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RIAA Admits 70 Cent Price is 'In the Range'

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the range-of-terror dept.

Music 210

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In its professed battle to protect the 'confidentiality' of its 70-cents-per-download wholesale price, the RIAA has now publicly filed papers in UMG v. Lindor in which it admits that the 70-cents-per-download price claimed by the defendant is 'in the range'.(pdf) From the article: 'The pricing data really may not be all that secret. Late in 2005, former New York Attorney General (and current Governor) Eliot Spitzer launched an investigation into price fixing by the record labels, alleging collusion between the major labels in their dealings with the online music industry. Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would 'implicate [sic] very real antitrust concerns' as the labels are not supposed to share contract information with one another ... Beckerman argues in a letter to the judge that the only reason the labels want to keep this information confidential is to 'serve their strategic objectives for other cases,' which he says does not rise to the legal threshold necessary for a protective order. The proposed order would force the labels to turn over contracts with their 12 largest customers. Most details--such as the identities of the parties--would be kept confidential, but pricing information and volume would not.'"

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210 comments

it's the opposite of trustworthy.... (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466378)

Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would 'implicate [sic] very real antitrust concerns'

Well, if there's one thing record labels have an abundancy of, it's anti-trust.

Re:it's the opposite of trustworthy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468264)

Same story again...
2c. iF U Cee Kate tell her I wont be there.

ps.Slashbot give us a brake pleeease..............

Pricing Comparison (5, Insightful)

Ided (978291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466458)

If you take a step back and put this into perspective you are able to really get a clear picture of how much money this companies are making on a per track basis. If they are charging .70 to music retailers then consider the following: .99 = iTunes (cheaper if CD is purchased) .93 = CD of 15 songs priced at $16 I recently came across an article suggesting that artists on average get paid around .25 per song. This computes into an estimated profit of roughly .45 per song. Of course compute that into a couple of million songs sold for one major artist and you're looking at $900,000 in profit for the record company. Not to shabby for one major artist. The point being I still see plenty of reports of artists selling this many records on a regular basis. I would find it difficult to do much complaining about profit loss when I am bringing in something like that from one person. All the smaller artists you have can cover costs.

Re:Pricing Comparison (5, Informative)

x3rc3s (954149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466554)

No matter how many more songs there are on a disc, an album is nearly always defined as containing 10 songs in a recording contract. And payment is based on that figure to the artist, which means the labels do a good deal better on CD sales than online downloads, though that doesn't account for materials costs I suspose.

Re:Pricing Comparison (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466816)

.93 = CD of 15 songs priced at $16

Oops, I think you meant CD of 16 songs priced at $15. And even then it's $0.94, not $0.93. A CD of 15 songs priced at $16 is $1.07.

Re:Pricing Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467304)

And even then it's $0.94, not $0.93

I'm an elephant, you insensitive clod!

Re:Pricing Comparison (3, Informative)

hawg2k (628081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466938)

$0.45 per song sounds high, but if you think about all that they take care of (advertising, risk of producing your album (which if it's your first could be a total loser bringing in no money), etc.), it doesn't sound too rediculous.

I can't recall where I got this from (TV show, news article?), so it could be wrong, but I think if you're a new "up and commer" artist, your cut is ~ $0.02 - $0.03. And I can't remember if that was per song or per CD! Again these numbers may not be exact, but it puts the RIAA cut back into what I'd call the ridiculous %.

Britney Spears may be getting $0.45 per song, but she probably didn't get near that much on her first couple of albums. Most artists make their money on tour.

Re:Pricing Comparison (5, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466986)

$0.45 per song sounds high, but if you think about all that they take care of (advertising, risk of producing your album (which if it's your first could be a total loser bringing in no money), etc.), it doesn't sound too rediculous.

As I understand it, the production and advertising costs are usually recouped from the artists before they get a cut. In other words, those costs come out of the artists' $0.25, not out of the label's $0.45.

Re:Pricing Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467444)

In other words, those costs come out of the artists' $0.25, not out of the label's $0.45.

Before anyone starts thinking this is inherently unfair, consider that the costs involved were already incurred by the record label, before they made any money on the record at all.

Re:Pricing Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467702)

Yeah, bribing all those politicians to get your laws passed isn't cheap.

Re:Pricing Comparison (2, Insightful)

nolife (233813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468084)

But how much of this "cost" is self induced by the record industry itself?
Payola, ticket master, law suits, lobbying, Harry Fox? (or who knows how many other licensing and reproductions agencies) and I'm sure there are many more.

The RIAA wants to only have to promote (or make successful) several different people per genre of music per year. That way they can concentrate the spending on those select few and get a better return on investment. There will always be a few new young good looking female pop singers to fill the void but there will NEVER be more then just a few regardless of the current talent pool. Music and entertainment in general thrives off of the bandwagon effect, not who is actually talented or not. Use Carrie Underwood as an example. She would not be making music right now if it was not for the in your face recognition she got from American Idol. There are 100's just like her that will never make it and it has nothing to do with lack of talent. The entire entertainment industry revolves around this concept. I blame this on human nature and the industry inner working itself. I view a politians rise to higher positions in a similar manner.

If you want variety, you will have to seek it out yourself in or out of the traditional RIAA sanctioned methods and not have it handed to you by the radio and television stations.

Re:Pricing Comparison (2, Interesting)

aneurysm36 (459092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467608)

good time to link this again-

The Problem With Music
by Steve Albini
http://negativland.com/albini.html [negativland.com]

Artists pay for everything (5, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467760)

Quite true, and many more costs besides. The artists have to bear the entire cost of creating and selling the album, before they get any royalties.

Fair enough, you say? Perhaps - except they don't get to keep it. That album, that they conceived, wrote, performed, recorded, marketed and paid for in full, is no longer theirs. Copyright for the album is owned by the LABEL, and NOT the artist. That really sucks.

Time to link to Steve Vai's words of experience [vai.com] too, on this and the many other nefarious clauses that appear in a standard label contract.

Re:Pricing Comparison (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467508)

but if you think about all that they take care of (advertising, risk of producing your album (which if it's your first could be a total loser bringing in no money), etc.), it doesn't sound too rediculous.

Until you find out that all those expenses are effectively taken from the artist's [salon.com] cut. They have to pay it back...

Re:Pricing Comparison (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466984)

I don't think I've paid 16 dollars for a CD in years...

I recently bought a Carl Perkins 2 CD set and paid 14, and the most I've paid in the last few years was 12 or 13. From a locally owned store, and includes the occasion major label new release (Andrew W.K.).

Re:Pricing Comparison (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467096)

The article you "came across" was dead wrong. From every dollar, the most an artist will get is 20 cents and that's only the top few percent of recording artists.

Do you know how much money MOST recording artists will make from every dollar in record sales? Less than 8 cents, and that's only after all the expenses of the recording, distribution and marketing are paid for. In fact, nearly 1/3 of all recording artists who make records that sell more than 1000 copies (to get past the cases where only family members buy the records), will make exactly NOTHING from record sales. You can't just accept the very highest percentage that the top-paid artists will receive as representative, but look at what the recording industry does as a whole. After all, it's not only the top percent of artists that bring in the greatest portion of the entertainment industry's profits.

And the back-catalog, that enormous cash-cow of the big record companies, generally pay nearly nothing to the original artists. The composer might make a few cents on the dollar, but only if they didn't relinquish their publishing, which is much more common for new bands than you would think.

There are better ways for artists to make a living, and for their work to be distributed to consumers. Many have already found them, thank you very much.

All of MP3 profit margins (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467832)

All of MP3 charges about a dime a song. That's paying there server costs and making them a profit. Let's add on 20 cents for an artist profit.

That means a profitable bussiness that had no promotional and production costs for the artist could operate at 30 cents a song. Presumably with higher volume then that could be even lower and still make a profit.

Thus there's a 40 cent gap here. Surely the cost of promotion and production when ammortized over all artisits (proficable ones and not profitable ones) could not be that large could it? I reallt don't know but this seems strange to me cause I really don't see the effects of such promotion. If it's there then it must be more bhind the scenes payola for product placement or something.

of course the artists share is grossly inflated. I doubt artists actually recieve 20 cents at all until pay-back for production to the studio has occurred. Maybe brittany gets 20 cents.

So my guess is that something like 20 to 30 cents is really the ammortized cost per song including the cost of electronic distribution and that atill would make a profit.

Damages (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466462)

If they only make $0.70 wouldn't that imply that for the damages of 1.5 trillion from AllOfMP3.com would only be justified if AllOfMP3.com had uploaded over 2 trillion copies of songs to their users?

Personally, I suspect that is the reason they wouldn't want their prices known; it destroys the RIAA's ability to sue for massive damages.

Re:Damages (2, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466532)

Well, nothing can really justify the claim that AllOfMP3.com is responsible for $1.65 trillion in damages. But I do agree that in general by making their profits more public they will have a tougher time making outrageous claims of losses to piracy.

Re:Damages (2, Insightful)

flyonthewall (584734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467086)

Out of curiosity, how is AllOfMP3 responsible? They operated within the laws of their country and paid the appropriate fees.

If the RIAA want their pound of flesh, would they not be better off going after the Russian licensing agency?

Re:Damages (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466584)

Not that I'd expect allOfMP3.com to cough up $.70 per download, either. It would put them out of business just as fast.

Re:Damages (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466716)

No doubt ...

If they calculated the damages at $0.70 per download AllOfMP3.com would (likely) be facing damages of $100,000,000 or more which would probably put the company out of buisness. A smart (and well connected) company might consider buying the bankrupt company and attempt to get the legal right to sell the music; a valid argument to make to the RIAA is in places like Russia and China no one is willing to spend more than AllOfMP3.com was already charging for music and AllOfMP3.com would attempt to prevent Americans from buying music from them.

Another thing to consider is how much could the RIAA claim as damages from individuals who were downloading music? Would people just download music under the assumption that it would kill the RIAA to try to sue them for damages? (The ammount of work $7,000 buys you from lawyers would easily be surpassed in any of these lawsuits unless the RIAA decided to start collecting Mexican-Educated Lawyers.

Different types of Damages (4, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466608)

There is a difference between actual damages and statutory damages. Actual damages are an attempt to compensate the victim. Statutory damages are an attempt to include punitive damage in statute law.
Whether or not this is wise law-making is debatable. I suspect that it would be better to force the victim to sue directly for punitive damages, thus leaving the matter to a judge to determine of the punishment fits the offense.

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466964)

There is a difference between actual damages and statutory damages. Actual damages are an attempt to compensate the victim. Statutory damages are an attempt to include punitive damage in statute law.

They can also be used in cases where the actual economic damages are difficult to compute.

Actual, Statutory, and Punitive Damages (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467188)

<blockquote>There is a difference between actual damages and statutory damages. Actual damages are an attempt to compensate the victim. Statutory damages are an attempt to include punitive damage in statute law.
Whether or not this is wise law-making is debatable. I suspect that it would be better to force the victim to sue directly for punitive damages, thus leaving the matter to a judge to determine of the punishment fits the offense.
</blockquote>

This is not quite correct.

Actual damages are damages proven in court, and are intended to compensate the victim.
Punitive (also "Exemplary") damages are damages intended to "punish" or "make an example" of the victim (largely as a general and specific deterrent), beyond what compensates the victim.
Statutory damages are amounts set in statute law in the absence of proven amounts of actual damages (or when the proven amounts are lower); in some cases they are largely compensatory in purpose, and included on the presumption that the kind of harms the statute seeks to provide a remedy for are prohibitively difficult to prove and quantify, and that substituting a default damage amount is a way to provide a reasonable remedy. In other instances, their intent is somewhat punitive in nature, though they are particularly ineffective in that regard as they tend to be superceded by actual damages rather than on top of actual damages.

<blockquote>Whether or not this is wise law-making is debatable. I suspect that it would be better to force the victim to sue directly for punitive damages, thus leaving the matter to a judge to determine of the punishment fits the offense.
</blockquote>

Since the courts have held that punitive damages may only be awarded in a limited proportion to the actual damages proven, this would eliminate the principle role of statutory damages, which is to obviate the need to prove specific actual damages to receive some remedy for certain offenses.

Certainly, there is an argument that substantive due process analysis of the type that constrains <i>punitive</i> damage awards ought also be applied to statutory damage awards beyond what can be reasonably seen as compensatory, and/or that statutory damage amounts in law serving as a rebuttable presumption of actual damages rather than providing an amount that is available in all cases regardless of circumstances.

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467490)

When I was in a jury selection pool being coached on civil lawsuits, the terms used were compensatory and punitive damages. The first was to compensate for actual losses, the second is just plain punishment. I've never been chosen for actual jury duty so I've never seen the deliberation process.

Re:Different types of Damages (3, Insightful)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467538)

There is a difference between actual damages and statutory damages. Actual damages are an attempt to compensate the victim. Statutory damages are an attempt to include punitive damage in statute law. Whether or not this is wise law-making is debatable. I suspect that it would be better to force the victim to sue directly for punitive damages, thus leaving the matter to a judge to determine of the punishment fits the offense.
I've often wondered why punitive damages are given to the plaintiff, rather than, for example, funneled into law-enforcement programs (such as is presumably done with recovered drug money, etc.). The plaintiff is already getting compensatory damages. The purpose of the punitive damages is to punish the defendant. Why should the plaintiff get them? Maybe if he weren't to get them, we wouldn't have ridiculous trillion dollar (or even hundred million dollar) lawsuits.

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467936)

I've often wondered why punitive damages are given to the plaintiff, rather than, for example, funneled into law-enforcement programs (such as is presumably done with recovered drug money, etc.).


Punitive damages are held to serve a public social purpose by deterring, through the harsh example, deliberate wrongdoing—which is where punitive damages are available, generally— they are given to the plaintiff because doing so increases the incentive encourages the plaintiff to file suit where such deliberate wrongdoing occurs, and thus promotes the public purpose that such damages serve.

Maybe if he weren't to get them, we wouldn't have ridiculous trillion dollar (or even hundred million dollar) lawsuits.


Probably not by much; demonstrating the kind of willful conduct necessary to win punitive damages is hard, and punitive damages are limited by the actual damages awarded. Most really large damage awards that make the news are mostly or entirely actual compensatory damages, the few that are mostly punitive damages and are also very large are cases where there were both large actual damages proven and those large actual damages proven were shown to result from willful wrongdoing on the part of the defendant.

Re:Different types of Damages (2, Interesting)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468018)

If damages were given to the gov't, can you imagine what the laws and rulings we'd end up seeing? It's already bad enough that cops "camp out" on the highways to zap us for going 5 mph over the speed limit in order to generate revenue ...

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468082)

If damages were given to the gov't, can you imagine what the laws and rulings we'd end up seeing? It's already bad enough that cops "camp out" on the highways to zap us for going 5 mph over the speed limit in order to generate revenue ...
that's because the tickets go directly to the police department. if they went straight to the federal government, there would be no incentive to over-ticket. same with punitive damages. actually your observation is a good example of why punitive damages should not be awarded to an interested party.

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468198)

You sure about that? Far as I know, the money goes to the local gov't who then decides how to spread out the cash influx.

Re:Different types of Damages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468268)

Offtopic, but the "Traffic Fines Go Directly to the PD" thing is definately true where I live. Same thing with sales of confiscated drug property (even if you are not guilty).

Re:Different types of Damages (2, Informative)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468290)

it varies from place to place, but in many areas the local PD certainly has a clear stake in the proceeds generated by ticketing. That's why they troll the section of the highway that goes through their jurisdiction and pull people over for doing 70 in a 55.

Re:Different types of Damages (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468298)

Yeah, the drug money has worked out great. I saw an awesome episode of cops within the last several weeks where the police were busting people for buying recreational amounts of marijuana. The bust went down with the people in their cars, the cops would pull around the corner and front end the suspects car, which was then confiscated for auction. They were targeting screwed up people, and making their lives that much worse. It was obscene. I guess if you(whomever, the royal one, not you specifically) think weed is 'evil' and not something that screw ups use to forget their problems, you would be cheering, but I didn't really see how it was doing any good, people that were already marginal were having their ability to work hampered, losing a bunch of money, and all they 'learned' was that the system was out to get them. Rich people are generally smart enough to buy their drugs from someone they know. That doesn't make their use morally different.

I see punitive damages going into the 'system' only making the system bigger and bigger.

Re:Damages (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466666)

I suspect that is the reason they wouldn't want their prices known; it destroys the RIAA's ability to sue for massive damages.

The damages requested are quite reasonable. Yeah, it's only about a quarter million in actual losses, but the adminstrative expenses run to a trillion and half, especially given that the administrative offices are located in the Cayman Islands.

KFG

Re:Damages (3, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467754)

Well, yeah. Do you know what a latte costs in the Caymans?! $1.5 Trillion's a little on the light side, I'd say!

Re:Damages (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468026)

Do you know what a latte costs in the Caymans?!

Yeah, I understand it's pretty expensive there. I had a record company executive try to explain it to me once, but he used a lot of financial jargon, like "exchange rate" and "hooker," so I really didn't catch it all.

Then he walked away singing Titties and beer, titties and beer, titties and beer. . ."

And all this time I've been laboring under the impression that record company executives weren't particularly fond of Zappa.

KFG

Re:Damages (5, Insightful)

qrwe (625937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466858)

AllOfMp3:s greatest strength is (in my own opinion) a solution for everyone to choose whatever the music they want in whatever format they want. (Yes, I've tried it..) For example: As I choose Vorbis when ripping my own CD:s and there's poorly of those iTunes-like stores out there offering this format, some people choose allofmp3 just for the opportunity. Plus, you pay only for how many kbps you want the track in. Conclusion: how possibly can anyone claim 0.70 USD for a lossy formatted track where you can't even choose exactly how you want it?

Re:Damages (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467404)

Conclusion: how possibly can anyone claim 0.70 USD for a lossy formatted track where you can't even choose exactly how you want it?

Let's be honest here, the only people that truly cares about these particular details are the nerd-types, and while we are at it, let's be honest enough to say that we are a minority. I would bet that if you approached ten people that you normally wouldn't associate with (or they wouldn't normally associate with you) and ask them what a "lossless" or "lossy" format is, nine or ten of them will say "huh?". In short, most people don't really care about that.

Re:Damages (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467482)

Considering most of those sheep^H^H^H^H^Hpeople like to listen to the Idol Band-of-the-month shlock fed to them by ClearChannel, they have questionable taste to begin with.

Re:Damages (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467078)

It'll also tell Apple exactly how much everybody else is paying. Since they're the #1 online music seller, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be to happy to find out they're paying more than the rest. This information would give Apple HUGE leverage if it turns out the music industry has been trying to fight Apple by selling the same music cheaper to the competition.

Re:Damages (1)

wwillia99 (984401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467180)

If they only make $0.70 wouldn't that imply that for the damages of 1.5 trillion from AllOfMP3.com would only be justified if AllOfMP3.com had uploaded over 2 trillion copies of songs to their users?

That would mean if there are 6 billion people in the would that everyone would have had to of downloaded 333 songs. This is not about actual damages and all about putting allofmp3 out of business.

Re:Damages (2, Interesting)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467382)

If they only make $0.70 wouldn't that imply that for the damages of 1.5 trillion from AllOfMP3.com would only be justified if AllOfMP3.com had uploaded over 2 trillion copies of songs to their users? That would mean if there are 6 billion people in the would that everyone would have had to of downloaded 333 songs. This is not about actual damages and all about putting allofmp3 out of business.
$150,000 per song is just the maximum amount defined under statute. I suspect requesting the maximum from AllofMP3 has alot more to do with getting into newspapers (and thus reminding us all that the RIAA is watching you) then getting the money. The reward is likely to be less.. if they win.. which they may very well do.

Slashdot posturing aside, there's plenty of "common sense" (aka nonsense - but judges and jurries do consider how things look to them) in favor of the argument that AllOfMp3 was pretty blatantly using Russian law as a shield and attempting to circumvent U.S. Law by creating host drives (thus, not sending files directly into the U.S.). At the end of the day, they drove business toward the U.S., offered their prices in U.S. dollars, and registered a U.S. domain root. (.com) Standing up for these guys is a little hard.. when they're basically just telling the U.S. companies that paid to produce this music that they have no say in the pricing, or distribution of their material.

-GiH

Re:Damages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467674)

"blatantly using the law" -- that's a funny way to say "doing it legally", more so if one considers that RIAA and the likes are blatantly using their bribing power to pay for laws that extend their monopoly on culture and try to introduce it in other, unrelated areas - like player technology, P2P technology, etc. etc.

Re:Damages (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467786)

"blatantly using the law" -- that's a funny way to say "doing it legally"
I'll assume you're not so stupid as to miss the vital importance of the changes you made to my words in you "quote" (if my assumption is wrong, my appologies to your caretaker), and are therefore fudding, or just stroking the old ego stick. Blatantly using Russian Law (as opposed to say, U.S. law, which.. you know.. usually applies to deals made in the U.S.) isn't hiding behind legitimate authority, it's just trying to confuse and muddle an issue so sad saps like you can feel like it was wrong to shut them down.

-GiH

Re:Damages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468356)

So, are you saying that Russian businesses and citizens should be subject to US law?

Interesting.

I live in the USA and I would never support that line of thinking, since it basically removes ALL checks and balances globally, and eliminates the possibility of fleeing tyranny by crossing borders.

AllofMp3 (4, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467902)

and registered a U.S. domain root. (.com)

.com is not a US domain root, it is an international root mainly used for commerce. The US domain root is .us That's not to say the root servers aren't in the US, only that .com is international and not country specific.

Falcon

Re:AllofMp3 (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467970)

.com is not a US domain root, it is an international root mainly used for commerce. The US domain root is .us That's not to say the root servers aren't in the US, only that .com is international and not country specific.
Point.

-GiH

Copies of documents!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466464)

Available here [blogspot.com] !

Now waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466488)

...for the iTunes Store price cut.

I don't see how people can... (1)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466516)

...afford a per-song cost in that range. I think I got spoiled by eMusic recently by getting songs for 22 cents/song. And there was no whole album penalty for anything. I even got long tracks-as-album (60 minute songs) for the same price. Only downsides to eMusic are: 1) only independent artists, so I still miss my Autechre, Boards of Canada, etc., 2) No official/maintained Linux client, just an old one they used to support.

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466710)

2) No official/maintained Linux client, just an old one they used to support.
I use emusicj [kallisti.net.nz] , it's at least been updated recently. Also, I understand you can use Songbird [songbirdnest.com] to download from emusic, but I haven't tried it.

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466862)

http://www.kallisti.net.nz/EMusicJ/HomePage [kallisti.net.nz]

It's not official as per your condition, but it works great on Linux for me.

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466882)

How about excersing your fair use right and go to piratebay.org vs. paying .22 cents. Riaa claims .70cents is in the range and the more ppl use p2p, the more riaa will become likely to claim .20 cents is in the range. Competition is nice and that's what p2p does. It provides a method for IPHolders to become competetive and not rake over it's customers. I just looked at my local cable tv offerings and it's getting better, but it's still not there yet. For 40$/mo ppl should get ondemand everything and pay per view nothing! If musicians banded together and ditched riaa, i suspect their offering would be about .15 cents per song and if they cut out riaa and the labels, they would probably get 100X more than they do now even at .15Cents per song.

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467026)

Uhm, you might want to read up on what "fair use" means. It doesn't mean stealing.

Re:I don't see how people can... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467286)

you might want to read up on what "fair use" means.

You are absolutely correct; and I came here with the intent to say that.

It doesn't mean stealing.

However, you might want to read up on what "copying" means.

KFG

Re:I don't see how people can... (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468092)

I think you mean GNU\Copying.

Re:I don't see how people can... (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467480)

> Uhm, you might want to read up on what "fair use" means. It doesn't mean stealing.

And "piracy" means violently taking over a ship at sea. What's your point?

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17468142)

No, no it doesn't

That has been one of its uses, but it has never been the sole use.

Re:I don't see how people can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467966)

The end result is that people pay pretty much the same amount of money (actually slightly less) for digital music that they do for CDs. So if you could afford x number of CDs before digital music was widely available, the odds are you can afford x number of digital albums worth of music. Whether it is worth that is irrelevant; people will either pay what they think it is worth, get it through some other means (second-hand, torrents, whatever else), or go without it.

YANAL (0, Flamebait)

FallLine (12211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466578)

Slashdot:

You Are Not A Laywer. So please stop being the tool for this lawyer and his celebrity seeking habits (what is this, the 2nd article published this week from this guy?).

The issue du jour is about antitrust concerns for the plaintiff: if they communicate specific pricing to each other in any way they might be accused of price fixing. It may or may not be valid (and I'm sure it's a complicated legal matter). Seeing as how almost no one here has studied law and can offer intelligent commentary on this latest development, why don't you leave it up for the judge to decide? I also don't think the ~70 cents estimate is new knowledge here. In short, there's no news for slashdot here.

Move along.

Re:YANAL (0, Troll)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467056)

I agree. and how is this really news, we already knew it was "in the range".

I guess slashdot is going for the NYT attempt at reprinting articles or topics that are 3 months old.

Re:YANAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467142)

The whole point of a comment is to COMMENT. Who made you the decision maker when it comes to /. ? How dare you say that! We say what we want, if you don't like it fcuk off.

Re:YANAL (1)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467272)

Spoken like a true Anonymous Coward.

Re:YANAL (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467282)

Who cares? Of the stories I've seen from him so far, to me they've been fairly interesting. And personally, I like talking about interesting cases even if I'm not a lawyer.

Re:YANAL (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467362)

i don't need to be a lawyer to comment on the news so why don't you just shut the fuck up?

Re:YANAL (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467422)

You Are Not A Laywer. So please stop being the tool for this lawyer and his celebrity seeking habits (what is this, the 2nd article published this week from this guy?).
You're going to say that slashdot readers don't LOVE to argue about this case? That it dosen't drive hits and discussions like nobodies buisiness?(If you do, you're wrong, check the past few articles for hit-count and the suprising number of interesting items posted under them.)

Slashdot is edutainment - and these articles deliver.

-GiH
Not a Lawyer, just a Law Student.

Re: Only Lawyers may even think about law!!! (4, Insightful)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467424)

Of course, only Lawyers may even think about law. Or at least that seems the logical extension of what you are suggesting by telling Slashdot that it should withhold any judgement on the RIAA until there is a firmly grounded case law on the matter. Well, that isn't going to happen anytime soon, or perhaps ever. Copyright law is nebulous and has been for a long time.

Of course Slashdot is not a lawyer, but it is silly to propose that only lawyers and judges can have a valid interest in, and discussion of, legal matters that affect all citizens. In fact many laws are actually written by people who aren't necessarily lawyers. These people who dare insert themselves in the legal arena without the requirement of having a law degree are called "legislators."

While it is true that the UMG_v_Lindor case gets a lot of mentions in Slashdot, it is also the case that it is one of the **only** cases out of the 20,000 or so RIAA lawsuits that is going to trial and where a tough litigator is trying to force the RIAA to back up its claims with more than just the thread of ruinously expensive legal action. It also doesn't hurt that the "Recording Industry vs. the People" blog site provides a rare blow by blow account of a legal action in progress which makes for an exciting, albeit slow, tale of one litigator standing up to a veritable army of corporate lawyers with nearly unlimited funds. The blog is an important way of trying to balance the playing field against an opponent with deep pockets and who will play every trick in or out of the book, full well knowing that they will probably avoid any accountability for their own actions.

Only Lawyers may even think about law!!! (WOOT) (4, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467522)

Of course, only Lawyers may even think about law.
Personally, as a lawyer-in-training, I fully endorse, support, and approve of this idea!! Can we legislate that? :) WOO HOO I'ma be rich mama! I'ma be rich!!

More seriously:

Of course Slashdot is not a lawyer, but it is silly to propose that only lawyers and judges can have a valid interest in, and discussion of, legal matters that affect all citizens. In fact many laws are actually written by people who aren't necessarily lawyers. These people who dare insert themselves in the legal arena without the requirement of having a law degree are called "legislators."
It's also called "public debate," you know that funny thing that the 4th branch of gov't (aka the press) is supposed to engender. But in the modern clutter of divissive politics and the "nobody knows what to do but experts so STFU NEWB" culture that is evolving, we're running for trouble.

A great example of a wonderful U.S. legislator was Benjamin Franklin - He was also the U.S.'s key scientist and one of her great publishers of news and raw data. Technologist should adopt Franklin as their Patron of Thought - because the man delivered for engineering, science, philosophy, theology, and political science. The same brain that can brilliantly explain and master the formation of distributive processing and Wide Area Networks could do a great deal of good for this nation by injecting simple practical knowledge of what the internet, and the future hold in store for law and the U.S.

-GiH

Re:Only Lawyers may even think about law!!! (WOOT) (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468182)

. . .as a lawyer-in-training. . .

You are not a writer, so STFU.

KFG

Re:Only Lawyers may even think about law!!! (WOOT) (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468224)

You are not a writer, so STFU.
Actually, several of my D&D mods have gotten printed here and there, along with some blurb text and rules captions for a few games.. ergo, I am a writer :).

-GiH

Re:YANAL (0, Flamebait)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468284)

You Are Not A Laywer. . . Seeing as how almost no one here has studied law and can offer intelligent commentary on this latest development, why don't you leave it up for the judge to decide?

You do not seem to be aware of the difference between a lawyer and legal scholar, so why don't you leave that up the S.J.Ds and L.D/Ph.Ds to decide?

KFG

Undercutters (2, Funny)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466580)

They make 30 cents a song? Ill do it for 5 cents a song. Where do I sign up?

Day 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Rixel (131146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466586)

Yay! The Democrats are in power!

Pain And Suffering (5, Funny)

SenorPez (840621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466624)

Even at the $0.70 per song mark, you have to consider damages for the pain and suffering of those poor, poor record executives. I mean, honestly: Think about the hours and hours that they spent in their mansions, lying awake on their double-king canopy beds, surrounded by sleeping hookers... and unable to sleep because of the massive injustice being done to their industry.

Or something like that.

In all honesty, it's a hard thing to nail down. If I work in a donut factory, there is SOMEONE, even if that person isn't me, who knows how much that donut costs to make, including materials, equipment, labor, shipping, and pesticides. When it comes to things like music, art, etc., how DO you quantify the cost of the artists' talents, the labels' marketing efforts, the RIAA's... something... etc. Even the most talented singer in the world is useless without distribution... and marketing and distribution channels can sometimes (Britney?) overcome a shallow pool of talent.

That being said, anything that comes out of the multi-mawed beast known as the RIAA is met with instant skepticism. When you spend years upon years intimidating people who may or may not have committed a crime, and many of those that are nominally guilty are in the "OMG, You ate a peanut out of the grocery store bin!" variety, it's hard to find any foothold of remorse in the market. So $0.70 wholesale price might be in the "ballpark." But I don't give a damn.

Re:Pain And Suffering (4, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467064)

The basic structure of the modern music industry was that Music Labels would promote and distribute and Artist's work in exchange for the lion's share of the physical Album's revinue while the artist would still collect the revinue from merchandise, touring and radio play; this (at the time) was a remarkably fair dead because it was expensive to promote and distribute an Artist's work in the pre-internet era.

The internet has changed everything ...

The cost to distribute music is no longer significant and a (hard-working) individual can promote themself to a reasonably successful level with very little work; you probably won't sell out stadiums, but you can make a decent living for the rest of your life as an Artist which (from all the Artists I have met) is the dream. Now, Labels exploit artists they do not help them.

The "Cost" of an Artist's work is a lifetime of developing a skillset that very few people have; it is priceless. The price of an Artist's work per song with how little it costs to distribute the song should be (roughly) the ammount of money the artist is getting.

Re:Pain And Suffering (2, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467964)

Now, Labels exploit artists they do not help them.

This depends on the artist. There are an awful lot of pop-idiots, like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, who, without the mass-market power of their record labels and publicists would be improverished and completely unknown, and deservedly so. I hardly think these characters are furious with their labels for turning their pretty faces and marginal talents into millions upon millions of dollars. It's the poor schmucks with talent but no marketing savvy, struggling to get by, who sign themselves over to 5 record deals so they can get some radio play that get exploited by their labels.

Re:Pain And Suffering (3, Funny)

EtherealStrife (724374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467498)

Detective: Look, there's Lars now, sitting by his pool.
Kyle: What's the matter with him?
Detective: This month he was hoping to have a gold plated shark tank bar installed right next to the pool, but thanks to people downloading his music for free he must now wait a few months before he can afford it.
*Lars crying next to his pool*
Detective: Come, there's more. Here's Britney Spears' private jet...notice anything? Britney used to have a Gulfstream 4, now she's had to sell it and get a Gulfstream 3 because people like you chose to download her music for free.
*Britney sighs, depressed*
Detective: The Gulfstream 3 doesn't even have a remote control for its surround sound dvd system. Still think downloading music for free is no big deal?
Kyle: We...didn't realize what we were doing...
Detective: That is the folly of man. Now look in this window. Here you see the loving family of Master P. Next week is his son's birthday and all he's ever wanted is an island in French Polynesia.
Kyle: So he's going to get it, right?
Detective: *closes eyes and puts hands on forehead* I see an island without an owner. If thing's keep going the way they are, the child will not get his tropical paradise.
Stan: We're sorry, we'll never download music for free again!
Detective: Man must learn to think of these horrible outcomes before he acts selfishly, or else...I fear...recording artists will be forever doomed to a life of only semi-luxury.

Re:Pain And Suffering (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467570)

poor record executives...in their mansions, lying awake...surrounded by sleeping hookers
unable to sleep because of the massive injustice being done to their industry.

And here I thought it was all that coke and crystal meth that kept those poor, poor record executives up at night!

Meaning that.... (1)

LordFocus (1047024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466688)

Artists will now get 0.7 cents per song instead of 0.99 cents per song. Huzzah!

Re:Meaning that.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467082)

^ works for Verizon...

Re:Meaning that.... (1)

LordFocus (1047024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467690)

They wish :P

Confidential? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466806)

Most details--such as the identities of the parties--would be kept confidential, but pricing information and volume would not.


Pricing or volume information in some cases might be enough to figure out identities when dealing with the 12 largest customers of RIAA affilated labels.

There's that free market stuff again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466842)

An unregulated market quickly becomes a cartel. Only regulated markets remain free.

Re:There's that free market stuff again. (4, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467194)

An unregulated market quickly becomes a cartel. Only regulated markets remain free.

You have that backwards. The music distribution business is highly regulated by copyright law. That has allowed the RIAA cartel to exist. Without the regulation, Napster would have finished the cartel long ago.

Re:There's that free market stuff again. (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467524)

There's a difference between "regulation" and "over-regulation".

And without regulation, Napster would've replaced one cartel with another long ago. It's not like Napster was the magic bullet that solves human nature.

Re:There's that free market stuff again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467632)

Wow, you're smart. I don't say that because I agree with you but because what you said sounds like a well expressed thought. But I still agree with you.

peace,

Re:There's that free market stuff again. (1, Interesting)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468054)

That makes no sense. How does an unregulated market become a cartel? I would say the RIAA, in it's highly-regulated marketplace, is cartel-like.

I make my living as a photographer. Photography, like many artforms, is a completely unregulated market. There are absolutely no government controls over this industry, besides general trade (contract) law and criminal law. No license, besides a local business license, is required to open a photography business. There are no controls over education, equipment or qualifications. Essentially, if you have a point and shoot camera and a phone number, you can be a professional photographer. I don't really know any other service industries like that. You have to have a license to cut hair, and a medallion to drive a cab.

I'm not aware of any photography cartel. There are thousands upon thousands of small, independent operators, at all price and skill levels operating in every state, competing for business from consumers and businesses alike. Without regulation in this industry, it's far more like the wild west than a tightly-run cartel.

Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467090)

Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would 'implicate [sic] very real antitrust concerns'

But doesn't this basically mean "if we told everyone the price then people would know it was illegal!"

Ehm, I think you're wrong. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467594)

Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would 'implicate [sic] very real antitrust concerns' But doesn't this basically mean "if we told everyone the price then people would know it was illegal!"
Haven't read the full text through yet (working on it) but.. I think the answer is.. no.

Basically their argument goes "we're not suppose to know what each other's prices are.. so we can't tell you either cuz then we'd all know."

I also could be wrong, flame away.

-GiH

Re:Ehm, I think you're wrong. (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467802)

Just because their argument is irrational, don't assume you're missing something.

In fact you are right.

And they are the ones missing something.

mod 3own (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467592)

to 1ts laid-baOck

"70 Cent Price is 'In the Range'" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467774)

Yeah, well, so is a five dollar blow job...at least that's what the girls tell me. So why are some guys will ing to pay $500?

Packaging, baby.

Why the [sic]? (1, Insightful)

h4x0r-3l337 (219532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468004)

Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would 'implicate [sic] very real antitrust concerns' as the labels are not supposed to share contract information with one another

Why is there a "[sic]" in there? That is in fact how you spell the word, and it is used correctly in that context (having the meaning "imply" or "entail").

Re:Why the [sic]? (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468404)

Why is there a "[sic]" in there? That is in fact how you spell the word, and it is used correctly in that context (having the meaning "imply" or "entail").

Imply, implicate, and entail are NOT synonyms.

Implicate can mean "to require as a necessary circumstance", i.e, a prerequisite (not a result). Here, the antitrust concerns would arise *as a result of* disclosure of the pricing information. Even "imply" would not be correct here, but "entail" would be OK.

Re:Why the [sic]? (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468470)

The word is not used correctly.

You 'imply' an event, the existence of something etc.

You implicate an entity.

"John Doe was implicated in the theft" is correct.

"The crack found in John Doe's pocket implicates him as a drug user" is correct.

"Gabriel believes that making the pricing information public would implicate the labels as engaged in antitrust activities..." would be correct.

The text as quoted is not correct.

RIAA to MAFIAA (5, Funny)

snowleopard10101 (964540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468006)

RIAA's name should be changed to MAFIAA. MAFIAA: Music and Film Industry Association of America

Better option (1)

CaffCoder (1045308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468176)

Sigh yet another example of big businesses keeping their treasured consumer's best interests in mind. Next thing you'll find out that Clear Channel plays what the RIAA wants not what the consumer wants... Better music marketing strategies exist and are poised to fill in the gap. http://www.bitmunk.com/ [bitmunk.com] just launched their beta 2 and have almost all of CD Baby's content for sale in a place where demand and the artist dictates the prices of music not the RIAA.
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