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New IFPI Boss Vows to Extend Recording Copyrights

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the class-war dept.

Music 225

JamesD_UK writes "John Kennedy, President and COO of Universal Music is to succeed Jay Berman as Chairman of the IFPI, the worldwide equivalent to the RIAA. Andrew Orlowski of The Register has written an article covering John Kennedy's views on copyright infringement and the public domain. Although Kennedy's thoughts on the former are predictable, he has vowed to fight hard to extend European recording copyrights past the current fifty year term. An extension of the European term to match the US would be particularly damaging to the public domain and efforts such as the Internet Archive as well as increasing the control that the recording industry holds over performers. For those interested, I run a small blog of articles regarding copyright recordings."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329224)

Parent links to Penis Bird (0, Offtopic)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329310)

You don't want to click on them. Especially at work.

I hope I don't lose my job over this...

Re:Parent links to Penis Bird (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329354)

What are you doing looking at Slashdot and gay porno while at work? You should be fired for this.

So where do you work? I'll contact your boss for you.

FTI Consulting?


or Aetna?

I think I'll go ahead and mail the relevant IP's to the people in charge of each company's IT Dept. just to be sure!

Re:Parent links to Penis Bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329505)

Block from loading images, or even resolving as a domain name. God bless wget and a text editor.

Seems javascript eval() avoids pop-up blocking.

Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329225)

The combative former shipping lawyer will succeed Jay Berman as head of the lobby group the IPFI - the international version of the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) - and he defended both the the lawsuits and file poisoning at the In The City music conference in Manchester this week. (emphasis mine)

Coincidence on their choice of abbreviations? I think not.

He'd be more sympathetic to songwriters, he said, the day that record companies had "50 per cent margins". In fact, he claimed that record companies spend more on R&D than technology companies, because of the marketing spend required to create a hit [*]. The implication was clear: the success of an artist was down to the Shock and Awe bombing of the record company's marketing team, which is very expensive.

I can guarantee you a hit every time. Let me listen to the song. If the song sucks I'll tell you that. Then you can go and pay off every one of your little radio stations owned by ClearChannel and Inifinity (and various other conglomerates) and they can play the sucky song over and over again until people like it. If the song is good the artists should go on tour and make their own money as they have talent and they don't need your pay-offs.

"For 79p you've got a work of art that's like a Picasso, only one that's as close to the original as you can get," he said. [**]

To each their own on musical tastes but man, fucking Picasso is painting a gigantic brown-eye all over the inside of his grave after that comment.

Isn't there something the music purchasers can do to stop this asshole from taking over? Write letters, boycott, something?

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329240)

Don't you ever shut up? Get a job, a life or something.

Most importantly, get out of your parent's basement.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329250)

Most importantly, get out of your parent's basement.

At least I'm not an anonymous troll. I have a job and a house and a girlfriend! Fuck, I own you.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329290)

You have shit. And obviously, based on your posting history, you don't have a job.

What a fucking loser.

And so what, you have a user name, you are still anonymous behind that. Moron.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329307)

Well, unfortunately for you, you're a douchebag and it's obvious that you are unable to do any research. garcia is fairly public on the web. Perhaps you should get a clue and stop trolling?

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329321)


You're still a loser and a moron who posts AC cuz you dont want to face the music.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329340)

yeah, garcia is such an unusual name! I bet google would only turn up a few links. I'm sorry, please go back to posting your usual drivel.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329448)

garcia is fairly public on the web.

Thanks for helping us win the Ryder Cup Sergio!

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329593)

garcia's mom is fairly public on the street corner (cheap too)

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329294)

Um, you just posted AC, moron.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329330)

Living with you mom that gives you a peck on the cheeck every morning doesn't count as a "house" or "girlfriend".

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (2, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329242)

I can guarantee you a hit every time. Let me listen to the song. If the song sucks I'll tell you that.

You know, sometimes people have varied tastes.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (2, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329558)

Taste and weather or not a song sucks can be two different things. I don't care much to listen to country but I know when a good country song is made compared to a shitty one, same for pop music.

You can look at a painting of a turd and say that it is a perfect rendition of a turd without liking pictures of turds. (I used turd way to much in that sentence:)

you're a fucking queer (1)

lindsay felton (779998) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329256)

stop posting

Re:you're a fucking queer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329362)

awww are you mad that you are modded -1 and he's +4? awww. poor troll. awww. poor troll.

Re:you're a fucking queer (1)

lindsay felton (779998) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329374)

hey, I'm the one who can't be modded down, so who's the real dipshit here?


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329414)

awww. are you mad that he's made you cut yourself again once your pathetic meaningless life got exposed. awww. poor garcia. awww. poor garcia.

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (5, Insightful)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329283)

the man is so far off base from a normal human being I'm wondering if he's not the RIAA's Manchurian Candidate:

The UMG boss had little sympathy for the twelve-year-old girl in a New York housing project who had harbored an MP3 of the theme tune to her favorite show on her computer, and had been sued by the RIAA. Her family paid out thousands of dollars in a settlement. She was a "serious file sharer", insisted Kennedy.

The first step in beating these pricks is to get Congress's hands out of their pockets. Until that happens, people like this will be put in positions of power where he can continue to go after the little 12-y-o criminals.

-- james

Re:Poor Picasso is rolling over in his grave! (0, Troll)

maxpuppy (806997) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329695)

It is the 12 year olds that are the real threat to the Music Industry. Maybe our present laws are not strong enough to deal with this formidable enemy. We should outlaw all MP3 players -- thus rendering downloading of music of no purpose.

The Empire Strikes Back (4, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329482)

Emperor Palpatine, is that you?

Every one of these industry moguls wants to be the Emperor of the Universe. They hate the way things are now, think they have the answers, and they want the power and the money.

The great thing is, just like in Star Wars, *we're
letting them do it*.

Don't like it? Join the rebellion now. I made a vow not to buy any more big RIAA-approved CDs until the insanity stopped, and I haven't. Used and indie CDs? No problem. But it takes more than that (they just blame it on piracy). Write your government representatives (ussuming you live somewhere you have representation). Refuse to support the Empire. There's lots we can do.

Re:The Empire Strikes Back (2, Informative)

jafuser (112236) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329881)

Don't just stop buying things yourself. Convince other people to do so as well, and for god sakes, please support the EFF [] by becoming an active member.

It's quite obvious that the best way to be heard in the US government today is by founding or joining a large group which supports your cause, and the EFF is the group that we need to support if we want to see progress toward fair intellectual property rights.

Nothing to say really.... (0, Offtopic)

Iguru42 (530641) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329226)


Where's a grassy knoll when you need one? (3, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329228)


What I don't understand is... (5, Insightful)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329233)

Most recordings that're > 50 years old are no longer profitable anyway, aren't they?

I mean, isn't the real cash cow in the new 'hit' stuff they're making with cookie cutters nowadays?
Is it actually worth their time and energy to be able to go back that far? I thought they'd go where the money is...

Perhaps I'm just misguided...

Re:What I don't understand is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329264)

but there is always the remake.

Re:What I don't understand is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329288)

Let me give you an example of something that could cause serious damage to the RIAA if it were part of the public domain:
Elvis's Greatest Hits.
Or, something similar for the Beatles in about a decade.

Re:What I don't understand is... (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329352)

Sure, they can be profitable.

Maybe some director want's to use some old song in his '50s era gangster epic.

Hell, stuff like Chuck Berry, Elvis, Beatles, Buddy Holly, Hendrix... That'll always be profitable.

How much is Brockheimer (sp?) paying to use those Who songs as the theme for his umpteen billion CSI spinoffs?

The stuff that isn't well known or popular... Who knows? Society is weird, all of a sudden some obscure song from 1961 is the biggest dance craze of 2005.

Even if it's worth no more than a nickel, they don't want to take the chance of losing it.

It doesn't cost them anything to keep they copyrights for decades or centuries.

Perhaps if it did, things would change. They'd have to decide, song by song, which are worth holding onto. But, if holding copyrights are a financial burden to the holder, it'd bar regular folks from the same protection that rich folks or corporations have.

Re:What I don't understand is... (2, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329592)

If copyrights are extended retroactively to copyrights which have already expired, then copyrights should probably extend retroactively to copyrights which expired at the time they were used from the public domain.

So soon Disney can be busted for all their profits drawn from infringing on the then-copyrighted intellectual property of the Grimm fairy tales.

Of course it will never happen... in this world, Mickey mouse is protected for longer than anyone alive, both his property and his image.

Re:What I don't understand is... (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329811)

Mickey Mouse is a bad example, since he's a trademark.

His older movies are copyright, and should be public domain by now, but noone but Disney would ever be able to use the image of Mickey Mouse in any derivative work.

Re:What I don't understand is... (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329969)

That's incorrect. Trademarks are not functional equivalents for copyrights. Thus, it can't prevent you from creating derivatives. There was a case that dealt a little bit with this. You can read it here [] . It doesn't come up much, however, since the situation is rare.

Re:What I don't understand is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329359)

You're right, they want everyone to like the same style of music, namely cookie cutter band, that they don't have to pay much money to. If the riaa had their way, they'd have records, 8-tracks, cassettes, or any analog format along with any non-drm digital format made ILLEGAL, so people can't copy their music and to persuade people the listen to today's noi^h^h^h^h Music and the riaa would have total control over music. That is if they had their way.

Re:What I don't understand is... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329361)

most don't, and most defintely most don't make money _to_the_author_.

but think about the children! won't somebody think about the children?!

Re:What I don't understand is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329379)

From what I've seen so far, the propaganda here in Europe has mostly circled around the fact that the earliest recordings of Elvis are due to turn 50 soon and they are apparently still bringing in cash for the record companies.

They even made some remixes of old Elvis songs and used the fact that they managed to top some charts to argument that "old" music could still be "fresh" and generate money. This (according to lobbyists) was an argument when lobbying European politicians to prolong the copyright.

Personally, I feel it's an argument for the opposite side...apparently cool music can be made when the public creativity is unleashed upon the "old" music as it falls into public domain...that's part of the reasoning *for* time-limited copyright.

Re:What I don't understand is... (3, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329504)

Copyright I think is really a way of granting something we don't really want to grant - that is the right for something not to be copied, the right to protect ideas, and as such, people are granted a temporary license to them. That is, you get to exploit it for a time (quite a long time).

Copyright was put in place from the point of view that if you don't have copyright, you'll get people just ripping off your work and therefore, people won't create. That's very reasonable.

But, 50 years is quite long enough for a person, but then this is more about corporations, not people. Copyright was not created in a time of giants of publishing. When copyright first arrived, it was more about individual creative people, for whom a copyright of even 20 years would grant them sufficient income.

If you record something age 18 and have 50 years, that means it expires when you are 68.

Re:What I don't understand is... (3, Informative)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329561)

I know someone who works as an accountant in BMG NZ (or rather did, before they laid off most of their staff). I can confirm Elvis is one of their biggest sellers, and certainly most profitable. it costs the label almost nothing to put out a new compilation/greatest hits. I'm not even talking about remixes! She often joked that all their biggest earners are dead. Mind you, this could also be something to do with why BMG were having problems..

Re:What I don't understand is... (4, Insightful)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329630)

The deal that "the public" had with Elvis (etc.) is that if he recorded his music, he would get exclusive rights to it for 50 years, and the public would have rights to it afterward.

What does the public get in exchange for losing their rights to music published in 1953?

Re:What I don't understand is... (4, Interesting)

Maul (83993) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329541)

No, they are. At least the stuff that has lived on to become part of our culture.

These de facto infinite copyrights that we have now will enable the entertainment industry to charge over and over again for music and movies that should be in the public domain.

You can be guaranteed that if a new physical format for distributing music (the successor to the CD or whatever) takes hold, the record companies will re-release old Elvis and Beatles albums in this format (among plenty of others). They'll probably release them as "commemorative editions" and charge up the wazoo for them as well.

With how things are now, some record company executives who weren't even born yet when the Beatles were creating music will continue to get rich off of their work, even after the remaining two are long dead and buried.

Re:What I don't understand is... (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329729)

Playing devil's advocate here: if those songs were public domain, and the record company could make no money from a big re-release, how would we get those songs in the new, high-quality format?

We don't have access to the analog masters...

Re:What I don't understand is... (2, Interesting)

syberanarchy (683968) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329996)

The same way I can get Night of the Living Dead on DVD, even though it's legal to download it from the public domain. If you can get it, it's legal. That doesn't mean a record company is obligated to give you a copy on physical media for free, and a lot of people still value physical media, for some reason... :(

Re:What I don't understand is... (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329875)

There's only one living Beatle. Paul died a long time ago and the guy who took his place doesn't count.

C'mon, I thought everybody knew that.

Re:What I don't understand is... (2, Insightful)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329944)

It's been raised before on slashdot but I like the idea of a intellectual property tax. Copyrights should last for between 20 and 30 years after which the copyright holder must pay a tax each year to keep the intellectual property out of the public domain. This tax is effectively paying the government to uphold the copyright. If the copyright holder lets a work lapse into a public domain then there should be no way to reclaim it.

This would allow copyright holders to keep hold of the profitable intellectual property (the beatles for example, until they become unprofitable) whilst forcing them to let everything else into the public domain.

Copyright should encourage people to create new work by protecting their work in the short term so they can profit from it. The copyright system at the moment has been skewered towards letting copyright holders profit indefinitely form a single work. This isn't good for soceity and not good for true artists.

the best part about that article (3, Funny)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329236)

is the Register's commentary about this quote by Kennedy:
"For 79p you've got a work of art that's like a Picasso, only one that's as close to the original as you can get," he said. [**]

the [**] equates to: Don't write to us - we'll find him a good earwax specialist.

Damn straight! :)

-- james

In a related story... (5, Funny)

archevis (634851) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329248)

... Lee Harvey Oswald admits his mistake of popping the wrong John Kennedy.

Not at all surprising (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329255)

It is in the best interests of the entertainment industry to extend copyrights. So before everyone gets their panties in a twist, remember that it's going to be this guy's job to improve the standard of living for executives in the recording industry.

Re:Not at all surprising (2, Insightful)

Faluzeer (583626) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329430)


Personally I have no problems with harmonising the world's copyright laws so they all last the same amount of time, however only new works created after that date should benefit from the extended duration.

Re:Not at all surprising (2, Interesting)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329845)

Nope. Copyrights should be good for the lifetime of the artist who creates the work, and requires a specific delcaration of assignment of rights to allow a corporation to make use of that copyright for the lifetime of the artist, or some shorter period of time, with the rights reverting to the artist.

An artist who would like their works to be made publicly available over the internet would have to publish a list specifying what works are available.

Yes, there will still be problems, copyright violators, and even people who will insist it is their right to make copies of any and all possible works, regardless of the copyright holder's opinion.


"Artists" share at least equal blame (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329263)

Afterall, they're the ones signing their souls (and rights) away for promises of riches and fame. They don't deserve our pity, let alone our money.

Stop downloading their music, stop going to their concerts, and instead reward independent musicians for resisting the temptations of the RIAA etc.

Re:"Artists" share at least equal blame (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329721)

I do.

the ONLY new music I have bought over the past 12 months has been from artist on those sties.

RIAA artists I like? I buy only USED cd's.

buying Used CD's is the best way of kicking the RIAA and those that love them in the nuts.

Buy Used CD's only if it is not an Indie artist.

Are musicians part of the music industry anymore? (5, Insightful)

KneepadsOfAllure (805661) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329303)

But he had even less sympathy for songwriters, who receive only a small fraction of royalties that recordings owners receive. that was fair, he insisted, as hits were down to investment in marketing, he said. At Polygram (which became Universal), Kennedy had stopped the practice of chart-fixing, he said, "because we were so bad at it. Songs that were supposed to chart at No.6 were coming in at No.34". Don't you love it when the people who run the music industry don't actually care about the people who MAKE music? And he said they stopped chart-fixing because they were bad at it?! He does think that it's WRONG to outright lie to the public to try to shove shitty music down their throats, he's just disappointed it didn't work as well as they thought it would. What a joke.

Re:Are musicians part of the music industry anymor (1)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329854)

These people have no understanding of music as art. They probably listen only to their own fixed charts ("what do you mean my taste in music sucks, this was supposed to be number 1!"). Pity them.

fuck yusuf islam (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329306)

Cat Stevens is a fucking terrorist. He gave money to Hamas, a known terrorist agency that kills Jews and Americans, he was a backer of Ayatollah Khomeini, and his music sucks. Fuck him and all the Islamo-fascist cocks. He is not with us, so he is with the terrorists. Kick his ass out!

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God is he shortsighted... (4, Insightful)

squatex (765966) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329320)

But record companies were still needed, he said, because "no unsigned band has been broken by the internet," he said. "Bands are screaming in space on the internet." Its really only a matter of time. And while no artist has become a "superstar" online yet, there are some artists who have built some rather large fanbases (see Mc Chris []

Re:God is he shortsighted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329598)


I remember 'Lost Prophets' releasing stuff as unsigned artists through years ago...

They seem to have done quite well, with a record deal, etc. To say that this band was 'broken' through the internet might be stretching the point, but I guessed it helped.

Limited? (5, Interesting)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329327)

If time continues to progress at 1 year per year, and copyrights are extended faster than that, then no copyright will expire in a limited time. Granted, this may not be constitutionally mandated in Europe, but what if they extend it further than it currently is in the US? Then we will have to extend it it to match them.

If governments won't stop this trend, maybe competition can. If people come up with a licence that expires in, say, 15 years, and a trademark logo ("Sane copyright inside!"), and companies who wouldn't be impacted by this start using it, it might become popular. Then, people who care could exert direct competitive pressure against those who don't go along.

No, I don't think this will actually happen, but wouldn't it be cool?

Founder's Copyright? (3, Informative)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329642)

You mean something just like this [] ?

O'Reilly has released a number of titles [] under this arrangement.

Re:Limited? (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329736)

The license shouldn't expire totally. After 15 years years or whatever the terms should drop down to Creative Commons style terms. What we don't want is the music industry making derived works with insane copyright terms from works with your "sane terms" on them. The long term goal should be to get enough culture under sane terms that the industry will be forced to deal with us as equals. With notable exceptions like Sun and MS, the IT industry already deals with FOSS projects as equals.

The battle's already over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329331)

The US copyrights are so long as to be laughable, and as just about all interesting copywritten stuff is released there wouldn't it be a largely phyrric victory to achieve longer copyrights in the rest of the world?

Marketing.... (1)

TREETOP (614689) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329339)

Now theres a bunch of people with their fingers on the pulse of the world.... yeah right. Anybody remember Squaredance Rap? Marketing's BEST efforts...make a car wreck look like a vacation..... in retrospect

Labels (4, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329350)

"as well as increasing the control that the recording industry holds over performers."

I'm not shedding a tear. People act as if labels are the only way to do things. Don't want to sign with Universal? Don't. Publish on your own. Don't use the labels. You still have a choice.

Limit copyright (5, Interesting)

teeth (2952) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329377) 15 years and real humans.

Exclusive licences should be limited to 5 years and carry an obligation to publish; if a licencee fails to publish they should lose their rights without compensation.

when will they learn? (0, Redundant)

ellisDtrails (583304) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329387)

this next generation of kids doesn't give a damn about these international and national regulations bodies. p2p is part of the way of life. get over it. start making good music and touring. guaranteed to pay off.

Goes against the original copyright spirit (5, Interesting)

Large Bogon Collider (815523) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329394)

Copyright is a monopoly on use/distribution for a _limited_ time so as to grant the authors/creators some time to recoup their expenses. Afterward, it is meant to go into the public domain so as to benefit all of mankind. Most of our great works of literature and songs are in the public domain, which allows anyone to create derivative works without being unduly hampered by fees and such. If you can't make an adequate return on an investment in 50 years, it is safe to say that it was a flop. A copyright extension does nothing to change that! These greedy pigs ought to be slapped down.

An interesting sidenote is this: remember when copying a chord (dunno how many notes that was) of song was considered infringement? I wonder what would happen if someone went out and made a pseudosong with every possible combination of a chord. Then they could sue every new song as being "infringing." The whole notion is ridiculous

Wouldn't it be nice..... (1)

Iguru42 (530641) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329395)

If one day the RIAA et al would get a clue and realize that it's thier pricing that is totally out of whack? I would start buying music again if CDs were 5 bucks. And no I don't download music. I rip my friends CDs when I'm at thier houses.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329774)

Buying CD's at $10.00 to $11.00 bucks would increase sales by leaps and bounds.

the RIAA does not care about that, the do not car they boldly lied to everyone when they released CD's and promised to drop prices.

everything the RIAA has said is to be construed at a complete and blatent LIE.

anyone thinking otherwise is simply sheep.

No wonder the music industry is dying! (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329417)

Do we need any more proof as to why the music industry is in the dumps?! The top dog of the music industry cannot distinguish between a good song or a bad song. He appears to believe that any succession of notes could be a hit merely by marketing.

I hear people say again and again that they buy less music because music sucks today. (At least the crap pushed by the industry.) Now we have evidence to back that up.

Re:No wonder the music industry is dying! (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329556)

With the trash in the charts these days, "Toy Piano Solo by Mr Music Company Executive" would probably be an improvement.

Re:No wonder the music industry is dying! (2, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329809)

Well, when you see the list of the top grossing musicians of 2004 [] it roughly breaks down like this:

The majority of the acts seem to be highly succesful, artistically relevant artists, although the majority of those are way past their prime (the Stones, Aerosmith, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac) and haven't made anything terribly important recently except new T-shirt designs based on their third Greatest Hits compilation (which might have one new song or a remix of an old song).

The minority of those acts are talentless label-driven/label-created "products" (Matchbox 20, Christina Aguilera, to some extent Justin Timberlake, Eminem & 50 Cent). Note that Britney Spears does not even appear on that list (I'm sure she's on the Top 100).

Some acts no longer exist (the Beatles), some are gaining revenue based on their fame or past work (Queen Latifah, Ice Cube). Some acts are succesful despite the labels (most notably Phish, the Dead, Jimmy Buffet).

It also appears that 2% of the most succesful artists are children of Ravi Shankar. []

A lot of the artists on there are country acts, which you don't really hear about too much on filesharing discussions. And some of them you probably have never heard of (Eros Ramazotti, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Bill Gaither, Maná).

And out of all those 50, you can probably argue that only a handful (say, 8 or so), are artists who are really pursuing art and pushing boundaries as oppposed to touring based on past fame or ability.

But when you see that the top 10 artists netted (not tour-grossed) roughly $1bn, I'm not shedding any tears.

Your Rights Online (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329435)


Same Post, Different Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329439)

Well, I already wrote this [] a couple of hours ago and it seems pertinent to this discussion. Posted AC to deflect Karma-related accusations :)

Did anybody read Playboy? (3, Interesting)

Bloody Templar (702441) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329525)

Seriously, that's a real question. There's a really good round-table discussion in this month's Playboy about the music industry and how they're running themselves into the ground with this crap. Most everybody - except for the RIAA dick - seems certain that the record industry's days (as we know it) are numbered.

Re:Did anybody read Playboy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10330028)

Is that September of which you speak (need an excuse to restock my bathroom smut)

Why, again? (2, Insightful)

bokmann (323771) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329531)

Why do copyrights need to be longer than 50 years? Not everything is Mickey Mouse... I mean, in 50 years, is Brittany Spears going to be relevant to anyone other than her grandkids?

Copyrights hinder things from becoming 'common' in our culture, and life becomes bland. Imagine if noone knew the words to 'happy birthday' or common Christmas carols...


Re:Why, again? (1)

Bloody Templar (702441) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329597)

If she still fills out a bustier like she does now... Ewww... what am I saying?!

Re:Why, again? (2, Informative)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329747)

Well as it turns out 'Happy Birthday To You' is still copyrighted. For more information head over here [] and read the article. From the looks of it the song will be copyrighted until 2030.

Corporations and copyright (2, Interesting)

upsidedown_duck (788782) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329536)

A thought just occurred to me: why do corporations take ownership of employee's copyrights instead of taking limited exclusive license? It's the employees doing the creating. Why not make Disney pay employees and former employees for continuations of exclusive license, until the copyright formally expires?

Regardless, copyright terms are getting too long. The great masters of 20th century classical music, for example, would gain much greater appreciation if their sheet music were affordable and not artificially jacked up in price by someone who really has no claim to the work.

All copyrights need to die (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329555)

For a primer of anti copyright arguments, I attack some of the main arguments on my web page, see .... Bitter Protest Against Copyrights []

The cost of music... (2, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329578)

There used to be a pretty tried and true idea, that people are willing to pay for what they get. It's not true universally, but it's relatively speaking, pretty true.

I still, suprisingly buy music. I do too, also pirate some, but they are deleted in short order. It's the nature of the industry nowadays -- most artists know they won't last longer than a few years and the goal is to get every penny they can. Look at Metallica, now winding down their career (because it was downhill anyway) -- they started out singing against the 'man', 'halls of justice painted green, money talkin', and then use the same method they preached against to get damages awarded because they don't want to tour as much and have real shitty music they now sell.

But I digress... the music industry can't demand money for what people don't want to pay. Everybody now knows it doesn't cost $15 to make and package a CD, especially with the explosion in technology and the price cuts it has brought for the creation and distribution of everything. When a CD costs pennies to make and distribute, all you are saying is that, when customers don't want to pay the money to buy a CD with 1 good song on it, and further, don't want to pay $1 for a single song because it's missing a 'hard' copy and isn't really a discount well... you are being stubborn and you are going to get nailed. And the industry is getting nailed, by piraters everywhere. If music labels started doing a 'LaunchCast' type service (which I *love*), then all would be well. You subscribe monthly for say, $10.00, and people download and listen to all the music they want.

Re:The cost of music... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329657)

They started out singing against the 'man', 'halls of justice painted green, money talkin'

Started out? That's from the first album on the downhill slope - the album that housed the song for their first video (which pissed off a lot of fans at the time). I think it marks the point at which they noticed that money buys you more than "staying true to the scene" does....

Shame to drop so low, for a band that got 2 albums in the Top100 with _NO_ radio support (Kill Em All and Ride The Lightning)...

Perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way. (4, Insightful)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329579)

There's a saying I'm quite fond of:

Innovation will occur where it's allowed.

I've read-up on all the Lessig arguments [] and I think he's done a good job of understanding and explaining the mechanics of how overzealous copyright law can hinder the development of derivatives. But I have to disagree with his conclusions.

Lessig's arguments, in a nutshell, are that because of draconian copyright law, the culture we would expect to see developing around protected works is not developing.

Maybe he's right, but maybe who cares?

It seems to me that the actions of the RIAA and friends will primarily result in the next generation developing it's own non-derivative culture, and with it, a derivative culture based on it.

Here's one example: the fastest growing software culture right now is not the proprietary software culture where everything is fairly adequately protected, but the free software culture where sharing and derivations are king.

Or consider this: The BBC is investigating the possibility of opening their archives to the world, placing them on the Internet, and allowing anyone who cares to create their own derivative works. If this happens, is there any doube that the next geveration of American kids will enjoy a culture of Dr. Who remakes, and be scarcely familiar with the culture of Friends and (God forbid) it's remakes?

The culture will grow wherever the culture is allowed to grow.

There's plenty of music out there on the internet which the RIAA can't complain about you downloading because the artist has already authorized it. (I don't want to bias anyone, so I won't post links here, but I'll invite replies and follow-up to post their favorite sites.)

What would happen if the onling music sharing community were to declare January, 2005 as Free Music Only month and take a pledge to refuse to offer, download, or purchase any music which isn't Free To Share for 31 days. Would the RIAA notice if all priacy stopped? Would they modify their prices or policies to compensate for the sudden reduction in the behavior they are soo keen to stop?

Would the industry ever recover from the loss of customers to the Free Music culture.

I submit that we don't have to build our culture on top of the one created by the RIAA; that the culture we have created for ourselves is really quite good, and certaintly adequate for our needs.

I'd say let the RIAA keep their worn-out cookie-cutter tunes. Let the culture they created die by their own silly overly-protective rules.

Wouldn't that be ironic; the RIAA, faced with the prospect that their primary market just doesn't care anymore, pleading to reduce copyright terms just so that future genrations will bother to remember them at all?

Policiticans & Activists - END THIS NOW - HERE (4, Insightful)

The Breeze (140484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329604)

I hate taxes.

However, since corporations seem to think that once something is created they should own it forever, make them subject to the same taxes everyone has to pay - if intellectual property is truly property, treat it as such.

In other words, we must all pay taxes if we own real property - it's called the property tax. If you own a vacant lot, you must pay tax every year on it, whether you use it or not.

I hate that. I think it's stupid. I think once you own a piece of real estate, you should own it forever. However, that is the way the world is.

Let's extend it. The MPAA, RIAA & company pretty much have Congress and the Supreme Court bought off one way or another. It's pretty clear we can't fight them directly. So, let's start a campaign to collect intellectual property tax. Force companies to register and maintain title to created works. Give them a twenty year window, from time of first publication, to own the IP free and clear of tax. After twenty years, charge 'em tax if they don't relinquish the copyright to the public domain.

It's drastic. It's yet another stupid tax. On the other hand, it's a potentially huge source of revenue and a way of bypassing the lobbyists and hacks who prevent enforcement of the LIMITED copyrights mentioned in the Constitution. Go to a politician and tell them that the campaign contributions they take in from the copyright holders can't match the goodwill generated by bringing home the pork money that this tax will bring in.

How much will a .5% tax on Mickey Mouse bring into the government till?

Let's do it. Anyone want to work with me to make it happen? It'd be difficult - copyright is usually a Federal issue, but there must be a way to get something done at the state level. Send me email if you're interested.

I'm a conservative Republican. The idea of working to create a new type of tax is hateful to me. Unfortunately, I must conclude the idea of turn the right to think and create freely over to corporations is even more hateful.

-Steve Calabrese

Copyright industries seem unnaturally greedy (3, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329623)

They seem to have no conception of a need to foster public good will, which is just bizarre for a corporate entity. Whenever I think about things like steamboat willy, I just can't help but wonder why Disney didn't release those really old cartoons just to keep old fans happy. Yes, they would lose out on a small amount of revenue, but a company that "gives back" gets a good reputation that can make its future offerings more attractive since it adds a more human face to an otherwise faceless entity.

Re:Copyright industries seem unnaturally greedy (3, Insightful)

multimed (189254) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329953)

Blame it at least in part on the stock market. Executives are not rewarded for the future, they're rewarded of increasing the share price in the short term. Not that good will can't have a positive impact on share price, but it's less so than short-term profits and takes longer.

Though I guess in fairness it's not the market's fault persay--the market does what it's supposed to. But individual shareholders, mutual funds and corporations are driven by not just greed, but instant gratification at the expense of long-term growth.

Can't stop progress (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329651)

The end result is one website where you can download movies/music/books/videogames/tvshows/etc.

Then the public will use it instead of watching TV.

It will also be organized so you can see media that's associated and similar to what you just watched. But really complex logic to make it work.
I go more into it on my website:
I've even heard arguments that the Bible shouldn't be placed online because men own the 'translation'. What they don't realize is that its God's property, not man's. Probably have it online within a year or so.

regards the bible: (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329720)

oh, er, have you not seen the christian holy book at []

(in no way am i advocating or detracting from the use of this resource: just pointing out its there.)

take care.

Non-Innovation (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329656)

From's "about the company" page:
Press Contacts
United States: Peter LoFrumento (
United Kingdom: Adam White (

I think that I will write FAO their boss and state that extending copyrights will stifle innovation. The real talents of the music industry are playing, unknown, in local pubs, and the model that his business has been using is out of date for the technology it is sitting on -- the extension of UK copyright laws to 95 years from creation is only a money-making scam -- and so they will have to find another way to do business.

Lawyers and politicians aren't musicians, don't contribute more than protecting the innocent and chooing how large their slice of the pie is.

A boycott will be offered.

Take care.

What the hell (2, Informative)

hackronym0 (812439) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329676)

The Recording Industries keep mentioning how much money that they have to spend to market their music... Well, let me explain why. If you play a crappy song for me and then ask me if I like it, I'll say no. And if you play a crappy song for me 1000 times, I'll still say I don't like it. BUT..., if you pay people that I or my peers respect to say that they like it and then play it 1000 times, I will LIE and say that I like it.

That is part of their problem, they need to get the songs that people like without any payola. That is what I thought they used to do. That is why so many artists never make it to "big time".

I say, no one buy a damn thing from them because no one really likes their music anyways

like taking quizes, take them for money []

Re:What the hell (2, Interesting)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329974)

Hmm. you may have just hit something important. A lot of it is to do with presentation of particular kinds of music as "cool". People, especially youngsters are herd animals often without a well formed taste of their own. thus they are vulnerable to this pressure. It would be fascinating to know what people would like if they were brought up in a vacuum, with access to all music, but never hearing anyone else's opinion on music. i know it's impossible, but i bet a lot of what's now independant/alternative music would be more popular. you'd probably have more melodic pop and less hip-hop aswell - ? not saying that's necessarily a good thing.

To infinity and beyond! (2, Interesting)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329686)

The recent changes to US copyright were supposedly to conform to the European standards. Now the Euros are supposedly needing to conform to the US standards. Clearly, the intent is to ratchet the period forward inexorably until copyright is effectively perpetual. I had hopes that the US Supreme Court was going to put a stop to this insanity, but noooooo.

What would be nice (2, Interesting)

samberdoo (812366) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329739)

would be that after a certain time period, the artists get 100% of the royalties. I'm sure these companies would be so happy with that.

John Kennedy is infringing copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329745)

Sorry, John Kennedy(TM) is already used.

What a blatant copyright violation by John Kennedy's parents!

Crap... (3, Insightful)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329789)

When will all this stop?

Will it ever lead to a day when we would finally have the MCXCIII compilation of Britney Spears FOREVER and on the case instead of showing a busty Britney, it just shows a mound of dust.

That's what Britney would be in say.. 70 years, the way they keep extending these God damned copyrights.

So what if they spent 10 billion dollars to market that bitch? Other industries (like drug firms/whatever) spent a lot to develop products too, they don't get protection as ridiculous as these (thankfully)

Of course, we can go on and on about boycotting them, but as long as Joe Average doesn't know (or care) about what is happening, it won't even make a dent on the RIAA.

So long "the land of the free", let's all migrate to Nigeria! []

It's All Leapfrog - and we're the suckers!! (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329909)

New IFPI Boss Vows to Extend Recording Copyrights

This is all a stupid game of Leapfrog, taking us all as suckers for a ride. To wit:

1: Increase copyright lengths in the USA.
2: Claim Europe is out of step "with the world" because their copyrights are only 50 years now, instead of life + 75.
3: Increase European copyrights to exceed the "world standard".
4: Claim the USA is now "out of step with the world" because their copyrights aren't as long as the Eurpoean standard.
5: Demand increasing USA copyright terms to exceed European copyrights.
6: PROFIT!!!
7: Goto #1.

I believe whatever copyright existed when a work was created and released to the public should remain in force for that work, and expire on schedule. Clearly that copyright was sufficient to insprie the creation of that work at the time, which is the stated purpose of all copyrights!

You know, the more things get unfair, the less I'm worried about "stealing" music over the Internet. I would not take physical product from a store, but that's a very different thing.

HOWEVER, the music industry has very little to worry about from me because frankly just about nothing today is worth listening to.

Extension? Why Not? (1)

wheatwilliams (605974) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329912)

An extension of the European term to match the US would be particularly damaging to the public domain and efforts such as the Internet Archive as well as increasing the control that the recording industry holds over performers.
An extension would also improve on the currently meager chances that professional songwriters and musicians could actually make income from their labor, over the long term.

Songwriters have to eat and raise children just like the rest of us working stiffs. Very few of them get rich and famous.

mod up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10329951)

bottoms butt. WiFpe private sex party *BSD Has lost more people already; I'm

an off-topic prediction of evil (4, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#10329960)

Music copyrights are being lengthened all the time. Left unchecked, eventually copyright extensions will be subject to diminishing returns, as the body of music grows, 'record' collections expand, there will be less money to be made from music that should have gone to public domain, as less will be 'repurchaced' and more variety will be available.

Many ad agencies, when making a commercial for TV, use music that has not been cleared. When the commercial is ready for production, they have someone record a 'similar' version with different chords or a melody that differs only slightly - enough that it is considered a separate work, and no license is required. Clearing copyright for movies is similar - a license for distribution in a movie is subject to contracts as long as your leg and the price is shooting ever higher.

I predict that the music industry will move to have the mood and 'feel' of a song copyrighted. Just think of the money to be made by copyrighting a genre or production style of music! If the music industry can copyright the 'feel' or production style of a song, they will have what they always wanted - absolute control over who makes and distributes music. Independent songwriters who write a song that has a similar style to the Beatles 'Blackbird' will have to clear the copyright on that 'style'. Bands will be prevented from writing or performing 'a song that sounds like Led Zepplin'.

Yes, it sounds far fetched, yes, it is fraught with loopholes, opinion, and subjectiveness.

But it would make them rich, and it would make them all-powerful.

Watch for it.

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