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Steve Gordon

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RIAA eyes radio's billions

Column Although the recording industry is thought by some to be all-powerful, American broadcasters actually wield far greater power. Radio has been able to get away with not paying labels for music they play: specifically, performance royalties that broadcasters elsewhere in the world owe to the labels for broadcast music. But is this …
Steve Gordon, 20 Sep 2007
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Who'll win the webcasting war?

Column On March 20, 2007, The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), a three judge panel appointed by the Librarian of Congress whose mission it is to determine rates and terms for copyright statutory licenses, shocked the webcasting community by announcing dramatically higher rates for use of recorded music by large commercial and small …
Steve Gordon, 16 Aug 2007
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Behind the Apple vs Universal breakup

Column Earlier this month, Universal Music Group (UMG) - the world's largest record company with acts like U2 and Jay-Z - decided not to renew its contract with Apple's iTunes music store. Universal will continue to supply iTunes its vast catalogue but may cancel that supply at any time. In the company's own words, "Universal Music …
Steve Gordon, 17 Jul 2007
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Are songwriters double-dipping?

Column Should songwriters get paid for a public performance when you download a song? Thanks to a New York legal case, we'll soon find out. In the United States, three organizations license "public performance" rights for music on behalf of their music publisher and songwriter members: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Typical public performances …
Steve Gordon, 13 Apr 2007
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Does MySpace really help artists?

Column The Long Tail theory posits that the infinite shelf space made possible by the internet enhances the market value for "niche products". In the case of the music, that means indie artists. Unfortunately, the real benefit of the Long Tail flows to the distributor, not the artist. MySpace's plan to allow indie artists to sell …
Steve Gordon, 21 Mar 2007
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The slow death of DRM

Column The DRM walls are crumbling. Earlier this week, Steve Jobs called on the major record labels to allow online music sales unfettered by digital rights management restrictions. Today, the Wall Street Journal disclosed that EMI is in negotiations with several digital music services to sell unprotected MP3s of its catalogue. Jobs …
Steve Gordon, 09 Feb 2007
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The billion dollar ringtones war

Column Ringtones are a huge business. According to Jupiter Research, ringtones generated $6.6bn dollars in global revenue in 2006. They are also one of the most contested areas of the music business with a fierce battle being fought between major record labels and music publishers. The labels have argued for years that music publishers …
Steve Gordon, 08 Jan 2007
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Zune means zilch for artists

Column How much can artists expect to benefit from Microsoft's Zune MP3 player? Microsoft recently agreed to pay a royalty to Universal Music, which with acts like U2 and Jay-Z is the world's most successful label, of more than $1 for each sale of each Zune sold. Universal promised it would "pay half of what it receives on the …
Steve Gordon, 29 Nov 2006