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Artist Not Allowed To Stream His Own Music 423

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-get-there-from-here dept.
the_arrow writes "Scottish artist Edwyn Collins wanted to stream one of his own songs on MySpace, but it seems that copyright misunderstandings make him unable to do so. According to the article, 'Management for the former Orange Juice frontman have been unable to convince the website that they own the rights to A Girl Like You, despite the fact that they, er, do.' Collins said, 'I found a nice lawyer guy at Warners, very apologetic, promised to get it sorted, but all these months later it isn't.' His wife added, 'MySpace are not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major [label] can claim a copyright.'"
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Artist Not Allowed To Stream His Own Music

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  • Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:40AM (#29670521)
    Wasn't it the major labels that implored us to think of the artists?

    Yeah.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:42AM (#29670553)

    So this isn't a story about MySpace. They have been notified of a copyright conflict, so they don't allow distribution of the song. The real story is that labels claim copyrights they don't have, for commercial gain, and are not paying $150000 per song.

  • Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:45AM (#29670593)
    Stop. Using. MySpace.
    Find someone who understands what you're about, and use their service instead. If your business depends entirely on you having a presence on MySpace, you're doing something wrong. Especially now that this may (has?) cost you attorney's fees to sort it out.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:47AM (#29670617) Homepage

    This is yet another example of how present-day copyright rules and legislation has harmed the general condition of the market and made to favor a select few who have even more control over the market.

    When law does not serve and/or protect the interests of all evenly and equally, there is something wrong with the law.

    When making a case for having the law changed or removed, it is useful to create a list of examples of how exactly others are unfairly harmed by it.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:48AM (#29670661) Homepage Journal

    This is yet another example of Corporations having more freedoms and rights, than people do. People can vote, but corporations can lobby. People go to jail when they break the law, corporations maybe pay a fine at most -- some in fact, seem to get money from the government for breaking the law.

    I urge everyone in the United Corp.. uh States of America, to incorporate themselves so that they finally have rights.

    Remember that faxed letterhead carries more weight than actual legal precidence....

  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:48AM (#29670665) Homepage

    The Ruttles [wikipedia.org] had it right - "All You Need Is Cash".

  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:49AM (#29670671) Homepage

    "So this isn't a story about MySpace."

    It is about MySpace. Sure the label started the problem by claiming a copyright on a song it did not hold. However, it is now a MySpace problem because the site apparently has no mechanism or system to fix the problem the label created.

    Now that the label has admitted it has no copyright claim, it's MySpace's job to fix it and allow the song to be streamed. The label certainly cannot fix that problem. The fact that MySpace has not done so in three months makes it pretty clear that this story is about MySpace.

  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:54AM (#29670757) Homepage Journal

    Wasn't it the major labels that implored us to think of the artists?

    Yeah.

    Only if there is money in it for them.

    Seriously though, someone please tell this guy that myspace is done.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:06AM (#29670941) Homepage
    However, it is now a MySpace problem because the site apparently has no mechanism or system to fix the problem the label created.

    Or obligation.
  • by Dotren (1449427) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:07AM (#29670949)

    It seems like I've read previously somewhere a case where the record industry had claimed copyright on something they didn't actually own.

    I'm starting to wonder if they don't train their watchdogs to send out DMCA notices for any music they see online thinking it's better to risk a simple apology later if they don't own it than it is to leave potentially copyright infringing music online.

  • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:08AM (#29670957)
    This sounds like Warner needs to be sued. Big money lawsuit!
  • Re:MySpace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin (1202876) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:12AM (#29671001)
    Surely there's a better way to get your music out?

    Yes, there are other ways and better ways. However, MySpace is free. Why not take advantage of all free options for advertisement?
  • by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah@noSpaM.Gmail.com> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:13AM (#29671029)

    It's all about how seriously you take your doucheness.
    Say if you're a moderate douche you've moved on to something like Facebook or Twitter, but if you're a hardcore oldschool douche accept no substitute to MySpace.

  • by eepok (545733) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:15AM (#29671053) Homepage
    People are getting charged $150,000 for every song they allow to be uploaded. Well, this guys is being denied the opportunity to advertise his music... for months. And the involved parties know about it. He's even sent his version of a "cease and desist". So what's the formula for damages? When does he get to collect.
  • Re:Think (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:29AM (#29671219) Journal

    >>>If it were up to the RIAA, artists wouldn't be allowed to stream their own urine.

    Tyrants need to be shot before freedom can be restored.

  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:30AM (#29671225)
    Friends don't let friends join MySpace....

    This is true. But what I find a bit curious about this case is that rather than doing something about the situation - like finding another hosting service or hosting the material himself (well, Hello! Maybe that's too obvious), the guy seems to prefer spending months whining about MySpace's policies.

    Seems to me that if you don't like MySpace, you can always just dump it, and tell everybody why.
  • by grahammm (9083) * <graham@gmurray.org.uk> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:35AM (#29671307)

    Which, unlike illegal copying and sharing, actually is copyright theft.

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:39AM (#29671355) Journal

    P.S.

    You say myspace is the problem, but do you think this artist would get different results on other sites like youtube or googlevideo? Youtube's pulled-down every song owned by WB per their request, and that would include this song "A Girl Like You". If Scottish artist Edwyn Collins tried to post his song on youtube, that too would get yanked. The problem is not the dot-com site but the DMCA law which requires the dot-com to take action, or else be fined.

  • by selven (1556643) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:47AM (#29671425)
    Zero. Damages scale proportionally to the ratio of capital available to the plaintiff compared to the defendant.
  • Re:Think (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:09PM (#29671673) Journal

    So WB claims to own the song, and is very apologetic when asked why, yet still holds the claim. The GP is right, the artist doesn't own any rights when only the major record labels are listened to, and when they are wrong you either get a 'sorry' and fuck all else or several thousands in lawsuits. Good luck with that.

  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:35PM (#29671949) Journal

    The problem is not the dot-com site but the DMCA law which requires the dot-com to take action, or else be fined.

    If WB is issuing DMCA notices, the artist just has to issue a counter notice. If WB fails to file suit in 14 days, the service provider must restore access to the copyrighted material.

    Note that the ISP doesn't know or care who actually owns the copyright. That's for the courts to decide.

  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mini me (132455) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:35PM (#29671951)

    the guy seems to prefer spending months whining about MySpace's policies.

    It is called marketing. It is how an artist becomes rich and famous.

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:39PM (#29671989) Journal

    The copyright owner's rights are being abridged by a fraudulent copyright claim from WB. Like if I showed up at your house, said I owned the place, and everyone simply agreed with me and kicked you out of your home. Please tell me you are going for some kind of rhetorical approach to a larger argument, and that you are not actually confused on the issue of whose rights are being abridged how.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:45PM (#29672061) Journal

    No, this is what is wrong with a free market system of distributing justice. Those with money can buy it, those without can not.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:46PM (#29672069) Homepage Journal

    They're both ways for musicians to get their music in front of prospective fans. Archive.org is the same; I have friends with music posted there.

    The RIAA labels have radio, so they'd like for MySpace, archive.org and P2P to all go away, because those are Indie Radio. It's about killing their competetion.

  • Re:Think (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:55PM (#29672159)

    Seems to me that if you don't like MySpace, you can always just dump it, and tell everybody why.

    And the five people that visit your site will find that it's having issues because you didn't pay your hosting bill, or went over bandwidth, or since you don't know jack about admin'ing a website just plain doesn't work right, and they'll go back to MySpace where things are familiar, and everybody else is going.

    It's not a matter of whining about their policy. The problem is that they have one policy towards large companies with powerful lawyers, and a different "fuck you" policy towards everyone else, but still claim to only have one policy for everybody.

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaraxle (1707) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @01:05PM (#29672283)

    Wow. You can't even read the quote?

    Neither can you, apparently.

    The artist holds rights to his own works. A major label has laid claim to his works, saying they hold the rights to it. After getting hold of an actual lawyer with said major label, the artist is told "Sorry" and that it will be sorted, but after months it still isn't.

    In trying to publish works that the artist owns the rights to, he is told he can't, nor can he apparently rectify the situation with the label causing the problems. He effectively has no rights to his own works at this point.

    ~jaraxle

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @01:29PM (#29672603)

    Well, one would think the DMCA gave the site owner the right to get proof thet the plaintiff is the actual copyright holder before doing anything. I don't think the DMCA is the problem here.

    One would "think"?

    The DMCA REQUIRES the site to take down the offending content when they get the takedown notice. IF the person who put it on the site has a legal right to do so, they have to then submit a counter-claim, at which point the site CAN (but does not HAVE to) put it back up. However, once a counter-claim is filed any repeat takedown notices do not have to be acted upon and it's up to the two parties who filed notice to resolve it in court.
    Failure to immediately take down the content makes the site liable, failure to re-instate it when they get a counter-claim does NOT make them liable.

    So YES, the DMCA IS EXACTLY the problem.

  • Umm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @02:03PM (#29673065)
    Doesn't the DMCA provide penalties for falsely claiming ownership of copyright to get content taken down? It would be pretty easy to set up a phony corporation, claim copyright of all the content on Warner Brothers' website, and order them taken down, wouldn't it? If the ISPs actions are any different when the shoe is on the other foot, it pretty much proves that it is an unjust law, doesn't it?
  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xous (1009057) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @02:05PM (#29673091) Homepage

    Umm, I handle the abuse desk at a large hosting company and this is how it should have gone:

    1. WB sends DMCA complaint
    2. MySpace takes down content
    3. Artist goes WTF and sends in a DMCA counter notice
    4. MySpace restores the content.

    (Not MySpace's problem anymore) ...
    X. WB takes Artist to court

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @02:14PM (#29673205) Homepage Journal

    whining about MySpace's policies

    MySpace is breaking the law, or at least acting as an accessory to Warner's fraudulent claim of copyright. They are also failing to provide a service which they claim to provide. It's not "whining" to bring this to public attention.

  • Re:Required by Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @02:37PM (#29673515) Journal

    Corporate apologists consider justice to be something like groceries, i.e. something you send someone out to purchase when you need it.

  • Re:Think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @03:23PM (#29674019) Homepage

    If you go over your bandwidth limit with only 5 users, you might want to rethink your content.

  • Re:Required by Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @03:25PM (#29674037) Journal

    You can't break the law to make money, yet. But if you, say, ship your manufacturing off to a country that where there are no environmental regulations, then you are doing right by your shareholders. If many companies start doing this, and seeing a profit, then shareholders can successfully sue companies that don't, or replace the boards.

    Many people who would never think to throw trash in their neighbor's yard will, essentially, hire someone to throw trash in their neighbor's yard, and they will sleep like babies at night, believing they are good people.

  • Re:Think (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:26PM (#29675439)

    I think you would be unable to give a specific law that they are breaking. My assumption is that they have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at all, and that a misunderstanding of a copyright claim does not fall into the usual actionable exceptions (race, gender, religion, handicap).

    It's different if the artist actually has a negotiated contract, where consideration (e.g., money) changed hands for the purpose of executing such a contract. If that's the case, and the refusal puts MySpace in breach, then it's not a copyright matter at all - it's a contract dispute.

    Unfortunately for the artist, this is more a case of MySpace saying "we don't have to do anything for you and you have to accept that" and I think they are right. Solution: Don't use MySpace.

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