Digital Downloads spark more controversy

DiMAContinued stuggles over how digital downloads will be handled has led to a clash between ASCAP and the DiMA (Digital Media Association), representing such online vendors as Yahoo, Apple and AOL. The performing rights organization is trying to convice the courts that digital downloads should be qualified as public performances and subject to license fees and royalties as such.

The DiMA is pushing back insisting that downloads are already subject to mechanical royalities and should not be subjected to both, saying that this would consitute “double dipping” on the part of the industry.

ASCAP’s assertion in federal court that digital distributions of music and video are also public performances confounds legal, business and technological reality,

That from DiMA executive director Jonathan Potter.

At the same time, music blogs are reacting to the recent Jet Blue’s Customer Bill of Rights by drafting the Music Lovers Bill of Rights. I’m not completely on board with the whole thing, especially #3, but parts of it are excellent. I don’t think this will gain much traction with the major labels though. A smaller label could adopt something along these lines and really set themselves apart from the rest of the industry. It’s called branding, and it’s important.

Music Lovers Bill of Rights

  1. The music I purchase will be playable on every device I own.
  2. The systems you sell to play music will use compatible operating systems.
  3. Fellow fans who trade music occasionally but do not profit from it will not be prosecuted.
  4. The fees added to my concert ticket will not exceed 20% of face value.
  5. When I’m inside your concert venue, you will treat me as your guest.
  6. People who give or take money or gifts to play songs on our publicly licensed radio stations will go to jail.
  7. Artists, labels and others who do not respect me should not expect my hard earned dollars.
  8. If you you want me to buy your music you will offer me both quality and value.