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YouTube Music Content Takedown Continued 291

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-rid-of-it dept.
pregnantfridge writes "In the ongoing conflict between PRS for Music and YouTube over the takedown of all music related content in the UK, PRS for Music have created a new site, fairplayforcreators.com, exposing the views of the music writers impacted by the YouTube decision. I am not certain if these views have been editorially compromised, but by reading a few pages, it's clear to me that Music writers represented by PRS for Music are largely clueless about what the Internet and YouTube means to the music industry. Kind of explains why the music industry is in such a decline — and also why so much litigation takes place on the music writers' behalf."
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YouTube Music Content Takedown Continued

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  • by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:23AM (#27338809) Homepage Journal

    Fair Play for Creators was established after Internet-giant, Google, made the decision to remove some music content from YouTube.

    Google's decision was made because it didn't want to pay the going rate for music, to the creators of that music, when it's used on YouTube.

    If Google doesn't want to pay the rate, so doesn't broadcast the music, I don't see the issue. Lower the rate and maybe Google will pay.

    • If Google doesn't want to pay the rate, so doesn't broadcast the music, I don't see the issue. Lower the rate and maybe Google will pay.

      I know! These idiots want to get paid for their work, but instead of working with Google or just setting up their own site, all they can think of is to bitch. Come to think of it, this is the we-don't-have-the-budget-for-flesh-eating-lawyers version of what the RIAA is currently doing.
      • by Goffee71 (628501) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:20AM (#27339513) Homepage
        Using YouTube as a nostalgia trip, I've seen many artist come back to 'life' from the combination of fan power and the Web. Careers have been revived, arenas filled, records sold - all money in the bank. But now its being taken away, those fairly narrow opportunities are reducing every day this runs on, all done by the people who are supposed to help artists generate money. Something is badly wrong http://goffee-freelance.blogspot.com/2009/03/finally-affected-by-internet-politics.html [blogspot.com] "Anyone can find a fan page, maybe even the original artists and kick back in nostalgia mode, old albums can be purchased (money for the record companies - a good thing), even re-released (even better), a lot of acts are touring now, who without the net to spread the word would be sat on their arses."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JosKarith (757063)
          I know what you mean. If I heard a song on the radio I liked, I'd google what I remembered of the lyrics and look the song up on Youtube. I'd then listen around other tracks by the same artist to decide if I want to buy the album. I've been burned too many times with albums that only had 1 good track on to buy albums on the strength of liking one song. Hell, I've discovered bands I never heard of before through the similar links.

          Now I just download the whole damn album. Care to guess if I bother to buy it

    • by Aranykai (1053846)

      This reminds me of a situation I was recently in. My neighborhood was approached by a natural gas drilling company who made a bid to purchase mineral rights for our property. Many of us accepted their bids and now receive a few hundred dollars a year from them. However a large group decided they would hold out, forming an alliance that demanded 4x what we got. Well, after 2 months, the company withdrew their bids and those people who were greedy got nothing.

      They acted as if the oil company had stolen money

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:28AM (#27338823) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like they just want to take their ball home since they don't get to be the star player (or even get their way).

    SO be it. Give them what they want. Take down all music related content everywhere that isn't on their own sites. That means: Discussion boards about their music, Fan sites about their music, album reviews, links to amazon, etc. All of it.

    Boycott these people up the wazoo... and just to make it fun... pick on someone specific to make and example of them.

    Start by removing their Wikipedia page then systematically begin contacting websites which are highly ranked in Google for their name... ask them to participate in protest.

    It doesn't have to be permanent (though the 301 responses need to be ;-p ) - just long enough to make the point.

    "Hey [music writer who is famous], what happened to all your google hits? i can't find anything about you anywhere... it's like you don't exist except on your 'official' site. Aren't you supposed to be famous.

    Keep it up long enough and maybe they'll even see an economic impact.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:29AM (#27338833)

    I am not certain if these views have been editorially compromised but by reading a few pages

    Compromised? Certainly not. Specially hand picked by the group? Most definitely possible.

    You wouldn't be able to say for certain however unless a UK musician comes forth and says his/her opinions in favor of youtube exposure was not added to the site.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:35AM (#27338865)

    > I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

    Translation: I did some work back in the 80's, and I still want collect paychecks from it.

    • > I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

      Translation: I did some work back in the 80's, and I still want collect paychecks from it.

      Wow. How can I find this wonderful world of make-believe? Will I find Candy Mountain? Oh please, oh please!

    • Well said... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Siener (139990) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:01AM (#27338963) Homepage

      Just ran out of mod points, so I'll rather add this:

      Somewhere the public perception of copyright (and other IP rights) went from "a time limited incentive to encourage the creation of novel content" to "content creators have the right to get paid in perpetuity".

      Because of the technological and legal environment of the 20th century it was possible for content creators and distributors to make insane amounts of money for a very limited amount of work.

      That created the idea that they have some god-given right to get paid for absolutely everything that ever gets done with their content or anything that is derived from it. That has not been the case for most of history and it will almost certainly not be the case in the future ... and no that will not mean the end of music and art.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpe (36238)
        Somewhere the public perception of copyright (and other IP rights) went from "a time limited incentive to encourage the creation of novel content" to "content creators have the right to get paid in perpetuity".

        The latter would be more "content creators and their children, grandchildren, (great) nieces/nephews, etc ..."
      • Re:Well said... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Kashgarinn (1036758) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:07AM (#27339451)

        Yep, it's as stupid as plumbers adding a debit/credit card swipers on every toilet they set up and make you pay every time you go to the bathroom.

        MP3s and youtube videos is the same as advertisements for your crap. As in it should be free, and the best advertisement in and of itself for your stuff.

        It's a shame things are as they are.

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Swampash (1131503) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:00AM (#27339191)

      I'm sorry, did I just hear Pete Waterman complain about not having any money?

      Stock Aitken Waterman, sometimes known as SAW, were a UK songwriting and record producing trio who had great success during the mid-late 1980s and early 1990s with many of their productions. The three can be considered to be the most successful songwriting and producing partnership of all time, scoring more than 100 UK top 40 hits, selling 40 million records and earning an alleged $104 million).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Aitken_Waterman [wikipedia.org]

      To date, Waterman has scored a total of twenty two UK number one singles with his various acts and he claims upwards of 500 million sales worldwide (inclusive of singles, albums, compilation inclusions, downloads, etc). Pete has also appeared in the Steps video "Tragedy".

      Waterman is worth £30 million[4] according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Waterman [wikipedia.org]

      We're talking about a guy who collects railways. Not "trainsets" or "model trains", he collects railway networks.

      So, yes. Translation: "I started doing coke off hookers' tits every day in the nineties and I'd like it to continue indefinitely please."

      Fuck off Waterman, fuck you and all the other McMusic parasites who turned popular music into fast food. Rather than demanding money from me you should be thanking me that I don't spit on the ground at the mention of your name.

      • >I'm sorry, did I just hear Pete Waterman complain about not having any money?
        No, he said he didn't get enough given the number of plays.
      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @05:17AM (#27339773)

        Stock, Aitken & Waterman have never been about the music, they have always been a hit making machine. They have one target firmly in their sights, adolescent youths with pocket money to burn who are easily manipulated by crushes and marketing.

        It's easy to sell something as "new" if your target age group are unlikely to have the life experience to know it's been done several times before; you only need to look at the amount of covers they do.

        They know that age group are always gonna be looking for the next new thing so their "artists" (I use the word VERY loosely in their case) have a shelf life of a few years before they are dropped to fend for themselves or switch careers, with a bit of luck they invested their short term fame and earnings while they had screaming fans mob them.

        They know that there's always a new generation of exploitees, as the 10yr olds who spent every penny on one artist have grown older and potentially into better tastes, there are a new group of 10yr olds to be manipulated into falling for the new artist. The same bullshit machine swings into action with every new investment / artist.

        It's the proverbial "taking candy from a baby" on an industrial scale. Others do this too, but none quite so blatantly or successfully (in the late 80's anyway).

        Aside from that particular example, look at the list of who has signed onto it. All the major names people recognize are those who have made a fortune from their music already. They are either multi-millionaires with several homes / businesses etc and several income streams from their back catalogs being played on TV / radio stations the world over, or they are perceived to be that, where the reality is that they've blown the vast riches they did earn on an excessive lifestyle and have therefor spent their earnings. Either way, the rich gain little sympathy when pleading poverty.

        I'd have more sympathy if they really DID fight for the artists, not the top earners, they can look after themselves. If they were a non-profit agency who made sure the little peeps got their fair share, while accepting that things have changed and they need to be realistic. I'd have more sympathy if these asshats didn't try to extort broadcast license payments from workplaces listening to the radio as "more than one person can hear, so it's a broadcast, therefor give us cash".

        While this is the only response they offer, I say fuck them.

    • > I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

      Translation: I did some work back in the 80's, and I still want collect paychecks from it.

      Paid for it? He should be shot for it.

    • >Translation: I did some work back in the 80's, and I still want collect paychecks from it.
      That's the way royalties work. Duh.
    • >which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google.
      >My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was GBP11 Just to put this in perspective, if the song had been played 100m times on UK National Radio, he'd have been paid GBP2-5bn instead of GBP11. *That's* how much Google are underpaying compared to market rate.
      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @05:22AM (#27339785) Homepage Journal

        Just to put this in perspective, if the song had been played 100m times on UK National Radio, he'd have been paid GBP2-5bn instead of GBP11. *That's* how much Google are underpaying compared to market rate.

        If he doesn't want Google playing his music without paying him, then that's fine: he's got what he wants. Google are not playing his music. What's his beef?

        The going rate is whatever rate can be negotiated between the producer and the consumer. Google, as the consumer, has said 'if that's the rate, fine, we don't need the product.' Astley (and people like him) have to decide whether they want their music to reach an internet audience or not. If they don't, that's fine - Google not playing it works for them. But what they can't reasonably do is complain that Google refuse to buy their product. If the supermarket in your high street tries to sell you chocolates at more than what you think they're worth, you don't buy them - no-one needs chocolate. If the PRS tries to sell Google music at more than Google thinks it's worth, Google doesn't buy it. So - where's the beef?

        Furthermore, your computation is wrong. When a tune is played in BBC Radio 1 or Radio 2, it's heard by about 6 million people. When a tune is played on YouTube, it's typically heard by one person. So 100 million plays on YouTube is not equivalent to 100 million plays on Radio 2, it's equivalent to seventeen plays on Radio 2. Not seventeen million, seventeen.

        So the equivalent payment is not £2-5Bn, it's £340. Which is a lot more than £11, I'd agree - but is that because Google are offering too little, or because radio is paying too much?

        • Yep, you're not far wrong - see my other post where I corrected the calc - still a bit different to yours but more in the ballpark ;-)
        • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

          by xaxa (988988) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @06:18AM (#27340039)

          Remember also, the 100 million plays are for YouTube *worldwide* but the £11 is just for the UK YouTube audience.

          A crap estimate: there are about 300M native English speakers worldwide according to Wikipedia (sounds a bit low?). There are about 58M native English speakers in the UK.
          100M YouTube plays scales to about 19M UK YouTube plays, or about 3 plays on BBC Radio 1, or about £60.

    • > I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

      Translation: I did some work back in the 80's, and I still want collect paychecks from it.

      'Never Gonna Give You Up'?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickroll [wikipedia.org]

      He wants to collect paychecks for an Internet meme making fun of his music.

      It is as if Matt Groening should sue Slashdot for usage of the "evil overlord" meme.

  • I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube

    ... this is just rickroll 2.0!!

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by speedtux (1307149) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:43AM (#27338899)

    They seem to be complaining that Google chooses not to play their music and hence not pay them. How much sense does that make? Are car dealerships going to complain that I'm not buying a new car?

  • decline? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @01:51AM (#27338921) Homepage

    I only see *large, traditional* music in decline, and organizations built on the assumption those organizations are the only ones with talent - but not the "industry". Such is the effect of rapid change.

    See collections, for example:
    http://www.jamendo.com/en/ [jamendo.com]
    http://bt.etree.org/ [etree.org]
    http://beta.legaltorrents.com/netlabel-music [legaltorrents.com]
    http://uaradio.net/ [uaradio.net]

    and others, going strong and growing

    plus *lots* of great, independent net labels and organizations building up to use the Internet the way it works, and an emerging set of well-known artists breaking free from these old organizations to embrace new methods.

  • by carlzum (832868) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:00AM (#27338957)

    I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

    I've had that damn song forced upon my ears for most of my life. I deserve restitution, he owes me £11!

    • I co-wrote 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which Rick Astley performed in the eighties, and which must have been played more than 100 million times on YouTube - owner Google. My PRS for Music income in the year ended September 2008 was £11.

      I've had that damn song forced upon my ears for most of my life. I deserve restitution, he owes me £11!

      Exactly. Just because lots of people viewed the video, (and I'm sure he dragged that number out of his ass), does not mean they liked/would pay for it.

      So if they don't like Google's proposed deal, how about letting people vote for clips? Click to share the ad revenue generated by this page with the...well, who? Should be the song's author & the performing artist, I guess.
      The trick would be to also allow people to vote songs down; just bacause I stumbled across a clip does not mean I agree to share th

  • by CyberSlammer (1459173) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:04AM (#27338973)
    Millions of people have discovered music that was once thought lost through Youtube...artists have gained new fans, even restarted their careers by people rediscovering their music through the magic of Youtube.

    Now that medium is silenced. Way to go fairplayforcreators, you are going to lose more revenue than you know.

    And by the way:

    FUCK YOU

    • by gsslay (807818)

      Millions of people have discovered music that was once thought lost

      Care to give examples for that lost music? Videos, maybe, but the music itself?

      artists have gained new fans, even restarted their careers by people rediscovering their music through the magic of Youtube.

      Like who?

      you are going to lose more revenue than you know.

      Which money? You are arguing that google should get these videos for free, plus the related advertising revenue. The "millions of new fans" you speak of are also getting the music for free. So where exactly are the music creators getting the money?

  • by SunSpot505 (1356127) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:10AM (#27338995)
    Sigh...

    While I will concede that they do seem completely out of touch with the benefits of internet notoriety, there is a very salient point here: How do you hold content aggregator sites accountable for their content sources? Is it really fair that google makes billions a year while their most popular site is powered by stolen material??

    Now you could argue that the real solution is for these writers to start their own channel and provide better copies of the content in a regulated manner. Some of my favorite artists have done just that in response to a plethora of their videos being on youtube.

    That's only a couple of steps short of extortion though, and doesn't respect the right of the content owner to boycott google and it's hyper saturation of popular culture. And it still doesn't stop xXxRockerBOI from uploading his favorite song of yours with pictures of his girlfriend and lightning pictures as a slideshow.

    When will we get a meaningful dialogue about intellectual property and royalties? These people always come across as greedy assholes, but that doesn't mean that they're entirely wrong about there being a problem, just wrong headed about articulating it.

    Just my .02 ...
    • Your two cents is pretty accurate, really. A lot of the content on youtube is over the line. I'm guilty of viewing some old videos of artists that I may have heard of, but never saw before. Some acts by artists that I knew, but hadn't seen that act. And, we are'nt talking of short snippets - look around long enough, you can find entire performances, I'm certain. Yes, a lot of users go well beyond what common sense should dictate as "Fair Use". And, somewhere in that mess, Google really should step up,
      • by CmdrGravy (645153)

        The thing is though, and it's not apparent you realise it from your post, is that the artists have been getting paid by Google for the songs on Youtube. The argument here is not whether they should be paid, both Google & the PRS agree that they should be but how much they should be paid.

        The music industry has a long history of asking for, and co-ercing lawmakers into forcing content providers to pay enourmous sums of money for their songs and now Google has turned round and said "That's too much. We wan

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      Is it really fair that google makes billions a year while their most popular site is powered by stolen material??

      What, google.com? That being Google's most popular site - you know, the search engine? Is that powered by stolen material? Because I thought Google paid for the computers and bandwidth and electricity they use.

      Perhaps you mean youtube.com, which while popular is far less so than google.com. But again, I didn't realise they'd stolen the materials that power that site: if they had, wouldn't the

  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:16AM (#27339013)

    I read TFAs and the comments and do not understand the outrage. Google disagreed on the amount of royalties and obliged the authors and other interested parties by removing the music. That should be considered a win, right? I mean now the authors are free from unfair competition to open their own streaming website and offer their music at what they consider a fair price. Isn't that what they want?

  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:18AM (#27339031)
    I'm so glad some "artists" have chosen to come out and show us who not to buy records from. Thanks guys, don't expect a cent from me.
  • 1. put your own music on youtube
    2. ask google for money
    3. profit? ah.. rats!

  • question to poster (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kernkopje (414100)

    "(...) by reading a few pages, its clear to me that Music writers represented by PRS for Music are largely clueless about what the Internet and YouTube means to the music industry. Kind of explains why the music industry is in as much decline â" and also why so much litigation takes place on the music writers behalf."

    Question to poster: how does it follow from their statements that the music writers are clueless?

    Granted, most of us feel that the music business has taken loads of wrong approaches - the

    • However, we are not talking record companies here. We are talking music WRITERS. Creators. People that compose the music and write lyrics, that have (in most cases) somebody else sing or play it. These people don't make money by performing the songs, or by marketing it in a clever way. In most cases, all they have is their royalties.

      Then they need to get their royalties from the people who are directly using their content to make money. This includes the people that perform the songs, and the record companies.

      As mentioned in a comment above, creators do not have a god-given right to get paid for absolutely everything that ever gets done with their content or anything that is derived from it.

      If a performer is directly using your composition on an album or your lyrics in a song, then get that performer to pay. They are the ones ma

    • by phulshof (204513) <phulshof@xs4all.nl> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:21AM (#27339283) Homepage

      Question to poster: how does it follow from their statements that the music writers are clueless?

      Very simple: they seem to focus on how much money Google is making, and how much money they think their music is worth. The question they SHOULD be asking is: how much money is my music WORTH to Google? How much revenue would Google lose if my music was pulled from YouTube tomorrow, and what % of that money might I fairly claim? They should also ask themselves the question: how much money will I lose/gain if my music was NOT on YouTube? If the payment is not enough for you, then don't complain when Google removes your music.

    • Question to poster: how does it follow from their statements that the music writers are clueless?

      The individual songwriters' requests for compensation injects cognitive dissonance into the minds of the people who insist that only Big Evil Corporations with their Obsolete Buisiness Model want people to pay for music (to finance Lear jets and hot tubs full of hookers for fatcat executives), and that the Brave New World of music is that all music is free and all artists support themselves through touring and merchandise, and all the greedy recording executives are out of a job, and therefore you are entit

      • by phulshof (204513)

        I'm sorry, but I have to disagree here. I am not condoning copyright infringement, but this is a business deal between two parties. The songwriters wish to get paid for their work being up on YouTube, but don't like the amount Google is willing to pay. Without a deal, Google has to remove said music from YouTube upon request (conform European copyright law), but when they do so the songwriters protest even more. It is clear to me that they have a very different view of what their music is worth from what it

        • Actually, I agree with you, and I think the organization's approach to the matter is dumb, and Google has every right to just remove the content.

          I just think it's telling that of the actual quotes being addressed by /. posters, most of them are along the lines of "fuck that greedy bastard who wrote that Rick Astley song and is already rich and wants even more money for his 20 year old song so boycott him and everybody else who is a member of that organization", rather than even grazing the larger questions

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:27AM (#27339071) Homepage Journal
    https://apps.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/apps/memberadmin/Registration.asp?primaryAcc=1 [mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk] I looked for a signup, thinking I just MIGHT have some little say. No way. You have to have a CAE Number to even sign up. Is that like a tax number, a club membership number, or what? Obviously, no colonials are welcome, whatever it might be. And, just as obviously, if you don't agree with the stated mission of squeezing money out of everyone online, your views are MOST unwelcome. I'll bet they have a voice in the ACTA treaty, though, unlike any voting American citizen.
  • Or at least their songwriter is. They should just be glad anybody would choose to listen to their garbage, free or not. I would need a gun to my head to indulge in their shit.
    • >They should just be glad anybody would choose to listen to their garbage, free or not. Apparantly 25m people buy their albums annually so clearly some people do choose to listen. I think you'll find the Mama Mia film/musical has done rather well too.
  • Doesn't add up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:09AM (#27339235) Homepage

    I had a video that had about 25,000 views in total and when I got my PRS for Music cheque through, I think I made two or three pounds off that maximum ...
    Sam Isaac, songwriter

    So let's be generous and say 1% of those views resulted in an ad click-through. This guy wants to make serious money out of 250 ad clicks?

  • by s0litaire (1205168) * on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:12AM (#27339247)
    Originally the "Music Video" was designed as a way for the industry to promote a song when the Artist was not available to play it live. In a sense it was designed from the start to be a 'Loss leader' for the music industry. That the playing of the track itself was promoting the artist and song, so the money they lost in making the video was recouped in the form of larger sales of the track involved. Now with less money going around the Industry are wanting more ways to create income, turning the traditionally loss making music video in to a money stream in it's own right.
    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      No he's right. I'm off to write a song now and post it on YouTube. I'm going to get all my friends to spend all day watching it over and over again for weeks. I'll get 25,000 views in no time and then demand free money from Google. Everybody wins!
  • I call bullshit.

    Or at least, I don't see this at all. I know a few people who have been creating music for quite some time. And most of the time they didn't get paid.

    Also, I and a bunch of others organize a festival (*) every year on the campus of the University of Twente. The performers don't receive any payment, maybe a compensation for fuel. Not getting paid at all hasn't stopped the performers from wanting to show up and show their creative talent.

    And to extrapolate this beyond music creators. Not receiving royalties hasn't stopped from people creating mods for computer games. It hasn't stopped creators of open source software.

    The only people who are stopped by not receiving royalties are people who are in it for the royalties.

    *) it's not a big festival, only about 1000-1400 guests. But compared to other student organized parties it's the biggest event. It's completely organized by people in their spare time. Nobody gets paid to do anything.

  • This might look like PRS is being the lame ones, but if you actually know a bloody thing about the music industry you would understand better what this really is about.

    Youtube/Google makes millions upon millions of ad revenues from youtube. A clip that gets seen a lot generates more revenues. If it contains music that is 'copywritten' there should be a performance royalty associated to that clip. This is a movement to control the cash-flow of the music industry. There is no sense for Google to retain al

    • by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:06AM (#27339447) Homepage

      Google was already paying royalties. The issue at hand is, how high should those royalties be.

      The PRS argument seems to percieve that a 'view' is worth a lot more than makes sense (see the comment on the page about getting 25,000 views and expecting more than a couple of pounds in royalties).

      Google does make billions, but it makes those billions by serving trillions of pages. 1000 video views might result in one ad click. One ad click is only worth a few pence.

      If they paid what the PRS is asking, Google would make a loss. So, they said "no thanks".

  • It's a balancing act (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:45AM (#27339639)

    I understand where these artists are coming from but this is the fallout from a badly balanced system as it was started. Music was well overpriced to begin with, the internet has forced that into a more realistic pricing model and those who benefited from a little-effort-multi-millionaire lifestyle now see their gravy train coming to a crashing stop. It's no wonder they are trying to keep the train moving.

    When the record labels, executives, advertisers, promoters etc are making billions from artists and fans it's no wonder the artists want their share of the cash. When both the means to record, release and promote were limited to those with serious money they held all the cards, and so could charge much more than it cost to make and distribute an LP, tape or CD. They also set the rules on what the artists had to give up to get a small slice of the pie. They screwed both ends of the chain and made a fortune off their backs. The internet has bust that gravy train right off the tracks and they just don't see it.

    Part of the excuse for high product prices was that it cost so much to make and distribute them. With the internet, people can access the same stuff with little cost.

    Part of the excuse for record companies charging for EVERYTHING was that the art of making the music was a skill reserved for specially talented people who needed to spend 6 months in Barbados to "get into the right headspace" to write a 3 minute tune which would gain a high chart position and therefor make them tonnes of cash. This means the artist is treated like some spoiled brat and given whatever they request. Look at the excesses of the large 70's and 80's acts for plenty of examples.

    They don't see music as an art, they see spreadsheets with comparisons of chart positions and sales figures.

    Part of the excuse is that they play a key role as a gobetween the artist and the fans, in the form of TV appearances, radio appearances, interviews etc.

    All of the excuses the recording industry have used over the years to justify their extortionate fees are evaporating as people are bypassing them, legally and illegally. Many artists are choosing to go their own routes, giving them more control and a larger slice of the profits of their work and a direct relationship with their fans.

    Costs have come down dramatically and the point of entry is now very low if you want to make music for a living but the days of Elton John or Queen type earnings are long gone, no matter how good you are; the public have changed and the mediums have changed....and won't change back, no matter how much they wish it so.

    It's now possible to put a band together with decent quality equipment and record on a simple mixer / PC to get a reasonably professional sound, which coupled with some internet savvy thinking can get you decent earnings.

    It's early in the morning and I think I'm starting to ramble so I'll end it there.

  • This says it all (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bradley13 (1118935)

    "It is important...for future generations of music creators, that they can rely on earning an income from their songwriting."

    Why?

    Art is everywhere. Art is cheap. How many people are members of garage bands? Play an instrument? Sing? Maybe even give the occasional performance? How many people paint, write, compose, sculpt or dance in their spare time? Most have no expectation of making money - it's a hobby, something they do for fun.

    Earning real money with any of this - composing, performing, writing, da

  • Call their bluff I say. With a lesser financial incentive, the commercial types like Waterman will push off and work in factories, leaving only true artists making music. This issue is interesting, because it reminds us that, while modern capitalism allows certain creative artists a share in the surplus value they produce, they are the exception. The system can only function if most workers aren't treated the same way.
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:28AM (#27340953) Homepage
    They are supposedly my fellow musicians. You would think that they would know that this is the only PRS [prsguitars.com] for music that matters ...

    Paul Reed Smith should sue. Serously.

    I love the "If you agree with us let us know, and if you do not then bugger off" approach.

    I especially love their complaint:

    GOOGLE is blocking UK usersâ(TM) access to premium music videos on YouTube as it is not prepared to pay the going rate for the music that plays on it and contributes to its £3billion annual profits. "

    If only we had some kind of Capatalist System [wikipedia.org] where people and corporations could decide for themselves what to charge and what they are willing to pay for goods and services! Then we could all say Google has elected not to purchase your product at that price; good day sirs! Until that day, however, they are Evil, and Bad, and doing something that is just plain Not Fair(tm)
  • It's like this: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:29AM (#27340963)
    In the old days, a music publisher could charge a premium for copies of music (printed music, or audio productions) because they had relatively significant upfront costs, and a relatively easy means of controlling distribution, and reproduction. They got paid for taking that risk, and for controlling a scarce resource (the printed/engraved copies), and they got paid well.

    Guess what (you greedy bastards), the risk has been mitigated with the advent of digital distribution. Your ability to control the scarce resource is disappearing. That's how capitalism works (well, that's how it's supposed to work anyway)

    Think of all the wanna-be Britney Spears who awoke in their dingy trailer homes, wondered who their father was, and then sat happily crunching away on their Lucky Charms at the combination breakfast-nook/Counter-top/Fold-away bed. Maybe it's better they don't get exploited after all.
  • by thethibs (882667) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:23AM (#27341739) Homepage

    What these folk fail to realize is that "musician" is no longer a profession--it's just an activity. It follows "photographer" and "journalist" down that trail marked by blogs, flickr, youTube and other broadcast media available to anyone with a PC.

    In the long run, we're going to have to find a way to pay the best of them to keep producing stuff we want to hear and see, but the big studio, big distributor model won't be part of it. These guys are already dead, they just don't have the good sense to lie down.

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