Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

Who Made APRA/AMCOS Gods On Piracy?

What kind of world do we live in where a royalties collection agency that has a business model based on copyright thinks that it has a right to have a say about what kind of legislation should be written. Talk about business model protectionism. Talk about a conflict of interest.

APRA/AMCOS which is a royalties collection agency in Australia is asking the government for harsher and stricter laws for people who download music. And they asked sent emails out to artists that have songs registered with them asking us to make sure our voice is heard. Basically it was a call to arms to toe the same line as them. Well, I don’t want people who download music to be litigated. I don’t want the government to write laws to protect crap business models. Because the truth of the matter is this. The APRA/AMCOS business model is based on copyright.

Now with streaming winning on all fronts and the purchases of MP3’s and CD’s drying up, APRA/AMCOS is financially challenged. And they don’t know what to do. So they hijack the Copyright debate. Copyright was always about getting works into the public domain after a reasonable period of time. And organisations like APRA/AMCOS have twisted the debate to make it all about money.

If the music world embraced what Napster offered back in 1999 well, a different conversation would be happening right now. But they didn’t and music piracy just kept on growing.

But online music piracy is declining. The war is over. Streaming has won. Each year more and more people take up legal streaming services. The money pie to split up will only get bigger as the services get bigger. It’s simple economics. But the corporations of old don’t look towards the future. They look towards RIGHT NOW. How do they get paid right now?

Spotify says music piracy in Australia is on the way down. The corporations that have business models based on copyright say the opposite. What is known is that hard-core pirates will always remain. And that is nothing new. They have always remained. Even in the pre-Napster days people pirated.

Artists say that Spotify and Pandora don’t give them a fair share of money. Spotify says they do pay the rightsholders. In 99% of cases the rightsholders are the record labels and the publishing corporations. And it those entities that are not filtering the money back to the artists.

Seen any record label scream up and down that Spotify is not paying.


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