There's an interesting piece by CNET's Greg Sandoval today about royalty fees in the music industry and how the songwriters, composers and music publishers aren't getting their fair share from iTunes, based on today's royalty rules. It's gotten so extreme that those folks even want a cut of the free 30-second samples of songs that are played on iTunes. Here's one of the best lines in Sandoval's article:
This would also undoubtedly confirm the perception held by many that those overseeing the music industry are greedy.
I'll spare you all of the technical details about how royalties are paid in the music industry. Sandoval offers a very thorough explanation about the difference between music sales and music performances - such as songs played at sporting events, in movies and TV shows and so on. And I would encourage interested readers to click the link and read his post. (Techmeme)
I understand that there are some important players in the music industry who may be getting shafted. But how is that the fault of Apple or consumers. We didn't make the rules. Apparently, changing the rules about the fees takes an act of Congress - literally. And the groups representing the publishers, songwriters and composers have already started to lobby Congress for changes that would include fees for music downloads.
Allow me to say it again, if you will. (I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record - no pun intended.) The music industry cannot turn back the clock on technology. You'd think they would have figured that out already. But here comes another group of music executives who want to somehow morph old rules into new ways. Why on Earth would anyone lobby Congress to modify rules that were established under different market conditions and ask that they be applied to the new way?
Start all over. Take the old rules. Figure out what works and what doesn't and then come up with suggestions for a new set of rules and guidelines. Come to the table with a solution on how to address the problem.
Hey music executives: We've heard your it's-not-fair cries from the halls of Capitol Hill before. This time, why not be useful and instead come to the table with some new ideas for legislators to ponder.
And be sure to leave the lawyers at home.
- Judge lectures RIAA on their ethics (or lack thereof)
- RIAA's $1.92 million victory: more about message, less about money
- RIAA drops mass lawsuits, recruits ISPs to crack the whip