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Record Labels Unveil Greed 2.0

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pac-man-like-action dept.

Music 571

theodp writes "Unsatisfied with $2.49 ringtones and as much as 70 cents of each 99 cent iTunes download, Newsweek reports that record labels want a bigger cut of digital music profits. One example: If you type in 'Madonna' - a Warner act - at the Google Video site, and the results are accompanied by ads, Warner wants a share of those ad dollars." Even more ridiculous demands than those put forth in previous stories.

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no suprise (4, Insightful)

ramdac (302865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751803)

these pigs are always wanting more money.
That's why all new music acts are nothing more than a 'formula'. everything's over-produced and is total crap.

Re:no suprise (0, Troll)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751872)

Calling RIAA/MPAA pigs / pigopolists: check

New movies / music are formulaic: check

Everything out there is crap: check

I can hardly imagine a post more conforming to the slashbot hive mentality. Congratulations for your rather incisive commentary sir!

Re:no suprise (1, Troll)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751917)

Slamming someone for disagreeing with your world view: check

I can hardly imagine a post more conforming to the slashbot troll mentality. Congratulations for your rather incisive commentary sir!

Re:no suprise (5, Interesting)

killdozer3k (779295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751975)

The answer is simple: Delist Madonna and all the acts in question. Also de-wiki them untill they are paid to list them. Instead point all the references to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The only thing worse than not participating in the profits is to de-googled, de-yahooed, etc. Also close all their blogs. Google could ask for a list of all the names they would like to have stricken from the database. in fact this kind of counter poison should shock the hell out of the music buiz when the major search engines strike them from the internet record. The funniest thing about this is that PR people do everything they can to get people to talk about their star/product/act and then when they do they want to tax it. the reason there is a google is because of advertising.

Re:no suprise (4, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752057)

Indeed; and I can just imagine google -a publicly traded company with shareholders to answer to- is chomping at the bit to deny itself of the revenue that it would be throwing away by playing petty power games with the RIAA. Of course, Yahoo's record when it comes to standing up for what's right (particularly in china) is also exemplary.

Wake me up when someone comes up with a good idea which is also practical and likely to occur.

Re:no suprise (4, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752074)

Yes, you are right. And this is just one thing that is contributing to the mediocrity of popular music. But I'm actually glad to see this. The record companies keep claiming they are protecting royalties for artists, but I don't think there's anyone out there who believes that. Anybody who watches the music business knows artists are making money, but that the big guys are making more. Napster triggered a fear reaction, and now the RIAA is getting carried away with trying to overreact to everything and not just protect their revenue and old business models, but they've gotten so carried away they are overreaching.

That's good. While it might cause higher prices for a while, the more they do this, the more their greed shows, and the closer they get to going too far and finally, through their own actions, forcing the entire industry to collapse -- leaving room for the real artists (not the sex symbols like Spears and such) to actually make a living on the work they create.

The RIAA is irrelevant. (5, Insightful)

bburton (778244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751817)

Artists don't even need labels anymore. It's now feasible for composers to do business directly with online music providers... it doesn't cost much to upload a few megabytes of info. After it's been on iTunes, Napster, or whatever; and has made some money, then produce the CD, using profit money from distributing online.

The only reason the RIAA is useful to new artists is for advertising purposes, which is IMO isn't that great anyways. They are increasingly advertising the the artists they think can make the most money, not necessarily the artists that make the best music.

The only thing they're really doing now is desperately holding on for their survival. If they persuade congress to pass enough laws in their favor maybe they'll stick around for a while...

The RIAA today, is like the horse and buggy businesses when the automobile hit mainstream. They're obsolete.

Go away RIAA, nobody likes you.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (3, Insightful)

romka1 (891990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751842)

I don't think you can get far buy just signing a contract with Itunes to distribute your music... you won't have name recognition, there will be some who will download your music but it won't be a lot of ppl... You need to get your name known and without good budget or good connections you stuck with labels... and especially if all you have is nice body and little vocal talent...

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (4, Insightful)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751857)

In comes MySpace. One of its few actual uses- it is quite good for self promotion.

They need to clean up the interface a bit, and get it stable, but the potential for MySpace to become a big player in promotion of music is huge.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751943)

This is why you have to do what every other musican has ever done. That is tour. No better way to get your name out than that. In fact, that's how most bands do it.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (2, Insightful)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752040)

Hate to tell you, but it is highly doubtful any record label would have heard of you if you didn't already have name recognition. The way to get a contract is to play out a lot, get a name and following for yourself.

However, what you may lost is the ability to play at your local AmphiClearChannelBudweiserSonyTheatre. /shrugs/

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (4, Interesting)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751874)

Studio time is expensive, man. The whole recording process (hiring a producer, studio musicians, whatever you need to get the sound you want) can be really expensive, so until that's no longer an issue there will still be labels around willing to front the cash in return for the potential profits a successful record can generate.

Some day the major labels will be irrelevent, but today is not that day (maybe that's why they're so desperate to maximize their profits in the short term... they know the long term doesn't exist).

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (5, Informative)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751922)

No true at all. There are a ton of small studios around that can and do produce some great sounding music. You can also invest $5K or so in your own equipment and get the sound that you want. People don't have to record to 96Khz+ using Nuemann mics. You can get great results using just Shure stuff. Hell, my favorite stuff from Evanescence [evanescence.com] was done using average stuff. Their engineered stuff sounds.....engineered, and not as good to me.

So, studio time myth is busted. Marketing though is where the RIAA and Labels could help you....

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751993)

Thats a awful example.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752007)

Very true, the possibilities for an independent act are getting greater all the time. But certain albums and acts still rely on the major labels, and as long as that's the case the majors will still have reason to exist.

There's obviously no way I can argue that great independent acts are doing amazing things with music, things that the major labels wouldn't take a gamble on (groups like The Books come to mind). But there are still acts that require the major label money (be they teeny bopper or epic pop/rock/rap whatever).

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752053)

Ever heard of touring? Bands that tour make a LOT more money and get great exposure. It's not as easy as going into the studio but it works. All they need is a booking agent, an RV or two, and that don't mean a big record label. Without a label it might take longer to get to the top but when you get there YOU make the biggest cut of the money not the label.

Major labels gamble all the time on talent, most of the time they are WRONG. Which is why no one buys the crap they put out at the assinine prices they want. If they had TALENTED artists people would not gripe so much about the costs.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (0)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751926)

home recording is getting better and cheaper every day.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751990)

It definitely is, but there are certain kinds of music which simply can't be recorded without a serious budget, and the major record companies are the only place to get that kind of cash.

And obviously record-company-made acts (Britney Spears, whatever) rely on the hype machine/music writing infrastructure to make their careers possible.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751882)

Well, I think we DO need the RIAA. For example, if you write a hit song, and someone else TAKES it......what happens to you? The RIAA has strict licensing rules for songs. That is a good thing. You can protect your stuff through them.

However, the RIAA is completely failed to grasp the digital music stuff. They should stick to the iTunes type model and offer songs for $0.99 (US). That is generally what everyone wants to pay per song. They should also offer EVERYTHING they have available online. If they want to charge more, then they should offer higher bit rate versions for more.

As for promoting artists, do we really need another ASHLEY SIMPSON? No. Do we need more Americal Bozo artists (Idol)? No.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (2, Interesting)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751938)

If someone steals your IP you deal with it in the courts, not through some trade organization. The RIAA doesn't even have the infrastructure to deal with those situations, they're only concern is making sure the recording companies get money for every possible use of a song (or 'to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality' (from their website)).

And honestly, how much more can they charge per song? I found a lossless online store (finally) a few days ago, and they charge a minimum of $1.29 a track PLUS a $50 annual fee. That works out to way more than just buying the CD (in all it's lossless, archived, liner-noted, cover-arted glory). Honestly, CDs are enough of a rip off as it is, there simply isn't enough room to increase the price of a 30 minute album any more than the already inflated cost...

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (4, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751941)

For example, if you write a hit song, and someone else TAKES it......what happens to you?

You're confusing the RIAA with organizations such as ASCAP or BMI, among others that do the actual protecting.

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (0, Troll)

melikamp (631205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751961)

Well, I think we DO need the RIAA. For example, if you write a hit song, and someone else TAKES it...

Am I missing something here? By "someone", you must mean RIAA, right?

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752027)

No no, I mean if you write a song, and some other "artist" gets it and makes a hit of it. Is that fair? Or if they use it in a Remix, and make it a hit, is that fair?

Re:The RIAA is irrelevant. (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751996)

For example, if you write a hit song, and someone else TAKES it......what happens to you?

You know, I'm totally against stealing other people's stuff, but I think your comment hits the nail on the head as to what is wrong with the entertainment industry today. It used to be that people produced content because they loved what they did, and they were more concerned about the quality of what they were producing than how much money they were making. Today's mainstream music and movies really lack any serious passion because they're intended to bring in a revenue stream. (Star Wars Episode III would be the poster child for this kind of mentality.) Most of the interesting stuff out there comes in through independent channels. So I'd make the argument that we don't need the RIAA because we want something more than they're willing to give us. If you really want quality, you're probably better of investing your cash in your local performing arts. I doubt you'd see Ashley Simpson in a play at your neighborhood theater.

Boon for some, bust for others (3, Informative)

aztektum (170569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751992)

The problem for todays new pop stars is that they really aren't musicians in the first place. They rely on the up front $$ that the record companies throw into marketing them, paying for talent coaches and producing the hell out of their music so their cd's sound good.

That said, I agree that online distribution is a boon for independent musicians that are in fact actual artists.

Thats good news (3, Insightful)

romka1 (891990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751822)

The more of this claims the better... They will cross the line very soon and will be hit back with lots of lawsuites. Leaving them no money to sue regular people

Stop listening? (3, Insightful)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751826)

I have a serious question. If people are tired of the record companies, why don't they just stop listening for a while and find other forms of entertainment? Wouldn't the most effective way of sending the message that these guys are being jerks be to stop buying music? This isn't like gas, where a "boycott" means that you just delay your purchase a few days. Put enough economic pressure on the studios and artists and maybe things will change.

Re:Stop listening? (2, Informative)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751870)

Because this is "below the radar" of most consumers who wouldn't seriously care anyway, because life is very complicated, and they have other things that they percieve as more important to care about. Seriously, the "average" person just shrugs and expects it as the normal course of things.

Re:Stop listening? (4, Insightful)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751873)

The problem with this strategy is that it relies on a relevent amount of listeners to quit listening. I doubt most people are informed or just don't care.

Re:Stop listening? (5, Funny)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751885)

I won't be surprised when they start suing boycotters for causing a drop in CD sales.

Re:Stop listening? (2, Informative)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751895)

Because we're the nerds that know that this crap is going on. Regular Susan and Average Joe don't know about this nor do they care.
If anyone is going to stand up to them and make a difference, it's the artist. Without the artist, they have no content.

I think I may be serious that one day, you won't be able to hum or sing a tune without paying a fee.
I mean look at 'Happy Birthday to You'. Royalties have to be paid if it is broadcasted or distributed in any fashion.

Re:Stop listening? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751912)

If people are tired of the record companies, why don't they just stop listening for a while and find other forms of entertainment? Wouldn't the most effective way of sending the message that these guys are being jerks be to stop buying music?

You seem to be equating "stop listening" and "stop buying". As far as I can see, lots of people have stopped buying but continue to listen. I'm one of them.

Back in my Uni days when I was a poor student, I used to download music illegally all the time. I used to follow it up with actually buying the CDs of the artists I liked though.

These days, despite owning a business and having lots of disposable income, I download music illegally... and don't buy the CDs. I'm not giving money to abusive arseholes like that. Given that they won't see my money either way, my illegal downloading is ethically neutral (I don't upload), so I might as well enjoy the music I like.

Put enough economic pressure on the studios and artists and maybe things will change.

Haven't you been paying attention? People have been putting pressure on the studios and artists, and things have changed. We now have the DMCA, NET and other horrible pieces of legislation. Remember - it's cheaper and lower risk for the RIAA et al to pay off (sorry, lobby) duly elected representatives than it is for them to change their business model.

Re:Stop listening? (5, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751915)

Because the people are stupid and weak. I know that sounds harsh but it's true. The corporations know how to make you want things, they know how to manipulate you down to the last detail. They don't spend billions of dollars in advertising and research for nothing.

Just go ahead and try to get people to boycott anything, I dare you. All a corporation has to do is to pay some TV or radio personality to call you a communist, cancer, zealot, hippie or a radical and boom they have taken care of the situation.

Look at slashdot, look at how often the shills call people who use linux or program in open source zealots and hippies? It happens every day. Your average joe does not want to go through life being called a zealot or a communist, he has been tought to reflexivey hate zealots and communists even though he probably could not define communist if his life depended on it.

Re:Stop listening? (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751919)

Because you're talking to the entitlement generation. They are owed good music on their terms. The world owes them whatever they want, whenever they want it.

Re:Stop listening? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751953)

Most people aren't tired of the record companies. Most people who know and care are tired of the record companies, but a fair amount of others pay the whole debate no mind. Just think of all the things you don't know or care about.

Maybe the more online-savvy generations will have more interest in the more relevant issue of copyright... or maybe they won't. A lot of people don't run into the limits of things like RIAA and the law, and a lot of people who do just "download something off the Internet" to fix the problem without knowing or paying mind to the political and legal undertones involved.

Re:Stop listening? (1)

Xeo 024 (755161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751991)

The problem with boycotting is that the RIAA will cry "lost profits" and have yet another "reason" to blame and sue people who download music.

Unless done on an extremely large scale, it simply won't work.

Since you brought it up... (1)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752048)

I think that market pressures are exerting change on the music industry. We're just seeing some of the last efforts to capitalize on business models that are outmoded.

Meanwhile... the oil thing... there are some legitimate reasons we are paying more for oil... I still think that we are paying too much. The price of the crude commodity is up maybe 33% from last year. 20% of our refining capacity has been effected by recent events... But we're looking at 100% price increase on the finished product from last year...There is no real incentive for any one company to lower their prices right now, increase refining capacity, etc. This is a hypothetical situation...

What if we stopped buying from the largest oil company inside the US? What is we stopped buying any gasoline from only Exxon Mobile? Would their supplies increase enough and their profits drop enough to make them want to lower their prices to draw customers back?

It's something that I don't know enough to comment on, but I'd love to hear from someone with a degree in economics.

I think that we need to change our habits in this country, but I also think that it's perfectly fair for us to fight back as consumers and exert our buying power to change things on the short term too. It is way over simplified, but it's like AOL getting it's ass kicked for offering internet access at $20, and others offering nearly the same product at $15, $10, or less. Eventually AOL, Exxon, Warner Music or any other business is left with a choice... adapt... or die.

Of course it may be even worse for the giant to die, but I'd be willing to see what poking it with a pointy stick does...

Re:Stop listening? (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752089)

Because with one or two exceptions, boycotts never fucking work; that's why.

Particularly in this case; the people who need to join the boycott (jane and joe six pack, the artists) either don't give half a rats' ass or have damned good reasons not to.

Wow... (2, Insightful)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751829)

I cant believe this. Its absurd. Are they going to be demanding money when I whistle a tune in my local supermarket while I'm shopping for groceries?

Whats even worse is that some dumbass company is going to capitulate and then they'll all be forced to cave.

Re:Wow... (5, Funny)

toriver (11308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751864)

Why not? After all, they demand royalties from people who sing "Happy Birthday" in a restaurant.

http://www.unhappybirthday.com/ [unhappybirthday.com]

Re:Wow... (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752021)

Unhappy Birthday is a grassroots project run by citizens who are outraged by rampant copyright infringement in today's society -- particularly in relation to the song Happy Birthday.

Nice link. I cannot figure out if these guys are serious.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751987)

Are they going to be demanding money when I whistle a tune in my local supermarket while I'm shopping for groceries?

Well, it will be much more easy and transparent that you think. Here's how it will work:

  1. You buy a whistling license from a music provider. Cultural content clearinghouses may offer good deals and bundles on those licenses which really simplify the matters
  2. You get non-exclusive, non-transferable rights to whistle every tune of their catalog for up to five hours per week in front of audiences of 0-99 persons
  3. The license is renewd automatically every year unless you wish to quit the licensing agreement.
  4. ????
  5. Profit !

It's quite harmless and a good way to prevent culture stealing in public places IMHO.

ASCAP Fees for public music listening. (1)

Chronos56 (652646) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752036)

They already do! If you use background music in an area with something like 50 or more people listening to it then you have to pay an ASCAP fee! Many a restaurant and bar have been nailed for not paying. Talk about legal extortion.

Too late. That dumbass company's name is Yahoo. (2, Informative)

mbius (890083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752041)

Whats even worse is that some dumbass company is going to capitulate and then they'll all be forced to cave.

TFA: "Labels scored a victory in music videos, however, after a battle that was sparked by the grandson of Doug Morris, Universal Music's CEO. Early this year Morris noticed his grandson repeatedly watching a video of 50 Cent, a Universal artist, for free. Morris investigated and discovered his labels were supplying the videos free of charge to promote record sales. Yet Yahoo, AOL and other sites were awash in ad revenue because of the huge audiences the videos helped draw (recently Yahoo CEO Terry Semel revealed that Yahoo expects to stream 5 billion videos this year.) Morris demanded payments--a fee for each time a Universal Music video was played and a cut of the ad money. Yahoo balked, and Morris pulled Universal's videos. After weeks of declining traffic, Yahoo capitulated. One Universal Music exec estimates revenue from the new agreement to be worth $10 million or more to the company. Warner Music is now trying to extend the concept to the emerging video-search business."

Why not? (3, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751837)

Why not? Why shouldn't they? Wait, then maybe every little click ad revenue here on Slashdot should go to whatever company is advertising, regardless if someone spends the money on the actual product. Yeah, that makes sense. NOT.

I think the record labels need to get a grip. Their product is music. If someone BUYS music, they should get some profit. If a commerical company uses the music in something (Ad, radio), they should get some profit. If someone uses the music in a remix, they should get some profits. If someone puts it on a Blog or Webpage, and makes money off it, they should get some of the profits.

But to say that if someone types in Madonna, or Backdoor Boys, and they get some of the ad revenue is insane. I suppose FORD motor company would want the same thing. Or Nike, or Coke, or....everyone.

Re:Why not? (1)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752047)

or Backdoor Boys

I'm going to assume that you were just making fun of their name and not having a Freudian moment ;)

stunned (2, Interesting)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751851)

i now I shouldnt be, but I am stunned
I was about to go out and buy most of Sade's discography.
I wish to hell we could just pay the artist directly.

Re:stunned (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751973)

You can. Just download the music and then mail the artist cash. I dare them not to spend it.

Desperation (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751859)

Hardly surprising -- the record labels are, basically, distributors. They're staring at the fact that their distribution role is going away and so they're grabbing at every conceivable revenue source.

Soft of like the definition of a fanatic: they're redoubling their efforts as they lose sight of their purpose.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751954)

Their distribution role has already gone, they had plenty of opportunity to corner the online distribution market and they blew it. If I were a shareholder, I'd be asking serious questions of the executives about now.

Re:Desperation (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751959)

It would be nice to see the mp3/cd companies start up "labels" of their own. What would happen if Apple started a side company devoted to doing an on-line version of "American Idol"? It might get names out there and simply take down the big labels very quickly.

Wrong (3, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751862)

I wasn't looking for the pop singer, I was looking for Ze Fallen Madonna With Ze Big Boobies. There are group names with different meanings outside the music empire, how are they going to differentiate?

I'm disgusted once more.

Re:Wrong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751918)

ROFLMAO! I haven't heard an 'Allo 'Allo reference for years! Damn.. back come the childhood memories in a major flash-flood...

DEAR RIAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751871)

Stuff my big dick in your little butthole, OHG I just came.

Must be the iPOD nano I stuck in Madonna's pussy last week.

In other news (0, Redundant)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751878)

Sun rises in the east, water is still wet.

Seriously did anyone think that an industry that starts by screwing their own wouldn't also be out to screw everyone else ?

Take a look at how the industry has operated in the past. If reality doesn't suit it bribe legislators write laws that make reality more amenable. If even otherwise law abiding people recoil at these self serving pieces of legislation, then start suing your customers. If your customers have the temerity to fight back step up the lawsuits.

The only element of interest or doubt in this story is when they will bring in thei captive legislators to write laws that make things go their way.

People rely too much on TV for information (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751884)

The reason why the RIAA/MPAA are able to get away with this (and with draconian copyright laws) is because people rely too much on TV for information. Al Gore this week did a speech [algore-08.com] explaining that Americans watch television, on average, 4 hours and 28 minutes every day--90 minutes more than the world average. Americans base their opinions on what they see on TV--not what they hear on the internet, not what they read in the newspaper (since they generally don't read the newspaper).

The people in charge of TV are not about to describe accurately what the new copyright laws are doing to the American people, or the extent of greed that the media conglomerates have. When people are spoon fed information on TV, they get information from a biased source.

My suggestion: Get rid of your TV. Get your friends to get rid of their TVs. Go outside or go on the internet to get information.

Re:People rely too much on TV for information (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751955)

Oh yeah, now that is a great idea. "Go on the internet for information".

How about people put away the TV, and read some books?? Take some classes at a community college or something? How about doing something to educate themselves. You can't believe anything you read today. You need to have and be able to find multiple sources to verify something. And you need to be educated to know how to do that, and how to "read between the lines".

Newsflash: company seeks to make money (0)

fname (199759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751888)

Chill. This particular issue is being spun way out of scope. If Yahoo! makes money by showing videos, why shouldn't the record companies (and the artits) get a cut? Is this so shocking? In a perfect world, we'd get to watch all this stuff for free, record companies would get nothing and Google would profit and we'd all be happy!

Get real. Google shows music videos for free. They show ads, for which they receive money. Record company says, hey, if you're making money on this, let's get a cut! This has nothing to do with searching for Madonna on Google when you're not watching a video. It's about getting a cut of the money Google receives for showing ads while we watch the Madonna video. What's the BFD? Blowing issues like this out of proportion makes the whole crowd sound like a bunch of idiots when we're talking about the real issues (Betamax, broadcast flag, industry lawsuits).

Read the article, think about it, and decide whether this is really such a big deal.

Re:Newsflash: company seeks to make money (2, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751999)

It is a big deal. They already are making money for each video that Yahoo shows. What they want now is a cut of AD REVENUE. This would be like Ford Motors bullying Yahoo for every piece of ad revenue for every search of "Ford Mustang", regardless if they actually BUY anything. Totally not right. They, the RIAA, are selling a product. Music videos, music, CDs, digital music. This does not entitle them to make money off someone elses ads. It's insane.

And if you don't agree, then you need to take down the daily dose of Kool-Aid.

Don't forget: Google is "good" not "evil". (0)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751901)

A Google spokesman wouldn't comment on any talks with record labels, but did say the company believes music companies should profit from their content. Generally, "that's what we are working on," the spokesman said. "We are in the early stages now."

Don't forget: Google is "good" not "evil".

It's Simple, They Want Everything They Can Get (2, Insightful)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751904)

Records companies are often called greedy, and that's probably true. However, they do have a responsibility to the sharehoders to get everything that they can get in order to return maximum profits. Basically, that boils down to what they will charge whatever the market will bear.

If you sold your car, you'd probably choose to sell it to whoever would pay you the most money. Same with your house.

But at the end of the day, consumers have a choice. Music is a product that you really do not need, and it is a luxury. The way to get the music companies to charge less is to buy less, and let the marketplace force them to charge a price that consumers find more reasonable. That's also part of the equation of 'what the marketplace will bear.'

absurd (4, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751907)

By Warner's logic, publishers should be paid everytime one of their books comes up in a search on Google, or Amazon.com, or even in a library catalog. That's ridiculous. The publishers aren't providing the service here. In fact, they're the ones who benefit - they're getting free advertising. This is more than trying to get the most profit from what you own - now they're demanding handouts from their benefactors and customers.

The other way around? (3, Insightful)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751927)

Shouldnt the labels be paying google for the advertising, not google paying them to advertise? Google doesnt make any money, intrinsicly, by advertising. They get money from those that they advertise FOR.

SO, if the labels wanted money from the adds, then Google could just drop the adverts that were music related.

Some wierd logic there.

They'll want a cut of the profits from this post (5, Funny)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751929)

Madonna! Madonna madonna madonna madonnamadonna madonna madonna. Madonnamadonnamadonna! Madonna, madonna madonna. Madonna madonna madonna... Madonna madonna; madonna madonna madonna madonna. "Madonna? Madonnamadonna Madonna madonna madonna." (Madonna madonna madonna: madonna madonna.)

Lameness filter encountered. Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

What I do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751935)

is download all the music I listen to (for free, fo course), and then donate to the artist directly as much as I see fit.

This way, the moneys go directly to the people who deserve them, and there's no shit in between like RIAA's fat greedy hands.

This is great news! (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751937)

And the record companies surely are giving that additional profits from sales and ad revenue generated by the videos back to the artists who pay for their production from their cut of album sales... right? Otherwise such a thing would be horribly immoral, the equivalent of selling something you don't own... right?

This will go great with all of the checks the RIAA must be sending to artists from the illegal download lawsuit revenues.

Truly, this is a wonderful time to be a musician.

I, for one, welcome our new GREEDY overlords! (1)

AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751939)

1. For every pair of lips in my family, lest they sue them for whistling a RIAA-owned tune.
2. For every shower in my house, as my wife sings when talking a shower.
3. For every pair of ears, lest I walk past a friends listening to his collection of MP3s that I haven't paid to listen.
4. I will send 10 euro for each MP3 in my iPod that I ripped from my brother-in-law's CD collection.
5. Whenever I hear/shout 'f$ck U greedy son of a gun!", because that should only be directed to RIAA members.

No problem... (2, Funny)

RavenChild (854835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751947)

"If you type in 'Madonna' - a Warner act - at the Google Video site, and the results are accompanied by ads, Warner wants a share of those ad dollars."

What's the big fuss over something like this? The income from searches for 'Madonna' would be trace.

The value of a brand (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751957)

This story seems to have less to do with digital music as with the industry trying to claim that the artist is a brand, whose very name is valuable. As such it continues a line from the guys who have sued Google in the past trying to keep them from selling Ad Words to competitors. And if this works for the music industry it may spread to other people-brands: movie stars, NASCAR drivers, etc.

The RIAA's business is making people famous. Anybody can make,produce, and distribute music, but it takes a major corporation to sell a gold record's worth of music. Even after carefully selecting the artists that they think will be worth the investment they fail much more often than they succeed, so they feel compelled to milk those artists who do succeed. Not for their music per se, but for the fame of their brand, which is the one thing that they've added to the mix.

It sounds like the RIAA is trying to buy themselves a Supreme Court fight on the subject of fair use. Not about the usual question of whether you can make backups or play it in on your Linux box, but at what point a tiny fragment of a brand (like a name in a search engine) becomes usable by the public without charge. That decision will end up affecting a lot more than the music industry. There are other people-as-brands, as well as more classic product brands. I'm sure other industries will be watching this closely.

Incidentally, that's why they're so zealous in trying to eliminate music sharing. They feel that the reason you want that music is precisely because they created you wanting it. That is, there's lots and lots and lots of music available, but you want the RIAA's music because they spent a buttload of money coaxing you into wanting it: getting it onto radio stations, putting posters in music stores, TV ads, etc.

There are plenty of people who don't like the blandness of the lowest-common denominator music that the RIAA promotes, and in theory the RIAA has no argument with those people sharing the non-label music, except they get caught up in the general sweep of things. I suspect (but don't have any numbers) that most of the P2P-shared music is RIAA-produced music precisely because the RIAA labels have put so much effort into promoting it. Tiny local bands would be thrilled to think that you knew enough about their music to go to the effort of downloading it.

Uhhh... Newsweek? (1)

happymedium (861907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751968)

Everything the mainstream media says about technology is at best misleading and oversimplified, and at worst outright bullshit. This is part of what I come to Slashdot to AVOID.

Some choice nonsense from TFA:

"The music industry is filled with creative types, and many seem to be wearing suits these days."


"Who can blame music execs for wanting to play offense?"

Way to defend the status quo, Newsweek. Who can blame the execs? Consumers, musicians, other companies... basically everyone. 99% of Slashdot rightly believes that the old music business model is dead. Why bother with an article that assumes otherwise?

Greedy, Clever Types (-1, Flamebait)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751972)

The music people are greedy and clever -- like this guy, Bronfman [forward.com] -- he's descended from Jewish bootleggers (organized criminals).

These people are very smart, and they want their money. E.g. they want that Google should pay them a cut of search-related ads.

You might think it is the height of chutzpah, but really, these are just greedy, Talmudic entertainment bosses who are used to living off the creative efforts of others. E.g. first the jazzmen, then rock n' rollers, and now "urban" musicians.

I think it's time for my favorite song verse.... (1)

Khan (19367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751979)

To the RIAA, MPAA and all other corporate thieves:

FUCK YOU! I won't do what ya tell me! (repeat 4 times)
Motherfuckerrrr! UnG! UnG! UnG!

Hugs & kisses,

Re:I think it's time for my favorite song verse... (1)

Poietes (753035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752038)

Ironic perhaps, but I think you'll find that that particular album was released by the RIAA. link [magnetbox.com]

That'll be five bucks please.

- The RIAA.

Works (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751984)

Its obvious that the music execs feel that if their company puts it out, then they are entitled to money even if it is so much as mentioned or thought of.

If they could fit us all with mindreaders and secure microphones with AI, they'd charge us everytime we thought of a tune too close to an existing song.

Welcome to US Capitalism 101 (4, Interesting)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751989)

It's no secret that corporations are greedy and will do anything they can to increase their wealth. Them charging more for music is minor compared to the grand scheme of things.

The wealth has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is the poor below. They talk of trickle economics for the the poor getting money from the wealthy, but it's quite the reverse. Wealth, often in the form of labor, flows from the bottom up. If not, they wouldn't be so rich.

To back this stance, it is worth nothing that the wealthiest wealthy grew wealthier between 2003 and 2004, partially thanks to tax cuts. The poor, however, became poorer. During that time period the number of Americans living in poverty grew by 1.4 million. Source: this CNN article [cnn.com].

I'm not an advocate of pure communism, but what we have today isn't really capitalism, it's a crappy corporate welfare system that intentionally pisses on the poor.

I have one word... (2, Funny)

Biomechanical (829805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751997)

Which I'd love to tell the music company executives, and all those that might admire them. It's a simple word, at first inoffensive if you don't know the meaning, and can be shouted in anger without losing the basic sound of the word.

The word is "Garn".

It means "Go and get fucked.", from "go and" being said shortly to "go'an", then altered via the australian accent into the word "garn".

The long of it is "garn get fucked", and the shorthand "garn" can used when you just need to say something snappy without being misheard, or offending little old ladies.

So, to the RIAA, and all those affiliated,

"I'm never paying you fuckers a single cent from now on. Those two Ministry albums - Animositisomina, and Houses of the Mole' - I just bought were IT, the end of the line. I am going to download any music I want to listen to, and I'm going to send the purchase price, or import price, directly to the artist via a money order."

"Garn. Garn! GARN! Sideways! With walnuts!"

Madonna a Warner act? (4, Insightful)

bokmann (323771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752001)

And what if I'm searching for paintings of the Madonna? [euroweb.hu] How are they going to differentiate?

This greed is fucking rediculous... If I am searching for their Madonna, well, they will probably make a cut of whatever I find that I might buy from that search. Hell - if I'm searching for that Madonna, I am probably already interested enough in her to own a CD or two, so they already have some of my money in their pockets. Am I going to have to pay them if I mention Madonna in my blog? Isn't that fair use? Why should I pay for any mismatches that might come up? Whats next? Should I pay for the privilege of looking at billboards when I drive along the interstate?

Why? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752004)

All I read on /. is that the RIAA are bastards and they should be dead or whatever, but can anyone tell me in detail /why/ they act like this? I mean, greed is one thing, but I find it impossible to believe that this organization consists of total lunatics only. So there must be a good explanation as to why they act like this.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13752076)

The RIAA are a bunch of lunatic thugs without a valid business model who seek to decieve anybody stupid enough to listen to them.

Wild thought (1, Funny)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752058)

How long until the music industry machine decides that, like software, music that can be played on computers should be priced according to the number of processors decoding it?

"Your CD player, that's a single charge of $13.99, but thanks to our new DRM you can't play it on your computer without running this setup program first. Two processors? Okay, we'll cut you a deal, because we're nice guys like that. $21.99 instead of $27.98. Oh, I see you have the Sharpie discount . . ."

And you expected?... (0, Offtopic)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752064)

Considering the schoool system, and the media, how would you expect the American consumer to be anything but midless sheep?

If it wasn't for all those mindless sheep buying tons of things they didn't need, the entire world economy would collapse, that's just a fact. Poeple don't need that much really, and most of that is automated.

So thank your local sheep, thanks to them YOU have a job.

Ver 3.0 (2, Funny)

mmdurrant (638055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752065)

Coming next from the RIAA...

They'll want royalties from people singing (I typed sinking first - Freudian slip?) their songs at karaoke bars. And since the music contributes to people having a good time and buying more drinks, they should get a cut of the bartenders' tips as well.

A musician's perspective (4, Insightful)

calhawk (921611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752069)

As a musician this topic always interests me. I for one have heard almost nothing good about the "industry," and I personally have no interest in taking part in its creativity-killing machinations. In today's corporate environment creating unique and excellent music is nearly impossible. Artists from all genres are all saying the same thing: the industry is a perennially negative influence on the creation of great music. Even Bono recently stated that he didn't think U2 would exist if they had started up in the last few years, as opposed to 20 years ago. The fundamental concept that salesmen and business executives don't understand is that, in the long run, it's in everyone's financial interests to move music in new, creative directions. However, being the good bottom-line minded people they are, the tend to look towards short term gains. Of course they have a very successful formula for the short term, based mainly on leveraging the market using their significant financial resources. A poster earlier mentioned that the RIAA is irrelevant. This is entirely true. No musician, short of perhaps a symphony orchestra, needs a $500/hour studio, needs an army of producers and engineers, needs a multi-national advertising firm. Thanks mostly to computers and increasingly cheap technology, each and every musician can achieve the same recording results, the same packaging and the same press materials as a record label can. It's not rocket science. Of course one has to have the desire to do this stuff, but once you've got that it's smooth sailing and the results that can be achieved are truly remarkable. I would encourage everyone here to explore non-corporate-sanctioned means of getting music directly from the artists. In the coming years we will see a flood of musicians from all genres offering the same products as the major labels, but without the middleman. Forget iTunes and go the artist's site and use their download service - I have one on my site. Order a CD straight from the source. This is best for the artists and you know that your purchase will go directly to supporting the music and musicians that you love and admire.

Ringtones are expensive because of carriers (2, Informative)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752075)

It is not the record labels that make ringtones expensive. Typically around 50% of the cost of the ringtone goes directly to the phone carrier. Some charge as high as 60%.

Most ringtones fees are billed directly to a user's cellphone bill. This dramatically increases sales because people buy more impulsively. To have this privilege, companies that sell ringtones must give a MAJORITY of the revenue from the sale directly to the cellphone company itself.

Of the remaining dollar, about 20 cents goes to aggregators that provide SMS/PSMS (premium sms... billing messages) integration (the guys who let you send text messages to cellphone networks.)

Of the 80 cents that remains after that, 20 cents will usually go to the content providers... or, for the lucky ones who have the resources to create and managing the licensing of their own ringtones, they get to keep that 20 cents.

Around 30 cents of the remaining 60 to 80 cents go to the record labels.

In the end, the people who actually run the ringtone site get between 30 and 50 cents per ringtone sold. Minus advertising. (Which is almost always a LOT more than 30 to 50 cents per sale.)

That is why almost all ringtone sites sell subscriptions, not single ringtones. They're hoping you don't use all your ringtones that come with your monthly subscription, and that you continue your subscription for more than one month. Otherwise, it's just not profitable.

But the point is that record labels only get between 10% and 15% of the cost of a ringtone. Of that 10% - 15%, the artists get some portion. (Usually 2% to 5%.) It's the carriers that take the VAST majority of the money.

If you want ringtones to be cheaper, bitch to the cellphone companies not the record labels.

Good (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752079)

Pretty soon, someone will come along and offer:

- a better deal to Google and Yahoo
- a better deal to the artists
- a better deal to Apple
- a better deal to CD buyers
- a better deal to concert-goers
- a better deal to satelite radio
- and better music with better terms for the consumers

and they'll still be able to make a nice profit.

The slow decline of the old record companies will accelerat, Madonna will turn 75-years-old, and Warner and Sony BMG will have to shut their doors.

A google ad is "adjacent space" (2, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752094)

The notion that record labels should share in advertising revenue from keyword searches is to confuse the ownership of intellectual property with the concept of "adjacent space".

Adjacent space is frequently sold at a premium in multiple mediums, from supermarket shelf-space, to tradeshow booth-placement, to partial-page magazine advertising. Wherever a premium brand is located, the neighboring advertising- or product-space increases in value. If a record store puts Sarah Q. Smith's album on a shelf next to Madonna's new album, the record store is effectively using Madonna to promote the sale of Sara Q. Smith. But this is very different from capitalizing on Madonna's intellectual property. This is capitalizing on *Madonna's market*, which is something Madonna does not own, control or have rights to.

Likewise Google's use of adjacent space, ie: space neighboring Madonna's relevant links, is Google's own affair. It is Google's effort to target Madonna's market -- which is as old a phenomenon as the outdoor marketplace.

The entertainment industry needs to get a reality check on the scope and limits of IP.

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