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You need to read this!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by basspro2, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    Mods you can move this I just didn't know where to put it..

    The Record Industry Continues To Crush the Life Out Of the Fans
    By Cory Treffiletti
    Wednesday December 10, 2003

    This is indeed MediaPost's Online Spin, but since I sometimes use this space to critique the music industry (positively and negatively), I wanted to make you all aware of something that recently made the pursuit of illegal downloads look like pre-school behavior.

    Have you ever patronized a bar to see a local band consisting of your friends and colleagues? How many times have you sat and listened to a relative unknown sing covers of your favorite songs, with a sprinkling of some originals? Well, it looks like those days may be on the way out if the record industry has their say.

    Over the last three years we have all heard repeatedly about the steps the music industry has taken to curb illegal music downloads, but it seems their greed knows no boundaries. In a recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle, a tavern owner was forced to stop featuring live music due to lawsuits filed by ASCAP. The lawsuits held the tavern owner responsible for unauthorized covers of ASCAP copyrighted music by local musicians who were playing in the bar. These bands obviously played the music in homage to their favorite artists, and to showcase their own musical talents, but "spies" from record companies and ASCAP were placed in the crowd and subsequently filed two lawsuits against the owner of the tavern in less than a year. Rather than dealing with these lawsuits, the bar was forced to retire the live music in favor of a jukebox or silence.

    The record industry has now made a crusade to formally crush the spirit of what was responsible for its growth over the last 50 years. From Sinatra to Nirvana, the Grateful Dead to the Spice Girls, the fans are what have always driven the industry to be successful. Internet Music sharing was always an extension of this, where fans could share the music of their favorite artists and try to spread the word. This community of fans always resulted in an increased fan base, increased sales and revenue and generally positive feelings. Dave Matthews has made a living off this type of sharing within a community. Phish, The Dead, and even acts like Prince and Alicia Keys have been successful due to word of mouth and a community sharing information and music.

    The reason the record industry is so hard-pressed to remain profitable is not because the community is cheating, but because the quality of the music is poor.

    In the last few years there have been a handful of acts that have sold well beyond the industry's expectations. Linkin Park, 50 Cent and a number of other acts have been successful in spite of the online file-sharing community. I would argue that they have been successful as a result of this community by spreading their songs to areas and audiences that might not have heard them before due to the singular voice of modern radio conglomerates and the singular vision of MTV and VH1. These acts were supported by their fans, utilized the Internet to spread their music and to foster the community at hand. The product was good. The community was strong, and the sales were high.

    By now venturing outside of the Internet and into the local pub to subvert the community by creating a tense situation every time a local band plays a cover of "All Along The Watchtower" or "Evenflow," the industry has proven its distance and lack of compassion for the same people that were responsible for its growth and excitement. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

    The article goes on to tell how there is indeed a license that can be purchased for $700 a year to avoid these types of lawsuits, but you would think that after the first lawsuit that ASCAP would have explained this to the tavern owner. They didn't.

    Eventually this is going to get worse, and the industry is going to create even more tension between the industry and its fans. Coming from me, a person who still buys at least 1-2 physical CDs per week, this is not a good thing. The industry is making it harder and harder for me to support the artists they are trying to create.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 ¿Huevos?! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    uhhh... wrong forum?!
  3. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    its all gone too far, the bloody middleman is getting too much. Give the artists more and everybody wins hopefully.
    i dont see anything wrong with bands playing covers

  4. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    I think that it is total BS! I am fed up with all the greedy corporates going around trying to squash the little guy just so they can make more money. Greed is the #1 problem in America today. It is time for someone to put a stop to it. Instead of passing all these laws that will make the rich even richer, someone needs to make laws that protect the small guy, the backbone of America. @$#! all the greedy corporates.:mad:
  5. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB

    IMO the industry is so out of touch with the real world it's scary. All these lawsuits, trying to squash file swapping, etc wouldn't be so damn hard IF THE MUSIC WAS BETTER, AND THE PRICES WERE LOWER! :rolleyes: I mean, not many people would buy, say, a Britney Spears CD for $17... and besides, with the quality of music on those CD's, it's no surprise people would rather download the good songs and not toss away that much money for a mediocre disc.

    Dream Theater's new album, Train of Thought, cost me $18, Canadian, but still. I know I would buy a new DT CD for pretty much any price, but for a non-mainstream band like DT, and many others, fans are willing to go to these lengths to buy their CD's. Creed fans, for example, would probably not pay $18 for one of their CD's, IME.

    Now, CD's are cheaper than they were a little while ago. It's refreshing to see the $9.99 specials on again at some music stores (except HMV...:spit: ). But before they start suing everyone's asses for such ridiculous things, maybe they should think about it first. MAYBE people would like better music instead of having their helping of "weekly BS" stuffed into their ears.:meh:

    But that's just me.:)
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Leave the covers out of it, this is how almost EVERY band got started!
    True, corporate America has gone too far! CD's in excess of $15 which cost only cents to produce, not to mention major record labels require that most bands release new albums every 12-18 months to avoid breaching contract. Therefore the writing is more rushed, and as a result, much crappier.
  7. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    HMV has some CDs on for $9.99. I bought The Mars Volta CD for that much there...helluva CD too.
  8. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    tplyons, perhaps you misread my post, i said i DONT see anything wrong with bands playing covers mate.:)
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I know, that was a bit unclear, but that leave it alone is directed towards the RIAA and whatnot. Anyway, I love playing cover tunes, getting the crowd to chant "die" with us instead of at us while playing Metallica's Creeping Death was amazing.
  10. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Hate to break it to you, dude, but ASCAP and BMI have been doing that for, oh, 70 years.

    Venues have always been required to have ASCAP and BMI licenses, which are considered their royalty contributions.

    (credit- Smuggo)
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Off to Misc...
  12. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB

    Yeah, maybe, but it's damn rare that they do that. I always see stuff cheaper at A&B, or even Future Shop, than HMV. Small selection too.

    ...bit off topic, sorry.:oops:

    But all this middleman talk is so sad that it's true. Seems all the industry wants is money these days, without actually giving consumers a good product for their money. Ah, I remember when CD's were maximum $13 Canadian... the good old days.:D
  13. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    $10 for CD's would be golden....

    The stock standard rate out here is $30 .......which is $22.25 US .....

    About the article,

    Sounds like a bit of a storm in a tea cup imo. But if they were to get "really" serious about it, it would just about be the death of the entire music profession. 90+% of professional musicians earn their income through playing covers, so unless the record exec's want to cripple the incomes and familys of the millions of musicians worldwide, i cant really see it happening.
  14. AltIII


    Sep 3, 2002
    uh oh, someone better warn Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Alot of the recording companies these days don't employ the musicians you speak of (us) anyway.

    But still, POP has just about eaten itself. The lack of regional style, in exchange for a homogenized, continuity of sameness leaves me disinterested. The only thing POP has going for it these days is the Fan Mag/media/hype industry surrounding it.
  16. It's not clear to me what in the initial post is quoted from the article mentioned and what is basspro's comments. It would be helpful to know what the article actually says and what is interpretation.

    Anyway, some things seem to be off to me. First, to remedy what seems to be a common misconception, ASCAP and BMI are NOT part of the recording industry per se. This issue (clubs paying royalties to ASCAP/BMI) has absolutely nothing to do with what BMG or Sony or RIAA or whoever do. ASCAP and BMI represent songwriters and publishers, not record companies. Bringing in the same old recording industry complaints is irrelevant to the club's issue.

    Second, as Brendan pointed out, having club owners pay ASCAP/BMI royalties has been common for quite a long time. It's not some new thing.

    Third, $700 a year is a really trivial amount for a club. What is that, less than $2 *a day*? If the publishing organizations didn't explain things to the club before starting a lawsuit, I think that was wrong; but the idea of collecting these very modest royalties for what is, after all, the use of someone else's work, isn't a bad thing in my book.

    BTW, I'm skeptical of the claim that the "record companies" posted someone in the audience to see if covers were being played. Unless the record company owns some or all of the publishing, they have no rights I know of that somebody playing a cover in a bar could conceivably be violating. Without publishing, record companies do not own performance rights to songs; they only own specific recordings of songs. Columbia might own, say, Paul Simon's original *recording* of "America," but unless they own some of the publishing, they have nothing to say about somobody singing the *song* "America" in a bar, and they have absolutely no rights to Yes's recording of the same song. So I can't see how they could have the slightest grounds for a suit in the scenario described. That part sounds bogus to me.
  17. Aaron J

    Aaron J Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    jawzzz....right on :cool:
  18. I sense a possible off-topic political crapstorm coming on, so may I suggest that we keep the topic to that of the original post?
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Yep. In case you folks don't remember, political discussions are only allowed in the Lounge. If you want to discuss politics, buy a supporting membership and discuss them there.

    I am removing the political posts from this thread. If it continues to stray off topic, it will be closed.
  20. TOTAL BULL S@#%!!!!

    How can these record companies go this far!?

    Pretty soon it's going to be illegal to play music.

    I can understan of cds were a reasonable price, but they are *****in expensive!!

    I hope the supreme court steps in on this and limits there power soon.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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