Originally posted by Gon
What's legal and what is right or acceptable is not the same thing.An analogy:
A person buys a car 100% on credit.
Due to a computer error, the credit company never asks for payments.
After five years, the man notices he hasn't been asked to pay anything. He doesn't react to this or worry about it in any way.
Ten years after, the company notices and wonders if they should take back the car since the person hasn't paid a cent for it. (let's assume asking for money at this point is not a legal option for some reason, while taking the car is)
They note the person needs the car to get to work.
Need is just a red herring. It's clear as day the man was originally intended to get the car, but after five years had no business keeping it.
Same applies to the content industry, which (I'm being generous here) has at least passively been aware they are getting something for nothing. If they haven't prepared for the backlash of "losing" what is not theirs in the first place, boo hoo. I'd venture a guess at any given time Mariah Carey only owns a couple of her own recordings, and her fans own millions of them combined. The meaning of the data on the recordings on the millions of discs, or the sound stereo systems make out of it, does not belong to Mariah. Even if she was the writer, vocalist and keyboardist, she would not own the song, because the song is an idea. The only thing afforded to her by the copyright is a limited monopoly to dictate how the song is to be used.
That's an extremely tortured analogy.
The person never owned the car in the first place. The error in billing didn't end his obligation to pay. It's also rather difficult to believe that it took him 5 years to notice that he never had to pay for it. He would have known after the very first payment came due, and wasn't billed for it on time.
Of course he had no business keeping it.
What you are doing by trying to extend this to the industry is absurd. The industry isn't in the position of that man, but rather in the position of the credit company.
It doesn't matter one whit that you don't like the music companies. If they own the content, then that's that.
Your understanding of ownership, or copyright, is incorrect from the beginning. Carey would get royalties for every copy of the song that was sold. She also gets royalties every time it is played on the air.
The song is not an "ideal". I don't know where you got that from. It is a work of art that is also a product. The words, the music, and the performance are all parts of that product for which royalties are paid. The writer of the lyrics gets paid, the writer of the music gets paid, and the performer gets paid. If one person does all of that, then that one person gets paid for all the parts. If the musicians are studio musicians then they get paid for their time spent making the recording. If they are part of her band, then they also get performer royalties.
Copyrights are often assigned to the record company because they pay all of the money up front, do all of the promotion, pay for all of the expenses, etc.
It isn't the way you make it out to be.
When you "buy" a recording, you are not buying the content. You are buying the physical media, and are being granted a license to play the music in a non commercial setting. If you play it in a commercial setting, you are supposed to apply for permission, and when it is granted, pay all royalties to the organization that is empowered to collect it and distribute it.
Of course, no one will be expected to do that for a wedding or other such event.
But a bar is expected to do that for certain material such as sporting events when they come from pay for view.