Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sony BMG sued over questionable royalty payments

One of the ways that corporate America manages to wring profits out of consumers is through the creative interpretation of the English language. Recently (April 27), Sony BMG music was sued by the rock bands Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers, for playing fast and loose with definitions of what constitutes a "sale' versus what is a "license."

Apparently, Sony BMG is paying only about 4.5 cents for music downloads that they charge 99 cents for, rather than the 30 cents the bands' contracts call for, claiming that the downloads aren't sales, they're licenses.

Personally, when I have to give up my hard earned cash for something, it makes little difference to me what the transaction is called, it's money out of my pocket. With Sony's creative use of the English language, it's money out of the artists' pockets, too.

Sony was in the headlines recently when it was revealed that several of its CD releases were installing "root kits" on consumers' harddrives without permission.

Source: International Musician, the Official Journal of the American Federation of Musicians

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