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Music Entertainment Your Rights Online

Artist Not Allowed To Stream His Own Music 423

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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  • Not always a problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DeeVeeAnt ( 1002953 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:41AM (#29670541)
    I have several friends in small unsigned bands who have posted their music to MySpace. Has the policy changed, or is this guy just unlucky?
  • great (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:45AM (#29670591)
    This song kicks ass. I haven't heard it in years, but the guitar part will probably be in my head for weeks just from reading this story. He should have won awards for this song.

    Might as well mention that I just lost the game.

    Good day.
  • by ( 745855 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:47AM (#29670609) Homepage

    Yes, it started out as a good thing, and even promised to help people track bands and discover new music.

    But it's a mess now, and it's owned by the same company that runs FoxNews, so don't expect it to get any better.

    Time for a young, fresh upstart to pull something better together.

    Or are there already better alternatives?

  • Sue Warner Brothers. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:54AM (#29670753)

    If people had been able to stream this over the internet, he could easily have lined up dozens of concerts paying tens of thousands of dollars each, all because Warner Brothers fradulently claimed copyright to his work.

    Throw in some pointless punitive damages, and that ought to net him a good 6 million dollars, right? I mean if it works for the RIAA...

  • by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:55AM (#29670769)

    Google Wave?

  • by SiChemist ( 575005 ) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:56AM (#29670793) Homepage
    I found "A girl like you" on Amazon's mp3 downloads. Sent them an e-mail asking about the rights with a link to the Guardian article. If I get a reply, I'll post it here.

    It's from a "Greatest hits" album, so I suppose it's within the realm of possibility that the label has rights to it.
  • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:59AM (#29670837) Homepage Journal

    unless the label admitted it in private correspondence with the author, but "neglected" to inform MySpace.
    We don't know if the case is stalled due to MySpace ignoring Warner's disclaimer, or whether Warner failed to send such disclaimer despite claiming to do so.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:04PM (#29670913)

    Slander of title, perhaps.

    Fraud implies intent.. I think this is just a case of horrendous negligence.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:13PM (#29671023) Homepage

    That said, if MySpace decides to remove content every time a party comes and claim copyright to the content, it's a MySpace problem, nothing more.

    We all know the Majors care about their artists, not THE artists, and only because it makes money. They don't give a rat's *ss about art, music or any concept like this. They care about their wallet, art and artists be damned.

  • by herojig ( 1625143 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:16PM (#29671077) Homepage
    1. Post the song on a hosted website of your choosing (other then myspace). 2. Link to the song from the myspace page to the hosted file. 3.Get these articles of /.
  • by skammie ( 802503 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:22PM (#29671147) Homepage
    MySpace would rather delete and account then do ANY fact checking. This happened to me and my music. Everything was fine for about a year, and then *poof* the page was gone. I asked why, and I got a generic response about violating the TOS. I asked for more specifics, but I was not given any more details. I was told touch luck, build a new page. It goes without saying I didn't build a new page. The previous page I set up didn't get that many hits anyway.
  • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:26PM (#29671187)

    Well aren't the Smithereens signed with Warner, they have a song from 1989 called "A Girl Like You". Is it possible that due to identically named songs this is actually a misunderstanding?

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:31PM (#29671255) Homepage Journal

    That's really a pissy attitude. IANAM, but my Pa was. He could make music with anything, if he could pull a string tight across it. He and his friends actually recorded some decent music, over the years. They all had haircuts and jobs - they all raised families - they were all respectable people.

    None of them ever expected to "make money" - they played music together because they loved music, they loved performing for people, and they just loved being together. They did sell a little music - a dozen tapes at a nursing home, a couple dozen at a church, another dozen at a corner store somewhere. Enough to pay for gasoline sometimes, to offset costs.

    Something like Myspace would have been cool, back in the '60's up through the early '80's. They might have sold a little more music, and they certainly would have been better known outside their home counties. You may have even heard of them, if there had been a means to distribute their music for free!

    Indies. Those are the REAL musicians. The labels? They know how to pry money out of fool's pockets, but they don't know music.

  • facepalm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:33PM (#29671289)

    Yeah. Stop using the most popular and widespread social platform for promoting music; use niche services that no one knows about instead. Just look at how MySpace screwed over that one guy who has a recording contract. *facepalm*

    If you make music, you'd be a fool to not take advantage of MySpace. The only reasons I can see for not doing so are 1) your music sucks, you know it, and you don't want people to hear it; or 2) you're a pretentious prick who thinks his music is too good for MySpace. I agree your business shouldn't depend on MySpace, but it's still a great way to promote your band. And if MySpace refuses to let you stream your music, why pay attorney fees when you can just cancel your account?

  • He can already claim (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:35PM (#29671309)

    See this post: []

    They are still selling illegal copies of his work.

  • by lorenlal ( 164133 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:42PM (#29671385)

    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

    That should be amended to: "Tend to assume incompetence and not malice, unless it involves money."

  • Re:Think (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:51PM (#29671479) Homepage

    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.

    That said, you get a point in that any other website would do the same. And it's a problem between these sites and the contents publishers.

    I remember a story in europe where a magazine did get free blog hosting from ~40 providers. They published a novel by Victor Hugo - ie: In the public domain for centuries. There was a note at the bottom of the page stating this.

    Then they contacted formally all of the hosting companies demanding that the BLOG be shut off because it infringed their copyright. The results: 1 hosting company did its job, read the copyright notice, double checked the fact and sent an email back saying it was bullsh*t. 7 did ask for more proof, the rest did just shut the blog down, no questions asked.

    Customer service is a thing of the past....

  • by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @01:25PM (#29671845)

    And the corollary is:

    "Sufficiently advanced forms of incompetence are indistinguishable from malice."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @01:49PM (#29672083)

    How does Warner (and Myspace) distinguish theirs from the other three "A Girl Like You", which include Atlantic and EMI? []

    I mean yeah, sure, it /could/ be a misunderstanding over same title, but the same title problem isn't new in the music business. Precedent exists.

  • Maybe I'm dense here, but how does what you said relate to what I said? Having chairs and desks are necessary to make money. Paying artists, and otherwise acting in a moral fashion is obviously not. I never said that corporations have to make the most money they can, this week, at the expense of long term profitability.

    But corporations have been sued for not taking advantage when they could. Corporations are a tool for abrogation of responsibility. They let otherwise moral individuals use proxies to engage in immoral activities those individuals would never, themselves, engage in. If one man murders another, it is clear who is to blame. If a corporation does it, the corporation will not face the de3ath penalty. More than likely, it will just face a fine. Was any human even jailed for the disaster at Bhopal? No. If I poisoned thousands of people, though, I would likely be put to death. The corporate form creates immortal, immensely powerful psychopathic entities.

  • by davek ( 18465 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @04:22PM (#29673999) Homepage Journal

    How does this fit in with the SoundExchange Rules of Extortion []? Doesn't that "agreement" mean that the media cartels claim default ownership of all music? Therefore, this guys claim is moot because he needs to pay a fee to stream any music on the internet anyway.

  • Re:Required by Law (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @04:46PM (#29674315) Journal

    Not much in the way of joint stock limited liability corporations before the the East India Company, was there? Maybe a few Dutch corporations. But I'd say, back to the early days of the US, when corporations like the EIC were seen as despotic enemies, and all corporations were limited to only perform the business for which they were chartered, could not own stock in other corporations, were limited in duration, were limited in geographic scope of business, and had no human rights as a legal person.

  • Re:Think (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @06:53PM (#29675661)

    So publish the song. If WB sues you, enjoy the triple damages when you point out to a judge that they were given notice of this error long before they filed suit. If WB doesn't sue you (which they won't), then there's not a copyright case here.

    MySpace is irrelevant. They are just refusing service for their own reasons. You can't force them to give you service unless you can prove they are in breach of a contract.

  • Re:iFail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheGreenNuke ( 1612943 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @07:00PM (#29675719)
    You young whipper snapper, I remember when it was still as shown in this Orginal Facebook layout []. Now get off my lawn.
  • Re:Think (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @07:00PM (#29675723)

    >The real question is why WB doesn't owe him several billion dollars for piracy.

    They haven't distributed his work.

    What they have done is to persuade MySpace to refuse to stream his work. Unless someone can show otherwise, MySpace doesn't violate any law or abridge any rights by not streaming his work. They don't need a reason, but they have one (WB is inconvenient).

    It would be completely different if he had a contract with MySpace (or with WB) but he doesn't.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?