Digital Music Services Getting Copyright Owners Worried

Digital MusicReDigi, the free music service, which provides you with a platform, where you can store your legally acquired digital files and sell them for credits to buy new music, had some legal troubles with Capitol records. ReDigi claims to move digital files around, rather than making copies and makes a great effort clarifying its terms of service. Zintro experts discuss whether or not ReDigi has failed to protect the interests of copyright owners.

Production designer and art director, John Michael Bellamy is against the idea of using the intellectual property of clients and more so the extended rights of usage through those that purchased through the original licensor of the property as if it was the company’s own right due to its service. “I find it slightly depressing in this day and age that something as simple as music cannot be managed either properly nor enjoyed by those that agree to support the creators that made it. One of the greatest problems to the Internet economy is the blatant disregard for the rights and value of works that are easily transferred via the Net,” he notes. “Almost as easily as it can be transferred and distributed, its sense of value to many people drops to 0. This attitude significantly destroys the earning potential of the originator as well as deteriorates multiple markets in general as the effects are quite far reaching.” As Bellamy further points out, it is crucial to take into account the issues that can arise because of international double standards toward infringement. “If the producer comes from a wealthy country, it’s treated as if it’s almost ok to infringe as if ‘well they have lots of money’ and if the producer was not from a wealthy country that infringement was a tantamount crime.  If the original maker, and by extension the distributor, cannot protect the intellectual properties to ensure a future for the people associated in its creation, then any craft no matter where it is in the world will become worthless,” he adds. “I would love to see creators from any country do well from their works and be able to distribute freely to anyone in the world. But rights and ownership are two different things that the listeners and intermediary have to understand and get right in order for that to happen.”

According to Ken Dardis, an expert in broadcast and internet radio, the primary reason why there is a conflict between online music services and copyright owners is the strict copyright protection publishers demand. “The problem is not that ancillary music services like ReDigi create systematic ways for consumers to more efficiently use music, which has been legally acquired, but how the copyright protection being asked from labels and publishers extends beyond reason. ReDigi claims ‘it moves digital files around’ in an attempt to circumvent the payments required in copyright royalty fees for ephemeral works of the same song,” Dardis explains. “This is payment for the use of a temporary, latent copy of the work used to deliver a more efficient access and playback sequence. The insistence for payment on the ‘ephemeral copy’ of a song has been a burden on all use of music online. That a company or radio station would have to pay for making the user experience ‘better’ borders on ridiculous.”

By Idil Kan


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