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ASCAP Says Apple Should Pay For 30-sec. Song Samples 463

Posted by kdawson
from the thicket-of-rights dept.
CNet reports on a new money battle brewing between those who generate music and those who profit from selling it on the Net. "Songwriters, composers, and music publishers are making preparations to one day collect performance fees from Apple and other e-tailers for not just traditional music downloads but for downloads of films and TV shows as well. Those downloads contain music after all. These groups even want compensation for iTunes' 30-second song samples. ... Apparently, the music industry can't obtain the fees through negotiations. They have begun lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would require anyone who sells a download to pay a performance fee..."
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ASCAP Says Apple Should Pay For 30-sec. Song Samples

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  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:32PM (#29459915) Homepage Journal
    for advertising their product for free.... um, pretty much EVERY other industry in the world would like their products advertised for free, and if someone did that for them they certainly wouldn't sue over it.
    • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:44PM (#29460063) Journal

      Were I Apple, I'd drop people who charged for it.

      iTunes has gotten to a saturation point with so many artists that the ones who demand payment would just have to be the ones who afford to lose out on that market. iTunes doesn't *need* them, anymore, and neither does Amazon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        Yeah, there are a few mainstream artists that aren't sold on iTunes, but they are few. AC/DC and the Beatles aren't sold on iTunes, but lets say that Apple cut off the newest "teen" pop artist, suddenly iTunes just got replaced with whatever digital store sold them (or possibly FrostWire or BitTorrent). There are a few "no name" artists they could ditch, but usually most of the non-famous artists aren't too picky about their music.
        • by mysidia (191772) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @07:19PM (#29460441)

          Doesn't hurt Apple that much, if people still use their store and iTunes library to keep track of everything, to assure lock-in.

          Maybe Apple can be kind and replace the "play 30 sec sample" link with a BitTorrent link, for those that choose not to let apple provide the sample for free.

        • by tinkerghost (944862) on Friday September 18, 2009 @01:22AM (#29462803) Homepage

          but lets say that Apple cut off the newest "teen" pop artist, suddenly iTunes just got replaced with whatever digital store sold them (or possibly FrostWire or BitTorrent).

          If Apple suddenly dropped them, people aren't going to replace iTunes, their going to replace the musician. People are way to lazy to find another source for their music - especially when there are another 200 manufactured bands out there that sound exactly the same.

      • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:58PM (#29460219)

        iTunes doesn't *need* them, anymore, and neither does Amazon.

        O RLY? Do you realize how many individual artists ASCAP represents?

        ASCAP is a membership association of more than 360,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide.

        ASCAP is home to the greatest names in American music, past and present - from Duke Ellington to Dave Matthews, from George Gershwin to Stevie Wonder, from Leonard Bernstein to Beyonce, from Marc Anthony to Alan Jackson, from Henry Mancini to Howard Shore - as well as many thousands of writers in the earlier stages of their careers.

        ASCAP represents every kind of music. ASCAP's repertory includes pop, rock, alternative, country, R&B, rap, hip-hop, Latin, film and television music, folk, roots and blues, jazz, gospel, Christian, new age, theater and cabaret, dance, electronic, symphonic, concert, as well as many others - the entire musical spectrum.

        The majority of mainstream artists (or their publishers) are members of ASCAP, iTunes and Amazon are all about catering to mainstream culture.

        • by gilgongo (57446) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @07:16PM (#29460415) Homepage Journal

          Whaaat? 360,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers in the US ALONE.

          What does that mean? That there are perhaps MILLIONS of such people world wide?

          I don't know about anyone else, but when there are that many "artists" clamouring for money, and I'm seeing so much derivative, boring crappy "art" being produced by them, I'm thinking they can kiss my pink shiny arse.

          I mean, it's not as if music makes the world go round. I'm sure we can lose a few of these people and not notice any difference.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          O RLY? Do you realize how many individual artists ASCAP represents?

          I think you should keep "represents" in quotes; most of the artists signed up on ASCAP never see a dime, thanks to the idiotic policy of only paying based on radio airplay. Yep, that's right - places that wouldn't be caught dead playing the latest teen bubblegum are paying "license fees" that end up in the hands of those artists.

          Well, the money does go one other place - the pockets of ASCAP executives. Wonder where the iTunes money will go?

        • by raehl (609729) <raehl311 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday September 17, 2009 @08:30PM (#29461091) Homepage

          Sometimes when someone is hellbent on causing their own self-destruction, and they want your help, you should give it to them! So if ASCAP wants a law that requires anyone playing a 30-second sample of a song to pay a fee, then let them have it! All the law will do is hurt their sales, which is exactly what they deserve!

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by amicusNYCL (1538833)

            I agree, if they don't want people to be able to do that as I programmer I would be happy to comply, it's only going to hurt them. I'm just saying that dropping support for ASCAP-related music in iTunes would drastically hurt the sales in iTunes (which would hurt both Apple and the music biz). Since it's affecting Apple's bottom line I doubt they're willing to comply, which is probably why ASCAP hasn't been successful at negotiating this ridiculous fee.

            I mean, it's fine if they want to charge people for p

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by kerrbear (163235)

              > But it's pretty ridiculous to try to add online music sales as one definition of "performing", because it's just not.

              Agreed. I will pay performance fees if and only if the 30 second sample is an actual live performance at that moment just for me to sample the tune.

          • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday September 18, 2009 @02:47AM (#29463211)

            This a repeat of the game they play with radio stations. When you hear really long concert commercials with the band's track playing the whole time it's promoters gaming the ASCAP system for extra radio plays. I think radio stations have to count a "play" at 15 seconds or something, and now ASCAP want's samples at a "play" rate.

            We're still dealing with fallout from the "digital" versus CD distribution. Just like performance artists don't get $2.50 ringtone royalties (those go directly to the publisher) the per track royalties ASCAP gets for CDs (and probably digital rentals of movies/TV shows) aren't contractually written for "digital" mediums at all, or for a reduced rate. ASCAP lost it's chances with Hollywood on this one fare and square. They tried to hold up early DVD releases of TV seasons (Freaks and Geeks was a famous one on Slashdot that actually had to reedit soundtracks because ASCAP artists wouldn't budge) playing contractual games and lawsuits. They won some lawsuits but in a limited enough fashion Hollywood was able to get the last laugh by getting "blanket" licensing for thing like CDs and TV seasons directly from the artists before even letting them work, and added the "digital" parts to distribution for TV, movie, DVD, etc. ASCAP is trying to end-run contracts and get Congress to create yet another new "on the internet" fee for "web distribution", but not the same web distribution covered under the webcasting clearing house (same rules as radio play) or the "sale" royalties for things like iTunes and emusic (counts as "CD" sales, not webcasting).

      • by Angostura (703910) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @07:10PM (#29460349)

        No, simply pass along the charge. "You want to check whether this is the right song before you purchase? Sorry that will be 10c on this song". Let's see how sales go, shall we?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SpacePunk (17960)

        They could make it sting harder than that. Just stop offering sound samples for all ASCAP music.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by icebike (68054)

          EXACTLY.

          Pop up a little text box that says this vendor will not
          allow you to listen to a preview.

          Problem solved. Buyers will run away from those artists as fast as they can.

      • by Chris Kamel (813292) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @09:03PM (#29461363)

        Why drop the people? Just continue to carry the songs with no samples. A simple message "We're sorry but this artist refuses to let us serve you with a sample of the song before you purchase" should suffice.
        They'll get back in line in no time when the sales plummet.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:48PM (#29460103) Journal

      Yeah it is pretty stupid to make Apple, Amazon, or other e-tailers pay for the 30 second samples used to promote songs. Oftentimes I have looked at an artist and thought, "I have no idea who this is," but once I heard the 30-second sample I recognized the song and bought the CD. What RIAA is basically doing is trying to block customers from discovering music which will ultimately hurt sales.

      As for the music contained in shows and movies, RIAA already collects a piece of every DVD sale or VHS sale or TV rerun. It makes sense they'd want to collect a few pennies off the internet sale too. So I don't have a problem with it.

    • ASCAP is a separate group from the RIAA. They just "represent" the labels like Sony, BMG and so on. ASCAP is just saying they want their pound of flesh, since the RIAA already gets theirs from the licensing fees. It doesn't make the claim any less bullshit, but it sheds light on the train of thought. ASCAP wants to tax everything it can classify as a "performance", the RIAA does the same for everything it can call a "license". Or get Congress to agree is a performance or license, respectively.
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @08:05PM (#29460881) Journal

        ... Those acts would likely be paid both sync and performance fees [for tv and film]. But the person who writes the little-known background music heard during a fight scene may not see any sync money. That's because traditionally, composers of this kind of production music gave away sync rights in the hope they would make money from performance fees.

        "This is really a fight about the future," [president and CEO of the NMPA] Israelite said. "As more and more people watch TV or movies over an Internet line as opposed to cable or broadcast signal, then we're going to lose the income of the performance. For people who do production and background music, that's how they make their living."

        "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
        Life-Line by Robert A. Heinlein, 1939

      • by StabnSteer (705930) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @08:59PM (#29461335) Homepage

        As a performing artist, I know all too well how ASCAP and BMI work. They are actually artist organizations (they don't represent the labels) that pay the artist directly for "performances" of their music. Any public performance of an ASCAP or BMI artist's music is supposed to be supplemented by payment, usually in the form of a contract between the venue and ASCAP/BMI. The money the venue pays to the organization goes into a pot - and then this money is distributed to the artists. Nice idea, in theory. The problem begins when one looks at how these organizations pay the artists. It is almost entirely based upon radio airplay, so the system doesn't work particularly well except for the big players in the game.

        ASCAP is well-known in cities for cracking-down on places like coffee houses that have live music - they send in what are essentially thugs to scare the venue into paying what works out to be "protection money" to keep ASCAP from suing them in the event someone plays an ASCAP-artist song during an open mic or live music event. Rather than trying to come off on a more positive marketing angle of trying to help out the music business and the artist, which ASCAP could easily create a pretty compelling argument for, they instead use strongarm legal language and intimidation. I know many coffee houses who simply won't allow live music due to a scary visit from ASCAP or BMI thugs.

        Much like the RIAA, these "artist" companies, due to their plainly nasty way of dealing with their clients and the public, are simply in the business of making money off other people's work. This is why I am not a member of any of these organizations and work hard to support venues who don't cave-in to the pressures these organizations place on them. Original live music, owned by the performer - that cannot be touched by these cads.

  • Somebody please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slazzy (864185) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:32PM (#29459919) Homepage
    Dig a grave for this dead industry.
    • Re:Somebody please (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:35PM (#29459947)

      No need to. They're digging it on their own.

  • Outrage (Score:5, Funny)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:33PM (#29459935)
    Man, this makes SOOOOOOOO angry. Someone should write a song about this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:34PM (#29459941)

    I'm sure if I presented a thesis saying that my new form of business model required passing laws in Congress requiring people to give me money at the mere mention of my product, I'd be laughed out of school.

    And yet, this seems to be turning into a reality?

    Maybe what we need isn't just a government that has its hands off of business, we need businesses to keep their hands off the government too.

  • by i_liek_turtles (1110703) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:35PM (#29459953)
    They really want to shoot themselves in the foot, don't they?
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:36PM (#29459961) Journal

    Amendment XXVIII - Strike the following: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited
    Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;". Replace with: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for Times not to exceed 14 years to Authors, or 25 years for Inventors, the limited Privilege to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

    The actual time limits can be debated, but they need to be set in the constitution, not left to a congress that can be bribed with corporate donations.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:41PM (#29460009) Journal

      P.S.

      I should probably explain: I think "Right" needs to be changed to "Privilege" for the simple reason that rights are timeless. They are an innate quality of being human and never expire. Therefore a limited-term copyright is not a right, but merely a privilege extended by the ruling government.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)
      +1 Insightful & way overdue.
    • by mishehu (712452) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:43PM (#29460041)
      Yes, but the problem is this... who is it that can add an amendment to the constitution? Damn, it's the same congress that can be bribed with corporate donations...
    • Good luck. The first hurdle in creating an amendment to the Constitution is that it has to be passed by a 2/3 majority of Congress. If the **AA's can get over %50 to pass the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, then they can easily get over %33 to stall an amendment.

    • by jfengel (409917)

      The actual time limits can be debated, but they need to be set in the constitution, not left to a congress that can be bribed with corporate donations.

      And what body would you propose should do the setting in the constitution?

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:47PM (#29460093) Homepage Journal

      I agree its an issue, but something as trivial as copyrights should not be part of the very foundation of our country. Its not THAT critical.

      • >>>something as trivial as copyrights should not be part of the very foundation of our country

        What?!?!? Copyrights already ARE part of the Constitution dimwit. Where the hell do you think the phrase "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" came from???

    • by geekoid (135745)

      UM, do you really want congress to set it in stone? because is could end up being 1000 years.

      And congress is lied to bu corporation, and that ahs a much bigger influence the donations.
      They get in front of congress and tell them theya re loosing sales, when they aren't, talk about the cost of downloading with 'adjusted' figures, and then lie about their legal tactics.

      • >>>UM, do you really want congress to set it in stone? because it could end up being 1000 years.

        I doubt that. There'd be a general outcry by people like us, and the amendment would never get past the state legislatures. I trust that Congress would not be so stupid as to pick any number higher than the original author's lifespan (i.e. 100), for fear of pissing-off the voters and losing the next election.

  • The clue-by-four meme died sometime in the late '90s. Methinks it's time to dust it off and start applying it to some heads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Eberlin (570874)

      I quite like referring to it as arranging a meeting with "the board of education"

  • if it were not for the possibility that they'll just buy a few more congress critters and subsidize themselves I'd say we let the industry go ahead and commit ritual suicide and finally be done with the RIAA and friends once and for all.

  • Paying Twice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luke Wilson (1626541) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:39PM (#29459983)
    The makers of the film or TV show had to pay for the song in the first place. The label was already paid for the use and can't extract money again from the redistributor.
  • by Petersko (564140) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:40PM (#29459999)
    Were it not for the fact that it would cause iTunes to implode (fiscally speaking), I would suggest that Apple simply remove the 30 second streamsand sell everything based on title alone, or make them available "for a fee" that nobody would EVER pay. Let's see how well that works.

    Of course, the other explanation for their request is that the music they're selling mostly sucks bad enough that exposing 30 seconds of it will kill the sale.
  • by Freaky Spook (811861) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:41PM (#29460019)

    It would be interesting if Apple did a test where they removed samples from say from the top 1000 songs, then provided 30 second samples for say 50 and calculated how much the 30 second sample actually generated in sales revenue.

    The samples on iTunes allow people to figure out if they want to legally buy a song that actually generates revenue for the artists. If I can't sample what I'm deciding to buy, chances are I'd most likely go straight to limewire and get it that way, because these songs are non refundable.

    All ASCAP seem to be doing here is encouraging more piracy, most people are generally happy to pay for media if its easy to obtain and its not a difficult process that you have to jump through endless micro payments, confusing license agreements and rights managment that is unreliable. iTunes is making it easy for artists to make revenue off the internet but that is just not enough it seems for those greedy bastards.

  • So lets see here, if I'm not going to listen to the song for free via YouTube, the radio, downloading it off TPB, or now a 30 second sample, how am I to judge the song? Really, the songs I buy off iTunes are in general the ones I've listened to via other means.
  • by swanzilla (1458281) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:42PM (#29460033) Homepage
    FTA:

    "We make 9.1 cents off a song sale and that means a whole lot of pennies have to add up before it becomes a bunch of money," said Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters' Guild of America. "Yesterday, I received a check for 2 cents. I'm not kidding.

    Who in the hell has Rick's other 7.1 cents?

    • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @07:00PM (#29460239)

      Who in the hell has Rick's other 7.1 cents?

      Man, Rick got rolled.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @07:52PM (#29460779)

      Let's pretend his story is true, and that he got less than 9.1 cents for some ridiculous-but-conceivable reason. In other words, take that inconsistency off the table.

      If he's receiving a check for two cents, nobody is buying his fucking music. Why is it that he seems to believe he should be making "a bunch of money?" Would this horrible insult to his right to be rich for no reason be somehow mitigated if he had received a check for 50 cents from his one sale instead?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sudnshok (136477) *

      When he says "a whole lot of pennies have to add up before it becomes a bunch of money" does he mean like the 1 billion songs that iTunes has sold? Because at 9.1 cents per song, that comes out to $91,000,000... which is exactly a lot of money.

  • Someone licensed these clips to Apple. Isn't it those people to whom the songwriters and others should be asking for their cut? Or did the songwriters and others already sell those rights and are now attempting to double dip? Oh, wait:

    "In the U.S. while we do get paid a mechanical (licensing fee) from ITunes, we are not getting any performance income from Apple yet,"

    Make that triple-dip.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      What amazes me is how many "groups" representing recording artists there are. It's ludicrous. First you've got to please RIAA, which claims it's doing it to protect the artists, then you've got the publishing companies that will nail your ass if you print any of the lyrics, then you've got ASCAP, which also represents the artists. No wonder the industry is sinking.

      What's going to happen at the end of the day is that Apple and other online music services are going to make their own damned labels, woo over

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bennomatic (691188)
        And the funny thing is that at least ASCAP is, or at least was historically, a good guy. They were created to ensure that artists didn't get ripped off by huge corporations. For example, Little Richard had his songs used in movies and commercials and TV shows without his permission and without compensation. A great example is Disney's Donald Duck dancing around singing about having "a girl named Daisy; you know she drives me crazy!"

        So the ASCAP enforcement of performance payment went into place to ens
      • The other Apple (Score:3, Informative)

        by tepples (727027)

        What's going to happen at the end of the day is that Apple and other online music services are going to make their own damned labels

        If Apple Inc. did that, the other Apple might complain [wikipedia.org].

  • by geekoid (135745)

    Are the artists really for this? or is someone as ASCAP just being a douche?

  • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:45PM (#29460071)
    I'll give them a free 30 second preview of the body part they can kiss. (Limited time only, restrictions apply, one per customer.)
  • Idiots. This sort of nonsense is working out so well for RIAA i guess they want in on the ( sinking ) boat too. Next they will want a part of our tax dollars since most of us have ears and might listen to a non-licensed performance.

  • by panthroman (1415081) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:46PM (#29460091) Homepage

    These slippery slopes to vices happen all the time. I know lots of folks who would never/rarely drive drunk, but drive stoned all the time. Folks are so inured to breaking the marijuana laws (understandably) that they think nothing of driving stoned, but breaking alcohol laws still has some legitimacy behind it.

    Ridiculous laws lead to disdain and apathy toward the legal system. You're just inuring consumers to the idea of "infringement" by making such ludicrous demands.

  • I just farted to the tune of "enter sandman" and people overheard. When should I expect Lars Ulrich or the RIAA to come collect their royalties? I think I have some more in the tank for repeat performances on their heads. It was Taco Bell night, afterall.
  • ...of the music industry bullshit. It's really frustrating that companies that depend on obsolescence to earn money can put up a nasty fight just because they have the means ($) for it.
  • by Bunny Guy (1345017) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:53PM (#29460171)

    It's not a performance if I
        Play your CD
        Hear your Song on the Radio
        Look at your album jacket ...

    It's a performance if:
        You come to my house and play,
        Hold a concert
        Play on a street corner or a subway

    Everyone in the chain of production needs to quit pretending that somehow, each time that CD is played, they have put in a personal appearance. // rant off

    Performance as defined above is the method the bulk of working musicians actually make money. The RIAA just doesn't want to admit it.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:54PM (#29460175)

    What would be nice, is if somebody in the US could propose amending the Constitution to prevent private business from making profits by gaming Congress and regulators, and force them to make money by innovating and working hard instead.

    Make laws to make regulatory capture by private business (especially those with failing business models) difficult or impossible, and make any law produced from private business' attempts to scam favourable laws, unconstitutional.

    IANAL, but if such a thing could be done, then it would set a nice precedent to stop IP cartels and extortion outfits (RIAA, et al) from running amok elsewhere in the world too.

  • That's all I have to say on the topic.
  • What the fuck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @06:58PM (#29460217) Homepage

    Apparently, the music industry can't obtain the fees through negotiations

    Here's how I see this conversation going.

    ASCAP> Give us lots of money!
    Apple> You're already getting lots of money.
    ASCAP> We want *more* money!
    Apple> No.
    ASCAP> We *demand* more money!
    Apple> No.
    ASCAP> If you don't give us more money, we'll take our music off your service!
    Apple> No you won't, and we both know it.
    ASCAP> WAAAAH GIVE US MORE MONEY

    C'mon. If they wanted the extra fees so bad, they'd take their music off. Obviously they don't - they just want the government to step in when their own demands for money fell flat.

    Why don't they make their own music distributor? Oh, that's right, because that takes work, and they don't want to do work. They just want free money.

    I feel so sorry for them.

  • As evil as record labels are, they are certainly the responsible party for fulfilling their contracts with artists. Go to court and demand that they pay the same kind of penalties that they demand from file sharers. Let them go out of business or price iTunes downloads out of most teenager's budgets and independent musicians may have a chance.

  • Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/411/ [xkcd.com]
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @09:37PM (#29461569)

    This is why the music industry is dieing. Instead of doing fair, rational and sane business... they eat themselves alive as they search for every penny.

    You know, really good stores... treat their customers well. They toss in free things, they treat the customer like a fair person.

    Apple is the saving grace of the entire music industry. Its not just itunes, its iPods, iphones, and macs themselves!

    The RIAA is going to after the one entity that is trying to bring progress to a dead industry built on greed, corruption and casting couch rape sessions?

    Attn: RIAA. Free previews, are free advertisements and the RIAA are a bunch of stupid assholes.

    Itunes does not need the RIAA. In fact, itunes can completely replace the RIAA all together. Why have record labels at all? Itunes could be your record label. Sell directly to consumers just like iphone Apps.

    Who really needs you any more RIAA? No one. SO BE NICE, and enjoy what you have now, rather than squeeze yourself out of existence by your own greed.

    Frankly... go ahead and do it, fuck yourself to oblivion. We'll just buy stuff from the itunes/disney label which will feature all of the artists you lost.

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