

    And if CDs are truly dead, then digital music sales are lying in the adjacent grave. Both categories are down double-digits in the last year, with iTunes sales diving at least 13 percent.

    The recorded music industry is being eaten, not by one simple digital revolution, but rather by revolutions inside of revolutions, mouths inside of mouths, Alien-style. Digitization and illegal downloads kicked it all off. MP3 players and iTunes liquified the album. That was enough to send recorded music’s profits cascading. But today the disruption is being disrupted: Digital track sales are falling at nearly the same rate as CD sales, as music fans are turning to streaming—on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and music blogs.

    Now that music is superabundant, the business (beyond selling subscriptions to music sites) thrives only where scarcity can be manufactured—in concert halls, where there are only so many seats, or in advertising, where one song or band can anchor a branding campaign.

    Nearly every number in Nielsen’s 2014 annual review of the music industry is preceded by a negative sign, including chain store sales (-20%), total new album sales (-14%), and sales of new songs online (-10.3%). Two things are up: streaming music and vinyl album sales.

    And how about the hits? The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn about 80 percent of all revenue from recorded music

    Reply
  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Music Industry’s Latest Shortsighted Plan: Killing Freemium Services
    http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/15/05/12/2128203/the-music-industrys-latest-shortsighted-plan-killing-freemium-services

    An anonymous reader notes that there have been rumblings in the music industry of trying to shut down freemium services like Spotify’s free tier and YouTube’s swath of free music. The record labels have realized that music downloads are gradually giving way to streaming, and they’re angling for as a big a slice of that revenue as they can manage. The article argues that they’re making the same mistake they always make: that converting freemium site listeners (in the past, music pirates) to subscription services will be a 1:1 transfer, and no listeners will be lost in the process.

    Killing Freemium is the Worst Thing for Artists
    https://medium.com/cuepoint/killing-freemium-is-the-worst-thing-for-artists-5c1b022bad78

    Ending Spotify and YouTube’s free tiers will increase piracy, not sales or signups

    Reply

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