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I did a search for one of my old CD’s that will be going onto iTunes and It turns out my CD was there on BuyMusic.com. As were the CD’s of several other bands that I’m friends with. All of whom were not contacted about being placed for sale there.
Here’s what I’ve deduced… BuyMusic.com (which I will refer to as BM) got their “vast” music library of 300,000 plus songs from a company called the Orchard. The Orchard is a distribution company that has consistently shafted artists by not paying them for CD’s sold nor returning unsold CD’s or cancelling contracts. So, without the express consent of what is likely lots of the Orchards catalog, BM has put it up for sale at the bargain price of $.79 a song.
So now, they can tout they’re selling tracks at $.79 and they can say they have a library of music of over 300,000 songs. But what they don’t tell you is that it comes from musicians/bands that were not asked for permission, and who will likely not see a penny of any sale made through BM. By their very own site policy they are committing copyright infringement. They have done this to lure PC/windows users to their site in hopes to sell the few major label aquired songs they do have, at a price that is much higher than Apple’s $.99.
I’m currently looking into legal means to have my music removed from their site and strongly encourage users to not browse BM’s site nor purchase from it.” We contacted Jody this week to discuss his story, and he’s promised to keep us informed in his battle with Orchard and BuyMusic.com.
He also gave us the following information: “At that time I did a distribution deal (1997-98). The original contract was to set me up with Brick and Mortar distribution, nothing else. Fast forward a couple of years. I dissolved the band, but kept the disc and still sold it, since I own it. At one point I was notified. That I had some sales with the Orchard, but since it was so random and I hadn’t dealt with them in so long, I never got paid. Though they asked for more CD’s. Then they announced they were having financial troubles and were going to go out of business. At this point lots of artists with them were having difficulty getting their merchandise back. I just decided to “screw it” not worry about it, that I would never see the small amount from the sales and call it a loss. Fast Forward again to last week. It came to my attention that BuyMusic was up. So I tried to get in to see the hubbub. Mostly cause I’m so excited to be finally getting onto iTunes. Immediately I wasn’t happy with BuyMusic, being a Mac lover. I then got word that anyone who was with the Orchard may very well be on BuyMusic. I went to double check and sure enough my old CD (Amalgam – Delicate Stretch of the Seems) that I still control and own was up there, for sale without my permission. This made my blood boil. I contacted several of my friends who had also done deals with the Orchard and found they are on BuyMusic as well, not mention that they were not told of this either and all of them thought the Orchard was out of business. I started going to the Orchard’s site, found that they still seem to be conducting business, unfortunately I can no longer get into my account cause the information there is so old that I don’t have it anymore. I also started going through their catalog and searching for Orchard artists on BuyMusic. I’m finding about fifty percent to be up there and to this point, everyone I’ve contacted had no idea they were on BuyMusic, and also though the Orchard wasn’t around anymore.”
All of this is coming on the heels of the problems with the BuyMusic service, USA Today is reporting that songs can’t be transfered to portable devices, and it appears their their ads are a bit of a play on Apple’s own ad campaign. Even the Washington Post’s Rob Pegararo gets into the game this week, taking their service out to the woodshed for some abuse.