Music group should listen to reason

You have to give the music industry credit for going out of its way to prove not only that it is incompetent at selling music, but also that it will not hesitate to viciously punish others for that fact.

You have to give the music industry credit for going out of its way to prove not only that it is incompetent at selling music, but also that it will not hesitate to viciously punish others for that fact.

Common industry benchmarks like CD sales started going off the rails a few years ago, as consumers realized it's much cheaper to burn an album for free off the Internet than to pay $17.99 for the same product with liner notes and a cheap plastic case.

The record industry's response to this was not savvier marketing; it was, instead, to sue its customers, on the theory that $40,000 in punitive damages from every bootleg Eminem album would keep record execs in champagne and limos for years to come.

Last week, music publishing association the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) took it a step further. The group sued 26 separate nightclubs, bars, and restaurants across America for the grievous offense of playing music in their establishments - without a special license from ASCAP.

That's right: According to ASCAP, you must pay ASCAP to play music anywhere that the public gathers. Even if the music comes from a CD you own.

Hey, great job, music industry. You've done something so stupid we can't even make a joke about it. After suing teenagers for downloading your product, you sue businesspeople for even playing your product at all. But you should know you "Can't Buy Me Love..."

Shoot! Gotta run. ASCAP is knocking down the door.

PR Play Rating
1. Clueless

2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

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