John Walker's Electronic House

CW 173

Copyright Watch 173

Paying to watch commercials? John Walker edges one step closer to his aneurism.

Copyright Watch has many friends, but certainly our very /best/ friends are the remaining Big Four in the music industry. Their many years of price fixing, ripping off consumers, ripping off artists, and an all-encompassing hatred of music has ensured that despite /record/ CD sales across the globe, those CDs that are sold are of an increasingly poor quality. And of course, as we know, they don’t like it very much when people share things they’ve already paid for.

But incredibly, you, sat at your computer, have had access to free music from these companies from a legitimate source for a number of years. Almost indistinguishable major online music sources like AOL Music or Launch (by Yahoo!) having been streaming videos for current songs to viewers without having to pay the music monoliths a single penny. Because, er, the music videos are created by the record companies as adverts to (successfully) encourage sales of the songs. Somehow that isn’t enough.

Universal are due to announce their intentions to charge for the streaming of their music videos any time now, after sending out warning emails to the major suppliers. The other three publishers will not be far behind. (The Big Four tends to act in groups of four). Of course Microsoft have responded like good little doggies by immediately agreeing to pay for their use on their MSN Music site, so desperately do they want the Industry to agree to their desires for online music to be released exclusively in the WMA format. Others are still processing the information, somewhat bewildered to discover /they/ are to be /charged/ to play /adverts/ for other companies on their own sites. And naturally Universal are threatening to pull paid advertising from any service that refuses to comply with their latest insane commands.

These charges will have to be passed onto the consumer, that’s you. You’re going to be being forced to pay to watch adverts. Don’t laugh it off. Start getting angry, loudly, in public.