Music Creators Want Apple to Pay for iTunes Song Samples

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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...

Footnote: 
[via CNET]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Music Creators Want Apple to Pay for iTunes Song Samples

30 Comments

Sorry, that's just idiotic. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot and lose sales.
What's next, no free taste samples at the ice cream store? They'll charge you to try on shoes before purchasing?
Apple should stop offering samples for 2 weeks and show the artists what it does to sales.

apple needs to give them all the finger, tell 'em to s uck it!, and give everything for free.
then hold a conference claiming it was all just a glitch and they can't figure out what's going on.

Apple is claiming Fair Use. So far that has stood up.
If congress changes the rules Apple has two weapons:
1) Drop any artist that refuses to waive these fees
2) Pop up a Window that says "This artist refuses to let you sample this music before you purchase", and watch all the back pedaling.

That is just truely retarted. For users of iTunes, and not LimeWire, or FrostWire, will probably just get rid of their iPod's then. Apple would be stupid to do this.

Absolutely absurd.
I use iTunes to preview music ALL OF THE TIME. Sometimes without knowing the band at all. It's a COMPLETE benefit to the artist/label. If anything, the label should pay iTunes for streaming that sample and giving a taste of the music.
Greed disgusts me.

Talk about giving your self enough rope to hang your self with! Lol, this has to be one if the most stupid things I've heard of in a long time. This is commercial suicide on the side of the artists, if they have any sense they'll backslide on this retarded idea asap.

This only gives more reasons for people to torrent/steal music. Because if this occurs, iTunes is likely to increase the rate at some point to cover these costs and well, consumers are gonna pay (or not) for it.

wow thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard.. if apple could afford it, i would say they should just cut out all the samples and let the drop in sales affect big music. then just laugh..
idiots..

I say if these guys want to double dip, and are stupid enough to not realize that they are getting free advertising for songs some people have never heard of, then apple should just be like "Well if were ripping you off how about we just remove all your titles from our store, see how much money you make then"

So where next, Amazon, Play? The list is endless! Remove the samples and see how quickly they change their mind on viewing the results of lost revenue!

This is just straight foolishness!!! If they feel they aren't making enough money, quit signing all these garbage ass artists that don't sound worth anything. They're just mad cuz the one hit wonder they signed album didn't put out like thought. Cut your losses and move on.

"well, your music sucks and no one purchased any of it this month, but here's a big fat cheque for everyone that hated your shit"
If this makes sense to you, you are a complete retard.

This reminds me of a story I read last month where the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was suing AT&T because they consider a ringtone that goes off in a public area a public performance and want to be compensated as such. It's double dipping, plain and simple

in that case I want $ for very sample I listen to and did not buy. They owe me 30 sec of my life back. And apple should charge the artist in turn for bandwith etc. Total joke

The ONLY way I will buy an albumn is if I can hear samples first. I buy all of my music only after I've heard something of the artists music. If the music appeals to me then I buy it. I will NEVER buy music in any other way. If I have to pay to hear a sample of music or the cost to buy an albumn goes up due to this absurd idea then the artists can kiss my @#%! It will only encourage more free sharing of music between individuals to defray the cost of getting it in the first place!

In the old days you'd go to the counter and you'd be able listen to the cd or LP. Did the store pay the artist for that?