Composers, writers, and publishers of the music Apple sells in the iTunes stores are petitioning the government to mandate that Apple should not only pay them their cut of the sale price (which they already get) but should also fork over a performance fee for the 30 second samples iTunes provides to help sell that music.
Now, we're all for content creators getting a fair cut of the profits -- indeed we are content creators here at TiPb editorial -- but, a) asking that marketing done to help sell your music be deemed performance that requires payment, and then b) when failing to negotiate that with Apple, asking the government to mandate it?
Imagine Nike demanding a shoe store pay them to display Nike shoes on the wall. Strangely, in the reality we live, typically you pay for advertising, you don't get paid for having your product advertised (if so, we're going to get some TiPb signs up in Times Square and have NYC pay us a bundle).
Getting back to the fair cut of profits -- creators have historically gotten shafted and we get that. But they've historically gotten shafted not by Apple or other online, or even brick and mortar retailers, but by Big Media (in this case the record labels). If the creators want to go after them, want to rectify the bad deals and swindles of the past, we'll get the popcorn and spicy drink and cheer them on.
They also want performance fees for downloads, which is equally stupefying, since buying a song electronically is not analogous to Apple performing it, but to buying the CD. If Apple were to hold a live streaming concert on Apple.com, then, yes, performance fee.
Okay, maybe we're being too one side. Maybe Apple is an easier, trendier target, and if Big Music won't pay artists what's fair, maybe Apple should be forced to pay unfairly. And if they are, maybe Apple should turn around and charge the artists 110% marketing/brokerage fee for putting the samples up to encourage sales...
No excuse us, we're off to bill Amazon for the cover art and sample pages they're using to sell our pulp novels...