Tag Archives: techdirt

And another thing to say about Royalty agencies

Royalty agencies have been having their way for years. And now it seems that we’re seeing more stories coming out about the shady tactics and underhanded systems put in place to maximise  their profits and limit the money sent to artists.

Here’s another example this time from Germany of a collection agency interfering with royalty payments and stopping musicians from do what they want with their music.

Seems like all the love musicians have for composing is all we have left. The rest is just an incredible uphill battle.

via techdirt

Purchase songs for $0.04 each… How do you feel about that?

There’s a new method for getting your songs cheap. Stacked full of DRM and on ANOTHER new format from Sandisk they are launching 1000 songs for $40 on these new cards.

You can’t really use them without a computer, you can’t choose the songs, and as a song writer they’re worth LESS THAN $0.04 per song to the record company…

And so all things being ‘fair’ for the artist, who would only see half of that royalty IF THEIR LUCKY due to the record company being so ‘helpful’  at getting this opportunity… Each artist would get $0.02 per disc sold. And that means these new Sandisks need to sell 100’s of 1000’s.

And your cut as a musician? if 100 000 discs were sold – $2000.

Oh… My… Goodness!!!!

So, what used to be considered successful album sales now barely covers living expenses for 2 months. And they think this is supposed to ‘save’ the industry.

via Techdirt

Sample Laws get a new precident in Germany

It seems that there is a shift in the ‘fair use’ policy for samples. Previously there have been numerous cases involving a tiny sample being used within a song in an unrecognizable state causing a lot of trouble for the songwriter who used the sample.

One such case that has been going on for a while involves the band Kraftwerk

Here is a 30 second run down about ‘fair use’ and how it relates to music. There has existed a rule that if you want to you can photocopy up to 10% of a copyrighted book for specific uses without permission. Within music though, there has never been an acceptable amount of ‘fair use’ because whole songs can be created from less then 10% of a song. Imagine the average song goes for 3minutes or 180 seconds… 10% = 18seconds. EASY to do.

Go Here for a more in depth look at fair use

Now this line has been getting blurred as more cases appear where the sample can no longer be recognized due to how mangled it gets during the creation process.

The argument is that the original ‘hook’ that existed in the original song is no longer present in the mashed-up version and so should be allowed. The flip side to this argument is the fact that what is being used is copyrighted property, the recording contains just as much copyright as the songwriting element and in fact in this instance would seem to be more important as the muscians are ‘defacing’ the property -an equivalent would be drawing a moustache on Princess Diana’s portrait and then selling it. There really is a lot of gray area within this topic.

As i mentioned at the start of the article it seems like the law is relaxing in this regard as Kraftwerk has lost their lawsuit against the songwriters who used their sample mainly for the reason listed above. The sample used wasn’t easily recognizable nor was it a VITAL focus point of the new song –it wasn’t a focus point like say the sample is within Walk this Way by RUN DMC. (This case is slightly different as permission was sought and granted.)

It seems though that within a fast-paced world we REALLY NEED to streamline and automate the process of using samples, whether through ‘fair use’ or through a set percentage of songwriting/recording royalty for each sample used. I’m all for seeing the artist get their dues for songs that they wrote themselves, but certainly it would be good for all involved if the process was streamlined to allow unhindered NEW and FRESH creativity.

via TechDirt

Further Reading about Sampling and Music