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Publishers vs. Major Labels

THERE’S SOME HILARIOUS BICKERING going on right now between the major labels and music publishers. It all stems from copy-protection: on certain copy-protected CDs, the major labels have included Windows Media encrypted files so that people can listen to the songs on their computer but can’t share them. Music publishers, who represent songwriters, get paid based on the number of songs distributed. Since these CDs have two copies of each song- the normal copy and the Windows Media copy- publishers are demanding double the royalty.

Songwriters have been getting screwed by the major labels forever (just like everyone else) so they’re jumping on this chance to get back at the big five. The major labels, on the other hand, are desperate to stop filesharing and assumed there would be some unity on that…
They must have forgot how much everyone in the music business hates their guts. It’s all just a wonderful example of what ends up happening when people, a. think about music in exclusively monetary terms and, b. try to lock it down. Here’s an article.


Sometimes people tell us that pay-for-play radio was outlawed and doesn’t happen anymore. The law changed, but not how mainstream radio works. Now that we’ve found this link, we’ll be sending people to howstuffworks.com: Independent Promoters and Radio Play. Related, of course, is payola in print media, which Greg Ross discussed in our interview with him a couple months ago. We’ve just updated that page to match our new interview style. Interview with Greg Ross. (by the way, we’ll get the Ian MacKaye interview up as soon as we get a photo from him, so cool your jets!)


Our beloved RIAA Radar has just added a mobile version that you can access from your cellphone while shopping. If you shop at Wal-mart or Best Buy, you’re going to get pretty frustrated typing in all those UPC codes into your phone and seeing "WARNING!" come up for every single one. RIAA Radar is the perfect tool for fighting the major label monopoly and Magnetbox Ben, who runs the site, keeps on making it sharper. Now we need programmers to start incorporating RIAA Radar into filesharing programs and mp3 players.

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