Have you ever been to a record store selling used and promotional copies? You’ll see many CD’s reading “For promotional use only – no reselling”. You probably had to think twice whether to buy a copy or not, wondering if it could be some sort of illegal sale. If you have ever bought a “Promo” CD before, you can rest assured that the FBI is not going to show up at your door and arrest you while your neighbors look on in horror.
Just recently, a higher court in San Francisco ruled that buying and selling of promo records is not in any way copyright infringement. Promo records are copies that are distributed by record labels, mostly to radio stations and some music critics, before the actual release date.
It was a big name in the music industry, Universal Music Group, that sued a California resident, Troy Augusto, about 4 years ago. The record label sued Augusto for allegedly reselling their promo CD on eBay. Similar actions would have been taken had the case favored UMG. Prior to suing Augusto, UMG’s standard practice was to send notifications to eBay with the objective of stopping the auctions. In court, Mr. Augusto firmly argued that he has the rights to sell the copies because he owns them, and stated that the First Sale Doctrine is applicable in his case.
…if you own a book or recording which you legally acquired, you retain the right to do whatever you want with it.
The First Sale Doctrine dictates that if you own a book or recording which you legally acquired, you retain the right to do whatever you want with it. You can give it to a friend, have the library keep it, or sell it to a record store. This rule makes borrowing a book from library possible. Thus, it annoys publishers and music labels as their profitability opportunity is impacted.
The Supreme Court originally ruled when this doctrine was codified that anyone who has bought anything in these categories are given the full ownership as long as the products is not being copied or reproduced. This case clearly showed that there is a distinction between copyright sale and sale of copy, so buy with confidence!
Whenever you feel excited, happy, angry, ridiculed or annoyed with someone or something, these days, it is so easy to express your frustration by sharing it with your friends and acquaintances online. Indeed, Twitter has made this form of “self-expression” incredibly popular; but like everything, it can be a double-edged sword in certain circumstances.
Twitter is currently in the spotlight because of the first high-profile defamation lawsuit to result from one user suing another for the “defamatory” content of their tweets. Courtney Love, a rocker and a Twitter user, has been sued by designer Dawn Simorangkir, also known as the Boudoir Queen. This legal action occurred after Love made personal remarks targeting the designer after Simorangkir demanded payment for some designer clothing that Love had rejected as unsatisfactory. As a result of this lawsuit, scheduled to go to court February 9, 2011, some Twitter users have become paranoid about their posts, fearing that what they Tweet could land them in legal hot water. Continue reading Sue Me With 140 Characters »
Are you the type who listens to a song just because it was done by your favorite artist? Or do you judge a song as a cool track because it really is – based on all the given factors? If you want to find good music, either from a branded or a yet-to-be-known artist, MTV Music Meter will make things easier for you.
The Music Meter helps you find the names of the artists who are currently making a buzz on the music scene. Music Meter artists may be newcomers or someone who has been there for a long time, but is just waiting for a platform to share their songs with the world. MTV Music Meter does not gauge popularity based on album sales alone; this is MTV’s way of providing an avenue to talents who play any genre there is. Music Meter let the world know what sort of talent an artist has and why many people are listening to his music. Continue reading MTV’s Music Meter – The Perfect Spot for Fresh Talent »
One of the key components of the classical music industry is small orchestras. Today, small orchestras have various characteristics that the larger groups are starting to imitate. While the small orchestras may tend to not be as good as the larger ones, they are all facing similar challenges—most notably, widespread financial troubles—which have an impact on the audience and their ability to support young musicians. Continue reading A Key Note for Small Orchestras »
Have you ever wondered why most people are inclined to listen to music? Just think about it…who isn’t into music? Whatever type of person you are, regardless of your origin, music will reach you. There’s just something in music that captures our imaginations and makes us feel good.
Based on recent research at McGill University in Canada, music is just like anything that has an impact to the brain, particularly on its pleasure-reward system. Studies suggest that dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is released every time people like the music they are listening to. This explains why it feels pleasurable to hear one of your favorite songs come on. Continue reading I’m on a High, on a High! »
I admit: I am not a staunch Taylor Swift fan. To be frank, I have very little respect for her music in general. Numbers, however, are numbers and Taylor Swift swept 2010 like a tornado. An article I read today stated that her album ‘Speak Now’ sold more than 4.4 million albums and her songs were spotted by SoundScan a record 1.128 million times. As if this wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift also holds the distinction of being the most sold artist ever in the digital music world. Although I personally cannot see the reason her music is so popular, the fact that there are so many people out there that are willing to spend money to listen to her music says something about her work and about the industry in general.
Taylor Swift is an integral part of what I like to call the marketplace music movement. I am sure she puts a lot of work into her music and I respect the fact that she writes her own songs; but the fact remains that from the inception of the song to its production to its deployment as albums and digital downloads, the underlying motivation for everything is profit-making. That does not go to say that her music is not well-written or well-produced. It does, however, stay within the boundaries of what music corporate executives feel will sell the most. Going by the numbers alone, I’d say that they’re spot on.
I think music, however, has the potential to do more. It is a canvas on which artists can experiment, push the envelope and excite us. And I think that part of the reason that music like Taylor Swift’s sells so much is because we as consumers demand it. It’s basic economics. My only hope is that some of the break out artists from the world of Indie music and alternative rock whet the public’s appetite for more progressive music. I wish Taylor Swift success, but deeply hope for a day where the best selling hits are of deeper substance.
In the last several years, thousands of Internet users have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, also known as the RIAA. The charges: copyright infringement. With widespread availability of high speed connections, it has become more and more convenient for people to just download their favorite music, music video or movies. Over the years, this trend has become such a common practice that the film-making and music industries eventually noticed drastic decline in their sales. This observation compelled the RIAA to sue Internet users who had been identified downloading copyrighted materials. Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »