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Kirk Lorange

The Copyright quagmire ... update

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Dewy    0
Thanks Steve, I appreciate the time that you take to answer questions posed here and always respect your opinion.

I can't agree here... I DO respect him, and his right to have an opinion different from mine. My respect has grown for him in these discussions simply because he does represent the current (failing) business model, and performing musicians who have for many decades made a living from this business model. He represents them and the "system" that has arisen since the dawn of recorded music very well, in a calm, methodical and informed manner. I tip my hat to you sir.

But his opinion itself... I object to. Of course that's my opinion... and its worth its weight in gold... as most opinions are.

Can we agree that the market place has changed for the recording industry? I think so... and I think we can all find fault somewhere with the industry's response to a changing market place.

For years as the price of duplicating CD's came down, they increased the retail price of Cd's. When Video's became a part of promoting a band, the recording industry started charging the bands to make their videos... and charging them interest on the fronted money.

I personally feel like I am being gouged as a customer and fan by an industry that refuses to accept change and adapt its business model to one that takes in less, sometimes none, for access to a bigger marketplace which always pulls in new sales.

I have ALWAYS felt the industry caters to the buck, and neither the artist... or the consumer. Isn't that what music is about, and the industry should find away to make a REASONABLE profit from that event.

My opinion is that the internet has finally given the public power to remedy that, and bands are adapting... the market place is adapting... and the recording industry is litigating.

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Live Stone    0

Thus saith Danny:

It is better to repent than ask permission! Paranoia will destroy ya!

Just too much over nothing. There are no music police interested in what the peons are doing. Where are the actual laws? Has anyone actually read them or are we just taking someones word they are going to eat us? You know "they" they are everywhere and nobody knows who "they" are.

Gotta go I think someone is peeking thru my window trying to see and here what music I'm playing. It must be "they".:dunno::helpsmili:eek::isaynothing:

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solidwalnut    5
I can't agree here... I DO respect him, and his right to have an opinion different from mine. My respect has grown for him in these discussions simply because he does represent the current (failing) business model, and performing musicians who have for many decades made a living from this business model. He represents them and the "system" that has arisen since the dawn of recorded music very well, in a calm, methodical and informed manner. I tip my hat to you sir.

But his opinion itself... I object to. Of course that's my opinion... and its worth its weight in gold... as most opinions are.

Can we agree that the market place has changed for the recording industry? I think so... and I think we can all find fault somewhere with the industry's response to a changing market place.

For years as the price of duplicating CD's came down, they increased the retail price of Cd's. When Video's became a part of promoting a band, the recording industry started charging the bands to make their videos... and charging them interest on the fronted money.

I personally feel like I am being gouged as a customer and fan by an industry that refuses to accept change and adapt its business model to one that takes in less, sometimes none, for access to a bigger marketplace which always pulls in new sales.

I have ALWAYS felt the industry caters to the buck, and neither the artist... or the consumer. Isn't that what music is about, and the industry should find away to make a REASONABLE profit from that event.

My opinion is that the internet has finally given the public power to remedy that, and bands are adapting... the market place is adapting... and the recording industry is litigating.

Dewy--

I appreciate the way you state your opinon about MY opinon. And I do respect your thoughts as to how better the system could operate. But I think you're missing the point as to why I post the info that I do.

See, in the first place the vast majority of posters here do not work in the music industy and don't understand how it works. I want to provide them with an understanding of how it all works. My point of reference is that I am a publisher with memberships in ascap, bmi and sesac.

The original point of this post was frustration at how the system operates. Most of the posts after this are just 'down with the system' types of messages with a ton of hyperbole and misinformation. 'Down with the system' messages are very fashionable because they not too many people want to try and see the good that is in the music industry, all they hear about is what's bad, greedy and outlandish. I want to make sure that people know how the system operates because:

  • Musicians should know if they get involved with songwriting and other contracts what to expect
  • There's a lot of good, both people and business, within the system that should be known

It doesn't matter what type of system is in place, there will be corruption. That's just the nature of man.

I don't represent the failing business model, I represent musicians learning how to navigate through the forest. Yes, there is much wrong with the system. But no one is going to just tear it down so we can all start over again. It has to be changed.

It's like the tobacco industry. It's a part of the fabric of the landscape of the American business world. We all know that tobacco causes cancer. There are millions of people who want to see the industry fall flat on it's face, now. It is changing and becoming less and less a factor and a lobby of congress. But to just do away with the model RIGHT NOW would place millions of people out of work.

The same is true of the current music industry. Would we and the thousands of families displaced from the work place get over it eventually? Sure.

The music industry system IS being changed, as you are saying. The digital age is changing the model and bringing the greedy down a notch. But don't be too surprised when the greediness from the industry isn't entirely removed.

Steve

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solidwalnut    5
Thus saith Danny:

It is better to repent than ask permission! Paranoia will destroy ya!

Just too much over nothing. There are no music police interested in what the peons are doing. Where are the actual laws? Has anyone actually read them or are we just taking someones word they are going to eat us? You know "they" they are everywhere and nobody knows who "they" are.

Gotta go I think someone is peeking thru my window trying to see and here what music I'm playing. It must be "they".:dunno::helpsmili:eek::isaynothing:

Way to bring it, Danny.

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allthumbs    8

Hey Steve! How common is it for musicians to have to sell the rights of their tunes to the companies as part of the signing contract. I am curious as to how much truth is in the "stealing renenue from the musicians" thing.

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solidwalnut    5
For those following the discussion of Internet Radio, Royalties and Copyright issues, please spend several minutes and read this copy of a Seattle Times editorial.

RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter

**

LC

Yeah, the business model of the radio's going to have to change to provide the coolness that the digital age is bringing if the music portion of the radio industry is to survive.

Could good ol' analog radio be destined for talk shows only?? Probably not any time soon, but now we understand one reason why Clear Channel is putting on the squeeze.

Steve

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flattop6g    0

So basically the way that reads the million people or more that have IPods or mp3 players are doing so illegally, correct? There is only one way to put music on them. How is it fair to people that purchase a CD or go to the concerts. The music industry as a whole I think is about hit the dump tank (IMO), I know a lot of people like me that ubtain music legally (by the cd) and I simply can't afford to buy anymore CD's (with only one or two decent songs), I guess its back to writing, enjoying my own music.

From I have read in local news papers people are getting tired of the prices to enjoy concerts and shows. It is getting rediculus the price of CDs and concert tickets are on the increase so much so that the little guy can not afford to enjoy music at least around here you can not buy a cd for under a 20 dollar bill. I can not tell you when the last time I went to a concert was because I simply can't afford it. I do go to local shows that are 5-10 bucks and IMO the local bands music is pretty good original songs (IMO some are better than the brand name artist).

I also believe that why alot of artist go independent. Example Country Music Singer and Song Writer Jamey Johnson was dropped from his label. (I heard the reason given for him being dropped was he didn't make them enough money, What? I have seen him in concert and though he was great. After all he wrote Honky Tonk Badonkadonk - Trace Atkins smash hit. Now hes independent with his own record company which off his website he sells his new cd. I guess its a sign of the times.

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solidwalnut    5
Hey Steve! How common is it for musicians to have to sell the rights of their tunes to the companies as part of the signing contract. I am curious as to how much truth is in the "stealing renenue from the musicians" thing.

Common. Different percentage deals are done all the time. But I assume that you're talking about percentage of the rights of the tunes when signed by a label. There's also the rights signed away when signing a contract with a publisher.

Either way, there are rights that neither a label nor a publisher can take away: that of authorship. What IS signed away during a regular negotiation with a publisher is the exclusive right to exploit the tune. That means that even the author has no right to exploit, meaning finding uses for, the tune.

So an author ALWAYS retains authorship. The exploitation rights are what is played with.

The other thing that an author ALWAYS retains, by law, is 50% income from performance rights. These monies (performance royalties) are sent directly to the author(s) from the performance rights agencies (ascap, bmi, sesac, socan, etc.). The other 50% is sent to the publisher of record (should the publisher of record be the author, then this is the way to go!!!! The problem is having the wherewithall to advertise the tune and get public performances. This is one area where the internet is coming into play!).

So let's say that a label signs a band that doesn't have any clue about publishing and their rights, etc. First of all realize that the author of a song owns the publishing rights to their song until they sign it away. So the label is going to offer them a deal (all the recording and distribution junk aside for the moment) which includes a publishing deal with their favorite or otherwise-hooked-to-the-hip publishing company. The label is going to try and get a percentage of the publishing. This is probably what you're talking about when you it's said that a label is stealing the rights away from musicians.

The bottom-line deal with songwriters and publishers is a 50-50 split on song revenue from exploitations (print publishing, mechanical publishing, jingle revenue, whatever revenue from the song). Many times it's a not-equitable 75-25 or something.

If a label writes in that they want a portion of the publishing in order to record or sign some deal, then that portion comes from the songwriter's share (either 50 or 25% in the previous examples). So the songwriter can get less and less of the pie.

Whew! This is where it's good to know a music lawyer so you can counter-offer and speak their language.

Yep, labels have in the past and probably still do in some instances slice and dice into the rights of an artist with the unsuspecting not knowing or caring. But there are so many artists out there now with business savvy that know what they're signing.

It's really all about weighing the cost of whether or not they want to be signed and the benefits of that vs. staying independent.

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solidwalnut    5
So basically the way that reads the million people or more that have IPods or mp3 players are doing so illegally, correct?

No. If you're referring to the radio article. The article is just saying that more and more younger people prefer to listen to music on other devices other than radio. The vast majority of people listening to their ipods are listening to music legally.

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flattop6g    0

Steve, thanks for clearing that up. I did read the post above that you said there are a lot of good people in the business and I do agree with that. I also respect the fact that you belong to the organizations you do. What I am refering to is the fact that a lot of people including myself kind of feel like parts of the music industry turn their backs to guys like me. Example like I mentioned before if you listen to country music you are kind of out in the cold. If the band you like is not a top 20, then they don't make a book for them in which to obtain music from. I also like most don't have a lot of money to buy cds and they just keep getting higher. I was looking at a new cd the other day (it only had 9 tracks on it) and it was $18.99. Common, you know if you only put 9 tracks on an album don't charge $20.00. I can see 12.99-14.99 for a cd but nothing more. I have been learning songs by ear but slowly sometimes it nice to have a little help. Its just plain irretating that you buy cds for $20.00, they only have one single and if there lucky only a few good songs the rest are just sound alikes (IMO) but there are some that are great that every track is good. I myself do not illegally download and enjoy buying the cds. Oh, I almost forgot, I know it cost a lot of money to produce music, the studio and everything else envolved but bottom line a lot of it boils down to profett and how much can we make (IMO).

I have a question which I have no intensions of doing but was curious if you were to put a band together and play cover songs.

Would it be legal? or do you have to pay a ton of money to do it (I read it was illegal but again not sure if its true or not). I know there are a lot of cover bands that play at small bars and small things just to play and I know that they don't pay to do it.

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Lcjones    8

Playing covers.....

Steve is the guru on a lot of this legalese and has great insight to the business.

Typically if a band wants to do covers at a local establishment or entertainment facility, it is the facility owners responsibility to "pay" the fees required by the performing rights agencies in their locality. Most larger cities have a performance rights office nearby.

Bands who wish to do covers on a CD they are going to release must "pay" a mechanical fee to distribute the cover songs. The mechanical fee is based on the number of CD's distributed. The entertainment facility usually pays an annual fee.

**

LC

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flattop6g    0

Thanks thats what I was curious about. Now if I did a cover at a party with friends would it be legal, I know thats a stupid question normally I do my buddies songs that they have wrote or little jingles I have come up with.

The other part if I walked into a club and did a couple of songs like for a talent competition or a small gig like you say, the only thing I have to do is show up, play and if they don't pay fees or nothing I wouldn't be in trouble right? because its not my responsibility. It not like I am ever going to do that but its out of curiousity because I have been asked to set in for a guitar player before but declined because of work.

Like its been said before we are heading into the legal frontier and its getting harder to do the right thing because its more complicated now. I know quite a few local guitar players like me that are really good and they are your I am a guitar player look at me, they are serious musician like most of us on here and they are scared away from trying do to all the legal stuff associted with the music industry (its really no excuse but like me I don't want to go through all that just to play music for me (IMO) it takes away from the fun factor.

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Lcjones    8

6,

The points you mention were discussed a page or two back in this very thread.

But to answer, no, a player doing an open mic or talent show or isn't going to be liable. The business or organization in charge of the event would be liable. Although, it may not be a bad idea to ask those in charge if they are members of a performance rights organization. Just to CYA. ;) For the private party thing, well, there are no private party music police. But once you step out on the street, that becomes a public performance and all bets are off.

**

LC

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flattop6g    0

Thanks, Lcjones. I am sorry I didn't catch that when I read the others sometimes I miss things. That is exactly what I wanted to know as I mentioned playing for friends is the extent of what I want to do. There is a big difference playing for friends at a party or for your parents verses playing for 100 plus. Like I said I have been asked before to fill in but I work a lot of shift work hours so I was not able to do it. It is nice to know that I could just go and play if I wanted to and not have to pay money. (Like thats gonna happen.lol) I have never and 99.999 percent sure I would never charge anyone like I said I do it for me. Music and playing music has been a saving grace for me, if you will. I get a lot of satisfaction in just settin' and pickin' for myself. Its real good to know I can continue something I love to do (legally). Maybe one day I will be good enough to write my own songs and not have to worry about anything. Cause they would be my songs and it wouldn't matter.

Thank you again so much it really cleared it up, Zach.

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solidwalnut    5
Steve, thanks for clearing that up. I did read the post above that you said there are a lot of good people in the business and I do agree with that. I also respect the fact that you belong to the organizations you do. What I am refering to is the fact that a lot of people including myself kind of feel like parts of the music industry turn their backs to guys like me. Example like I mentioned before if you listen to country music you are kind of out in the cold. If the band you like is not a top 20, then they don't make a book for them in which to obtain music from. I also like most don't have a lot of money to buy cds and they just keep getting higher. I was looking at a new cd the other day (it only had 9 tracks on it) and it was $18.99. Common, you know if you only put 9 tracks on an album don't charge $20.00. I can see 12.99-14.99 for a cd but nothing more. I have been learning songs by ear but slowly sometimes it nice to have a little help. Its just plain irretating that you buy cds for $20.00, they only have one single and if there lucky only a few good songs the rest are just sound alikes (IMO) but there are some that are great that every track is good. I myself do not illegally download and enjoy buying the cds. Oh, I almost forgot, I know it cost a lot of money to produce music, the studio and everything else envolved but bottom line a lot of it boils down to profett and how much can we make (IMO).

I have a question which I have no intensions of doing but was curious if you were to put a band together and play cover songs.

Would it be legal? or do you have to pay a ton of money to do it (I read it was illegal but again not sure if its true or not). I know there are a lot of cover bands that play at small bars and small things just to play and I know that they don't pay to do it.

Hey flattop6g--

I hear ya on the price of CDs. Wow, they really don't want us buying them in bulk, now do they?? But they do sell. The whole distribution racket is another story as to why the music sells for so much. But me, I just do individual downloads of music I like. I'll buy the occassional CD, but for the most part tunes can be found for a relatively inexpensive download instead.

Steve

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flattop6g    0

Like I-tunes you have to download the software is it free, then just pay for the song $0.99 is very cool. Is it legal?? How do you pay, I don't have a credit card.

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solidwalnut    5
Like I-tunes you have to download the software is it free, then just pay for the song $0.99 is very cool. Is it legal?? How do you pay, I don't have a credit card.

Oh, there are a ton of sites. Itunes, RealAudio, Rhapsody, etc. Just google 'download songs' and you'll hit the jackpot. Most of them will require you to download their software. Most of them require a credit card, but there are plenty that will accept a PayPal account.

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Lcjones    8

**

Quote of the freakin' day......

"The many thousands of bands who fall below the radar of the hit-driven majors... have nothing to lose by letting their music go free, nothing to lose but the prospect of becoming indentured to companies stuck in last century's model of monetizing music."

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail:

**

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solidwalnut    5
**

Quote of the freakin' day......

"The many thousands of bands who fall below the radar of the hit-driven majors... have nothing to lose by letting their music go free, nothing to lose but the prospect of becoming indentured to companies stuck in last century's model of monetizing music."

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail:

**

For sure. Here's another one. "Get the stars out of your eyes and smell the Indie coffee."

me

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Stratrat    0

I don't remember if anybody has posted this link yet, but Dick Dale had a lot to say about it in this interview:

Lots of advice from a man who has been in the industry for around 50 years!

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solidwalnut    5
I don't remember if anybody has posted this link yet, but Dick Dale had a lot to say about it in this interview:

Lots of advice from a man who has been in the industry for around 50 years!

I can't view it for some reason, Strat. I can view other YouTube vids, so I know I can, but...? got any ideas? I get the "Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player" error. I know neither is true.

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Stratrat    0

I'm not sure, Steve - it worked for me by clicking on the link. Maybe try entering the URL in manually:

h t t p : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJxc3Lxn4o

(I had to "doctor" the http part because it kept showing up as a link no matter what I did!)

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solidwalnut    5
I'm not sure, Steve - it worked for me by clicking on the link. Maybe try entering the URL in manually:

h t t p : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJxc3Lxn4o

(I had to "doctor" the http part because it kept showing up as a link no matter what I did!)

I finally just went to YouTube and searched for the vid # (8AJxc3Lxn4o) and it brought it up just fine. I have no idea what the deal is.

Anyway, excellent interview! Perfect message: "get the stars out of your eyes and learn the business!" There's no doubt that the labels will take advantage of you. But just like he says, if you learn how to be a business man in music, market your own stuff and retain control of your music, you can make a ton more money.

Here's the catch: most musicians don't care about the business side. "I just want to make music, man, I don't care about all that stuff!" That's their downfall. Most musicians don't want to learn about marketing.

Steve

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