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Yeah, you know I'm pissed if I'm actually quoting lyrics from the most overrated rock band in the history of the universe.

If you are wondering why the Creative Commons 3.0 license is gaining in popularity, it's because of things like this:  the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) collects royalties for an estimated 350,000 artists for public performance of their songs.  Concerts, DJ gigs, etc.

Now, they are suing AT&T, claiming that the ringtones their customers use qualifies as a public performance and they want cash for it.  Yes, even if it is a ringtone made from a song you legally purchased and are using privately.  Because someone else may hear it when it rings, the logic goes, it is a public performance, so cough up.  The EFF, which has to be wondering what the world is coming to, has already filed a defensive brief to protect AT&T from the Content Mafia's latest strong arm tactic.

I would love to be on an endless gravy train like that.  I'm just an indie game producer and comic guy, who specifically points out in his copyright notices that Fair Use is allowed and that, when you buy one of my games, you can put it on as many computers as you own.  Maybe that's why it took me fifteen years to become a comic writer and am still languishing in obscurity of game designers -- I'm not greedy enough.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
when I was DJing, the shadow of ASCAP/BMI was always something I was aware of, but didn't fear too much. Mostly I DJ'ed small country line dance sessions in bars, sometimes a wedding, and a couple of festival crowds. When you DJ in a bar, the establishment has to be licensed with ASCAP/BMI, not the DJ. Weddings are (or at least were) exempt. And the festival crowds were a company picnic and a couple of small car shows. Those would have required me to have the license. Oops, slipped my mind. It's a good thing that no one had noticed.

ASCAP/BMI are part of the reason that DJs can charge $100 an hour for their services. But, $100 an hour is why many people have gone with buying an Ipod, filling it with their favorite songs and some wedding classics, putting it on shuffle, and playing it through a large boombox, rather than paying a DJ. Therefore less DJs are working, fewer royalties are paid to outmoded organizations, and ASCAP/BMI start going after ringtones.

This all goes back to something you've said before. These people are grasping at straws to keep doing business they way they always have rather than changing with the times and figuring out new ways of making money. And as much as I hate to quote Bob Dylan, "The times, they are a changin'".
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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