back to article Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for 'tricking' artists with petition

Three members of iconic British psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd have penned an editorial condemning the practices of streaming music service Pandora, which they say has been trying to trick recording artists into cutting their own pay. The editorial, which appeared in USA Today on Sunday, called out Pandora and its CEO Tim …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Graham Dawson

    "You don't hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. "

    Of course not. They just force the price down on the quiet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wish they were here ..

      Yeah they could've picked a better example. Talk to the growers and you'll hear consistent stories about how supermarkets are forever putting downward pressure on prices.

      To be fair, I doubt any of these gents has shopped in a major grocery chain for a while ..

      1. teacake

        Re: Wish they were here ..

        @Nicho "Yeah they could've picked a better example. Talk to the growers and you'll hear consistent stories about how supermarkets are forever putting downward pressure on prices."

        But at least the price arrived at is as a result of the grower and the grocer negotiating a price at which they are prepared to exchange the goods. The supermarkets aren't going off trying to get the law changed to force the price down, which is what is happening here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wish they were here ..

          "But at least the price arrived at is as a result of the grower and the grocer negotiating a price at which they are prepared to exchange the goods."

          Flip side.....

          The supermarkets are free to choose where they buy the products from at an agreed rate between both individual parties, either party can choose a different supplier / retailer.

          Pandora have to deal with little more than a bunch of cartels, where a price is fixed, regardless of an artsits "value".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wish they were here ..

          @teacake - or the reverse, like PDO's ?

    2. Androgynous Crackwhore

      "Of course not. They just force the price down on the quiet."

      Naturally... but do they try to trick farmers into signing petitions to support them in that? Thought not. Seems like a perfectly reasonable analogy to me.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      "You don't hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. "

      But you would if some group representing food producers could legally force a major supermarket, say Ocado, to pay a premium for all branded food lines they sell because they are wholly on-line, but Tesco's et al because they run a network of supermarkets and/or convenience stores don't. This is effectively what is being done to Pandora by ASCAP.

      Yes we need to view Pandora in the same context as other music broadcasters to see that they do have a case - namely they are being discriminated against, given that ASCAP are happy about the much lower royalty rates that they have been receiving todate from other organisations...

      Whether real musicians rather than the music industry are getting a fair cut of the royalties is another question. Remember in today's world music, like films and novels are products.

      1. Sparkypatrick

        Re: "we need to view Pandora in the same context as other music broadcasters"

        No, we don't. Unless you can point me at a radio station with a transmitter powerful enough to get global coverage, radio stations and internet music services are not comparable. They have very different (potential) sizes of audience and a completely different model of content delivery.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: "we need to view Pandora in the same context as other music broadcasters" @Sparkypatrick

          I think you will find that in the royalty rates agreed with individual radio stations there is a consideration for potential and actual audience size. Also some terrestrial radio stations also 'broadcast' via the internet without incurring the same royalty rates as Pandora...

  2. BillG Silver badge

    Money, it's a hit...

    Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.

    1. Mike Smith

      But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise...

      ... they're giving none away.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Wish I was still getting paid for work that I did umpteen years ago.

    Pink Floyd: welcome to the real world where we have to work for a living.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Pink Floyd didn't get paid for writing their songs and composing their music. They only got paid when they produced something so good that people kept on wanting to buy it and listen to it. What was it that you did umpteen years ago that was so good that it still has value to people and why didn't you have the foresight to keep the IP to it?

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

        An unfair system

        AFAIK, patents last for 20 years. Music copyrights last for 70 years from death of author. Where's the fairness?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An unfair system

          If I buy a bunch of stocks and shares and hand them on to my next of kin they are going to keep earning dividends as long as the holder owns them - the shares don't expire after 70 years. I invested many years ago in writing and recording music that was so good that 70 years after I'm dead it's still popular. Why should earnings from music be any different to stocks and shares?

        2. Joseph Haig

          Re: An unfair system

          "AFAIK, patents last for 20 years. Music copyrights last for 70 years from death of author. Where's the fairness?"

          You are not comparing like with like.

          A patent is granted to an inventor to give them exclusive rights in exchange for making the details of the invention public for the benefit of all. This legal protection is granted in recognition of the fact that someone may lose out on the benefits of an invention because the idea could be taken up by other people who are better able to market their product. Famously, the Rubik's Cube was only patented in Hungary and so Professor Rubik recieved very little royalty for his invention. A limit of 20 years is granted to give a reasonably time for the inventor to benefit from it but after this the idea is available to all.

          Copyright, on the other hand, is a protection against unauthorised pubishing of someone's work and this varies from one country to another as well as for the type of material. The date of death + 70 years you quote is (as I understand it) for written work in the UK, so it would apply to the actual music of Pink Floyd separate from any recording. Copyright for recorded material is normally from the date of creation, and is 50 years in the UK and 70 years in the US. This is what Cliff Richard was trying to get changed a few years ago because his earlist songs are now becoming public domain.

          From what I understand, Pandora are trying to circumvent this copyright protection to avoid paying the royalties to the artists that they are legally entitled to.

          1. paulc

            Re: An unfair system

            "This is what Cliff Richard was trying to get changed a few years ago because his earlist songs are now becoming public domain."

            Trying? They damn well succeeded in getting it changed:


          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: An unfair system @Joseph Haig

            "From what I understand, Pandora are trying to circumvent this copyright protection to avoid paying the royalties to the artists that they are legally entitled to."

            Your understanding is fatally flawed.

            I suggest reading "Pandora Isn't the Enemy, the Music Industry Is" Parts 1 and 2 over on TheStreet, it will give you a better insight into what this is all about.

            1. OldWarrior

              Re: An unfair system @Joseph Haig

              And TheStreet has no agenda of it's own? It is not exactly a disinterested 3rd party

        3. OldWarrior

          Re: An unfair system

          You are right, there should be a middle ground. 70 years past the death is a tad long, but remember that in most arts, the value of the artists work goes up immensely after the artist dies. Not so in Music, but certainly in painting , jewelry, pottery etc. Maybe reduce Music to 50 years, and line item certain Patents. Drugs Patents shouldn't start until after FDA approval, but there should be a FRAND situation so that people needing a medication don't get impoverished. Patents under a FRAND should last far more than 20 years.

          The subject is payment for musicians and the writers though. I don't mind rewarding these artists and am disturbed that Pandora is trying to legislate rates. Of course, in the US, no such legislation would pass constitutionality except changes in copyright laws across-the-board. I do not believe that Pandora would charge any less to customers if they got to pay artists less, certainly not as much as the reduction unless that was in the law. The bottom line, buyers will always try to pay the lowest price, and sellers will charge all that the market will bear. That is the definition of Capitalism. No legislatures should ever get involved unless there is a clear safety or public interest (such as Medicine). I can choose what I want to buy, I cannot chooser what I NEED to buy.

      2. therealmav

        Right on brother. Pink Floyd should have known back in the sixties, seventies and eighties that internet radio companies would want to broadcast their music cheaply. F***wits!

      3. Anonymous Coward

        > They only got paid when they produced something so good that people kept on wanting to buy it and listen to it.

        There was me thinking that Pink Floyd got paid when they performed...which is what musicians do for a living.

        Performing once, then sitting on your arse for the rest of eternity is not my idea of an equitable situation.

  4. mevets
    Paris Hilton

    And did we tell you the name of the game boy?

    Nice to see the spirit of the recoding industry is alive and well.

    Paris. It is a natural.

  5. Ceiling Cat

    Let's see....

    I have prchased Dark Side Of The Moon no less than 10 times, and many of those copies were purchased brand new. Roger would be quite displeased to hear that nowadays I prefer Eclipsed over DSOTM, and Eclipsed was never ever released as an official recording. Best version of it was the Empire Pool recording, iirc. If the boys need cash, perhapse they should look at arranging somthing with the bootleg traders. It'd b a damn sight more interesting than just another reissue of the same stuff again and again.

    Also, not all internet radio pays royalties. How many Icecast "djs" would be willing to pay royalties on everything they broadcast? probably not too many.

    wish I could choose more than one icon, sinct this post is sure to get a bunch of thumbs-down and flames in response.

    1. Dominion

      Re: Let's see....

      You've purchased the same thing 10 times? Sucker....

    2. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Let's see....

      You've got me beat. I've bought Dark Side four times -- two vinyl copies (one to replace the copy I wore out in high school and college), a copy of the Mobile Fidelity Lab's half-speed remastered LP, and again on CD.

      Mind you, I love that album to death, but lately I've been listening a lot to the famous bootleg soundboard footage of Floyd's performance of Dark Side at Wembley in November 1974.

      I'm in total agreement with you on your point about a deal with the bootleg traders, or something like it. Perhaps Floyd could consider doing what the Grateful Dead started doing in the late '80s/early '90s, which was to dig back into their own archives and release entire shows on CD (and later as downloads). The "From The Vault" and "Road Trips" series of live releases are some of the Dead's biggest sellers even today.

      I'd gladly pay real money for a nice, clean, remastered copy of that Wembley Dark Side show, or of their complete performance of Wish You Were Here from Los Angeles in April 1975, or their complete Animals performance in Oakland in May 1977. There are some really fine bootlegs of those shows which have circulated in the bootleg collectors' underground for years -- I own copies of them -- but a digitally restored copy remixed by the Floyd themselves from their own soundboard master footage? Shit, yeah, I'd totally pay the Floyd for copies of that stuff.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

    I *OWN* two vinyl copies of Dark Side, one standard CD and one remasterd CD. Now, if I want to put it on my iPod, they gather ripping one of the CD's is illegal and I must buy it again on iTunes.

    I work for a living as well, gentlemen.

    Since I've paid for the same thing four times already, maybe they could give Pandora a gift voucher to play the album 3 times for free ?

    1. pSy

      Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

      Maybe next time go to the music store without Nick Mason pointing a gun at your head?

    2. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

      It's not illegal to rip your own CDs. It's illegal to distribute what you have ripped. When they write 'not for re-sale' or 'not transferable' that's not the law, that's an agreement they are asking you to follow.

      1. DaLo

        Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

        You should use the Pedant icon wisely, else you risk being double pedanted!

        It is currently illegal in the UK to "rip" your own CDs to use on a different device. It is called format shifting and is not allowed by law. The Hargreaves Review made recommendations to modernise copyright law or to clarify some areas of it based upon contemporary usage. A number of the recommendations have been given approval by the Government, including format shifting of non-DRMed media.

        These, however, have not been enacted as a statutory instrument yet. Draft legislation is available for review from the IPO but it will be a while before it is finalised.

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

          There is or used to be an option to apply for a licence to do this kind of thing. It predates the digital era.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

          "It is currently illegal in the UK to "rip" your own CDs to use on a different device."

          Have you seen an advert for the Brennan JB7 lately? One of several similar commercially available products sold in the UK, It's a box that rips your CDs onto a hard drive for later playback, and more. Also includes an amplifier. Just add speakers, and your CD collection.

          I can't find an advert right now but there's some fairly explicit text in the adverts that says "it's OK, you can do this legally". Can't quickly find it on their wesbite either.

          Does he say whether it's OK to do this with a borrowed CD?

          Does he say whether it's OK to rip a CD and sell the original?

          The present music industry model is seriously broken. And not just the Simon Cowell end.

          1. Alien8n Silver badge

            Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

            It's actually just shows how disjointed copyright law is in this country. While it's illegal to format shift your music collection it's not illegal to sell the hardware to do it. And it's one of the few laws that has been recognised as completely unenforceable as it would mean prosecuting pretty much anyone who has ever owned vinyl, cassette, CD or an MP3 player. It's an archaic law that dates back to the invention of tapes and back then the music industry tried very hard to make cassette players illegal if they had the ability to record.

          2. gerryg

            @Anon 11.55: LMGTFY

            In 2006 the British Phonograhic Institute or BPI said to a parliamentary select committee that they wanted to “make it unequivocally clear to the consumer that if they copy their CDs for their own private use in order to move the music from format to format we will not pursue them”


            but no reference to original source


            The latest victim of the ASA’s wrath is 3GA Ltd, the company that makes the Brennan JB7 – “a CD player with a hard disk that stores up to 5,000 CDs”. [...] somebody with nothing better to do with their life (or, more likely, one of Brennan’s competitors) complained that the “ad incited consumers to break the law, because it was illegal to copy music without permission from the copyright owner”.



            Music industry blasts Government attempts to modernise copyright laws


          3. DaLo

            Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

            "Have you seen an advert for the Brennan JB7 lately?..."

            Brennan has always stated that it is illegal, they even state this on the front page of their website. Are you going to get prosecuted as a user? No. Is it likely to effect you for format shifting your own material? No.

            I was just stating a fact, easy to verify, that as a default format shifting is currently illegal. If anyone says they won't prosecute, then that is fine, still doesn't change the legality of it unless they are actually giving you permission to the copyright *that they own* or are allowed to assign.

            Yes it's stupid, and no you as a normal user will not fall foul of it and get prosecuted and that is why the law is changing, however at this moment in time it is illegal without a separate licence or legal permission.

          4. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider... Re: Brennan

            Yes it is currently illegal (under UK law) to copy music or format shift it without the permission of the copyright owner, basically the UK doesn't have a ‘fair use’ provision written into it's copyright law that allows the copying of copyrighted material for personal use.

            Brennan received a slap over the knuckles a few years back from the ASA because it deemed the Brennan advert "misleadingly implied it was acceptable to copy CDs, vinyl and cassettes without the permission of the copyright owner", even though the official line from the music industry, (that Brennan cited) was that personal format shifting from media you owned was OK and that there has never been a court case over it.

            But Parliament has announced that it has accepted the Hargreaves recommendation and will in due course be changing the law to permit the transfer of content from CDs or DVDs to MP3 files and computers for personal use...

            As for the various scenario's listed by AC I suggest provided the media from which you ripped a copy is in your possession then these copies will be regarded as being for personal use.

        3. Huw D

          Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

          If you're using the music for work (i.e. as a DJ) then you can happily format shift in the uk with a Produb license.

    3. Scorchio!!

      Re: Would the Floyd gentlemen then also consider...

      Oh, iTunes? That's where people go to store the stuff they put on their iPod and iPhone because they cannot transfer it via a link with their computer, isn't it? When I found out about that policy I made my mind up to never buy anything Apple... ...though the current PC situation is a tad worrying. I've got a 30 Gb Cowon media player and connect to my system via USB, ditto the Dell phone and the Huawei phone (a cheeky little number!).

      I'll never give copies of the stuff that I bought to other people, and I'll never touch Apple.

  7. steve harris
    Thumb Up

    Hey there Pink Floyd - ha ha, charade you are!

    The Floyd are well aware of their conflicted status in this argument. Gleefully in fact - it's the same old 'anti-business/pro-business' rhetoric they were famous for first time around. In fact the more complex and ironic the interplay between their status as liberal musicians living the good life in a huge corporate machine fighting other corporate machines, the more they like it.

    Sheep, Dogs or Pigs? Just keep buying the records ...

  8. Christopher Rogers

    Have to agree with them

    Music is being cheapened and turned into a commodity. So what if the manufacturer of the product wants to protect their right to make money from it? Yes its nice to get something a bit cheaper but frankly if your going to be an arsehole over cost then you deserve the flack that comes with it.

    To Peter R. 1 - you have a choice as a consumer to buy or not to buy multiple copies of DSOTM. Don't go bitching just because another format has popped up. you could always go on ebay for a portable CD player...

    Pink Floyd produced a body of work that millions have enjoyed for decades and most likely for decades to come. They deserve to reap the benefits to their fullest extent.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Have to agree with them

      I have not problems with the musicians who create music getting paid their 7p or whatever it is you get for writing and performing a song. I have no desire to pay ten times that for the same song and support the collection of grossly inefficient arseholes who get in the way between me and the music. If your milk was £4 a pint and your bread £7 a loaf you'd have a fit and you cant download that down the internet connection you are paying for.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: Have to agree with them

        Then don't pay 10 times - nobody is FORCING you to keep buying the same album on different formats - you are choosing to do that because it is convenient for you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

    I'm a musician who moonlights as a tech to pay the bills. I have these kinds of debates with my friends all the time. Many of them are musicians. There's a well known Irish roots musician called Damien Dempsey. He often calls for the head of Louis Walsh. You can add the likes of Simon Cowell to that call now. We think there is still plenty of money in music, its just not being spread around. Their model only enriches the few to astronomic proportions, Some things we lament.......

    We feel music is dying, but not because of illegal downloading. Its dying because the same 100 artists dominate with only their songs on the radio selector play-lists, commercials, TV progs and documentary sound-bites. Plus, there's aren't any classic albums being made anymore. So there's little to get excited about. Sound Bite Ring-Tones have replaced classic melodies and sampling has replaced crafted song-writing..... We'd like people to come out of their comas and stop buying into Justin Beiber, 1D etc and show some taste. But that won't happen. YouTube's Gangham proof of that! Taste is dead.

    Still we say go and support your local musicians. Go to the local bars and restaurants where they play and buy CD's directly from them. We can only ever make cents from Pandora, the deck is stacked against us.... Whereas supporting us at local venues directly helps us.

    This ancient model of local versus global support is how music was for centuries before Radio, TV, Globalisation or the Internet. But our current view of reality of music artists is skewed by the fact we grew up in an era of the mega-acts. They mesmerized us from the beginning by having the very best song-writing, the very best musicianship, and the very best all round performances. Ever since, we've all been asking when's the next Beatles or U2 going to arrive, as if its a given... But the truth is, that era is probably over.... Perhaps it was just an anomaly to begin with when you glance back at human history....

    There's a certain apathy where people don't want to bother and go and listen to good live music anymore. So most restaurants and clubs get away with just playing crud in the background. When the very best funk, blues, soul, hip-hop, classical or pop or whatever might be on your doorstop. So try and seek out local musicians and bands you can get behind and support them long-term.... Keep music breathing....

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      Exactly. It was mass media which created the super stars. Basically mass-production of a quality product brings in huge profits for those near the top of the pyramid and a good living for those flogging the disks in the shops. Anyone who is not a superstar gets almost nothing.

      I believe there is a cultural shift but it's a constant battle. The mass producers will always be able to produce high quality on a mass scale and run the small producers out of town. The small producers keep innovating faster than the big boys can keep up.

    2. Psymon

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      While I agree with the overall sentiment, I can't agree totally with the notion that this was a unique bubble, the likes of never seen before or to be seen again.

      Mozart was one of the megastars. Contrary to popular belief, he did not die a pauper. This is a misconception that sprang up from what seems like his rather small and insignificant grave. In Venice though, having a grave AT ALL is a sign of being in the upper echilon. It's just that the tourists look upon his tombstone, and then the the much grander vaults further up, which were royal family members only, and assume he passed away, forgotten, poor and unloved. Of course, the truth is he was a rich, pampered rock star living the finiest life that 18th century Venice could offer. Of course, 18th century Venice offered disease and an early death more readily....

      For every Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, there are a thousand names of budding composers which have been long lost in the sands of time, and for every one of those anonymous composers, there are another thousand orchestra players, who would have died destitute, and spent more time begging than playing.

      As for the loss of taste, I feel that's probibly another cyclic pattern. I mean, how else can you explain George Formby!?!? And he's the famous one, which means by definition, he must have stood head and shoulders above the rest! Just this thought makes me weep for humanity! If George Formby was the pinnicle of talent during that era, then his supporting act would have made gangnam style look like Beethovens 5Th!

      I don't believe these fashions come back in exactly the same form, just like clothing fashions repeat, but with minor differences. The height of the money tower pyramid created by the birth of the record industry is probably one of those moments in history that will stand out as unique, but I very much doubt we've seen the last of the megastars

      1. Snapper

        Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

        Venice? Buried in a canal!

        Methinks you have erred and meant Vienna.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

        True about Mozart - he died wealthy. But he died wealthy without multi-decade copyright ...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

        "I can't agree totally with the notion that this was a unique bubble, the likes of never seen before or to be seen again. Mozart was one of the megastars..."

        Perhaps if Mozart lived today he would be a Ennio Morricone or Hans Zimmer? ... A very successful, very wealthy, but otherwise unassuming genius... Certainly not part of the Mega-Band Trend...

    3. Gav

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      You have reasonable and well thought-out opinions, however they are nullified by your insistence that the music you don't like is 'bad' music. Music is all just sound and "taste" is a matter of opinion.

      Popular music has always been about tunes of the lowest common denominator. That's what makes it most popular. The most popular music inevitably gets the most exposure. It has always been so, even before the days of radio.

      Don't like the most popular music? Well you'll find that many people don't, but they all occupy their own minority niches. You'll find that your, or any minority, choice of music is never, ever, going to replace the populist crud. A million music critics before you have lamented this and it is still a universal rule. Time to stop tilting at windmills.

      So suggesting that everyone stopped listening to "bad" music is not a solution to "music's" problems. Music has no problems. It is not dying. Music is just the mixture of some you like, some you hate that it has always been. The problems the music industry has, whether you consider them valid or not, is not a music problem. It's an industry problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Music... is not dying. Music is just the mixture of some you like, some you hate'

        Beyond taste which is obviously relative, there is an opinion that the art of song-writing as its being taught is lacking, because the bar has been lowered. One can debate this to death. But clearly today's musicians do not have to be as talented as musicians in Mozart's time or during the Beatles era etc.

        For starters there are so many electronic devices to help the budding musician, that correct his or her pitch, that auto-correct instrument mistakes, that sample other pieces, plus sequencers that allow for perfect composition etc. So there is a case that maybe, just maybe, musicianship isn't as good.

        But one thing is certain, there are very few new classic songs or compositions being played where the melody is instantly classic and timeless ... The type of tune you can't stop humming walking down the street. For the moment, classics have been replaced by instantly forgettable ring-tone music....

        Musicians will sometimes lament that this is due to the limited amount of notes or rhythms that are available in the alphabet of music. But I think its more the aspiration that's lacking. Too few are sweating over classic songs or albums. Instead, the drive to perfection has been replaced by the overarching need to be instantly hugely successful i.e. the mantra of 50 Cent: 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin'.

        The limitation of colours available to chose from when composing isn't just exclusive to music. There's no doubt that there are great filmmakers lying somewhere undiscovered because of the Michael Bay like Transformers of The Caribbean annihilation of art.... So I ague it isn't just a problem with the industry. Its also a problem with how low the bar is being set, and what we're all willing to accept...

        1. Gav

          Re: 'Music... is not dying. Music is just the mixture of some you like, some you hate'

          "today's musicians do not have to be as talented as musicians in Mozart's time or during the Beatles era etc."

          Very few bands of any time were as talented as Mozart or the Beatles. That doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of mediocre musicians around at the same time. Quoting two of the most successful acts of all time does not establish a historical mean talent.

          "many electronic devices" .. "musicianship isn't as good."

          So? Musicianship is admirable, but that's not what people are listening to. They're listening to the music. How it was created, and whatever was done to make it what it is, is of secondary significance. It's the final sound that matters. If you find this a problem, then you should equally be taking to task those who multi-track or record anything in other than one ensembled single take.

          "But one thing is certain, there are very few new classic songs or compositions being played where the melody is instantly classic and timeless"

          Really? Only time can make something classic and timeless. So you've no business declaring that in advance.

          1. Zemon

            Re: 'Music... is not dying. Music is just the mixture of some you like, some you hate'


    4. Zack Mollusc

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      "We think there is still plenty of money in music, its just not being spread around. Their model only enriches the few to astronomic proportions,"

      So music is just the same as any other industry, then?

    5. heenow

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      ASCAP/BMI are a major problem for local music.

      In the U.S., they charge even the tiniest venues a minimum of $1,000 per year in royalty fees. This applies to bars, coffeehouses, pubs, etc. no matter how small. If an aging hippy comes in and hammers out an old Dylan song on his antique Martin, fork over $1,000. If your group plays only originals, but is registered with ASCAP/BMI, the venue hands over $1,000. Jukeboxes are immune, because they are under a different scheme that doesn't include the venue they're in.

      This live music killer has been contested in court many, many times, and ASCAP/BMI have always won.

      There are big problems with local music, and the very organizations "helping" musicians are the reasons why.

    6. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

      Yes, the paradigm has changed on ya. You can keep all the money you make at the cost of having a word-of-mouth promotional engine. Or you can join "the man" and, if you are really that good, make a shirtload o' dough at the risk of burning out early and having to go back to work for a living.

      I do support local artists, when I can and when they are doing stuff I like. In Penn Station there's an officially sanctioned busking program and when I hear good music, played well (and it is amazing how many times that has been true) the artist(s) will get my money in the hat *and* I will buy their CDs, *and* I will applaud when they finish a good piece so they know I liked what I heard. I encourage everyone to do the same if what they hear is good and they can afford the support. Applause is free, of course, but that and the buck you drop in the hat will only pay for most of a cup of coffee.

  10. TJGeezer

    Aw, they want more money

    When the RIAA's hired politicians made the DMCA into law, independent radio stations were thriving on the internet. Not treating internet radio like any other kind of radio all but killed off these independents. Now Pink Floyd likes the idea of applying one of the most discriminatory, small-player-destructive parts of the entire misshapen DMCA to everybody, because the lads want to make, you know, more money. Because they haven't raked in enough yet to satisfy their appetites, maybe.

    My heart breaks for them and I weep.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Aw, they want more money

      Yep - insanely rich people claim that they aren't getting richer at the same rate. Do they not realise they undermine their own argument every time they bleat?

      1. Gav

        Re: Aw, they want more money

        Yes, cos if you're rich then you have no right to speak of the poor. People are much more likely to listen to, and the report on, what Joe Bloggs, lead singer of the "Never Heard Of Thems" has to say.

        Just like people with homes should keep their mouth shut about homelessness. Those who've had lunch have no business talking about famine. And people who aren't cats should just zip it about animal cruelty.

      2. Zemon

        Re: Aw, they want more money

        What if they actually care about the sustainability of the system for the next generation of musicians? Who are you to say they don't?

    2. mevets

      Reading comprehension

      I thought the point was about Pandora misrepresenting its petition. The backgrounder suggests Pandora were unsuccessful lobbying their position honestly; that is nobody agrees with them. Now they have resorted to a bait and switch tactic, which PF called them out on.

      Did we read the same article? I admit to an emotional over investment in Pink Floyd...

    3. Zemon

      Re: Aw, they want more money

      So we should feel for the big tech companies like Pandora, who want more money instead?

  11. Sean O'Connor 1

    Free market?

    Now that we've got computers and the Internet and stuff, why can't each band set the price they want to charge for playing their own songs and then radio stations, Pandora and Spotify users etc... can choose whether they want to play or not play those songs? I choose how much I want for my iPhone and Android games, why can't a band/label choose an individual 'buy' and 'stream' price for their music?

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: Free market?

      > "... why can't a band/label choose an individual 'buy' and 'stream' price for their music?"

      They can and some do.

      One well known example was Radiohead allowing fans to download "In Rainbows" and pay as much money as they saw fit.

      However, from a marketing point of view this usually isn't a particularly effective approach, especially for unknown bands.

      1. Sean O'Connor 1

        Re: Free market?

        I think your Radiohead example isn't at all what I'm talking about. They said "pay whatever you want" whereas I'm saying "this is the price, wanna pay?" As Radiohead's idea didn't seem to catch on I'd argue it was a bad idea.

        For years I've waited for Metallica and Pink Floyd to be on Spotify while they threw a strop cos Spotify pays so little. All that time I was thinking, just name your price for playing your music and then let *me* decide if (plus Spotify's cut) I consider that good value or not.

        Unknown bands could set a cheap price until they become more well known. Let the market decide!

        1. Mark #255

          Re: Free market? (@ Sean O'Connor 1)

          I got "In Rainbows"; I paid $0.00 for it, downloaded and listened to it.

          On thinking "this is worth a few quid", I went back to pay something, only to find that their system wouldn't let you do that.

          I wonder if I was alone in wanting to "try before you buy". It may be the details, rather than the general principle.

          1. paulc

            Re: Free market? (@ Sean O'Connor 1)

            no you weren't alone. I paid $0.00 for it as well. They still made far more launching the album that way than through the normal channels.

        2. Zemon

          Re: Free market?

          Sure, and why don't we abolish minimum wage laws too, because that's healthy for the market?


          LOGIC FAIL.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free market?

        For quite a few years, Tom Robinson's website had his back catalogue freely downloadable as MP3s.

        It also had an analysis of who gets what when you buy a track on iTunes.

        Last time I looked, that stuff (the numbers for who gets what, the freely downloadable non-DRM'd MP3s) had gone.

        By coincidence, his back catalogue became available on iTunes around that time.

  12. Sandpit

    Fee cut?

    I wonder, how much of the money that Pandora pay goes to the artist? Does an 85% reduction in royalties equate to 85% less to the artist? What about the middle men?

    Very dangerous to try to stifle the new media forms. It may be a choice between getting 100% of very little or 15% of a lot.

    This is all fall out from the era where a few powerful moguls controlled everything, can we please get over that and move to the bright new world where artists can connect directly to their audience.

    As for Floyd, have a cigar, by the way, which one's pink?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You don't hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell."

    No, but on the quiet they're whittling down the prices they pay farmers to levels that in many cases make small farms a loss making enterprise. Farmers are hard people to find sympathy with as a rule, but when supermarkets decide to have a promo on XYZ produce, but pay for it by simply cutting the price they pay the farm, then after the promo is over don't raise the price back to its original level, you have to say something is seriously wrong. Or insist on a new type of packaging, extra processing step, or have (for example) the stalk on broccoli cut right down, but refuse to raise rates to compensate. But all the time the farmer is getting less, the consumer is paying more. Every little helps eh.

  14. Russ Tarbox

    85% pay cut BACK to what it was previously, most likely...

    Internet radio licencing took a massive hike in fees several years ago. I remember Live365 lobbying against it and in the end the fee hikes went through. Internet radio is vastly more expensive to licence than traditional radio as you actually have to pay per user, per minute/song. So each listener actually costs money from a licensing point of view, and the more popular you are, the more you pay in licencing. Of course, in theory, the more popular you are, the more you can charge for advertising but things don't always work out that way.

    Traditional radio has a fixed licence cost and that's that, and it's considerably less per user, per minute/song so long as they have decent audience reach.

    Whilst I think that Pandora's lobbying for "fairness" is correct in principle, I don't like they way they make it sound like they're doing the world a favour. They're just trying to increase their margins and that's that.

    However, for Internet broadcasters as a whole, hobbyists and so forth, fair licencing fees would be very welcome.

    1. Zemon

      Re: 85% pay cut BACK to what it was previously, most likely...

      Sorry, but WRONG. You have this backwards. Pandora is currently getting a huge discount on their streaming royalty rate from musicians. That *discount* is set to expire in the future.

      1. Russ Tarbox
        Thumb Up

        Re: 85% pay cut BACK to what it was previously, most likely...

        OK. But the history of streaming fees is correct. I guess Pandora cut their own deal at some point.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the meantime, I hear that you can take all the hits of pink floydd and nearly anyone else off that there internet for nothing.

  16. Dan Paul

    Music is ALWAYS Music, no matter WHERE you hear it or HOW.

    The fee should be the same EVERYWHERE on ALL MEDIA per play. So should the price paid to the artists.

    RIAA, ASCAP or whomever (ALL Scumbags) are deliberately discriminating against internet venues versus broadcast radio, tv, jukeboxes etc.

    There is no difference between them at all as each are playing the same music and pricing should not depend on the potential "audience size" but soley on the number of plays/artist.

    That is the only fair method.

  17. sisk Silver badge

    Pink Floyd are just whining now

    There is absolutely no reason that Internet radio should pay more in royalties than terrestrial radio does. The fact that they do is utterly ridiculous. They're tipping their hand to the greed behind their actions with that tidbit about removing the exemption for terrestrial radio broadcasts.

    I'm not against artists getting their fair share, but why should their 'fair share' be more just because the broadcast is over the Internet as opposed to the airwaves? And why, when artists are already getting quite rich and terrestrial stations are feeling the crunch, should the higher royalties paid by Internet radio stations become the standard?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Pink Floyd are just whining now


      So Mr Radio Station Owner who can only possibly reach 5000 MAXIMUM people should pay the same to broadcast a track as Mr Online Streaming Service who can broadcast to, potentially, millions and billions.

      Seems reasonable.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        Re: Pink Floyd are just whining now

        Clearly you have no understanding of radio of either variety. I, on the other hand, have experience in both types of radio.

        It's rare for a terrestrial radio station to reach less than what you're siting as the maximum at any given time, except maybe in the middle of the night. And that's in a sparsely populated area. A station broadcasting in LA or New York, or one using repeaters, can easily have millions of listeners.

        It's also exceedingly rare for an internet radio station to reach more than 10,000 or so. Most of them are doing really good to get 500 listeners at any given time, with a few exceptions like Pandora and Digitally Imported. Just look at their stream address in a web browser and if they're running Shoutcast or Icecast (90% of them are) you can get the current and peak listener counts. If they were subjected to the same rules as terrestrial stations they'd almost never hit that $1000 minimum placed on them based on their listener counts.

        So yes, I do think it seems reasonable for the online stations to pay the same low royalties that terrestrial stations pay. At the absolute least that absurd minimum royalty needs to be removed so that small stations could thrive. Right now only the largest ones can operate at a profit at all.

  18. David Kelly 2

    Where is the good music?

    I'd love to sympathize with the artists but fair is fair. Broadcast radio or internet radio, rate should be same per listener.

    Perhaps I'd be on the artists' side if there were any artists today. Last interesting new album anyone has released came from Phish. No point in paying for something when there isn't anything.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019