Have you seen your check today, because I doubt I’ll ever see one? I have been very vocal about how I feel about the music licensing and publishing firms. Every music company in the industry is trying to get caught up with the times. Since they were unable to see the emerging technologies and failed to take any action even when these emerging technologies were present, we must all pay for it now. We have to pay for the mistakes and shortcomings from people that had no idea how to adapt their business to the new times.
Information Week has a great write-up and when I say great write-up I mean the article pissed me off royally. I just came off a discussion at Columbia College with the head of ASCAP in the Midwest. This article confirms everything I feared and thought was unjust. A federal court decided “royalties should be based in part on service-wide revenue, not simply on revenue directly attributable to music usage.” This is what I didn’t want to happen. I am all for paying dues to the artists but at what cost to company? I’ve stated this before and I’ll state it again. It’s not fair or good business practice to ask for money that doesn’t belong to you! I stated to the class at Columbia College, “It’s like Gwen Stefani going to Macy’s and asking for more money because Coach is selling more bags than she is.” You can’t go ask for money that doesn’t belong to you. Ok, well they are but I know I am changing the way we do business at Live Hub so we have very limited dealings with the licensing.
The estimate that AOL, RealNetworks, and Yahoo are set back between the 3 companies, $100 million. I know RealNetworks was holding money aside for the payout, but it makes me wonder if there is enough.