Thursday, 15 October 2009

More asinine demands from ASCAP - Ringtones!

Not content with trying to get royalty payments from the 30 second song samples that many of us use to decide if a song is worth buying, now ASCAP (or should that be "ass cap") is suing American phone provider AT&T over ringtone revenue, according to Ars Technica.

Note that it's not the RIAA donning the dunce cap in this case!

The reason for the ASCAP lawsuit? Apparently everytime a ringtone goes off and someone wants to kill the phone owner for having the worst song on earth as a ringtone, that ringtone is a public performance and requires a royalty payment.

Just when you thought the barrel couldn't be scraped any further.

Now I really don't understand why it's only AT&T who are "at fault" here, but that's not really the point. The annoying 10 second loop of whatever "song" some 15 year old downloaded is a) not a public performance of any merit and b) not controlled by a phone company. Not unless they start making our phones ring... which would answer the question Deacon Blue once posed.

EFF's Fred von Lohman expands the crazy demands from ASCAP to a more natural conclusion, "if a ringtone constitutes a public performance, then so does playing the car radio when the windows are down."

It does look like the American legal system is siding with common sense on this as Verizon were recently cleared of any royalty wrong doings as well.

I guess ASCAP are going to have to continue to put their faith in whatever brainless moron is driving their current "new income" initiative. Maybe suing people who whistle for royalty payments?

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Three and Spotify sign deal

In what can only be considered a fantastic move on behalf of both parties, Spotify and mobile operator 3 have announced a deal for 3 to distribute the music upstart's service on their network.

In a short, but sweet article on New Media Age, the first phone to benefit from this deal will be the HTC Hero, set to launch on the network before Christmas.

A few other news agencies are catching this story and adding their own take, but it's still not clear whether 3 will roll the £9.99 Spotify Premium price into the monthly tariff or if users will have to pay that on top.

Whatever the outcome, this will be good news for 3 customers, and for people who don't want to jump on the cult-wagon that is iPhone.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Bernard Sumner attacked by shark, long after jumping it

Looks like Bad Lieutenant's Bernard Sumner's not having a good time of it.

No sooner has he formed the third band to come from the ashes of Warsaw (the others being Joy Division and New Order) then he gets attacked while swimming on holiday... in Scotland.

According to, he "had a collision with a 30 ft shark. The boat nearly sank and there was a big imprint of a huge shark in the paint on its bottom."

All involved in the accident are said to be ok.

Sumner isn't the only musician to have had aquatic misadventures. Back in 1985 Duran Duran's Simon LeBon almost died while taking part in the round the world Whitbread race when his yacht capsized.

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