Originally Posted by bdkennedy1
I can't believe it's taken this long. Common sense dictates that if there's no production of physical packaging, then the cost all around should come down substantially.
So? If the artist has a contract that says he gets $0.10 for every copy sold or licensed, then it's none of his business how much the label makes. If he wants a share of profits, he should sign a contract for share of profits. Of course, then he'll whine that the profits aren't high enough.
Originally Posted by pinheadj
jenkman91 and UTisNUM1,
I think you're misunderstanding the article, he's not suing Apple for anything, he's suing his own label for taking the same (majority) cut of the profits on digital sales as on traditional sales. This would be an important, and I think positive, precedent for all artists. Why should labels take the same enormous percentage of sales when the expenses and effort involved on their behalf is reduced so sharply with digital downloads?
Because there is a contract involved. If the record companies are violating the contract, they should be (and probably will be) punished. If they are simply doing what the contract says, then the artist has no right to go back later and whine that he's not making enough.
Originally Posted by melevittfl
At issue in this case is the conflict between what the record label tells the artist they're getting and what the customer actually gets.
Artists get more money when their music is licensed vs. when a copy is sold, according to their contract.
What's happening is that UMG is telling Eminem that his music is being *sold* on iTunes. Thus, he gets a lower royalty rate.
However, if you look at the actual details of what happens when you pay money for a track on iTunes, you'll see that you are not purchasing a copy, you are receiving a license to play the track on a limited number of devices, etc.
Technically, the same thing applies when you buy a CD in the store. You are buying the CD, but you are only receiving a copyright license to the music on the CD. There's no real difference other than the fact that the CD license comes with some added hardware.
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2
This is a bit off topic but this Pirate Bay argument is flawed.
What they don't take into account (and deliberately fail to mention), is that while this effect of pirated music promoting
sales is relevant to the way the market is *today* (with pirating being illegal and therefore marginalised), it's not necessarily true once pirating is legalised as Pirate Bay wishes it to be. There is no evidence one way or the other really, but common sense argues against it.
Right now it's difficult to rip off things or find places to download them from, the quality is dodgy and the fact that one can cheaply and legally buy something from iTunes means that the majority of folks will just buy it there. Thus the pirates remain a dedicated, but marginalised minority. Now, it *might* be that making it legal to rip off anything you want whenever you want without hiding in the shadows like Pirate Bay or LimeWire users, will not change things appreciably, but it's far from certain and a bit counter intuitive.
It's also possible that making it legal to do stuff like Pirate Bay will drive a commercialisation of the stolen material. If you knew
couldn't get arrested for it, wouldn't a *lot* of people set up Pirate Bay like sites all over the world overnight? Wouldn't they also be rather heavily publicised instead of a well kept secret? Wouldn't users flock to them instead of being scared to get caught as they are now? It seems to me they might.
Pirate Bay's arguments are mostly just defensive justifications for stuff that they simply "want to do." They are the arguments of a privileged teenager, not a noble libertarian thrust. If no one had arrested them or if it wasn't illegal, they would not even be making them. I mean the main Pirate Bay guy is hardly a genius or anything and has been very consistent in stating his case along the lines of "I do this because I want to, and I should be allowed to do what I want."
This is not exactly a heady intellectual argument.
You make good points, but I haven't actually seen convincing evidence that it's good for the record labels even in TODAY's environment. The more popular music is most commonly pirated and after music is pirated, it is popular. Pretty circular argument. I don't think there's any real evidence to support their claims. Even so, as you point out, it's irrelevant because what they're proposing would end the industry as we know it.
Originally Posted by hmurchison
I think that's where we're headed. I for one think this case is great and exactly what we need right now. Artists are typically under contract and a good portion of that contract covers recoupables for the studio. Digital downloads should not let the studios profits from the virtualizing of warehouses and packaging at the expense of the artist. The raison d'etre of the studio is to promote the artists and distribute the music.
Yes I see the future shaking out like this.
New artists are under the wings of the distributors. They get the smallest cut.
Established artists have more "brand" recognition and will be able to negotiate far better rates for digital distribution or even go it alone (though with the radio still a significant force self distributorship would be difficult with regard to getting broadcast attention).
We're coming to a point where established artists need the studios less and if I'm a Prince or Eminem or Radiohead I'm looking at the potential of 70 cent profit or more per track and it's a lot more appealing than going the studio route.
Keep in mind studios also swipe up copyright and can make a mint off of licensing hit songs for commercial and movie usage.
I hope the studios lose. Their stranghold is waning and for good reason.
Sorry, but that's an extremely short-sighted view.
Our entire economy is built on the validity of contracts. If the artists can come in and say "we don't like the contract any more, so we're going to sue to change it", contracts become very nebulous.
If the record companies are violating the contract, they should be punished. If, OTOH, the artists simply signed contracts and changed their minds later, that's just too bad. I certainly don't get to welch on my contracts simply because I changed my mind.
Now, the artists are free to take these market changes into account in signing future contracts - and they should. But retroactive changes simply because one side is unhappy is a 'cure' that's worse than the disease.