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The former frontman for the UK band Orange Juice was recently denied the right to post his own song on Myspace due to copyright confusion. Turns out a major label claimed to own it, essentially stealing it. His wife and manager says labels steal more music than filesharers.  (Source: The Portastylistic)
Artist's woes illustrate the problems with copyright in the U.S. and abroad

Illogical suits and copyright enforcement are nothing new in the music industry.  Rock musician John Fogerty was once forced to show a court that his song "The Old Man Down The Road" did not share the same chorus as "Run Through The Jungle" -- a song that he also wrote, when he played with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival.  With the modern era of music permeating the internet, though, such bizarre illustrations of a flawed system have taken on a whole new dimension.

One such illustration recently occurred when UK indie rocker Edwyn Collins was barred on MySpace from streaming his own 1994 hit -- "A Girl Like You" -- due to copyright restrictions, despite the fact that he owned the copyright (Collins wrote this song as the frontman for the defunct band Orange Juice).  Grace Maxwell, Collin's wife and manager, first ran into the bizarre scenario when she tried to post the song to his MySpace page in an effort to promote his work.

She writes in a blog post,"MySpace are not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major [label] can claim a copyright.  [After trying to upload the song] lo and behold, it would not upload. I was told Edwyn was attempting to breach a copyright and he was sent to the Orwellian MySpace copyright re-education page. Quite chilling, actually."

She adds, "[My husband] owns the copyright.  as he does for most of the music he's recorded in his life (preferring to go it alone than have his music trapped 'in perpetuity' to use the contract language of the major record company)."

Getting to the root of the issue, apparently Warner Music had illegitimately claimed the copyright.  They promised to fix it, but then never did anything. States Maxwell, "I naturally blew my stack and wrote to MySpace on his behalf demanding to know who the hell was claiming copyright of Edwyn's track? ... Eventually, after HUGE difficulty, I was told Warner Music Group were claiming it. I found a nice lawyer guy at Warners, very apologetic, promised to get it sorted, but all these months later it isn't."

She says that over the years her husband's music has been continually ripped off, both my major labels and smaller companies which are legally obligated to pay licensing fees, but "forget" to.  And she says he's not alone.  She states, "[We are] aware of who the biggest bootleggers are.  It's not the filesharers. [A Girl Like You is sold] not by Edwyn, [but] by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him."

She says many smaller independent labels are often just as bad.  The main problem, she says, is that Collins has tried to offer some of his music free to fans, and music labels would rather exploit it for profit, despite the fact that what they're doing is illegal.

She concludes that cheap or free music subscription services are the industry's greatest hope.  Apparently plugging such services as Zune Pass or SpiralFrog, she states, "Now let's get on with working out a wonderful new way for music lovers to enjoy music for free or for a small subscription that makes it legal and easy to hear ANYTHING and allows the artist to reap the rewards of such freedom of access."

That hope, of course, relies on the assumption that the services get who owns the copyright correctly verified in the first place.  One can only hope that these services are better than MySpace at that.



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RE: So now what?
By therealnickdanger on 10/9/2009 8:51:05 AM , Rating: 5
RIAA and MPAA are first and foremost looking out for the interests of the parties they represent, which are corporations and artists that have legitimate ownership claims to their respective media. Millions of people DO steal music and movies, so let's not completely demonize the RIAA and MPAA for doing their jobs.

Second, I believe that the RIAA and MPAA have too much influence and power, which CAN and sometimes DOES result in abuses and infringements upon the rights of others. So we have every right to push back and be skeptical of their motives.

Third, so long as the masses continue to BUY the content that major artists create, thees artists will continue to be members of the RIAA and MPAA, thus channeling that money right back to supporting their legal teams.

Fourth, this article isn't even really about the RIAA or MPAA, but rather some major labels that infringe on the copyrights of others. Should the RIAA get involved and stop it? Probably. Will they? Unlikely.


RE: So now what?
By MrPoletski on 10/9/2009 10:24:40 AM , Rating: 5
maybe it's time for the RIAA to step up and defend edwyn or be disbanded as some sort of illegal monopoly...


RE: So now what?
RE: So now what?
By MadMan007 on 10/9/2009 1:38:42 PM , Rating: 3
Hah. This was classic too, especially since the Inq is British:
quote:
In atypical French fashion, Sarkozy refused to surrender


"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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