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Cell Phone Ringtones Give Music Industry Another Headache

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the this-stuff-is-never-simple dept.

Music 380

Alien54 writes "Xingtone's desktop software allows you to create mobile phone ringtones using digital audio files on your computer. As seen here, The software evokes the same ``oh wow, oh no'' reaction from the labels that greeted the original Napster. The fear is that people will make 30 second long ringtones out of popular songs, thus compounding the file-sharing problem while robbing the music industry of a new source of revenue. Many users find the technology quite cool. IANAL, but current copyright guidelines seem to permit fair use of "Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds". All of which should make for an interesting legal debate. I can hear the gnashing of teeth already."

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Composing ring tones (-1, Troll)

mrkslntbob (731248) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230126)

Composing your own ringtones and putting them on there would be cool. - First Post !!!

Re:Composing ring tones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230140)

As long as it's complaint with fair use, I say though shit.

The recording companies weren't creative enough to figure this out, therefore *big raspberry*

New Hope (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230376)

Could it actually be happening? The backlash against the neocons? Maybe there is hope afterall.

Many true conservatives are publicly expressing doubts about the way how the current administration is handling the economy and international affairs.

The debacle in Iraq is getting worse day by day. Average Americans are appalled by the stream of bodybags coming back to the US. There are rumbles within the ranks of the military accusing the White House of completely misjudging the force requirements and the exit strategy. Now it looks like the White House is about to run around on the same rock that sunk Nixon: not the lies but attempts to cover things up [time.com] .

oh.. they have had it now... (2, Funny)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230130)

30 secs of Wayne Newton as a ringtone... what will the music industry do?!

Mercury News (-1, Redundant)

seanismdotcom (746929) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230136)

This article was in the Mercury News a couple days ago...

omghi2u (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230139)

omg lol bbq

So (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230142)

Very few pop songs last 300 seconds. The monopoly on long ring tones is maintained.

nothing to worry about (5, Funny)

mister_jpeg (46354) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230145)

I predict the phenonmenon of making ringtones out of the latest teen pop will fade quickly as more and more annoying idiots are beaten to death with their own phones. It's happened in isolated incidents before but now we'll have critical mass.

Re:nothing to worry about (1)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230233)

Irronically enough I said the samething in the article about: instuments to block cell phone signals... and I got a -1 Troll... what a cruel world this is!

Re:nothing to worry about (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230345)

Cellphones are tech devices and must be considered cool. Pop music is automatically uncool. When the two are blended... slashdot doesn't know what to mod it.

Re:nothing to worry about (4, Funny)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230386)

Hint;

- remove your socks
- insert one sock in the other sock
- insert the ringing phone
- swing the socks (with phone in the toes) to bludgeon the offender

Works great, even if the phone breaks the mass in the socks still does damage.

Works with soda cans, coins, ice, or any other innocent until used as bludgeon objects.

Enjoy!

Excellent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230146)

I can't wait to put my latest composition "A Passage of Wind" on my phone!

Re:Excellent (1)

Max Delta (779390) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230231)

Personally I prefer the "Tranquility of Eternal Silence".

Great. (5, Funny)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230148)

Yeah, because "Classical Music Butchered Beyond Hope" isn't obnoxious enough. I work at a college. I can't wait for every shitty pop song to be blaring out of some asshat's saggy A&F jeans during class when his roommate's older brother calls to say he got the beer.

Fucking christ. You know the only people that use this are going to be people infatuated with dreadful pop music. It's the same phenomenon as loud car stereos -- I don't think I've ever pulled up to someone with a thumping car at a traffic light and thought, "Oh, good, I really like this song."

--saint

Re:Great. (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230420)

I don't think I've ever pulled up to someone with a thumping car at a traffic light and thought, "Oh, good, I really like this song."

That is perhaps because you can only just hear the bass from the outside for the most part. If it was a good song, you couldn't tell from the bass alone. Lorrence Welk and Barry Manilo played the same way would not be recognizable either.

Phone ringtones have the opposite problem: no bass. Maybe if a car thumper and a phone played the same tune at the same time, you would get the full effect, and be Dancin' in the Streets.

"Yo, dis here Welk isa crankin' mastah!"

fair use (1, Informative)

jonny4001 (144859) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230149)

Fair use applies mainly to scholarly enterprises-ringtones on your cell phone do not exactly count as "scholarly."

Re:fair use (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230375)

Since when? Fair use applies to all people.

Headache? (4, Insightful)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230152)

The only headache I forsee is having to listen to everyone's favourite song every time a phone rings.

But how is taking a snippet of a song and putting it on my phone any worse than taking an entire song and putting it on my computer? Obviously the record companies want people to pay for ringtone-specific clips, but I see nothing wrong with this software.

Re:Headache? (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230191)

The record industry just did a lot of work to set up information toll booths, just to discover that there's a very easy and legal way to work around them.

It's just plain stupidity that they didn't see a program like this coming.

Re:Headache? (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230542)

well that just won't do, we will have to get a few senators and representatives together and add to the copyright law "except for use in ringtones"

my only opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230446)

to hear the latest pop music. They seem to really like it, like a commercial. The stuff /is/ catchy. "We're 'doin sip-ups"We're 'doin sip-ups..."..." now with *energy*, "yeah, come on, come on" - now laser lights... fog... cheerleaders(oh wait, I forgot, pop music, commercials and sports are all different... :)
Can you tell how long it's been since I've tuned in?

Dude, seriously... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230155)

*MUST* the RIAA get paid for *EVERY* time someone does anything *REMOTELY* connected to the shit music their labels pump out? I mean, DAMN. Can't they just let it go!?

*sigh*

- GNU/Anonymous Coward

Re:Dude, seriously... (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230288)

You can't fault the RIAA for trying to soak the maximum value out of everything they do, that's just plain the nature of greed and we all have it to some degree.

Still, we just have to be organized enough to realize when they're asking us to repay for a song when we can just do the format shifts on our own.

Re:Dude, seriously... (2, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230410)

The RIAA's position on this issue is like auto makers trying to outlaw do it yourself oil changes since they take revenue from the dealership service departments. Although you can do many automotive service tasks yourself, repair and service shops have no problem finding people willing to pay to have them done. Likewise, if ring tones are sold, people will still buy them for the convenience factor rather than creating their own.

Re:Dude, seriously... (5, Insightful)

AgntOrnge (718563) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230520)

I think them trying to soak the max out of everything isin't so much greed as they have no idea how to make money anymore so they insist on leeching every idea that they don't come up with right now. I still believe that if they provided the delivery means that the consumer wants and a product that they actually want, we wouldn't have to deal with this crap every 6 months.

placing the blame (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230538)

You can't fault the RIAA for trying to soak the maximum value out of everything they do, that's just plain the nature of greed and we all have it to some degree.

Really, I blame the people who think this kind of behaviour is acceptable, and apologize for them.

Short answer: NO (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230342)

No they cant let it go.. they DO want every time, they DO want pay per listen..

Its their business model.. ( or at least what model they want.. )

Ya, they suck.

Re:Dude, seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230382)

> - GNU/Anonymous Coward

Does that mean that you're GPLed?

Cool. Please give me a list of all women you've "linked with" since obviously they're GPLed too and must be shared too.;-)

Re:Dude, seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230468)

Your mother, your sisters, your aunties, your cousins ... Have I missed any?

Re:Dude, seriously... (1)

unavailable (781386) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230552)

Yes, pretty soon we'll have to pay $0.02 for every call received on our pop music powered mobile phone.
I mean, people with no social life shouldn't have to pay, since they hardly make use of their ringtones.

Music industry sues oxygen users (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230160)

"That oxygen is ours. We paid for it. It's used to create the high quality music you find at your local vendor. If we find anyone using or sharing that oxygen we'll have no choice but to seek reparations in court. We don't like to be heavy handed, we're just protecting our clients."

I'm waiting for them to hit this stage...then maybe they'll finally run out of things to bitch about..

Re:Music industry sues oxygen users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230461)

Don't forget that sound waves propogate through the air, which contains oxygen. And now we can expect to see the stars being forced to sing without taking breaths because the RIAA doesn't want the gaseous atmosphere to decrease while they sing. Expect more and more pop stars passing out while singing, but hey, when they are singing expect to hear some nice new high keys that the human voice may never have been designed to produce.
-- AnonCow

Overpriced (5, Insightful)

Synesthesiatic (679680) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230161)

Cell ringtones were way overpriced anyways. You're basically paying a buck for some bleeps and bloops someone hammered on a midi-keyboard in ten minutes.

Some people already own the music, or can buy the actual song for the same price. Why pay twice?

Re:Overpriced (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230229)

Actually, there are now real-sounding ringtones which T-Mobile call "Megatones" and Cingular call "Super Tones" that are actually not MIDI-based files but real audio/voice recordings. Effectively, they're just media files suitably edited to fit the small timeslot they get for ringing.

We're beyond the MIDI stage... but still, selecting the 10 second hook of an MP3/OGG/WAV/Whatever file is something a consumer can do with very little software help.

Re:Overpriced (5, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230343)

Why pay twice?
Because the poor shareholders need money. Don't you have any idea how expensive a ferrari, big house with pool, trips to various locations and a fourth wifes's boob job is? You should sympatise a bit with their situation.

What price convenience? (2, Insightful)

Turtlewind (781809) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230464)

Sure, people might already own the music, but that's not what they're paying for. They're paying for the music to be instantly transferred to their phone in a usable format.

People that want to save money have already got the option of using the 'record' function on their phones to pick up a clip of the song and then set it as a ringtone. Ringtone downloads aren't aimed at those people. They're aimed at kids who want to quickly change their ringtone as a fashion item, possibly while at school or out with friends. If you have to go home to your computer, it's just not as cool anymore.

We don't protect business models from other ones (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230164)

The fear is that people will make ringtones out of pirated songs, thus compounding the file-sharing problem while robbing the music industry of a new source of revenue.

That's not the real fear. The real fear is that people will make ringtones out of the CDs they already have. That process is nothing more than format shifting, trimming, and then playback when a particular event happens to the phone. Uhm... there's no laws against that process.

The record industry is a bit worried because this had appeared to be a new business model for them... but if the software to make a good enough ringtone is easy enough for the average consumer to do on their own, then consumers don't need to pay to re-buy a track they already have if they want it as a ringtone.

Sorry, this business model was dead on arrival. Please try again.

Re:We don't protect business models from other one (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230481)

Precisely. Setting up a cell phone to play part of a song when it rings isn't any different from setting a computer or a cd player to play a song when the alarm goes off in the morning. Are they going to sue the authors of all those alarm-clock Winamp plugins next?

More Noises? (4, Insightful)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230165)

Ugh, stupid cell phones. While this is a neat idea, I keep mine on vibrate, just because I know how annoying a music ringtone is when its someone elses.

Re:More Noises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230272)

I keep mine on vibrate, just because I know how annoying a music ringtone is when its someone elses.

Thank you! If only more people in the western world were as considerate as you.

Re:More Noises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230451)

I have aired on /. previously my complaints about offensive tones. I applaud your consideration. Thank you.

Re:More Noises? (1, Interesting)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230379)

You know, I've gone through several phones with varying usefullness of the vibrate feature.

Nokia 5190 - Vibrate function was only available with a special battery. I actually got one of these batteries, and was completly unable to get the damn thing to vibrte. (0/10)

Nokia 3390 - Great vibrate. When someone calls, even if it's tucked away under 4 layers of clothing, you'll notice. (10/10)

Nokia 8390 - So-so vibrate. This phone is much smaller, so I guess there wasn't room for a big weight. I'd missed several calls while in vibrate mode, so I usually had to have it set on a ringer-of-increasing-loudness. (6/10)

Ericsson A1228d - (Current Phone, since I lost my 9390, and they sent me this refurb piece of shit) No vibrate feature. No other features either, other then a very limited phonebook that won't even sort names alphabetically. (-inf/10)

So it's not always a matter of being considerate.. some of us just don't have a choice!

History (4, Interesting)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230172)

It seems that the current actions of the record industry are analagous to the papal authority during the reign of Pius IX. In both cases, science and technology began to encroach upon the ideas, or intellectual property, of the parties mentioned. Instead of trying to move with the flow of progress, they lashed back with extremist policy (The Syllabus of Errors, lawsuits). For Pius IX, this accelerated the demise of his authority. It should be interesting to see how these policies work out for the record industry.

Re:History (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230370)

I'm sure that many slashdotters would be happy to organize a kulturkampf against the RIAA.

Oh god... (1, Redundant)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230174)

No. Not more awful ringtones. Please.

I hate ringtones. Particularly ringtones of songs. Now everyone will have thier favorite song as a ringtone.

Re:Oh god... (1)

intekra (754612) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230387)

I agree with this 100%. I can't stand hearing shitty music everytimes someone's phone rings and I'm even more upset that my own mobile phone did NOT come with a NORMAL sounding ring. I had to make my own NORMAL ringtone :( The only thing worse than hearing the blaring of pop-garbage is hearing idiots with Nextels running aroung having full on conversations on speaker-phone. For fucks sake people, push the button for private 2 way. I don't want to hear about what you and Mookie are doing after you're done grocery shopping. Both musical ringtones and PPT are bad in my personal opinion :\

am I missing something here? (4, Informative)

tuxette (731067) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230177)

The fear is that people will make 30 second long ringtones out of popular songs

I don't know if they last 30 seconds, but ring tones of popular songs already exist, at least in Norway/Europe. It has existed for a quite some time, at least 5 years if not more.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

curator_thew (778098) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230284)


In some countries you have a "private use" exception (Spain is one I know of) which makes it legal to make a copy of your music CD as a ring tone. This may be the case in Norway too.

Otherwise, I don't see why the creator of the music shouldn't get an additional reward for the new use? Of course, I speak as someone who creates works and earns money from them, not as a mere consumer.

Re:am I missing something here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230474)

I speak as someone who creates works and earns money from them, not as a mere consumer

Keep referring to the people who put bread on your table as "mere consumers" and I don't give a fuck if people rob you blind and you have to go "create works" by flipping burgers at Mickey D's for the "mere consumers" to consume.

Re:am I missing something here? (2, Insightful)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230488)

I speak as someone who creates works and earns money from them, not as a mere consumer.
curator_thew (778098)

I wouldn't disparage those consumers if I were you.
They are the ones you earn money from, not the works.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

ansimon (699612) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230309)

a famous finish pop band actually released one of their
hits as a ringingtone first. I think it was 3 of 4 years ago.
To curse about someones ringingtone is somehow so '90.. ;)

The next thing (tm) is small cellphone games made about
the newest scandal. Made fast by small companies to ride the wave of the scandal...

umm... forget that.. its allready old news.. ;)


mod this one up! (1)

tuxette (731067) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230355)

To curse about someones ringingtone is somehow so '90.. ;)

That is SO true!

Re:am I missing something here? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230406)

You're just missing the fact that you're dealing with America here: land of the free, the few brilliant, but mainly the deranged and greedy.

Open source version? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230179)

That way Xingtone will be mad about people ripping off their idea to rip off the music industry.

The music industry? (1)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230182)

How about the rest of us people that don't really think banging out some recent candy-crap-hop tune from ones phone is cool, but rather annnoying as all hell?

i'll take my answer off the air....

For once, I agree with the record companies (1)

mongbot (671347) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230185)

The sooner that annoying ringtones are stamped out, the better. It's getting to the point where you can't even watch a movie or go to a lecture without being distracted by mobiles ringing constantly. What's the big appeal of having a loud, obnoxious musical ring tone, anyway? Is it just novelty or what?

Re:For once, I agree with the record companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230253)

What's the big appeal of having a loud, obnoxious musical ring tone, anyway? Is it just novelty or what?

In the 21st century, it's a rite of passage for every teenager. You are just not cool, or you're not 'in with it' if you don't have one with a funky (stupid) ringtone.

The stupid thing is, it's all pop and rnb ringtones and they drive me up the wall. But then again, rock midi ringtones would drive me nuts.

Or in other words... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230186)

... a new way for teh real artist(s) to promote their own music so to develop a following that the middleman RIAA will have to bid on (compete in deal making with each other) to ultimately give the artist(s) a better deal and actually pay the artists their proper due...... rather then subsidizing wannabe artists who played the who knows who, who fu&'d who game..

Consumers win..... getting better music...and so do the real artists.

Re:Or in other words... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230311)

It would seem like artists would want their latest songs being played as a ringtone as often as possible, as it basically turns into a free public promotion for the full song...

Cell phone companies might prevent this (2, Interesting)

Niebieski (781986) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230194)

I worked for a cell phone company and they had a way to make sure you could not upload midi or wav files to your phone by hiding the file extension (not the MIME type) the phone will accept. Thus, to upload a midi file, you had to name the file something other than .mid for the phone to accept it. Of course, all is needed is a leak and everyone can do it...

This is why... (5, Interesting)

aznxk3vi17 (465030) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230201)

...you make your OWN ringtones. Use a midi-notation software, then use a site like 3gupload [3gupload.com] to put them onto your phone. Much cheaper than buying them (the site has a whole bunch of ringtones too), and if you're like me, you can put strange ringtones that you'll never find elsewhere.

Re:This is why... (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230340)

I don't even need MIDI software and uploading sites with my Ericsson phone. I can enter music directly into my phone with the "My Melodies" feature. You have to have The Fine Manual handy when you do it, because it's very different than using notation software. Anyway, I have the intro of one of my husband's songs as my ringtone. I can be reasonably assured that nobody else has this ringtone, which is great when you are in a crowd. Danke, Ericsson.

It just keeps going... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230202)

...what's wrong with the ringtones available on mobile phones now? Are we all such complicated members of society to want "more more more!"

Obviously customised ringtones are just not enough. We even have polyphonic ringtones, as well as the ability to download them off the net and from the phone. Personally, I'd be happy with the "ring-ring", since nobody uses it anyway. Amongst all the lame ringtone versions of Britney Spears and Outkast my "ring ring" will shrill loud and clear.

Yeah, call me a loser but it's true. Just look at all the legal implications which have resulted.

Re:It just keeps going... (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230428)

I would like to see more people using the not-annoying ringtone I tought up. It's a mixture of tones rangeing between 25KHz and 45Khz. All test subject claimed an annoyance reduction of 100%.

buying ringtones is a joke... (3, Informative)

seanismdotcom (746929) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230210)

Buying ringtones through cell phone providers is a joke. You pay $2.50 for a ringtone that will expire in 2 months. Atleast that is how Sprint is. You were able to create ringtones before just it wasn't as easy as a couple clicks. You would need to take the song in winamp or a sound recorder and trim it to 30 seconds and save it in a low quality format. Then you have to convert it using QUALCOMM PureVoice Converter. Most people that I know get "free" ringtones already from www.3gupload.com.

Getting around ringtone expiration (1)

j0hndoe (677869) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230327)

On Sprint, it's easy to get around the ringtone expiration, at least on some phones. Just grab a data cable, a copy of BitPim [slashdot.org] and you can back up all the files on your phone. Then, you can send the ringtone back to your phone later. Bye-bye expiration date.

Correct URL please (1)

j0hndoe (677869) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230351)

That URL should be

http://bitpim.sf.net

/me bangs head on wall.

Re:buying ringtones is a joke... (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230541)

Have you noticed that $2.50 is twice the price of the full high-quality song on ITMS?

Ringtones? We've had them for years now! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230242)

Far from worrying here in the UK music ring tones are popular in the UK. People are willing to pay 1.50 (or more) for a ring tone, yet are not willing to pay that much for a single this has a few analysts baffled. It's probably all convenience, anyone can copy a single from the radio, from a friends CD, download it from the net etc.. but getting ringtones on a mobile phone is a bit more complex for the average person. As a result people are willing to pay for them.

It's not uncommon now to see adverts on peak time TV for ring tone services where you text a number with the name of a song, and you'll receive that ring tone.

A few people have made millions of pounds from these services. There not hush-hush services either, a few of these people have even been the subjects of BBC Documentaries.

Channel 4 even allow you to download ring tones from their site - http://www.channel4.com/mobile/ [channel4.com]

With Cellphones Europe seems to be ahead of the the game compaired the US. Japan on the other hand are ahead of Europe with 3G phones!

This is great news.... (1)

Prod_Deity (686460) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230248)

For those that can't get enough of William Hung.

Link to "guidelines" (1)

Covener (32114) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230257)

IANAL, but current copyright guidelines seem to permit fair use of "Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds". All of which should make for an interesting legal debate. I can hear the gnashing of teeth already."

It's odd that you linked to guidelines of some non legal body as opposed to some actual legal document.

While I usually disagree w/ idiots blathering on about fair use, I think short clips at vastly degraded quality for personal use on your cell phone come pretty damn close to making the cut.

challenges profits? (2, Informative)

farkinga (113105) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230280)

Come on - the RIAA can't make electronic distribution of music profitable but cellphone companies can? ...and by virtue of that, the particular mathematical transformation that re-encodes the sequences of acoustic impulses necessary to modulate the cellphone speaker to produce a familiar noise must be challenged in court? It's okay to use some speakers but not others?

These companies have a horrible time keeping their business models up to date... and inter-industrial consistency in argument seems to be failing.

I for one... (2, Interesting)

Complicity (30481) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230290)

...kind of secretly hope that the record companies win this one, just so I don't have to listen to the ringtones :) Most of the 'music' ones (especially using MIDI) are just horrible, and once people start making them more frequently on their own, expect the quality to get even worse, just like good ol' mp3s.

Puff Daddy does it, why can't I ? (2, Insightful)

www.2cups.com (642654) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230297)

The music industry does't seem to have a problem with every rap "artist" sampling the heck out of other peoples music. I don't see the difference when I sample it. Call my cell phone "ART" --Colin

Re:Puff Daddy does it, why can't I ? (2, Informative)

kyle_b_gorman (777157) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230417)

you have to get permission for that, and if you don't they'll sue your rump. you have to wonder if there are behind the scenes royatly payments for that.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES IF I DO SAMPLE? [freeadvice.com]

Re:Puff Daddy does it, why can't I ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230426)

Puff Daddy does it, why can't I ?

The samples Puff Daddy uses are used WITH PERMISSION. Artists who sample without permission cannot distribute their product without violating copyright. Sampling tunes with as ringtones probably falls within fair use guidlines.

Seems like your problem is with rap artists, since you make no mention of other artists who sample.

Re:Puff Daddy does it, why can't I ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9230466)

Actually there have been quite a few legal cases about sampling music. Also, the cookie cutter rappers you hear on the radio have nothing to do with actually creating beats, they just lay lyrics over tracks made by a producer. I could go farter into this but I am already an anonymous coward, better not be a long-posting one too.

Music Industry (5, Informative)

smoondog (85133) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230301)

This week on Frontline, arguably the best show on television, is titled, "The way the music died [pbs.org] ." It looks fascinating and, perhaps, even balanced. I do hope the bottom line is, however, that the music industry is a dated industry that refuses (due to some dumb executives) to adapt.

-Sean

Re:Music Industry (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230390)

It's interesting that Woodstock is claimed as a highlight moment in music history... when it actually was one of the greatest failures of attempted music commercialization. It was never meant to be a free concert. They just couldn't handle the number of gate crashers they ended up with and the rest, as they say, was history.

Most forms of art are covered by the "Information wants to be free" principle. That's not to say information should always have zero value, but just that the natural tendancy of people who have infromation is to want to express it. When you try to extract value from infromation, you're swimming against human nature and if you ever allow your package to leak, all the contents will spill out.

sure, you may say IANAL as long as you want (5, Funny)

codazzo (626812) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230303)

but you're gonna get *so sued* when Apple patents the name for its oh-so-cute white vibrator.
iAnal, that is .*)

just ban them (2, Insightful)

marchere (748896) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230306)

New concept: ban all ring tones; all that is needed is vibrate mode. It would solve so many problems...

Could labels invoke DMCA? (2, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230312)

Could the labels claim that Xington has reverse engineered or cracked the process for uploading ring tones?

I personally hate ringtones, even in the office some nut has beethoven beeping and booping... what's wrong with vibrate?

Several people already know about this (2, Informative)

falcon9x (618587) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230315)

As someone who cut and made ringtones for my own phone, I can say that several people already knew about this. What the program does, from the looks of their feature set is to make this available to the John Everyman, and make it easy to use. Sites like CraigGiven [craiggiven.com] (read the FAQ) and the such have had information on how to do this for a bit now (Thats where I learned it from. My own phone site is at www.9xrnet.com/9x/sprintpcs with some old school game songs). But there are places like MyPhoneFiles [myphonefiles.com] that already have popular tunes available for download at no charge. I guess the program is really for the avg layman who wants to have some indie song or something that isn't mainstream on their cellphone.

Submitter is missing context (5, Informative)

DanTilkin (129681) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230324)

The submitter claims IANAL, but current copyright guidelines seem to permit fair use of "Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds".

The submitter is missing the context of the part of the document he referenced. The 10%/30 seconds guideline is meant to clarify what portions of referenced works means in the top of the document. There is no fair use when the only purpose is your own enjoyment.

Whether owning the CD gives you the right to use this is a seperate question, but there the 10%/30 seconds rule doesn't apply.

How to get a ringtone onto the phone? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230365)

So how does one load a ringtone? I was disappointed to find that my new Nokia phone didn't include a ringtone composer. The various ringtone services must download them by text message or something. If I have a computer with a modem can I send ringtones to myself?

Re:How to get a ringtone onto the phone? (2, Informative)

tigress (48157) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230495)

If you have a new Nokia phone (IE, new model, not just new purchase), you just upload the ringtones (in MIDI, AMR or MP3 format) by IR or Bluetooth.

Considering the vast amount of MIDI, AMR or MP3 format songs out there, and for that matter the ease of creating one in the first place, I don't see why this is such big news. Unless, of course, this is a way to create monophonic ring tunes out of MP3s, which is pretty darn stupid IMHO.

Re:How to get a ringtone onto the phone? (1)

angryelephant (678279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230514)

Check to see if your service provider has some way of sending emails to your phone that arrive at SMS. It will probably be something along the lines of sending an email to @.com. Attach the ringtone to the email

This software is Windows only (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230391)

Wake me when someone comes out with a Mac or Linux/BSD version.

hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230395)

I don't see this being a concern for very long; eventually most cell phones will play MP3s straight out (my Nokia 3300 already does this), so you can just start playing the song itself. Worse of all for the labels, this would be completely legal if you got the MP3 legitimately, as you're simply playing it for yourself on a music player.

'push' comes to 'shove' (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230400)

With an appropriate musical download, your cranium can now house an ongoing duel between the IQ-enhancing effect of Mozart [mozarteffect.com] and the lobotomizing effect of microwaving your cerebral cortex. [popsci.com]

Place your bets.

Of course, if you don't want to pay... (2, Informative)

TDScott (260197) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230404)

there's this handy site [thomasscott.net] I made,which will take any MIDI file, put it on a WAP server, and let you use it as a polyphonic ringtone, for free.

Er, what? (3, Insightful)

dasunt (249686) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230411)

So let me get this straight:

1. Fair use is 10% of a song or 30 seconds, whatever comes first, right?

2. Making ring tones out of popular songs falls under fair use.

What am I missing? Ah yes, I know!

3. Someone with a large lobbying department is not making a profit.

Don't worry. If fair-use prevents the making of a large profit, fair-use will be weakened.

A little over two centuries ago, Thomas Jefferson considered copyrights as a sort of necessary evil to promote the creation of works that would (eventually) be in the public domain.

Today, copyrights exit for only three things: profit, profit, profit. The company that benefited from the vast amount of ideas that had passed into the public domain (Disney) was the company that promoted the idea of "forever" copyrights.

Mega Bass Cell Phone (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230422)

Cell phones need much better bass response for this to work well. A bass driver that works between the front and back of the case would help. Plus, you could use the same device for vibrate mode.

they don't need to worry (1)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230437)

These ringtones are based on MIDI, which -- as we all know -- is dying. That's right, MIDI had its chance to capture the market for music distribution, and it failed. Netcraft confirms,... Oh wait, wrong thread.

Cool me and my cool phone (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230457)

This make sense to me, for sure. I know that I've stopped buying music now that I can listen to my favorite songs in 12 second bursts whenever I get a phone call. Listening to "polyphonic" music on my awesome cell phone has totally replaced hearing the whole song I want, when I want, on my home stereo.

RIAA == idiots

What is more annoying... (1)

Zane Edwards (562074) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230459)

...the original Nokia phone ring or the latest teen beat song ring tone?

That gnashing sound... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230471)

..is not coming from the Music Industry, it's coming from those of us who hate cell phones already and this will only serve to exacerbate the problem that much more. I was ready to get out of a long line at the post office (I was second from the front of about twenty in line) the other day just to silence a really annoying cell phone ring someone thought was cute and one everybody else should hear before he answered the call and "invited" everyone to listen in on the conversation as well; half of it anyway.

Super Nintendo ringtones are the way to go... (3, Interesting)

Mitleid (734193) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230490)

Once I finally got my hands on a Bluetooth enabled laptop a few months ago, I've been able to send ringtones to my T610 without any problems whatsoever. The best part is that I can use practically any MIDI I find online, which means I don't have to settle for the tripe that is otherwise "offered" by my cell phone provider.

Anyways, I've found that video game MIDIs, particularly SNES, make the best ringtones. The instruments carry over well to a ring, there are hundreds and thousands of available songs you can get online, and they're just all out fun.

So, I don't really see why a community like slashdot would really care that they can't put the latest Outkast or 50 Cent ring on their phone. There are much better rings out there. Just be courteous and turn those goddamn things off before entering a movie theatre or something, cause I can tell you right fucking now I don't want to hear Kefka's theme from FF6 blasting out of your phone right as a J. Lo-portrayed Samus Aran is putting the hurt down on some aliens in the next big John Woo movie.

Not that our phones are ringing anyway...

Free Advertising? (2)

Orcspit (600792) | more than 9 years ago | (#9230511)

I really don't see how this is a problem. Its basiclly just free advertising. Someone has a clip of a song on their cell phone, someone else hears it and likes the tune. Said person then asks person what the song is. After which he hopefully (in the music industries eyes) either buys the CD or legally downloads the single.
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