Ringtones - Licensing - Don't blame Apple

DRabbit

New Member
Bronze
Jul 2, 2007
383
0
0
#1
Zero of my 2,400 songs are available for ringtones. If I buy a CD, I should have the right to take 20 seconds from any song and use it as my ringtone. Not cool Apple. Not cool.
^I took this quote from another post^

I know everyone blames Apple, but you should try to read the convoluted music licensing laws before you're so quick to jump. From what I understand, you are NOT legally within your rights to create a ringtone from a song you already bought -- and lets face facts, a lot of people here already admit they didn't buy their MP3s to begin with -- but even if you did, your "personal use license" (which is what you get when you buy a song or CD) doesn't include making that song (or a song from that CD) into a ringtone.

Nearly ALL cellphone providers sell ringtones, and though they seemingly make it easy for you to transfer your "free" MP3 ringtones you created yourself, that doesn't make it legal... and because those same cellphone providers aren't music retailers (like Apple is), they probably aren't under the magnifying glass of music publishers.

In other words, because Apple is THE largest online digital music retailer, they have to play the game. If they make it easy for you to create ringtones out of the songs you already have (not to mention all the ones you have illegally) they are not following the licensing laws... and NO music publisher is going to go along with that. Apple is not going to risk it's relationships with its providers of digital music. That's just bad businesss.

For the ones who are determined to get around copyright laws and make ringtones anyway, we already know there are tools to do it... but don't expect Apple to make it easy for you. They just can't. You can't expect the largest retailer of online digital music to help it's consumers break the law.

Simply put:
The rights to a song as a ringtone are separate from the rights to the song as a music track. Blame the RIAA or music publishers.
 

AquaHump

New Member
Jul 30, 2007
17
0
0
DE
#2
^I took this quote from another post^

I know everyone blames Apple, but you should try to read the convoluted music licensing laws before you're so quick to jump. From what I understand, you are NOT legally within your rights to create a ringtone from a song you already bought -- and lets face facts, a lot of people here already admit they didn't buy their MP3s to begin with -- but even if you did, your "personal use license" (which is what you get when you buy a song or CD) doesn't include making that song (or a song from that CD) into a ringtone.

Nearly ALL cellphone providers sell ringtones, and though they seemingly make it easy for you to transfer your "free" MP3 ringtones you created yourself, that doesn't make it legal... and because those same cellphone providers aren't music retailers (like Apple is), they probably aren't under the magnifying glass of music publishers.

In other words, because Apple is THE largest online digital music retailer, they have to play the game. If they make it easy for you to create ringtones out of the songs you already have (not to mention all the ones you have illegally) they are not following the licensing laws... and NO music publisher is going to go along with that. Apple is not going to risk it's relationships with its providers of digital music. That's just bad businesss.

For the ones who are determined to get around copyright laws and make ringtones anyway, we already know there are tools to do it... but don't expect Apple to make it easy for you. They just can't. You can't expect the largest retailer of online digital music to help it's consumers break the law.

Simply put:
The rights to a song as a ringtone are separate from the rights to the song as a music track. Blame the RIAA or music publishers.

Very well put. A Lot more songs will become available in time.
 

Revans310

Member
Bronze
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
6
#3
I'm sticking with the quote it's just a Ringtone.
 

Prelector

Member
Bronze
Sep 6, 2007
151
1
18
#4
I know everyone blames Apple, but you should try to read the convoluted music licensing laws before you're so quick to jump. From what I understand, you are NOT legally within your rights to create a ringtone from a song you already bought -- and lets face facts, a lot of people here already admit they didn't buy their MP3s to begin with -- but even if you did, your "personal use license" (which is what you get when you buy a song or CD) doesn't include making that song (or a song from that CD) into a ringtone.
Your understanding is false.

The US Copyright Office ruled on Oct 17, 2006:

RIAA newspost said:
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a decision on the legal status of ringtones, finding that mere excerpts of pre-existing sound recordings used for ringtones fall under the compulsory license provisions of section 115 of the copyright law.
You can look up the relevant Chapter 17, Section 115 of the Copyright law, but basically: Compulsory License Provision allows for the creation of a non-derivitive portion of a song for personal use. The caveat here, is that the song in question has to have been offered for sale to the public already (can't use unreleased songs without the owners permission). There is also a royalty reference for the compulsory license, but this royalty requirement is still under review by the courts, and as such is not legally binding until a decision is made.

I would guess, Apples argument for the 99cent fee is this royalty, however, the stated royalty payment is 2cents. At their most careful, Apple wouldn't need to charge more than this 2cents. That leaves 97cents going into Apples pocket for each ringtone.

And before you jump on the RIAA for this, it was the RIAA that took the issue before the courts, and argued that ringtones should be included in Section 115. It was the Artists and Producers that argued AGAINST it.
 

Jagbomb

New Member
Jul 23, 2007
17
0
0
Minneapolis, MN
#5
^^^^^^

Nice work.

2 cents Apple. Make it happen. 50 ringtones for a dollar. Make it happen.
 

AquaHump

New Member
Jul 30, 2007
17
0
0
DE
#6
^^^^^^

Nice work.

2 cents Apple. Make it happen. 50 ringtones for a dollar. Make it happen.
You will never see it, We pay for the novelty. Thats what it boils down to.
 

bsharp

New Member
Bronze
Jun 21, 2007
351
0
0
Atlanta, GA
#7
^I took this quote from another post^

I know everyone blames Apple, but you should try to read the convoluted music licensing laws before you're so quick to jump. From what I understand, you are NOT legally within your rights to create a ringtone from a song you already bought -- and lets face facts, a lot of people here already admit they didn't buy their MP3s to begin with -- but even if you did, your "personal use license" (which is what you get when you buy a song or CD) doesn't include making that song (or a song from that CD) into a ringtone.

Nearly ALL cellphone providers sell ringtones, and though they seemingly make it easy for you to transfer your "free" MP3 ringtones you created yourself, that doesn't make it legal... and because those same cellphone providers aren't music retailers (like Apple is), they probably aren't under the magnifying glass of music publishers.

In other words, because Apple is THE largest online digital music retailer, they have to play the game. If they make it easy for you to create ringtones out of the songs you already have (not to mention all the ones you have illegally) they are not following the licensing laws... and NO music publisher is going to go along with that. Apple is not going to risk it's relationships with its providers of digital music. That's just bad businesss.

For the ones who are determined to get around copyright laws and make ringtones anyway, we already know there are tools to do it... but don't expect Apple to make it easy for you. They just can't. You can't expect the largest retailer of online digital music to help it's consumers break the law.

Simply put:
The rights to a song as a ringtone are separate from the rights to the song as a music track. Blame the RIAA or music publishers.
Well said. I've been saying the same for some time.
 

burniksapwet

Member
Silver
Jul 5, 2007
553
0
16
#8
Your understanding is false.

The US Copyright Office ruled on Oct 17, 2006:



You can look up the relevant Chapter 17, Section 115 of the Copyright law, but basically: Compulsory License Provision allows for the creation of a non-derivitive portion of a song for personal use. The caveat here, is that the song in question has to have been offered for sale to the public already (can't use unreleased songs without the owners permission). There is also a royalty reference for the compulsory license, but this royalty requirement is still under review by the courts, and as such is not legally binding until a decision is made.

I would guess, Apples argument for the 99cent fee is this royalty, however, the stated royalty payment is 2cents. At their most careful, Apple wouldn't need to charge more than this 2cents. That leaves 97cents going into Apples pocket for each ringtone.

And before you jump on the RIAA for this, it was the RIAA that took the issue before the courts, and argued that ringtones should be included in Section 115. It was the Artists and Producers that argued AGAINST it.
Excellent post. I would never pay for ringtones which I already have in my collection.
 

SmartAlx

Zealot
Gold
Jun 7, 2007
1,087
8
38
#9
bsharp, why didn't you people read Prelector's reply? He proves quite clearly with US Law that Apple IS indeed being greedy. That the RIAA is not trying to get people to pay for ringtones of songs they already have. That ringtones made from music already purchased can be legally created and installed. In essense, Apple SHOULD give us the ability to create and install ringtones FOR FREE!
 

burniksapwet

Member
Silver
Jul 5, 2007
553
0
16
#10
burniksapwet and bsharp, why didn't you people read Prelector's reply? He proves quite clearly with US Law that Apple IS indeed being greedy. That the RIAA is not trying to get people to pay for ringtones of songs they already have. That ringtones made from music already purchased can be legally created and installed. In essense, Apple SHOULD give us the ability to create and install ringtones FOR FREE!
Actually it was him that I wanted to quote.:p Hehehehehe I guess I wasn't paying attention. Sorry about that. Like I said I will never pay for ringtones which I already purchased.

**I fixed it**
 

venturo

New Member
Bronze
Sep 9, 2007
30
0
0
#12
^I took this quote from another post^

I know everyone blames Apple, but you should try to read the convoluted music licensing laws before you're so quick to jump. From what I understand, you are NOT legally within your rights to create a ringtone from a song you already bought

Simply put:
The rights to a song as a ringtone are separate from the rights to the song as a music track. Blame the RIAA or music publishers.

kinda got owned there a little bit Drabbit, eh?
 

DRabbit

New Member
Bronze
Jul 2, 2007
383
0
0
#13
You can look up the relevant Chapter 17, Section 115 of the Copyright law, but basically: Compulsory License Provision allows for the creation of a non-derivitive portion of a song for personal use. The caveat here, is that the song in question has to have been offered for sale to the public already (can't use unreleased songs without the owners permission). There is also a royalty reference for the compulsory license, but this royalty requirement is still under review by the courts, and as such is not legally binding until a decision is made.
I could be wrong, but this is NOT my understand of Chapter 17, Section 115, nor of what a Compulsory License is.

...Section 115 was passed nearly a century ago, and was originally designed to deal with the issue of player pianos and the rolls of music that kept them going. Today, that section allows anyone to produce a "phonorecord" of any song at a royalty rate set by the Copyright Office. The only caveat is that the song must already have been made available for sale to the public....
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061024-8063.html

and
...A compulsory license mandates that once a song is recorded and distributed to the public, anyone else can record that song if they agree to pay the publisher 9.1 cents (4.5 cents goes to the songwriter) for every recording they sell. This means, according to Carnes, that songwriters are prevented from seeking the best price for their work like everybody else in a free-market society....
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9762572-7.html

and
...The Register of Copyrights has now concluded that ringtones do fall under the section 115 provisions, and has instructed the Copyright Royalty Judges to draw up a schedule of royalties for the compulsory license. Predictably, the RIAA was pleased with the ruling....
(same) http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061024-8063.html


Compulsory License is different from a personal use license... Compulsory License dictates a standard rate to be paid for a recording made out of an existing song already available to the public. That's how I read it.
 

shawndre

New Member
Sep 16, 2007
16
0
0
#14
ok this is my first post. this has been bugging me. i don't understand how my last two sony ericsson walkman phones let me assign any song on the phone as a ringtone or alarm or whatever. how did they get by this?
 

SmartAlx

Zealot
Gold
Jun 7, 2007
1,087
8
38
#15
...A compulsory license mandates that once a song is recorded and distributed to the public, anyone else can record that song if they agree to pay the publisher 9.1 cents (4.5 cents goes to the songwriter) for every recording they sell.
What about giving? What if you GIVE the songs away instead of sell them?
 

SmartAlx

Zealot
Gold
Jun 7, 2007
1,087
8
38
#16
...A compulsory license mandates that once a song is recorded and distributed to the public, anyone else can record that song if they agree to pay the publisher 9.1 cents (4.5 cents goes to the songwriter) for every recording they sell.
Okay, a less snarky reply. How do I give 9.1 cents to a publisher and get that song without going through a middle man like iTunes or Napster? I'd save a LOT of money if I could do that.
 

bsharp

New Member
Bronze
Jun 21, 2007
351
0
0
Atlanta, GA
#17
What about giving? What if you GIVE the songs away instead of sell them?
If the copyright owner wants to give the songs away, then he/she/it can. However, Apple can't give it away because Apple doesn't own the song. You and I can't give it away because we don't own the copyright; we just own the right to play that song. AND, even if the original artist wanted to give the song away, chances are that the contract they made with a publisher would prohibit it.

I should say that my experience is not in the music industry, but is in the book/magazine publishing market, and that I am assuming that the music industry operates in a similar fashion to publishing.
 

Tinman

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 16, 2007
4,334
183
63
Aridzona
#18
If the copyright owner wants to give the songs away, then he/she/it can. However, Apple can't give it away because Apple doesn't own the song. You and I can't give it away because we don't own the copyright; we just own the right to play that song. AND, even if the original artist wanted to give the song away, chances are that the contract they made with a publisher would prohibit it.

I should say that my experience is not in the music industry, but is in the book/magazine publishing market, and that I am assuming that the music industry operates in a similar fashion to publishing.
How is that analogous to ringtones, and in particular the act of making ringtones out of a personal music library.

I have seen nothing that suggests that making ringtones for your own use is any different than merely playing the song for your own use out of, say, your CD/radio. Don't see why Apple has to even get into it: they can merely add a "tool" that lets people do what they can legally do anyway--no money for the tool. They don't even have to let the tool work with purchased tracks: user supplied tracks only. Let's face it, you can use iTunes as a tool to legally rip tracks from own user-supplied CDs. No reason why Apple couldn't have done likewise to allow those tracks to be used as ringtones.

Occam's Razor says Apple did this for the money.



--
Mike
 

bsharp

New Member
Bronze
Jun 21, 2007
351
0
0
Atlanta, GA
#19
Again, I may be wrong, but as I understand music copyright law, a ringtone would be considered another "form" of the song, and would require copyright payment.

Consider this: suppose you write a great video editing program that just happens to include a kick-ass algorhthm for saving the file in a compressed state that's better than anything that ever came before. I can't come along and copy the compression code out of your program to plug into my photo program, without paying you for that code. Similarly, we can't cut a snippet out of a song for a use other than the intended use without paying for the copyright.

Also, Apple's in it for the money, no doubt. But, they also don't want to upset the music publishers who make this whole thing possible.
 

Tinman

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 16, 2007
4,334
183
63
Aridzona
#20
Consider this: suppose you write a great video editing program that just happens to include a kick-ass algorhthm for saving the file in a compressed state that's better than anything that ever came before. I can't come along and copy the compression code out of your program to plug into my photo program, without paying you for that code. Similarly, we can't cut a snippet out of a song for a use other than the intended use without paying for the copyright.
Are you actually suggesting that ringtones made out of personally-owned (licensed) tracks is copyright infringement. You will need to provide much clearer sources if that is the case.

The logic you used above ("cut a snippet out of a song for a use other than the intended use") could just as easily apply to compilation CD-Rs, where one takes a "snippet" from several albums to create a new album. Or even ripping to MP3 for that matter. Do you think compilation CD-Rs constitute copyright infringement?



--
Mike