Unhappy With Copyright Law, Amazon Makes Up Its Own Royalty Rates

More fun in the ongoing saga of corporations trying to profit from music and pay rights holders as little as possible.

Today’s poster-villain for blatantly attempting to abuse intellectual property rights is web colossus, Amazon. Seems for their new music streaming service, they are trying to bypass US Copyright law and define their own royalty rates. Read some of the sordid details at digitalmusicnews.com.

To complete the absurdity, apparently Amazon also included a clause that forbids publishers from removing their songs from Amazon, if they keep them up on any of the other streaming services (like Spotify, Google Play etc). You may need to read that last sentence again. No, this is not from an Onion article.

The entire contract is here if this fascinates you morbidly and you have air sickness bags. It will be interesting to see how much of this actually flies. I guess that’s one way to start a negotiation: “Give us the house, and your firstborn, and the shirt off your back, and then stand there and beat yourself with a mallet for our amusement forever.” Why not? It sets the tone for lively discussion.

Meanwhile, to be fair, Amazon’s MP3 store remains a great alternative for people who don’t like the iTunes store experience, and they pay similar decent royalty rates for downloads. As the streaming field gets more crowded, who knows what will come of it for publishers and artists?

Author: Eric Din

Eric makes songs, records, and little forts for cats to play in. Founder/lifer in The UPTONES, guitarist, songwriter, music teacher and music curator, Eric blogs at ericdin.com except when he doesn't.

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