Feeds

Universal Music sued by its artists over downloads dosh

Wrinkly rockers want their Eminem iTunes slice of pie

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A class-action lawsuit by artists against the world’s largest record company has been given the green light by a judge. The dispute, which pits Universal Music against a number of its featured artists, sounds arcane – but an estimated $2bn (£1.25bn) in royalties is at stake.

Universal treats a digital download or ringtone as a sale of a sound recording rather than a licence. Sales earn the creator between 10 and 20 per cent - but the musicians argue that a licence merits more, and artists' contracts have something closer to a 50:50 split on those. A court ruled earlier this year, at a hearing brought by rapper Eminem, that an iTunes download was a licence and not a sale.

You can hear the sound of stable doors being slammed shut as executives race to change the terms for new signings to labels and closing the loophole. But that leaves several old nags wandering around, who may stand to receive an unexpected payday.

And why not? The music industry’s case for longer copyright terms for sound recordings was based on several arguments, but one that was enduring was the moral case. It goes something like this: when old music is still being enjoyed, and provides commercial value, is it fair that everyone in the value chain except the artist benefits from it? Oldies stations need the oldies. By and large, legislators found this case persuasive.

Billboard has more details here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.