The Null Device

Dispatches from the copyfight

Another minor label is set to bite the dust; Sanctuary Records, home of Morrissey, is reportedly in talks with EMI and Warner, who are interested in buying it. Given how independent labels have a way of losing their vision and going to shit when bought out by the majors (look at Def Jam, Mute or Creation, for examples), this can't be good. (OTOH, it can be argued that Creation went to shit before Sony invested a penny in them, probably thanks to Alan McGee's cocaine-fuelled loss of taste, though the other two examples stand.)

Meanwhile, the British government intends to double the copyright term of recorded music, saving the Beatles' recordings from the ignominy of falling to the public domain in the 2010s and to ensure that the big record companies have a steady flow of income, because as we all know, that's good for all society. I mean, if EMI don't have the guaranteed income of the Long Tail of Beatles copyrights in perpetuity, they may sadly be unable to sign the next Coldplay or Kasabian or Sugababes or whoever.

And those all-round monopolists and homogenisers, Wal-Mart, provide yet another reason to hate them: their in-store photo processing services refuse to print photographs that look too good, just in case they are copyright violations:

Spokeswoman Jackie Young said Wal-Mart is "a littler tougher than the copyright law dictates."
"We want to protect professional photographers' rights," Young said. "We will not copy a photograph if it appears to be taken by a professional photographer or studio."
She related the case of a bride whose wedding photos were rejected by Wal-Mart because they "looked like high-resolution quality."

There are 5 comments on "Dispatches from the copyfight":

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Wed Jun 8 05:07:40 2005

AAAAARRRRRGGGHH!

(About the Sanctuary bit. I don't really give a fuck about the "home of Morrissey" bit, it's all the other bands they've given refuge to I'm worried about.)

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Wed Jun 8 16:28:57 2005

Iron Maiden?

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Thu Jun 9 02:55:40 2005

King Crimson, Ministry, the Moloko DVD was out thru them too though Echo (though I think Mushroom still handle them locally), the whole Trojan back-catalogue.

Posted by: Bowie http:// Thu Jun 9 06:52:54 2005

They're freely admitting to changing laws to suit a particularly industry. An industry that is claiming they're not sustainable without changing the laws. "We've dug a massive hole for ourselves, please change society so we can continue to stuff up." It's insanity. It's like companies that make photographic film demanding that digital cameras be banned for another 50 years so they can keep running.

so... angry...

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Thu Jun 9 08:56:20 2005

Ah yes, the recording industry, born with Caruso, died with the Crazy Frog.

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