×

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!

Canadian Media Companies Target CBC's Free Music Site

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the maybe-nickleback-will-run-out-of-money dept.

Canada 215

silentbrad writes, with bits and pieces from the Globe and Mail: "A number of Canadian media companies have joined forces to try to shut down a free music website recently launched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., claiming it threatens to ruin the music business for all of them. The group, which includes Quebecor Inc., Stingray Digital, Cogeco Cable Inc., the Jim Pattison Group and Golden West Radio, believes that CBCmusic.ca will siphon away listeners from their own services, including private radio stations and competing websites that sell streaming music for a fee. The coalition is expected to expand soon to include Rogers Communications Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc., two of the largest owners of radio stations in Canada. It intends to file a formal complaint with the CRTC, arguing that the broadcaster has no right under its mandate to compete with the private broadcasters in the online music space. ... 'The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing,' said Stingray CEO Eric Boyko, whose company runs the Galaxie music app that charges users $4.99 a month for unlimited listening. 'There is a cost to everything, yet CBC does not seem to think that is true.' ... The companies argue they must charge customers to offset royalty costs which are triggered every time a song is played, while the CBC gets around the pay-per-click problem because it is considered a non-profit corporation. ... Media executives aren't the only ones who have expressed concern. When the CBC service was launched in February, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers said that when it set a flat fees for the more than 100,000 music publishers it represents, it never envisioned a constant stream of free music flooding the Internet."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

215 comments

Just protecting their assets (-1)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | about 2 years ago | (#39705485)

As much as Slashdot likes to generally think that it's some huge conspiracy, this is how people are. It's true for media companies, it's true for Microsoft, Apple and Google and it's true for Slashdotters and people in general too. Innovation is hard and everyone tries their best to protect what they have, even if they do the exact same elsewhere. The only solution would be some kind of state-run economy like Soviet Union had and what China has now.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#39705761)

Except...that the media companies are asking for more restrictions and regulations, not less. And the media companies don't innovate, they take innovative work from one group of people and show it to another group of people, and charge high prices for the service. A service that's no longer required.

The real problem is that while innovation is hard, distribution is not anymore. Someone at the CBC realizes this; the media companies, which insist on charging high rates for distribution, have not.

Personally, I think what the CBC is doing is daring, and has a lot of potential to help connect Canadian musicians with audiences. Perhaps this can be a replacement for the obsolete CanCon laws, that currently mandate all those radio stations to play a certain percentage of Canadian music (regardless of how good that music is).

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 years ago | (#39705845)

Not to mention the fact that the data seems to show that they stand to gain by promoting, rather than condemning, contemporary distribution models.

I don't think it's protecting their assets so much as defending a particular, ideological view of art which is ultimately just a little blip in the historical trajectory of human creativity and how we share and experience it.

Re:Just protecting their assets (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#39706625)

Couldn't it also be that they feel its unfair to have to compete with a government funded agency?

Just askin. I couldn't find any clear statement on the site as to the source of their funding.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

Formalin (1945560) | about 2 years ago | (#39706841)

The CBC is government funded.

Not sure I see the relevance, though. Should libraries be shut down because they cut into Amazon's profit? Ridiculous.

Commercial radio is so god-awful here, all I listen to is CBC 1 (no commercials, mostly interviews and talk programs, news). Sure beats the alternative of 60% commercials, 40% of the same twenty songs repeated and dumb DJs hurr durring.

Re:Just protecting their assets (2)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | about 2 years ago | (#39705883)

Distribution is not the only thing media companies do. They also provide financing for new musicians (try to get loan from bank for your new band), marketing, experience in the markets and connections in the industry. The latter two are usually ignored by geeks who think they are not skills or necessary but in the real world they are.

Distribution is only small part of what they do. Do remember that every new musician or band is already free to go without record labels if they don't want these services. However, most of them do, voluntarily. I don't think we should be telling them that are not allowed to use services provided by record labels.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | about 2 years ago | (#39705935)

I don't think we should be telling them that are not allowed to use services provided by record labels.

I don't think that the record labels should be allowed to dictate the copyright laws of our country to the point of regulating technology development, and I think that's a far greater and real threat than that of new musicians not finding experienced people in the music industry who want to help them succeed in exchange for a paycheck.

Re:Just protecting their assets (0)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | about 2 years ago | (#39705949)

Shouldn't they be allowed to freely express their opinion like everyone else? Or is freedom of speech only allowed when it doesn't go against your own thinking?

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705973)

He didn't say anything about restricting speech. He said they shouldn't be allowed to dictate the copyright laws of our country.

They don't do that through speech, but through bribery.

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | about 2 years ago | (#39706033)

Proposing things to and supporting politicians with same views as you is not bribery. If they were bribing the police to bust you, then you would have a case. But it's not the same, and also, you are allowed to do the same.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#39706167)

Proposing things to and supporting politicians with same views as you is not bribery. If they were bribing the police to bust you, then you would have a case. But it's not the same, and also, you are allowed to do the same.

Actually, in Canada it is bribery. Our Elections act is quite clear on that point [elections.ca]. It's illegal for a candidate or party to accept funding from an entity who is not a citizen of the country (and unlike the US, corporations are not citizens). Additionally, there is a limit to how much an individual can give [elections.ca], per year, to a given candidate/party.

Violating the elections act can get a candidate's election results invalidated, and carries significant fines, in the case of a corporation giving money to a candidate. Lest you think that they'll find some way to hide the funding, their finances must be submitted to the elections officer [elections.ca], there is a limit to how much can be spent on elections [elections.ca], and their financial returns are a matter of public record, and can be searched by anybody [elections.ca].

You're cure (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706367)

And yet the Conservatives (Currently in power in Canada) have been found 3 times to have breached these exact same laws (and fudging the elections finance submissions) and nothing has happened (barely even made a blip on the News).

Unfortunately, there are MANY ways around these rules and way too many ways to bend them, thus neutering those laws.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 2 years ago | (#39706537)

Lobbyism is bribery, period. It doesn't matter how much you dress it up it's still the same thing, people using money to gain more power than they're legally entitled to.

Re:Just protecting their assets (4, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#39706157)

The problem there is that the financing, marketing experience etc aren't really necessary either; these days it's perfectly possible to do all that yourself, or source it from your manager instead of from your distributor, and still earn a living. The hype and marketing and financing of the big super-groups and performers isn't about music at all, and studies have shown that people who want music aren't consuming their product. At it's best it's about providing a multi-platform, multi-media marketing message that feeds and feeds on the big media industry Product. At worst, it's spending a lot of money polishing turds. Most big record-label promotion is about scrabbling for a sliver of attention from people for whom music is a background thing. Katy Perry isn't big because of her music, and people don't consume her music. They consume Katy Perry. And her bosses use Katy Perry to sell other product, like So You Think You Can Dance and whatever's passing for Super Music Video Hits of the Super Music Video Stars, but mostly they just use her to sell more eyeballs to more advertisers. And even this is probably not self-sustaining. Don't forget that Justin Bieber was a Youtube sensation before he was a mega-star. Big Media needs the digital age, but the digital age doesn't need Big Media.

Musicians are finding that they don't need the promotion power of Big Media, they can do the promotion themselves. They sell less product but the margins are much much higher, and if they're any good their customers will pay more for the product.

Re:Just protecting their assets (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39706419)

They also have this tendency to fuck artists over, which is why even very big acts have to haul their thieving asses into court over unpaid royalties and other contract breaches. Anyone who praises record companies should review Robert Fripp's multi-year campaign to get Universal/UMG to provide accurate royalty figures and explain how King Crimson songs had got onto Universal-affiliated download services width out the rights holders' permission (and again being unable to report sales).

Re:Just protecting their assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706623)

I have to agree. If record companies are so evil, why are bands so keen to get record deals? Because they know it's their best chance to get their music heard by the widest audience, and have all the support and experience the record companies bring.

If distribution is so easy, where are the popular bands that made it by doing their own internet distribution? Because I don't see any. (And bands like Radiohead who were signed to a major label for years, don't count.)

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#39706481)

A service that's no longer required. ... The real problem is that while innovation is hard, distribution is not anymore.

That's not entirely true.
Perhaps distribution is easy, but promotion is still expensive (perhaps more so now). You may argue that people should be playing locally, but to achieve global fame one needs very, very expensive promotion.
You would probably refer me to a number of self-published successes (like Louis CK)? Well, for some reason every one of those self-publishing successes was first made famous by the very media companies that you are claiming to be irrelevant

P.S. Yes, media companies are keeping too much, but there is still at least one service they do provide. Whether you think it is worth it, is another question.

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 2 years ago | (#39706523)

And the media companies don't innovate, they take innovative work from one group of people and show it to another group of people, and charge high prices for the service. A service that's no longer required.

While I certainly don't support media companies, this is certainly not restricted to media companies. Tech companies don't innovate either, their employees do.

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706657)

Perhaps this can be a replacement for the obsolete CanCon laws, that currently mandate all those radio stations to play a certain percentage of Canadian music (regardless of how good that music is).

Oh dear, Canada has a Nickelback quota?

Re:Just protecting their assets (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#39705829)

Sorry, but "innovation" is not hard. Implementation can be hard , but innovation is simply the process of an idea.. and perhaps validation of the idea given the materials at hand.

The article points out how complex and unfair the way music is licensed. That is what is wrong with the implementation, not that thousands of people have come up with ways of innovating music in the digital age and how to turn a profit from it.

If the Music and Video industries could come up with fair ways of getting content to users at reduced prices, pick a service and it could be done.

People are quick to bash Napster as "ewww, they are evil pirates". Is it so much that they are evil pirates, or more that most of what was being traded was only available when people turned physical media in to digital to share? Or is it that some digital content is not affordable?

As again the article points out, many people iTunes as the only way to get in to digital music. What if you or your family can't afford an iPod, iPhone, MAC or PC to connect to the internet? Or if it costs so much they can't afford to download anything?

It's easy to excuse shit policies and laws in the name of innovation. Especially when the PTO has the rights to patent even the dumbest fucking ideas.

Re:Just protecting their assets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705859)

http://imagetwist.com/wjics6u1u1ra/wow.bmp.html

Re:Just protecting their assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705889)

Well, that justifies everything! Everyone does it, so it's okay!

The only solution would be some kind of state-run economy like Soviet Union had and what China has now.

That's a nice false dilemma you set up there.

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

stms (1132653) | about 2 years ago | (#39705923)

Ideas are easy good implementation of said ideas is hard. Offering consumers a reasonable service at reasonable price should be easy with current copyright laws it's not. I don't want socailism I want to be able to pay $5-$10 dollars a month to access all (most) music from any device without being locked into some moronic DRM scheme. It's not that hard.

Re:Just protecting their assets (2)

StevenBielberg (2619195) | about 2 years ago | (#39705963)

I don't want socailism I want to be able to pay $5-$10 dollars a month to access all (most) music from any device without being locked into some moronic DRM scheme. It's not that hard.

That's too bad because in capitalism every person and company should be allowed to freely state their prices on services and products. What you want fits more into socialist system.

Re:Just protecting their assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706509)

And in capitalism there's the other side of the blade where as a Consu...excuse me... CUSTOMER! I can refuse to pay for what I consider to be over priced garbage and opt for a service that prices more to what I personally value. If there is no such service...well, Music isn't such an integral need as food, shelter, clothing, or fuel, is it? Those that are blatantly overpriced deserve to Die in the free market. Thusly, IMHO, The Big media deserves to Die if it cannot conform to what the public is obviously stating that they desire.

Re:Just protecting their assets (3)

adonoman (624929) | about 2 years ago | (#39706819)

They did state their price, and their conditions for that price. CBC just found a new way to use what they payed for, and now the companies want to alter the deal.

Re:Just protecting their assets (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#39706083)

I have a theory about people like you... You use the word "Socialism" in the same way that a 4 year old uses "Shit". You really have no idea what it really means, you just know that it gets a rise out of people. The Fox News talking heads are even more guilty of this, labeling President Obama a Socialist because he is slightly less of a Capitalist than they themselves. If you want to see examples of Socialism, look to a history book. What you are seeing is a government subsidized means of distributing music. If you are a citizen of the United States, I may remind you that we are rather Socialist as well. Unless you want the free-market to determine what roads we drive on, whose houses burn down, and which kids get a decent education please go shove your divisive partisan drivel into the nearest Fox News comment section, I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

stms (1132653) | about 2 years ago | (#39706251)

I assume you meant to respond to StevenBielberg? For the record I know what socialism is and if applied properly it can be good. I just see no reason to use it here.

Re:Just protecting their assets (2)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 2 years ago | (#39706729)

Actually, I would advise you to read up on socialism as well. Funding roads with taxes or even medical care doesn't necessarily have anything to do with socialism even if socialists tend to favor use of taxes to benefit society as a whole. Even Adam Smith saw that the market wasn't well equipped to handle many things and favored some degree of social welfare. This is more like social liberalism.

Socialism is an ideology striving for a society where the working class (where the working class is essentially everyone who actually has to work for a living rather than live off of capital returns, i.e. capitalists) owns the means of production, where the surplus value generated by employees does not benefit a tiny class of capitalists but instead the employee and his fellow workers. Right wingers like to complain about welfare cases, well capitalists are essentially the biggest welfare cases in existence. The only difference is that the those living on welfare receive their money from taxes and can barely survive on it whereas the capitalist class receives theirs from ownership of capital and can live in luxury off it in addition to the political influence that capital brings with it, and this is very much enforced by the state and the threat of violence. In most cases when it comes to the really wealthy the wealth is passed down through generations and it only grows in each generation due to the fact that capital itself generates capital. /Actual socialist

Re:Just protecting their assets (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#39706847)

Socialism is the Big Lie. It promises things will be better, and more just, if only the government meddles a little bit more, if only they have a little more power. The problem is governments don't give up power, so it's always a little more, and a little more. And power corrupts, so the meddling tends to wander a bit further from the interest of the citizen each year - just a bit.

And standards of living do go up at first, because while Socialism doesn't require deficit spending, in practice it usually involves that. And unless things are poorly run indeed, spending more then you make will of course raise your standard of living, for a while. And when the bill finally comes due? That's the next leader's problem.

When a country has a natural source of wealth, such as significant net oil exports, the whole system can work fairly well. When there's extra to go around, that doesn't have to be taken from whoever produced it (and thus the government doesn't need ever increasing power to take and take), it seems to work OK.

But otherwise it's all based on a simple misconception: that the pie is of a fixed size, that it's all a zero sum game, and so diving the pie is the key to raising one's standard of living. But that's just not true - the rate of technological advancement is almost all that matters. And giving a vastly unfair share of the pie to those who drive technological advancement makes everyone much better off in the long run. (Technically, it would be possible to do that in a Socialist system, but it's so far from how any actual Socialist system works that it would need a new name).

Unfair and divisive to disparage Socialism? Only possible from ignorance? That's just arrogance talking.

Re:Just protecting their assets (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39706125)

Oh BS. These asshole have no problem when it's CBC radio broadcasting jazz or Classical, which it's been doing longer than any of the guys have been around. If they had a problem why didn't they go after CBC 20 years ago?

Re:Just protecting their assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706129)

Just protecting their gravy train, you mean.

The dinosaur media companies think people will still pay a premium for something that they know costs peanuts to make, because physical CDs and cassettes are no longer necessary.

Sorry, guys, you had it good during your reign. It is five minutes to midnight. Evolve or die.

NOTE you parent moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706245)

FREE music site as in the music on it is free , all cbc does is put it all in one place
its the same crap microsoft wants you to think aobut linux , the fact is linux gives the world far more vaule cause you get the job done wihtout paying and then can put more cash into other areas of the economy

SCAM all the listed companies are the worst , im surprised BCE , bell canada isnt on it ....yet

Free music?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705495)

Run for your lives!

Lolopoly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705531)

Star wars monopoly Edna crabopoly playboy monopoly and now Brian Adams and Alanis morrisette present Canadian monopoly

Isn't it ironic

Why not just embrace it? (3, Interesting)

dark12222000 (1076451) | about 2 years ago | (#39705539)

It seems like the media groups would make more money (longterm) and have a better public image (which means more customers and more willing customers) if they embraced and advertised for CBC. Of course, then again, I suppose the lawyers wouldn't make any money and it's less immediate profit. Wouldn't want to think ahead.

Re:Why not just embrace it? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39705951)

They don't WANT a better image! They LIKE being the deadly copyright police!

"Steal a loaf of bread - $50 fine and 40 hours comm service and 1 night in jail. Steal a song, pay up $150,000!"

As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705557)

... what the hell, guy?

I am having a hard time even understanding what the hell is going on here. Of course the CBC has a right to compete with private broadcasters... that's sort of what they do. The CBC is there to ensure that people will still have free access to the best in broadcast media, for free, forever, and as far as I can tell the only music that's available for free download is music that the artists have said they're ok with the CBC offering.

The problem is... where?

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#39705819)

The problem is big media companies pay their execs (and apparently lawyers) too much money to be able to compete against it.

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39705847)

The problem is... where?

All the other Big Music people out there who are suddenly left out in the cold with their pants down. Never underestimate a woman scored, but never, ever underestimate what a business or company will do to not have to do work to keep making money.

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (3, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 2 years ago | (#39706725)

Never underestimate a woman scored...

I have never underestimated scoring with a woman.

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (5, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#39706009)

The problem is that their business models are threatened by innovation, and therefore the innovation must be stopped ( usually by making the innovation illegal by new legislation ).

The view of Big Media;
Innovation is bad and can cause the loss of jobs and even entire industries to collapse. Old business models must be protected, and innovation threatens that.

Our view;
A static unchanging business that cannot adapt to the ever changing world is doomed to failure, in fact even deserves to fail.

The real problem;
  - Rich companies being allowed to spend money to influence politicians.
  - Legislation for sale.
  - The "lobby" concept of bribery.

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#39706217)

Rather than recreating a post I made 5 minutes ago, I'll link to it:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2790469&cid=39706167 [slashdot.org]

In short, rich companies are not allowed to spend money to influence politicians (seriously illegal in Canada), in theory legislation is not for sale, and in practice, "lobbyists" giving financial contributions to politicians *is* legally bribery in Canada. (and can get the politician thrown out of office if the bribe exceeds $1000).

Re:As A Canadian, I Just Want To Say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706801)

For free?

There's nothing free about it. It's about as free as our healthcare.

Call the Whaaaaaaambulance! (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#39705583)

So now that I've got my initial reaction out of the way...

12.0 Why is there advertising on CBC Music?
Advertising is the primary means that allows us to fairly compensate the artists we play on CBC Music. We signed an agreement with the Audio-Video Licensing Agency (AVLA), which represents over 1,000 music labels. We are very excited to report that through this deal, all artists registered via AVLA will be paid for having their work broadcast on CBC Radio 2, CBC Radio 3, and our 40 web radio stations.

Another reason we've decided to pursue advertising on CBC Music is that, in the current economic climate, CBC cannot afford to have a large new service like CBC Music that isn't self-sustaining. This revenue stream not only allows us to survive, but also helps us to grow and continue to expand CBC Music.

Emphasis added.

So I'm not sure of the full legalities of it, but according to the CBC Music FAQ [music.cbc.ca], they have acquired the right to stream all the music on their site.

What's the problem? My guess is that these are companies that refused to sign, and they're bitching about the fact that they couldn't get the price they wanted for their music. Excuse me while I shed a tear or two.

"The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing." In other words, if you haven't paid me and my friends to listen to music, you can't listen to it at all. What an asshole.

Re:Call the Whaaaaaaambulance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705677)

"The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing." In other words, if you haven't paid me and my friends the overpriced amount that we want for you to listen to music, you can't listen to it at all. What an asshole.

FTFY

CBC are munchkining (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705595)

they are using non-profit status to gain a competitive advantage over the rest of the market.
FTA they pay lower royalties and get other concessions for having this status. This is out of the spirit of non-profit and in this case the industry does have a reason to be upset

not really competing (2, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#39705865)

Have you looked at the music on offer? A lot of it is stuff that the other play-on-demand sites wouldn't bother providing because it's too obscure.

Re:CBC are munchkining (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 years ago | (#39705927)

You're wrong. Non-profit corporations can perform all of the same revenue-raising activities as other corporations. A public charity may even turn a profit, as long as these profits are eventually invested in growth, compensation or furtherance of their core purpose (typically defined in a charter and by-laws submitted to the state).

I think providing (legal) digital music streams is well within the provenance of a public broadcaster.

Re:CBC are munchkining (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706203)

Plus, the CBC being a Crown Corporation, is run by the state and funded by tax dollars, which also allows for many unfair advantages - They're claiming non-proft, getting the tax break, and being funded by tax dollars to begin with, don't even need to be profitable or self-sustaining, and is, as a result, undercutting big media.

Contrary to what people here (who really will just say anything to avoid just coming out and saying that all this hoopla is because they want things for free), might insist, this is a huge dick move by the CBC, and they have every reason to be pissed.

And all this talk about innovation is patently absurd, you'll see these very same people in any other thread arguing about how "blah blah blah ON A TABLET" is invalid and not innovative, but now, "blah blah blah, BUT FOR FREE" is the be all, end all of innovation?

Re:CBC are munchkining (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39706553)

These are all pretty obscure acts that the for-profit guys won't touch, so what exactly is the problem? And if it does give some of these acts greater exposure why are you upset? If the big media companies wouldn't touch these acts, then they've lost nothing.

Unless they're scares the A&R guys are now as pointless as testicles on a hen, and talent is being ignored in favor of the talentless dreck they foist on everyone.

Re:CBC are munchkining (5, Insightful)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#39706685)

Plus, the CBC being a Crown Corporation, is run by the state and funded by tax dollars, which also allows for many unfair advantages - They're claiming non-proft, getting the tax break, and being funded by tax dollars to begin with, don't even need to be profitable or self-sustaining, and is, as a result, undercutting big media.

Contrary to what people here (who really will just say anything to avoid just coming out and saying that all this hoopla is because they want things for free), might insist, this is a huge dick move by the CBC, and they have every reason to be pissed.

How is it a dick move to do precisely what they were set up to do?
from their mandate [radio-canada.ca]:

The 1991 Broadcasting Act [justice.gc.ca] states that...
"...the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains; ...
be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and ...

this would seem to be the most efficient means to provide this service.
the fee was negotiated and agreed to. you can't change your mind afterwards unless you hold that right as part of the initial agreement.

Canada has decided as a country that they wanted to set up a body to make entertainment available to all its citizens the CBC is doing that in the best way possible. sorry if you don't like that but well, deal with it.

And all this talk about innovation is patently absurd, you'll see these very same people in any other thread arguing about how "blah blah blah ON A TABLET" is invalid and not innovative, but now, "blah blah blah, BUT FOR FREE" is the be all, end all of innovation?

1. They're not trying to patent a model for free distribution of music.
2. Their distribution method is not exactly the same as big media, only free.

Re:CBC are munchkining (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 2 years ago | (#39706783)

So start a non-profit to compete with them.. They pay their fair share as far as I can tell, making a profit from distribution of music is not a right.

boo hoo (1)

laserdog (2500192) | about 2 years ago | (#39705603)

wtf dumb candian compnays do something else if you cant get into music buisness like make webcomics like homestuck and dinosoar comics that way other people realize canada actualy exists and isnt just a fairy tale told in history books

"The only music that you can hear for free..." (4, Insightful)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 2 years ago | (#39705641)

... is when the birds sing."

He picked a particularly ironic example [slashdot.org].

Re:"The only music that you can hear for free..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706723)

"...is when the birds sing."

What? I WANT to pay for it, fuck face, but you are too stoopit to provide me the service I'm asking for, i.e. online.

Fuck you. Stupid arse.

Grrr. (5, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#39705675)

I am so freaking sick of private companies who believe the only way to protect their profits is to legislate against other organisations threatening their market share. And I'm sick of governments and courts indulging them. Take it as an opportunity to better your services and provide something that CBC (or whoever you're whining about) doesn't - there are hundreds of ideas out there. You may actually surprise yourself and become more successful than you ever imagined.

+5 Insightful for talking big. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706297)

Take it as an opportunity to better your services and provide something that CBC (or whoever you're whining about) doesn't - there are hundreds of ideas out there. You may actually surprise yourself and become more successful than you ever imagined.

OK like what?

It's easy to throw out grand pronouncements (which is done so often here on /.) on how to do things, but tell us exactly how to do it?

Yep. Not so easy. No really do it. go ahead and make a zillion dollars and come back here and rub it in our faces. Go ahead - you can't do it.

And all the zipper heads who modd'ed you up couldn't either.

Really you can't because if you could, you wouldn't be spouting off here on /..

Prove me wrong.

You couldn't because I've been there and I know you can't.

/. is just a bunch of big talk'in cubicle dwelling techies and middle managers and small potato business guys - peons.

Re:Grrr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706491)

Word. Sometime, I wish we would choose the Fremen way of resolving conflicts. I'm so tired of people with cash making the life harder for those without.

Crybabies and whingers (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#39705703)

The free market is WONDERFUL, until something happens that the fat cats, criminals and freeloaders of Big Content have their business interests threatened. The stench of hypocrisy is unbearable.

If they can't compete with free, then they can either 1) do something else where they CAN make money; or 2) eat shit and die.

Re:Crybabies and whingers (4, Interesting)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#39705823)

To be strictly fair, it's not exactly a level playing-field. The CBC is a crown corporation, and is directly supported in part by taxpayer dollars. The current government isn't terribly friendly to the CBC these days, and would sell off or axe the whole thing if they thought the electorate wouldn't revolt, but still. Not exactly a textbook case for free market competition.

Having said that, the CBC has paid it's licensing fees for the content, like any other corp, and is selling advertising to pay for the service, and is fulfilling its mandate of exposing Canadian and international listeners to Canadian artists, so I'm all for it.

Re:Level Playing Field (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39706115)

Sorry, I cry foul. While I'm not up on the Canadian side, good for them to shake up the field. After all, the big Corps "buy" politicians, so why not throw a little leverage on the Free Music side for once!

Re:Crybabies and whingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706253)

The streaming services are succumbing to exorbitant fee-per-play costs. For a price that is utterly arbitrary, and set by the Big Music cartel, you would think that the correct market reaction would be to lower this arbitrary cost so that it is profitable to maintain a Streaming Service. But I guess it is difficult to control streaming services if they are not on a short leash.
BTW, here's the letter from the group filing the complaint [scribd.com]. Look at the paragraph on page 2, referring to royalty fees (Because of the unique royalty structure...)

As a Canadian vet living in the US (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#39705733)

I say, let the music flow!

The music must flow!

(yes, it's a Dune reference, deal with it)

Re:As a Canadian vet living in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39705755)

free lunch = free music, let them eat cake.

Re:As a Canadian vet living in the US (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#39705857)

A condition of using Canadian airwaves or publishing music in Canada has always been strict regulation by the Federal government, requiring Canadian Content and exempting the CBC from certain restrictions.

Don't like it, then publish music in some other country.

Of course, since Canada is a net exporter of music worldwide, it's not like you have a Bieber of a chance of doing that.

Re:As a Canadian vet living in the US (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39705969)

Thing about that is, I suspect most Canadians would happily do away with the CBC and the CRTC. Both are supposedly for our benefit, but always seem to be working against us.

Lest we forget the outgoing CRTC president griping about how the internet limits the ability for them to force Canadian content down our throats whether we like it or not (which is true, but it shows the mentality the CRTC and CBC take .. don't improve content, improve methods of forcing it on people).

Re:As a Canadian vet living in the US (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39706003)

Should add to my post.. this is a rare instance of the CBC being on kinda the right side of the war... which is why this is somewhat shocking. I just don't like the methods I guess :(

Re:As a Canadian vet living in the US (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#39706851)

Both are supposedly for our benefit, but always seem to be working against us.

I'm trying to promote the idea that what the CRTC does is unconstitutional. How can a government appointed body dictate how we may communicate?

Canadian Content (4, Informative)

Daas (620469) | about 2 years ago | (#39705781)

“These actions further distances the corporation from its mandate, while placing it directly on a collision course with private broadcasters who can only rely on advertising and subscription revenues to sustain their services,”

Isn't one of the mandate of the CBC to promote Canadian art and culture? The CBC does a lot more to promote quality Canadian content then any other broadcaster on that list.

"The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing." That guy has probably never been on the internet before... You know, the place where a bunch of bands are releasing their music for free because they love what they do?

Re:Canadian Content (1)

steveg (55825) | about 2 years ago | (#39705999)

Or because it helps them to make money? It drives their sales?

Re:Canadian Content (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39706587)

"The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing." That guy has probably never been on the internet before... You know, the place where a bunch of bands are releasing their music for free because they love what they do?

Or because it helps them to make money? It drives their sales?

Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

CBC is paying for it....just not enough apparently (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#39705817)

The CBC is already paying royalties, apparently these guys just want them to pay MORE royalties.

From the article:

"In Canada, SOCAN applies different formulas for determining how much money it collects from various music-laying services, according to Paul Spurgeon, the group’s vice-resident of legal services. The formula tends to take into account the service’s Internet-based revenues, as well as the number of page impressions, or hits, the service gets. However the ratios are significantly different for various types of services, such as commercial or non-commercial radio stations."

Re:CBC is paying for it....just not enough apparen (2)

echusarcana (832151) | about 2 years ago | (#39706137)

A lot of artists under the Canadian system never see royalties - not that there is much from CBC play anyway. Middlemen tend to eat the royalties leaving artists with the crumbs. Nothing new - musicians have been screwed by business for decades, probably going on a century now.

I *love* the idea of CBC music - especially as lots of independent music is on there. Very few people under a certain age listen to the horrible big-media radio stations that are broadcast. And I love the idea that Canadian artists are featured - the quality of musicians in Canada is generally a lot higher than the U.S.

HOWEVER, the CBC Music site is an implementation mess. Sure they have a dedicated iPhone app, but iPhone is down in 3rd place popularity in Canada. Just try to use the thing on Android and watch your mobile device choke on the layers and layers of Flash badness. The site is horrible. But it should fail for the right reasons, not just because big media wants to kill it and force me to listen to Nickelback instead.

Wow, that's surprising! (1)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | about 2 years ago | (#39705849)

The private broadcasters are upset because CBC is broadcasting free music. Shocking. I mean, it must be wrong / illegal if it goes against the streaming business model of the private broadcasters. I just don't get it. If CBC has rights to that music, they can do whatever they want with it. Just because it may cut into the profits of other distributors, I don't see the leap in logic that makes music intrinsically monetized. Would this be like Napster (or some other pay-to-listen service) suing a radio station for streaming their station live?

Going for broke. (3, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 2 years ago | (#39705891)

Perhaps this is false nostalgia - but even from reading history with the gilded age and robber barons, I don't seem to remember a time when industries were so, well, unafraid of being called on their bullshit.

I mean - yeah, the meat industry has had bouts of defending deadly safety conditions leading to not infrequent outbreaks and deaths, and the tobacco industry flexed historic levels of political and legal muscle lying about their products and covering up science they knew to be true for decades - but they really did seem to at least fear being caught in a direct lie.

It just doesn't seem that the music industry even cares about what they're saying - they just mix accusation, whole new concepts of honorable ownership they just made up a sentence ago, and blatant grabs for control as if it were a newly uncovered biblical virtue, and they the new prophet.

The rhetoric borders on empire, or isolated dictatorship in terms of brazen doublethink-style selective "morality" that just amounts to everything belonging to them, under all circumstances.

There's opportunistic jerks in all groups - it's kind of an intrinsic part of everything from game theory to classic social power studies in psychology - it's a basic part of how we explore and interact with eachother.

It's just crazy that in so many nations, so much of the population ends up standing aside, so these particular jerks can be such horrible bastards on such a constant basis, and they're still allowed to buy themselves such a voice in and over our lives - right to the heart of the houses of power.

They're a small parasitic part of the music industry - not a very big industry in the first place. Most other industries dwarf them. Why are they allowed to keep ramping things up seemingly without limit? At what point does this Napoleon meet his Waterloo?

Ryan Fenton

Offsetting Royalty Costs... (1)

starseeker (141897) | about 2 years ago | (#39705983)

If they're complaining about having to compete with a more advantageous cost structure established by the non-profit for royalty requiring songs, I take it there would be no objection to the CBC streaming public domain and Creative Commons licensed content? (I'm assuming Canadian law doesn't mandate royalties be paid for any playing of any content, but that's an assumption - somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.)

On a broader scale, I sometimes wonder if we need to have a public conversation about the fundamental motivation for allowing and promoting non-commercial activity, and what kind of society we really want to be. As I understand it, non-profits get treated differently because they are (theoretically) providing some benefit to society at lower cost than would be necessary to an organization performing the same service while trying to make a profit at the same time. Lower cost means greater public benefit for the same resources committed, and that greater public benefit is valued more highly by society than the specific lost opportunity for someone to make a profit.

In principle, if you disapprove of non-profit activities, couldn't it be argued that the very existence of ANY non-profit is unfair competition to some potential for-profit company? Do people who think this way see any value in anything that isn't tied to profits? Are municipalities that want to provide public internet to all at low cost as a utility (information becomes just like power and water, not an unreasonable analogy given the way our society currently functions) doing something wrong? Are libraries ruining the commercial market for books and other consumer media? Are museums wasteful institutions because they lock up artifacts that could otherwise be immensely profitable as commodities being bought and sold in the art and collectibles markets? Is public schooling a bad idea because it competes with private schools that would otherwise be able to pick up the business? Where and how do we draw this line?

Re:Offsetting Royalty Costs... (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#39706211)

(I'm assuming Canadian law doesn't mandate royalties be paid for any playing of any content, but that's an assumption - somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Canadian law does mandate royalties on playing content in public spaces, including the Internet. The collecting body is SOCAN. Those are the guys quoted in the summary complaining that their flat fees are too low.

CBC to Cave Due to Legal Costs (1)

Lorean (756656) | about 2 years ago | (#39706029)

Our government recently handed the CBC a massive funding cut. Rogers, Cogeco, ... these are big companies with enough legal muscle to drown competitors in legal fees.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706047)

The group, which includes Quebecor Inc., Stingray Digital, Cogeco Cable Inc., the Jim Pattison Group and Golden West Radio, believes that CBCmusic.ca will siphon away listeners from their own services, including private radio stations and competing websites that sell streaming music for a fee.

It's called competition, get used to it.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706249)

It's called a government run, tax money funded, doesn't have to turn a profit or be self-sustaining crown corporation abusing non-profit status and gaining an unfair advantage over players in the game who actually do have to be competitive to continue to exist.

You two-faced idiots lambasted microsoft for far, far less.

Re:So what (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#39706861)

This comment by starseeker [slashdot.org] really sums it up best.
In short, if you're against this, you're against non-profit organisations existing at all. This is the whole purpose non-profits get a different status.
CBC are doing exactly what they were created to do.

Question for Candians... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 2 years ago | (#39706075)

I have programs like RarmaRadio and RadioSure and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of music sites that have free music. I mean, any kind of music. And they're not pirate stations or anything like that.

Does Canada block those online music sites at the border? Or do these guys just pretend they don't exist?

Re:Question for Candians... (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#39706229)

A lot of streaming and on-demand music and video is blocked at the border. Off the top of my head I can think of Pandora, Spotify, Hulu and any other major network feed out of the US. Netflix exists in Canada, but with a good third of the content in its network streaming archives, and we don't get the dvds at all.

Already paying for it (3, Insightful)

Mishotaki (957104) | about 2 years ago | (#39706087)

they are a government funded network, we're already paying for it with out taxes!

Re:Already paying for it (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39706169)

Which seems to be the basis of the complaint, that different status allows for lower prices thus being unfair competition.

Canada's gem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706177)

The "All Lightfoot" channel alone is definitely worth fighting aboot!

YEAH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39706267)

I'm Canadian and would never have heard of this without them whinning... Yeah for me!!! I'm going to be recording to CDs (which I pay a tax on so it's legal for me to do this) like there is no tomorrow! No more money for those asswipes, I got free and legal music 100% now!

Kangaroos Get Free Music (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 2 years ago | (#39706869)

Hey Canada, I don't hear music companies down here in Australia jumping up and down complaining about commercial-free ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission)-broadcast radio services such as http://abc.net.au/triplej [abc.net.au], the ABC's commercial-free music video program http://abc.net.au/rage [abc.net.au] or free on-line streaming services such as http://triplejunearthed.com/ [triplejunearthed.com].

There are also a number of 'community' radio stations in Australia that have blanket licenses to permit them to broadcast copyright work as they please. None of these have had a particularly negative effect on the Australian music industry -- quite the contrary, you have a much better chance in Australia as an independent musician getting your music heard than in Canada or the US, and this has arguably led to the much more dynamic and thriving music culture in Australia.

The for-profit labels seem content to wait for new artists to become known through these non-commercial, ABC-funded arenas -- Triple J, rage and so forth -- then approach them for commercial distribution and concert promotion. Many big international Australian acts gained their start this way.

Maybe the Canadian music labels need to look down under, and stop being dinosaurs. Having the public broadcaster promote music has contributed heavily to Australia becoming the international force in music that it is today.
 

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...