Music Industry

There is NO Official Limewire Replacement !

I just read a CAUCE notice that someone is claiming they are an “official” replacement for Limewire in unsolicited commercial emails.

Limewire has issued a statement warning their users that this spam is in no way associated to them, as they have been ordered to cease their operations in October 2010 :

We have very recently become aware of unauthorized applications on the internet purporting to use the LimeWire name. We demand that all persons using the LimeWire software, name, or trademark in order to upload or download copyrighted works in any manner cease and desist from doing so.”

Song Previews & Royalties

SOCAN is again back in court, attempting to obtain royalties for those 30 second previews online retailers use on their sites.

Three years after the Copyright Board rulled that fair dealing applies because consumers use these previews as research, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers have taken the case to Surpreme Court.

The Federal Court of Appeal has concured with the Copyright Board last May. But SOCAN insists that these previews be subjected to royalties because they would want the definition of the term research limited to format settings.

So SOCAN want online retailers to pay royalties so their customers have the priviledge to preview the music they’re selling, even when no actual sale occurs.

Where exactly does SOCAN think the funds would come from ?

The recording artists, composers, lyricists and music publishers they represent are already legally entitled to royalties from the sale of recordings, so the previews work in the favor. And online retailers are in no way obliged to offer previews, which results in expendatures for maintenance and bandwidth.

You would think SOCAN would appreciate the value of promotion but they seem to be quite insistant on this counterproductive, counterintuitive cash grab.

SOCAN obviously want to nickle and dime legal music download services, whose previews are used regularily by consumers. After all, the legal music download services can pass those extra expendatures on to their customers, right ?

But of course SOCAN would rather emphesize the benefits that would allegedly result from this scheme. You know, how artists and composers would get royalties when in reality the majority of funds would be forwarded to the music publishers they represent.

I Need That Record

I just rented this documentary on Netflix and I thought i’d bump it on this blog.

Basically it’s about the rise and fall of record stores in the United States, which was unfortunately mirrored here in Canada.

The record store is a rarity now outside of the major cities of Canada because of the conveniences of the internet but vinyl has retained a charm and sound that people still enjoy to this day.

Additional information on this film can be found on the film’s official site.

Limewire Plans Scrapped

Limewire is no more.

The company has confirmed that they will cease their operations on December 31st, scrapping their plans to offer legal music services.

Their agreements with several independent labels and distributors will be dissolved.

ACTRA Wants Hard Drives/Mp3 Players Levied

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has asked the government to not only extend the private copying levy to Mp3 players but want hard drives levied and the fair dealing exemptions for educational institutions provisions dropped.

In a press release issued on November 16th, the organization claims that Bill C-32 “rips millions of dollars from creators’ pockets”. And in a November 5th press release they also state “Institutions pay the full cost of desks, computers and teacher salaries, why would they not pay for the content deemed valuable enough to use in their classrooms?

Well, according to the Private Copying amendments the items currently being levied are primarily used as recording media. Mp3 players failed to be levied because they were not technically recording media and hard drives and flash drives failed to be levied because they were not primarily used to copy audio recordings.

Has the situation changed since the last rulings ? No.

ACTRA may claim that Bill C-32 “isn’t good for consumers” but if the Copyright Act were altered to enable the levying of devices like Mp3 players and hard drives, the consumer would be paying significantly more via the manufacturers and importers of these devices.

One only has to review the exorbitant rates the Canadian Private Copying Collective had applied for on the levied media in the past to know that the Canadian consumer is secondary.

Does $21 per gig on mp3 players sound consumer friendly ? How about $2.27 per recordable/rewritable DVD ? Those were the requested rates for 2003/2004, as published in the March 9th, 2002 Supplement of the Canada Gazette (Supplement, Vol. 136, No. 10).

These proposed levies are in no way good for the consumer because it opens the door for additional levies on other products.

ACTRA not only represents radio artists but performers in film and television. And their November 16th statement they claim the film, television, video game and book industries would also face losses because of Bill C-32 :

If Canadian cultural industries are to keep producing films, TV programs, video games, music and books, we can’t afford a bill like C-32 that rips millions of dollars from creators’ pockets“.

The devices on which films, TV programs, video games and ebooks are recorded, downloaded and/or displayed are not currently levied and Bill C-32 calls for an ability by Canadian consumers to perform backups of some of this material.

What will be levied next ?

Limewire Closing

An injunction to cease P2P operations has been issued to Limewire on the 26th of October, 2010.

The company has stopped offering downloads of their software via their web site.

(UPDATE : The original site on which the injunction was hosted is gone but thanks to Simon Grant you’ll find a replacement source for the injunction by clicking on the above link. And for good measure, here is another source, also in PDF format)