If you can go so far back in your memory, venture with me to A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Therein lies a poem by Ohio native Stanley Gerbhardt titled But You Didn't, a poem featuring a really crappy father-son relationship which centers around neglect. Doesn't that sound familiar, dad? Anyway, this poem is poem and its author are raising cane nowadays. It isn't because Stanley Gerbhardt isn't demanding more fame or anything, but it is because of, you named it, copyright infringement. But at whose hands?
Spotify. We know it, we love it, we use it, we think it's less of a douche bag than Apple Music. While most of us think this company is pretty cool and supports the industry, it's sitting on a huge volcano of debt which could erupt any day now. Despite the fact that the company is worth $8.5 billion, Spotify took out $1.5 billion in loans just last year alone. Wall Street continues to reject Spotify's public listing and desire to sell stock because the company isn't making enough money. What is Spotify to do?
I like to listen to my Discover Weekly playlist as I fold my unmentionables. I've got plenty of other playlists which I enjoy exercising and jamming to. I think it's safe to say that I like Spotify. You know who else likes Spotify? People in countries where Spotify hasn't been licensed. Excuse me, what? The biggest offender in this case is the country of Russia. Russia is a member of the group of counties where Spotify is not licensed. Spotify cannot keep track of royalties and pay adequately according to currency in certain countries, so the software isn't licensed there. That doesn't mean people go without however.
On one hand, everything makes sense. You make a work, that work is yours. You register it, you get to keep it as long as you live plus another seventy years. As long as that work is yours, you're the one who gets to use it and you're the one who grants permission to people to use it. Seems hunky dory, doesn't it? Well, then you get exceptions and violations and infringements and fair use and, the next thing you know, you're on the floor in the fetal position trying to figure out just what the heck you've gotten yourself into.
If you know anything about the Turtles, you know that these guys have been fighting the man for years in the music industry. They were royally screwed by their management and have constantly fought to get a leg up in the industry since. More recently, they've been fighting streaming and radio services like Pandora and Sirius XM. Well, it's time for them to start fighting harder.
If you want a legend in the music industry of today, Beyoncé is probably somewhere near the forefront of your mind. What can't she do? She drops surprise albums that sell like hotcakes. Her maternity photo shoot has gone viral. She can act and she has her own clothing line. And have you seen her live performances? Beyoncé can do no wrong!
In this past election season (please God, make it go away), Facebook noticed a spike in use. For the social media giant, this would appear to be a good thing. However, there's something troubling about the data coming in for Facebook. As researchers are calling it, Facebook is, and has been, past its peak. Things are getting to the point where the price of the stock isn't worth what the company is actually doing.
Wanna learn something interesting about this law? No? Too bad! Once a song has reached 35 years of copyright, the creator of the song has an option to undergo "termination protocol." What this means is that the creator of the work is allowed to reclaim their rights. This is how Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Prince have been filling companies with the fear of God to renegotiate deals.
Now, of course, who wouldn't be enraged at the fact that their intellectual property was used to promote the cause they oppose? What makes this case special is that the writers, certainly encouraged by the artist, are pursuing legal action. Wait, legal action? Yes. Legal action.
Of course, the Prince Estate still stands by their POV that they did want the music to be brought forth, just not in the way that it was and that Tidal's argument is utter malarkey.