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iTunes won't make ringtones from some music? Help! - Page 2

post #41 of 49
Aegisdesign, at least in the US intent is half the law. Whether you rent or buy a DVD movie, it's for personal use, which means you can't just put an ad in the paper saying "Come to my house and watch this movie with me for only $5 - popcorn and drinks included". Some people would ask why not, since they believe the movie is theirs and they can do whatever they want for it.

No, you didn’t say that you could, but my point is that US law is very specific about how many things are used, from a driver’s license to a concealed gun permit to trying to reverse engineer software that you’ve installed on your computer. As the author of creative work, you have certain rights and those that purchase your work (unless a “work for hire”, etc..) have well defined uses of that work, which are usually stated in the contract, EULA, or vaguely defined as fair use, or otherwise.

My first literary work was published before I was 12 and I wrote a couple plays (which were performed by others in high school) before I was 16. That was followed by several small interviews in the local paper and TV news. Writing software was about the same, it was about expressing my emotions and ideas on paper, or in code, and enjoying that others could share what I felt and experience that in their own way, making it uniquely their own. Music is about the same, but I couldn’t play a tune to save my life. I don't own a publishing company but in the US just about anyone can get a DBA and define themselves as a publishing company to save costs for marketing and printing their own books - among other things.

Aegisdesign, while you have no problems with people paying once for your creative work and then copying it legally to another device to use it, have you thought about their ability to take parts from your work and attempt to use it - creatively - elsewhere? One person buys your work then copies numerous parts of it, perhaps entire paragraphs or pages from one of your stories or articles, perhaps use your unique characters and situations, and pastes that on their MySpace, as if they were the author.

Is that what you originally intended for your work to be used as? Can they do that, legally, just by paying once for your work? What if they printed it on paper or hosted it online for their university or group? Can a company start printing t-shirts and bumper stickers quoting some of your character’s most famous lines, without getting permission from you first? It’s just words, taken a small bit from something you wrote, is that right? Same with a ringtone, it’s a segment of a song.

Perhaps I’m not making a good case here, but it’s not the end of the world. What matters most is that thousands of striking writers are fighting for a fair contract – which directors and actors/actresses might join in June. At first, the movie industry was scared of VCRs, then DVDs, then mp3s, then online downloads, but embraced them all once they discovered they could profit by doing so.

Rather than fighting technology, they should embrace it – and pay the creative people involved accordingly, for each separate use/different medium of their work. Once that happens, then as competition improves the prices should go down. Cell phone ringtones weren’t anywhere on the table when various talents were negotiating contracts over their creative work, so all I’m saying is that it shouldn’t be free. Perhaps a lower price – maybe, but not free.

So overall my point is that there should be a charge for ringtones – if it’s something you want, and you didn’t personally create it (write it, sing it, painted it, etc..), then that has value for you. If that has value to you then it’s a value you should willingly pay for, not get it for free. Once that price is defined, then over time increasing technology, demand, and competition, they can work on lowering the price.

Just curious, aegisdesign, what would you consider a fair price to both own an iTunes song and use it for a ringtone? What would be a fair price for just the ringtone, if the user doesn’t already own the song? What’s a fair price for just the song? What’s the three main reasons preventing you from buying an iPhone?
post #42 of 49
Kephisto, I think your basic premise is right, that artists need paying for their work. Where I disagree is paying twice (or even three times) for the same work just because you're using the work on a different device than the original licence stated for personal usage.

The simple test here is that you can rip a CD into iTunes and then sync it to your iPhone and play it. If that is ok, why should you have to do differently with ringtones? If one is right, how is the other wrong?

I've no problem with companies selling ringtones directly for whatever they want to charge. It's the disparity between using the iPod features of the iPhone and ringtones that is wrong. It's also a disparity that isn't present on most other phones.
post #43 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Kephisto, I think your basic premise is right, that artists need paying for their work. Where I disagree is paying twice (or even three times) for the same work just because you're using the work on a different device than the original licence stated for personal usage.

The simple test here is that you can rip a CD into iTunes and then sync it to your iPhone and play it. If that is ok, why should you have to do differently with ringtones? If one is right, how is the other wrong?

I've no problem with companies selling ringtones directly for whatever they want to charge. It's the disparity between using the iPod features of the iPhone and ringtones that is wrong. It's also a disparity that isn't present on most other phones.

It’s not paying more than once to use the same work on a different device, it’s paying to use the same work for another purpose. A song is listened to, whether on a CD, radio, TV, computer, or mp3 player. Once you buy a song you should be able to use it on all the previously mentioned devices, as they serve the same purpose – playing your song. You only have to pay for the song once.

iTunes allows us to rip a CD because under the EULA it more or less says we agree to use CDs that we legally own and that responsibility falls exclusively to us, not Apple. That way we are using the same song on different devices, such as the CD and the computer and the iPhone and the iPod, but for all four it’s using the same song for it’s original purpose – to be listened to.

A ringtone, on the other hand, has another completely different purpose – it’s to tell you there’s an incoming call on your cell phone. When you switch to another cell phone service (in some cases even switching to a new cell phone) all of the previous ringtones you’ve paid for are lost. The ringtones that you paid for are either to be used exclusively on that cell phone network or that specific cell phone.

Those that use ways to create ringtones from their music library without paying for it are stealing, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s the person having the use of what they want (the ringtone) without paying for it – which is stealing. Those that didn’t pay for the song in the first place, then create a ringtone from it, are worse.

How does an artist get paid for ringtones if purchasing a song automatically grants free use of any ringtones created from it? If the artist shouldn’t be paid anything extra at all, as some seem to think, consider this : If (or rather when) people use sections of songs to play when their doorbell is pressed, when they lock or unlock or start their car, or when their voicemail greets a call, or when they get an email, should that be free to?
post #44 of 49
Kephisto, that's just not true though.

Once you've ripped the song into iTunes, you can do more than just listen to it. You can use it in a movie in iMovie, you can edit it in Garageband, you can create a slideshow in iPhoto an mail it to your friends. There's basically no restriction.

You can even use it as an incoming mail alert in Mail.app.

How is that different that it needs special restrictions to stop us from using any mp3, even our own?
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Kephisto, that's just not true though.

Once you've ripped the song into iTunes, you can do more than just listen to it. You can use it in a movie in iMovie, you can edit it in Garageband, you can create a slideshow in iPhoto an mail it to your friends. There's basically no restriction.

You can even use it as an incoming mail alert in Mail.app.

How is that different that it needs special restrictions to stop us from using any mp3, even our own?

Please allow me to explain, aegisdesign. While you can do such things, like adding songs to your own movies, there's still the difference between your personal and fair use and what must be purchased commercially. If you make a home movie, which includes such music, then you can show it to your friends - legally. However, even if you aren't selling it, if you try to take that same movie to be shown at Sundance you are going to have some serious legal issues. Likewise if you host it on a website and it attracts the attention of those that own the rights to it. You're likely to get a "cease and desist" letter, followed up by some phone calls.

It may cost thousands of dollars to use even part of a song in a commercial or movie - whether you charge for watching your movie doesn't matter. It's also why YouTube has acted the way it has - many of those that contributed videos do not own the rights to post their content - even if they bought the song or movie that makes up their video, they do not have the legal rights to use it as part of their own work.

On a small enough scale, however, most people can continue doing just as you've said, using certain songs and videos to further customize their own creations. As for any restrictions that iTunes has, I don't know where Apple is heading - as they have enough problems dealing with the music/movie companies as it is.
post #46 of 49
The legal issue is totally irrelevant though. Try again. Explain to me why I can't use any sound sample I want as a ringtone on the iPhone, whereas I can in Mail.app.
post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

The legal issue is totally irrelevant though. Try again. Explain to me why I can't use any sound sample I want as a ringtone on the iPhone, whereas I can in Mail.app.

The quick answer is AT&T offers ringtones for their cell phones and by partnering with Apple they made sure the iPhone would prevent people from doing what you're suggesting.
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kephisto View Post

The quick answer is AT&T offers ringtones for their cell phones and by partnering with Apple they made sure the iPhone would prevent people from doing what you're suggesting.

Exactamundo!

Nothing to do with legalities, everything to do with bending over for the carriers.
post #49 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Exactamundo!

Nothing to do with legalities, everything to do with bending over for the carriers.

That's one way of looking at it, hehe.
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