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Aaediwen 
Posted: 23-Oct-2005, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE (Macfive @ 23-Oct-2005, 08:31 AM)
Forgive me if this was already mentioned, but the latest I read was that even Microsoft and Apple were very unhappy with the RIAA and the fact that they (RIAA) wants downloads to be priced $1.49 (US).

Apparently, they feel people are only buying the songs they want and that is unacceptable to them because they are not selling the whole album and the price increase will offset those loses.

It is good to see Microsoft/Apple atleast with a little consumer interest, but they probably know that $1.49 will not fly against .99.


I would love to do an audit and determine if Celtic musicians are getting royalty payments because of Highlander Radio.

I think I remember news being posted here some months ago about musicians protesting outside of Green Linnett because they weren't getting paid. Would have been over a year ago now, I guess.


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subhuman 
Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 12:39 PM
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I think I remember news being posted here some months ago about musicians protesting outside of Green Linnett because they weren't getting paid. Would have been over a year ago now, I guess.


Ok, this took me a while but I finally got around to looking into it. First we have to bear in mind that only labels, not musicians can join the RIAA (source: RIAA member guidlines). Every CD burner sold has a $2 tax assessed to it, as does 2% of the sale of music CD-R. This money also goes to the RIAA. To date, I have yet to find a single artist who claims to recieve this money.
I also want to know why only RIAA members are entitled to it- if our government passed a law for this surcharge, why does it not get distributed among all labels?
Why is my money going to the RIAA when I buy a CD burner that is never used for burning music?
Here's a nice FTC finding of the big 5 labels and price manipulation: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/05/cdpres.htm
A rather informative article from Steve Albini, a producer most famous for Nirvana's In Utero CD which includes a breakdown of "where the money goes" http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/05/cdpres.htm
There are a few words in here that may offend some, so I'll mention that in advance.

Here's a quote from the article:
QUOTE
These A & R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on. The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little memo, is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document. That is, once the band signs it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label. If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength. These letters never have any terms of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes. The band cannot sign to another laborer or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.


QUOTE
The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fuXXed.


For more info on the other side of the story other than the RIAA's, thi sis an excellent site: http://www.boycott-riaa.com/mission
my favorites in their mission are these:
QUOTE
4) Achieve a level playing field where independents can compete with major artists and are not excluded from distribution or broadcast simply because they did not offer Clear Channel (and the like) a large enough payola check.

5) Support for aspiring musicians, warning them of the dangers to their financial future and creative integrity should they ever succumb and sign a Faustian major-label contract.


Although Internet Radio offers #4, radio broadcasts can be picked up by a virtually unlimited number of people within range, where internet radio has to send the data stream to each person. Bandwidth limits its ability to reach the masses. The ability to reach everyone is not technologicly or financially viable. MacFive will attest to the costs involved with reaching more people simultaneously. smile.gif


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subhuman 
Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 12:41 PM
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QUOTE
A rather informative article from Steve Albini, a producer most famous for Nirvana's In Utero CD which includes a breakdown of "where the money goes" http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/05/cdpres.htm


Wrong link, my bad. This one was intended: http://www.negativland.com/albini.html
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ChocolateFilk 
  Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 01:14 PM
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Apparently, they feel people are only buying the songs they want and that is unacceptable to them because they are not selling the whole album and the price increase will offset those loses.


I wonder if in the days of vinyl they raised the price of 45s to help conver the loses on the sales of LPs.


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subhuman 
Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 06:24 PM
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I wonder if in the days of vinyl they raised the price of 45s to help conver the loses on the sales of LPs.


I don't know if it was meant this way, but I interpreted MacFive's original comment to be somewhat sarcastic. I also don't see why the consumer should be expected to buy the entire CD when they only want one song.
That's like McDonald's refusing to sell you just a Coke and insisting that you buy the entire meal package. If you're thirsty but not also hungry, why would you buy food? Buying the entire package results in a lower price per item, but the inidivdual item is still available by itself.
Back in the days of singles- and they aren't that far gone, I still have a number of CD singles, you would pay more to buy each song separately but at least it was an option.
Most industries realize that giving the consumer choices increases sales.
If Ford made one model of car, in one color, with no options how many people would buy it? The Model T set sales records- but this marketing strategy wouldn't fare as well today. Today, if a person wants an option, they'll pay the extra money for it. However every vehicle sold does not come with every available option.
Open up a bar and only offer one type of beer sales. That beer comes in a glass that contains equal parts of 14 beers all mixed together. You can't buy just one of the beers in the glass even though the bartender mixes them when you order. In addition that beer is in a liter glass, and you have to buy the whole liter even if you only want a pint.
If a person want the assortment of cancy bars, they'll buy the assortment bag. However if they only like one type, they can buy that one type. Imagine if you had to buy the entire Halloween assortment bag when all you wanted was a Mr. Goodbar.
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 10:25 PM
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Some good comments here. I don't think I was trying to be sarcastic, but it might have come out that way I am not sure.

I guess the whole thing that bothers me about the RIAA, License fees and royalty payments is what happens to the money. I am sitting here looking at all of these beautiful press photos of a number of independent groups on in our new studio room and I have never received 1 email from a musician stating "Hey I just earned a little money from the music of mine that you have been playing."

From what I understand the next round is being fought for the rates for 2006 - 2010 and the big guns - Microsoft and AOL are looking for the rates to be actually cut in half.





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ChocolateFilk 
  Posted: 05-Nov-2005, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE
Back in the days of singles- and they aren't that far gone, I still have a number of CD singles, you would pay more to buy each song separately but at least it was an option.


I never bought a CD single, though I did by a CD once from Fred Small that had only 2 songs. When I used to buy singles, they came on 45s. I still have all the ones I got since I was in High School.

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subhuman 
Posted: 06-Nov-2005, 08:53 AM
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Mac, if you didn't mean it sarcasticly I apologize for taking it that way. I know how I would have made the statement, and may have assigned attributes to it that you didn't intend. Unfortunately text doesn't allow a reader to see facial expressions or to hear a person's inflection.
On the other hand, saying you're not sure if you meant it that way could be meant literally- you seem to be somewhat indecisive. smile.gif I also realize that as a business operator that must operate within their guidelines, speaking out may not be in your best interest!

As far as where your money goes, that's an excellent question. Do broadcast royalty payments go only to labels that are members of the RIAA in the same manner as the surcharges on blank CD-Rs and CD Recorders? If that's the case, there's a serious problem- how many of the artists played here are on member labels? Does any of the money for the surcharge (mentioned above) reach the artist- probably not. Even excluding outright theft or deception, the manufacturer of CD-Rs/CD-recorders cuts a check to the RIAA. The RIAA, I'm sure, charges a handling and processing fee before passing it on to the label. The label assesses as handling/processing fee before passing it on to the artist. Even if neither party employed "creative accounting" there would be virtually nothing left for the artist. By implementing a "check cutting fee" they could eliminate ever needing to pay an artist and still be in complete complaince with the terms of the contract. 2% of all blank CD-R sales in the US is a significant amount, however pass that through the RIAA and the labels, then split it up to inidividual artists- probably calculated on a monthly basis. Figuring the number of signed artists, and assume that the label assesses a $10 check cutting fee (which is normal) and ask yourself if you think there's anything paid to the artist?

In my opinion, Sony is the king of hipocrasy. Theyr'e one of the "Big Five" labels and an RIAA founder. They're also one of the largest manufacturers of blank CD-Rs, CD burners and DVD burners. They're literally paying themselves- of course they support the current laws, it doesn't hurt them- it hurts their competitors!

In '94, Steven King approached Sony, who had recently acquired Columbia, about using the Blue Öyster Cult song "(Don't Fear)The Reaper" in the TV miniseries "The Stand," which was produced by him and based on his novel by the same name. He wanted to use the song since it was (mis)quoted by him in the novel. Sony had the rights to the song, which was recorded in '75. By this time, BOC was no longer recording under their label, but instead had gone to an independant one. Sony refused to allow use of the song in the miniseries- why publicize a group that is no longer under contract to them? BOC responded by going back into the studio and re-recording that song, along with 11 other classic tracks and released the re-recorded CD. It was a gold picture disc, and I bought it at a local store for a whopping $12.99. According to band members, they made more off of the sales of each CD than they ever did under a major label. Sony apparently learned well from this. Shortly afterwards, they started re-releasing BOC albums as gold discs for the price of around $28 dollars each.

New recording, with studio time and mixing costs on a gold picture disc from an independant label: $13
Old recording, no studio time, no mixing fees, gold non-picture disc from a major label: $28
The band gets more money on the sales of the $13 disc..... Does anyone else have trouble following the math involved here?

Then again, this same band (last I talked to them, in 2003) is making more money now performing in medium to large clubs than they did when they were under a major label and selling out arenas.
Remember, the labels have the artists' best interests in mind.
Looking at it this way, I guess I shouldn't be suprised.
(the last two statements were dripping with sarcasm)
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Nov-2005, 12:21 AM
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I would not say that we are being careful of what we say in fear of the RIAA. We have pretty much been against alot of the rules and laws that were made the past years. Of course, we are not going to do anything illegal and we will abide by the laws and rules. (This is not Pirate Radio!).

One thing that the RIAA and other like organizations fear is the free flow of information. Years ago I read a book by a MIT professor that spoke about the free flow of information - in this world there are two types of people - 1) Those that try to control the information and 2) those that don't............

The free flow of information is what keeps things creative, start controlling it and you stifle innovation and creativeness.

Of course, that is what is slowly happening to our society, our jobs, our education and our culture.

I want to say there was a chapter in this book about how organizations and people will try to stop the free flow of informaiton, but it is impossible to stop - unless of course you want to run a society like a dictorship.

I am all for more money for the artists and musicians, less for the organizations that simply want to perpetuate their own existence.

Ok, maybe I'm off topic and bit here, but
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 07-Nov-2005, 06:35 PM
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I think this past Sunday's User Friendly strip states Illiad's agreement with your statements rather clearly

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20051106
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Nov-2005, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (Aaediwen @ 07-Nov-2005, 06:35 PM)
I think this past Sunday's User Friendly strip states Illiad's agreement with your statements rather clearly

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20051106

I like that one!

Not sure what happened to my post above. Looks like I stopped mid-thought! rolleyes.gif

My own feeling is the pendilum has swung to far to the corporations side and needs to swing back to the customers side.....

Life is like a tug of war.........
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subhuman 
Posted: 08-Nov-2005, 12:29 PM
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My own feeling is the pendilum has swung to far to the corporations side and needs to swing back to the customers side.....


More importantly, it needs to swing in a direction that everyone taking part in this discussion has mentioned already. The pendulum needs to swing in the direction of the artists. What happened to "majority rule, minority rights?" Here, the minority (the labels) are trampling the rights of the majorities- the consumers and the artists both.
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subhuman 
Posted: 10-Nov-2005, 04:31 PM
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Sony BMG is taking some flak for their copy protection they built into music CDs since June. This software installs itself on a computer if the music CD is inserted without permission or the knowledge of the computer's owner. This software installs itself using "rootkit" routines, making it dnagerous to remove- usually requiring a format and reinstallation of Windows. The software runs continuously, monitoring the system and only allowing the CD to be played with Sony software.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed in CA against Sony BMG for this software. Story here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175175,00.html
An earlier story (Nov 3'rd) with more info: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174334,00.html

To make matters worse, there's now at least one virus out there that targets this "rootkit" software as an entry point into a person's system. I expect this will only hurt the case against Sony BMG- software that they installed without permission is allowing other malicious software to exploit its weaknesses. Story here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175188,00.html

It's funny, back at the beginning of this thread someone asked if the industry was putting software on our computers to spy on us. Back then, I said no.
I stand corrected.
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subhuman 
Posted: 16-Nov-2005, 10:14 PM
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Sony keeps digging themselves a deeper hole. More info on their "rootkit" program:
The rootkit DRM saga just keeps going and going. Not only are there at least 3 class action lawsuits pending against BMG/Sony, but also possible criminal charges in Italy. And their so-called "cure" for the DRM rootkit is almost as bad as the disease. It is an (H)Active-X control called CodeSupport, which according to Brian Krebs of the Washington Post. opens a serious security hole that allows any webpage visited subsequently by the user to download, install, and run any code it wants:

http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfi...uninstall_.html

And as for the original DRM infection, it is now being detected by Microsoft Anti-Spyware, and a removal tool is to be offered with December's Malicious Software
Removal tool. According to a Seattle-based security researcher, it is estimated that over half a million networks may be infected by XCP:

http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/print/0,12...4,69573,00.html

Here's a quote from the article at the second link:
QUOTE
"Using statistical sampling methods and a secret feature of XCP that notifies Sony when its CDs are placed in a computer,"


Big Brother is definitely watching you. Software you didn't know was on your music CD installed itself without telling you and now reports back to Sony when you listen to their music!!!!!

A rather misleading part in that article:
QUOTE
"If the DNS server said yes, it had a cached copy of the address, which means that at least one of its client computers had used it to look up Sony's digital- rights- management site. If the DNS server said no, then Kaminsky knew for sure that no Sony-compromised machines existed behind it. "

A private DNS server (like the one most people use at their ISP) only stores lookup information for a limited amount of time. Just because that DNS server didn't have the lookup information does NOT mean that no client machines had the rootkit software, it only means that they haven't requested the data recently. The duration of "recently" depends os several factors, and could be as short as a few minutes!

Even more to the point:
QUOTE
"Should the average person write software that took control of a computer at the system level without a user's knowledge and distributed that software across the world, there are plenty of laws that would put him behind bars. But what happens when Sony does this, ostensibly to protect its intellectual property?

Jennifer Granick, executive director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society and Wired News legal columnist, sees this as a question of how well-written Sony's end-user license agreement is, a topic of much conversation in the media lately.

But either way, she noted over IM, "If the EULA did not advise the user that s/he was installing software on the machine that would collect information and/or open the machine to vulnerabilities, then the software arguably violates 18 USC 1030(a)(5)(A)." That's a criminal charge. But Granick doesn't see criminal prosecution of Sony any time soon.

"The (Department of Justice) is not going to charge Sony.... They have never charged a big corporation with a computer crime."



Aaediwen, I take back what I said earlier about the recording industry and placing spyware on peoples' computers. This was out for five months before it was found, how much else is out there that wasn't found yet?
The simple fact that Sony/BMG's "removal tool" is a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident program- it doesn't remove itself after it's done!) raises my suspicions. If there was only one spyware program put in by the industry they wouldn't do this. I strongly suspect they went with a TSR so that they could remove other software thjat wasn't found by the public yet.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 17-Nov-2005, 06:16 PM
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J.D. Frasier has been having fun with this one in UserFriendly since it hit the news, and honestly I think he needs to take a different angle on it. I'm not surprised that Sony is illigally violating people's machines. What surprises me is that they are such poor crackers, and so blatant with the whole mess. What I'd like to see happen now is somehow their spyware, (may I call it a virus? please) become responsible for billions in losses worldwide. Let them maybe tick off say... VH1, MTV, CMT, etc.... Or maybe even Clear Channel through some odd hole people end up taking advantage of.

If only. . . Just rip their advertising right out from under their feet.
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