Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sale Or License? Sister Sledge Sues Over ITunes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the show-me-the-money dept.

Businesses 257

Hugh Pickens writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports that members of the iconic disco-era musical group Sister Sledge have filed a major class action lawsuit against Warner Music Group claiming that the music giant's method for calculating digital music purchases as 'sales' rather than 'licenses' has cheated them out of millions of dollars from digital music sales. Songwriters typically make much less money when an album is 'sold' than they do when their music is 'licensed' (the rationale derives from the costs that used to be associated with the physical production of records) but record labels have taken the position that music sold via such digital stores as iTunes should be counted as 'sales' rather than licenses. The difference in revenue can be significant as Sister Sledge claim their record deal promises 25 percent of revenue from licenses but only 5-1/2% to 6-1/2% of net from sales. Eminem's publisher brought a nearly identical claim against Universal Music Group and won an important decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010 when the 9th Circuit ruled that iTunes' contract unambiguously provided that the music was licensed. The lawsuit argued that record companies' arrangements with digital retailers resembled a license more than it did a sale of a CD or record because, among other reasons, the labels furnished the seller with a single master recording that it then duplicated for customers. 'Unlike physical sales, where the record company manufactures each disc and has incremental costs, when they license to iTunes, all they do is turn over one master,' says attorney Richard S. Busch. 'It's only fair that the artist should receive 50 percent of the receipts.'"

cancel ×

257 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994115)

Party on, brothers and sisters!

Re:And so it begins... (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994225)

I wonder what they will choose to argue in court. License to prevent reselling of music, or Sale to provide lower cuts to the artist?

Re:And so it begins... (5, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994271)

Both. It's a license or a sale depending on which benefits the RIAA more. Apparently, music files are like photons being waves or particles. They're both until observed (brought into a court of law) when they collapse into a single (RIAA-benefiting) state.

Re:And so it begins... (5, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994317)

Both. It's a license or a sale depending on which benefits the RIAA more. Apparently, music files are like photons being waves or particles. They're both until observed (brought into a court of law) when they collapse into a single (RIAA-benefiting) state.

Right

Whether or not you own or license that copy of your your media when you get it online is something that the MAFIAA would like to remain vague. If it ever gets defined in court, one way or the other, big media is going to get sued all over the place. Currently they call it whatever works best for whatever court case they are involved in.

Owned, or licensed? You can't have it both ways. Not forever anyways.

Re:And so it begins... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994471)

I can't decide if it's admirable or depressing to see that you have faith in our congresscritters to not roll over for the RIAA and ensure that they can have it both ways.

Re:And so it begins... (5, Interesting)

mkremer (66885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994543)

Actually it is both I think.

The music is licensed to Apple for sale to Apple's customer(s) via iTunes.

IMO for the Sister Sledge's purposes the music is licensed since Apple is who pays Warner Music Group.

Re:And so it begins... (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994553)

If it's only a license, and the RIAA companies OWN it, what about taxing that property?

Re:And so it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994405)

I think sooner or later it will have to become licence, or something else, much like software is doing. An intersting point that may be raised is if they count the cut by apple to be considered as part of the "losses", or that the normal licencing has a specific set of rules. Possibly the music is sold (as a sale) using Apples Itunes licence, and the only licence handed out was to apple to sell the music. Thus apple has covered the music with a limited reproduction licence, and the studio is "selling one item" to a customer. Possible?
(Catchpa: confer)

Re:And so it begins... (5, Funny)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994435)

there's something amuzing here regarding mp3's and schroedingers cat and a Dropbox but i havent worked it out

Re:And so it begins... (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38995001)

Both. It's a license or a sale depending on which benefits the RIAA more. Apparently, music files are like photons being waves or particles. They're both until observed (brought into a court of law) when they collapse into a single (RIAA-benefiting) state.

That is funny, but bear in mind that the legal truth in this case almost certainly is that they are both -- but reversed from the RIAA's argument.

When a label gives a single master copy to iTunes and grants them a license to reproduce for retail sale, that is a license. That is important, because it means that the label is not incurring the cost of reproduction and distribution of many individual copies, and should not be retaining the pressing costs associated with vinyl records (the rational reason for copies paying the artist less).

When iTunes sells an individual copy to a retail customer, that is a sale -- but it has no bearing on the contract between the artist and the label. The artist's contract interest is in the transaction between the label and iTunes.

From a legal standpoint, it is almost certainly the case that the labels license iTunes to reproduce and distribute, and iTunes sells copies to retail customers. Trying to claim that something else is the case would require a judge with a very pliable sense of reality.

Insert Alanis Morissette Lyrics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994125)

I think the term that describes it is "Hoist with his own petard" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Insert Alanis Morissette Lyrics (1, Offtopic)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994135)

Age of Empires II always made me think a petard was a medieval suicide bomber. Those guys always got blown up with their own bomb.

Re:Insert Alanis Morissette Lyrics (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994165)

Age of Empires II always made me think a petard was a medieval suicide bomber. Those guys always got blown up with their own bomb.

Close. The last five letters are the same.

I Like "Strike a Deal with the Devil" Better (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994177)

Somewhere betwixt Faust [wikipedia.org] and Robert Johnson's legend [wikipedia.org] lies the RIAA where they find aspiring musicians they can capitalize on and offer them (seemingly) unlimited resources as they are first starting out and thirstiest for it most.

You're eventually carried off into eternal damnation in hell or eternal litigation in court -- I can't really say which is worse.

Re:I Like "Strike a Deal with the Devil" Better (4, Insightful)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994555)

To be fair, the Devil delivered on his end of the deal to Faust and Johnson. The RIAA takes a young musicians' soul without ever guaranteeing a period of fame and fortune.

Re:I Like "Strike a Deal with the Devil" Better (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994569)

Hell will be over-crowded as more and more congress critters and businessmen die off...

Wait (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994127)

You mean the music labels aren't there for the protection of the artist!?

It also seems that 75% cut is still a lot for copying an mp3 file and drawing up some paperwork. Even if the label also provided the recording studio, etc, it seems like the artist is still getting the short end of the stick. Why is it that the artist always seems to be the last one to realize the label is screwing him even harder than its screwing the consumer?

Re:Wait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994205)

Don't think of RIAA as an isolated case. They're the middlemen; the brokers. The only "benefit" they have for the artists is its distribution channel and marketing/ promotions (but that''s been eroding for the past decade, thanks to the internet.)

RIAA becoming greedy? That's what these brokers/ facilitators do. It's a service industry that's quickly becoming obsolete.

Re:Wait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994469)

The RIAA has nothing to do with this and if you people who act like you're experts in the music industry knew anything you'd know that much.

Re:Wait (1, Funny)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994579)

So says the Anonymous Coward who brings nothing of substance to support his claims of knowledge of the music industry...

Re:Wait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994673)

How is it under that rock? Cozy? You seem to have been there for a good 40 years.

Re:Wait (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994691)

Well, RIAA is not a music label, it is an organization that was first and foremost created to facilitate driving music labels' interests and protect them from outside harm. So yes, atleast in that regards he is entirely correct.

Re:Wait (2)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994601)

BS! That is why they sue the piss out of anybody that can be proven to have downloaded music, to return all the lost profits to the creator.

Re:Wait (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994751)

They're the middlemen; the brokers. The only "benefit" they have for the artists is its distribution channel and marketing/ promotions (but that''s been eroding for the past decade, thanks to the internet.)

They also provide the equivalent of venture capital to small artists with potential to go big. There is lots of room to debate the pros and cons of how those relationships are formed and how they mature (just as with venture capital). Regardless of those questions, however, it is another benefit that has to be acknowledged when forming a complete image of the problem space.

Re:Wait (4, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994853)

RIAA becoming greedy? That's what these brokers/ facilitators do. It's a service industry that's quickly becoming obsolete.

Hardly obsolete - perhaps less relevant. RIAA has many, many faults, but internet has not magically removed the need for middle-man and promotion.
Just because you can distribute your music world-wide does not replace the need to market yourself and achieve the initial recognition. That is still expensive to do, perhaps more so nowdays. All of the self-published successes tend to come from bands that were first made famous by the very same RIAA. Just saying...

Re:Wait (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994307)

Supply and demand.

There are tons of groups that would like a shot of making it.
There are a limited number of slots available.
The cost to get one of those slots is being willing to bid a large percentage of your future rights.

Re:Wait (4, Interesting)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994719)

The RIAA members intentionally create a "limited number of slots available." This artificial scarcity alters the market dynamic, very much so in the favor of the RIAA. Don't think this is an accident. It's fundamental to their business model. An open market is the last thing they want.

Re:Wait (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994375)

I've heard similar reports about the labels taking their cut for loss and breakage on digital sales. The artists are getting screwed over. The contract probably doesn't say anything about digital sales at all. Only about physical sales, and licensing. Since digital sales doesn't clearly fall into any one of those categories, one would think that a whole new contract would have to be drawn up to even sell the MP3/AAC version of the song.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994515)

Plus that breakage rate is based on the rates vinyl broke 50 years ago. CDs break fast less, so they were already getting screwed on breakage rates long before the digital music which has a 0% breakage rate.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994423)

In many cases, the "25%" can end up coming from gross instead of net though, so the RIAA can't play as many book-keeping games before slicing that cut to the artist. So it could easily end up being closer to what a "50%" or even higher ratio would be required to match the final cut from the sales side of the options.

Re:Wait (4, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994427)

Oh, they're not providing the recording studio for free. All of the costs of recording and production - at full retail value - come out of the artists share of their contract proceeds before they start receiving any money. It's just that the studio is lending them the money so they aren't out of pocket for those costs up front.

Re:Wait (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994437)

The same with nearly any artist whether they be video, comic, novelist, gaming, etc. Back in the day you had to go through a publisher. In this case for music we call the publisher a label. They had a monopoly. Right now, I can't say how fair their practices were or how much each level should get. That was then. Now? Aaron Diaz of the Dresden Codak had a blog post explaining that he makes more money going solo. Many artists are now making art through music, comics, eBooks, etc. because the publishers are no longer needed. The paradigm has shifted this generation.

There are two forces at play here. Cultural and the habit. Some need publishers for the prestige it brings. They feel less authentic as a whatever unless they have a publisher feeling they can make money off of them. Others just don't know how to make due without a publisher. However, that would still be a publisher of sorts.

Re:Wait (1)

Lucky_Norseman (682487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994465)

You mean the music labels aren't there for the protection of the artist!?

It also seems that 75% cut is still a lot for copying an mp3 file and drawing up some paperwork. Even if the label also provided the recording studio, etc, it seems like the artist is still getting the short end of the stick. Why is it that the artist always seems to be the last one to realize the label is screwing him even harder than its screwing the consumer?

No, you misunderstand. All the expenses for renting a studio, mixing, marketing etc comes from the artist's share. The 75% goes to coke, hookers and limos for the bosses.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995011)

The label does the advertising as well, and they do take the risk that all the investment they make to put the album together will be lost when no one buys the album. Not saying they treat the artists fairly, but I think it's important to recognize what they do do.

Warner music is STEALING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994137)

Those filthy, scurvy PIRATES!!!

And yet it was always a licence... (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994149)

... when labels argued that there was no right of resale for customers.

Re:And yet it was always a licence... (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994873)

when labels argued that there was no right of resale for customers.

This lawsuit appears to be discussing the transaction between the record labels and the retailers -- the transaction with which the artist has some concern. The transaction between the retailer and the retail customer is none of Sister Sledge's concern, and a federal district judge has just denied a request to shutter ReDigi on the basis that MP3's may well be traditional property. It is very possible (I would even say almost certain) that the former transaction is a license and the latter transaction is a sale.

The reason the transaction between the label and the retailers appears to be a license is because the retailer gets a single master and license to duplicate for retail sale. Hence the labels do not incur, and should not be retaining, the cost of reproducing the "records".

How... interesting (5, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994151)

So, RIAA on one hand pays its artists as if it sells its digital files like CDs, but files legal papers claiming that these files are licensed, not sold (so that the doctrine of first sale will not enable reselling the music [slashdot.org] ).

How typical.

Re:How... interesting (5, Funny)

Moonrazor (897598) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994235)

If only there was some group who represented the interests of the artists who could go after these thieves who are stealing money from the mouths of the artists! Some select group who represented all the artists who could enjoin a legal action that would get the money that artists deserve back from the people who are stealing it from them.

Re:How... interesting (3, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994925)

Well, yeah, if only there were. The RIAA represents "The Industry", i.e. the big players. Yes, they give lip service to being for the artists, but really they represent the interest of the record companies

Trying to get a group of artists of any type to agree on *lunch* is hard enough. Getting them together to form an organization that would properly represent them would be near impossible. If you did get one started, it would last until the drummers decided to sue the lead singers. (Phil Collins and Don Henley's head would explode at this) There have been attempts, but no group has nearly the clout of the RIAA/MPAA

Re:How... interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994289)

sad to think this is modded up as insightful. the riaa doesn't pay artists at all. they're not the record labels. you don't even need to be signed to a label to become a member of the riaa. stop mucking up the facts and you might get taken more seriously by people other than uninformed mods.
 
but hey, it's slashdot. the truth around here isn't worth the hard disk it's writen to as long as you get to push unassociated agendas.

Real Thieves of Hollywood... (5, Insightful)

ragefan (267937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994155)

I think it is hilarious that the RIAA has convinced artists that it is the file sharers stealing millions from them all while the record labels play their accounting tricks for "recouping" costs.

Re:Real Thieves of Hollywood... (5, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994249)

Not a surprise considering that they are still charging artists for record-era "breakage" fees not only on CDs but on MP3s. Somehow, they figure that 10% of MP3s "break" and thus shouldn't count towards royalties. They love playing the "We're supporting the artists" line publicly while doing all they can to screw the artists behind the scenes.

Re:Real Thieves of Hollywood... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994387)

I think it is hilarious that the RIAA has convinced artists that it is the file sharers stealing millions from them all while the record labels play their accounting tricks for "recouping" costs.

Hey! Hookers & blow aren't cheap you know.

Re:Real Thieves of Hollywood... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994823)

Beware the thief that yells, "Catch the thief!"

Re:Real Thieves of Hollywood... (1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994837)

In much the same way that the government has convinced everyone that it's corporations, banks and wall street that are stealing millions from the people.

Oh dear (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994157)

Looks like all their money has been Lost In Music.

Seriously, there's very little to work with here in terms of comedy, I'm doing the best I can with what I've got.

Maybe one of my fellow Slashdotters can come up with something wittier? After all, We Are Family.

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994189)

All the artists need is a little respect, just a little bit.

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994529)

Sisters are doin' it for themselves!!!

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994893)

Maybe now it's time the RIAA...

*removes sunglasses*

...faced the music.

YEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sister Who?? (1, Interesting)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994193)

If it were Metallica or U2 this legal brawl would be interesting to follow, as both bands have a pile of cash and an army of lawyers ready to take on one of the big record labels, maybe even set a precedent.

Whatever money these sisters have left over from their drug abuse won't even tickle Warner.

Re:Sister Who?? (2)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994221)

I do love how the implication here is that it is money alone that will decide this.
I think you're right, but it's an interesting commentary on the state of affairs.

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994283)

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's how the smart money bets."

- Damon Runyon

A lawyer once told me that lawsuits are about 90% facts & law and 10% luck. No mater how good your case, there's always a chance you'll lose. That 10% is what keeps the other side going. (SCO was shooting for the 10%)

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994581)

A lawyer once told me ...

Bear in mind that lawyers are wrong half the time. On the other hand, they make $500 an hour for running a few searches then copy-and-pasting other peoples' arguments, so it's probably worth picking up a few tips.

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994649)

Bear in mind that lawyers are wrong half the time.

So true, but I'd love to see a case where the Judge threw both lawyers out of his courtroom for incompetence. (I'm sure it's happened at least once)

Re:Sister Who?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994797)

No, paralegals and legal assistants do that. The lawyer oversees and directs his clients case and then is the face in the courtroom. How much the lawyer has to oversee and direct the case depends on how many expereinced lawyers and paralegals under him are also working on the case.

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

dbitter1 (411864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994497)

Really, the money is always what decides it. There are some views of "civil" society that merely represent rather than spend our money on war equipment, we use that money to elect people to "fight" in court/congress... as opposed to the barbaric society that simply cuts out the middleman, and the rich get to buy the best (and, hence winning) army to go take all the plunder from the losers in that country. Either way, the effect is pretty much the same, after enough time...

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994259)

Ah but don't you think the artist should/have an organization to back them? Surely Metallica and U2 have as much to gain from this suit as the plaintiffs.

Certainly much like any class action type of suit you would want to have a pitiable plaintiff rather than one with tons of cash and the lifestyle of success.

Re:Sister Who?? (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994263)

Whatever money these sisters have left over from their drug abuse won't even tickle Warner.

I think you're confusing Sister Sledge with the Pointer Sisters (June and Bonnie Pointer to be more specific).

Oh? So now its sales? (5, Insightful)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994247)

I thought we the music industry wanted to sue ReDigi into the ground because iTunes purchases were *not* sales but rather just licenses, and so the first sale doctrine didn't apply. So now its a license when that means they can restrict our right to resell our digital purchases when we no longer want them, but it's a sale when it comes to screwing artists out of money. I feel like maybe they're bit a teensy bit hypocritical.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (-1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994301)

You have it backwards. It is a license in either case according to the record companies. It is the artists alleging a sale.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994357)

Please RTFS again. Artists get a 25% percent cut when it's a license. The MAFIAA is telling them that music through iTunes is sold, which only gives artists a 6% cut.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994483)

6% yikes... Even 25% is small.

Its worse so lets say you 'license' 1 million songs at 1 dollar a pop. You end up with 250k. Of that 250k you need to pay back the money they fronted you. So you end up with nothing. The label keeps the other 75% as profit. They turn around and swipe your remaining bit as 'payback' or unrecouped. This is just for the 'little guys' think what they are doing to the big name acts...

Unless you are buying directly from the artist you are very rarely supporting them.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994927)

Please RTFS again. Artists get a 25% percent cut when it's a license. The MAFIAA is telling them that music through iTunes is sold, which only gives artists a 6% cut.

It's actually even worse than that. The label is arguing that when they give iTunes a single master file and a license to reproduce that file for retail sale, it is a sale. But when iTunes sells individual MP3 copies to end users, it is a license.

The legal truth is almost certainly reversed. When the label gives a single master file and license to reproduce to iTunes, it is a license. When they sell an individual copy to a retail customer, it is a sale.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994373)

nope. Why would the artist seek less in royalties? SS is arguing that it is a license NOT a sale.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994383)

I don't think Cyberllama has it backwards. It is a 'license' that the consumer purchases from iTunes (so the consumer cannot resell it like they could if it was a physical disk), but it is a 'sale' from the record company to iTunes (hence they pay the artist less because they get a smaller percentage of the takings from a 'license' than they do from a 'sale'.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994517)

That might be how they would like things to be, but isn't it the other way around?

Music company gives iTunes the master + the license to make and sell copies - license.
User buy copies from iTunes, without any kind of a license to make more - sales.

Re:Oh? So now its sales? (1)

CNeb96 (60366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994965)

Yes they sell it to apple who then licenses it to you.

Recording Industry Execs Suffering From Addiction (3, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994261)

I sort of feel sorry for the people running these organizations. They have an addiction. To cake. They love cake. They can't get enough of it. But in a way this addiction compels them into a sort of schizophrenia. You see, they want to eat the cake. But they want to still have the cake.

It's sad really.

Re:Recording Industry Execs Suffering From Addicti (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994737)

CEO logic and real-world logic are mutually exclusive.

Re:Recording Industry Execs Suffering From Addicti (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994857)

Change cake to coke and perhaps your example is relevant to the music industry.

Re:Recording Industry Execs Suffering From Addicti (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994997)

I don't have my DSM handy right now, but I think the addiction you are referring to is Greed, i.e. the excessive love of money, the root of all evil. (Greed might be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it might also be caused by other disorders. Hm, Financial Dismorphic Disorder, where no matter how much money you have, you think you need more)

Yes, greed has throughout the centuries compelled people to do unethical things. Nothing new here.

RIAA? (1)

munozdj (1787326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994273)

I know we all love to hate the RIAA, but the one who's being sued is the label directly. As much as I'd like to blame the RIAA directly, the one who should be recieving my hate is Warner... after all, they're also scumbags

Re:RIAA? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994309)

That's the whole point of the RIAA. Their only contributing members are the big labels. They can file lawsuits on behalf of those companies, but artists can only file against the companies directly. So the RIAA itself is pretty much untouchable.

Re:RIAA? (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994321)

There are so few major labels left that it can be implied that. Warner = RIAA

What's good for the goose is good for the gander (4, Insightful)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994277)

Boy do these copyright holders like to use specific terms when it benefits them best. Oh, no, you're not buying this, you're just licensing it.

But, when talking to the authors/musicians, they refer to them as sales. Well, then. We'll see how this goes, damn double standards.

It's either a sale or a license. If it's a sale, then it is protected by the first sale doctrine and I can sell/give it away so long as I destroy the original copy. Otherwise, it is a license and the songwriters and musicians get a higher share. You can't have it both ways.

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994365)

You can't have it both ways.

Maybe you can, so long as you pay the right people. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (1, Troll)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994381)

Oh, right, I forgot: this is the U.S., where your politicians can be bought and paid for.

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994539)

Oh, right, I forgot: this is the U.S., where your politicians can be bought and paid for.

Which brings us to the following important question, are politicians bought or licensed?

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994831)

Oh, right, I forgot: this is the U.S., where your politicians can be bought and paid for.

Which brings us to the following important question, are politicians bought or licensed?

I think it's more of a rental than either a purchase or a license...

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994919)

Definitely licensed -- you have to renew every 4 years!

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994907)

saying the truth is not trolling.

I don't see them winning this (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994293)

I can't see courts finding that a sale via. iTunes is for the purpose of duplication rather than for the purpose of listening. 2 years ago the store hit the 10billion mark for songs sold. Has there ever even been a single one whose intent was redistribution?

I can understand that artists don't like the small fraction of revenue they get from digital music sales. It is very frustrating for a still successful artists, that the label makes lots of money long after there are no promotional costs. But this lawsuit is nonsense.

Re:I don't see them winning this (2)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994313)

Yes, but iTunes is doing the duplication. They give a master to iTunes, which then proceeds to make copies for each customer. Technically, it could fall under license rather than sale terms.

Re:I don't see them winning this (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994337)

Oh I see. And then they argue that the 30% that iTunes pays the label was the sales cost and.... Gotcha. OK that makes some sense. BTW you have that the other way around. It is falling under license you are arguing it could technically fall under sale.

To be honest though I see iTunes as the store under this model getting the album/song on consignment. iTunes is the channel it isn't providing the channel.

Re:I don't see them winning this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38995019)

dear jbolden, I know it's against slashdot protocol to RTFA or even RTFS these days. However, this is the second time in this story you have accused someone of having it backwards. It is you who has it backwards. They are being called "sales", the artists want them called "licenses".

Re:I don't see them winning this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994799)

Has there ever even been a single one whose intent was redistribution?

You mean all the pirated torrents just materialise from nothing, wow clever..

In interesting duality (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994297)

This could go badly for the record companies on both fronts.

They are apparently licensing their content to iTunes - providing a master for duplication by a distributor - which could lead to them paying higher fees to the artists. At the same time, however, iTunes may be selling individual copies to their users, which may fall under first dale doctrine and allow resale of the "permanent digital downloads" - as is the case under consideration with reDigi.

Re:In interesting duality (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994379)

If it's decided at all, it will be bad for the record companies. So far, they maintained that sales are a license when it suits them, and a sale also if that's better for them. (I imagine a single purchase has multiple licenses and sales)

It's time for the legislature to actually work this out. Given the current state of things, I don't expect anything to happen on that front, so companies and artists will try new business models, then let the courts decide if those are going to work. If Sister Sledge gets their way, I suspect all the still living artists of that era will start their lawsuit engines.

Does iTunes sell you a digital file (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994323)

...or license it to you?

That would be one question. I thought it was a sale as it came up in the ReDigi [musicweek.com] case recently

Re:Does iTunes sell you a digital file (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994463)

Actually - that may not matter what iTunes does. It appears that they are licensing the masters for redistribution by Apple. Apple is then selling permanent digital downloads (that, btw, has a specific meaning) - which makes them more akin to a CD sale. How Apple distributes the songs may be irrelevant to the case as the contract in dispute is about how the masters were licensed, or so it seems.

Question (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994335)

Wouldn't winning this particular case end in the increase of online music sales prices? I mean... if the distributors of digital music are forced to pay more money in order to "license" these songs/albums, won't they just pass those price increases on to the consumer?

Admittedly, I only read the summary as I am lazy before coffee time.

It's a license! It's a sale! It's a license! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994421)

Wasn't there another case recently where the record companies were arguing that they were licenses and so MP3s cannot be re-sold? I have little doubt they know clearly what they are doing. They are simply very willing to lie, cheat and misrepresent at each and every opportunity to benefit themselves and they do so without shame or remorse.

As soon as we can separate these people from the politicians (I'm looking at you Occupy) we might finally be able to call these jack-holes before congress and get the record straight, as it were, on their business model and philosophies on record without conflict or ambiguity. Okay, I'm dreaming... it's still early for me.

Hypocrisy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994475)

...at its finest.

I agree (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994541)

Digital format counts as licensing, since there's no physical media to distribute. Therefore, there is no "first sale doctrine" when applied to digital formats. Don't like it? Stick to physical media.

I know this is slashdot (4, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994585)

but can we please leave the absolutely needless apple bashing out of completely unrelated article headlines?

They aren't suing over iTunes, they are suing over them being defrauded by their label. Apple nor iTunes has anything to do with the suit except as a delivery vector.

For fucks sake the actual reason for the suit (the label) doesn't even appear in the headline.

Duration of rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38994647)

MPAA/RIAA got these rights extended to some 50 or 70 years. Pharmaceuticals (with a lot more R&D) last for only 12 years. Why should society allow the MPAA/RIAA such obscene long monopolies at the cost of the citizen? Solves a lot of so called piracy too.

Depends a lot on the wording of the contract. (1)

theangrypeon (1306525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994745)

The "licensing" of a song bought on iTunes and licensing a song for use in a commercial or video game are 2 very different processes, so it would depend on how licensing is defined in their contract. In practical terms, the label could argue pretty easily that they are different.

But, if "license" is defined vaguely or broadly enough in the contract itself this could be very bad for the labels, given they usually hand out generic contracts to almost all their artists, this could very easily snowball.

Note to the artists: (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994759)

Get rid of the middleman. Now.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?