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European Commission, Apple and record labels to meet over antitrust charges

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Sep 2007 7:09 User comments (8)

European Commission, Apple and record labels to meet over antitrust charges The European Commission will hold hearings with Apple Inc. and several major record companies this month, addressing the EC's concerns over unfair pricing schemes and sales practices of the iTunes music store in Europe. The hearings will not directly lead to a decision in the ongoing investigation. They will be held from September 19th through 20th.
After being accused of pressuring Apple into a country-by-country pricing scheme in Europe, the big four major record companies, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, EMI Group and Sony BMG will also be joining Apple in the hearings. Due to confidential agreements the four different labels have with Apple, the hearings are closed to the public and each will be meeting with the EC separately.

Users of iTunes in Europe can purchase songs from the store intended to be used in their country, a policy that is enforced by requiring the use of locally-issued credit cards. The real problem however is that the price of music downloads varies depending on what country you are purchasing in, which the EC claims violates European antitrust laws.

Source:
Ars Technica

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8 user comments

17.9.2007 8:12
nobrainer
Inactive

the price fixing scam continues regardless because of back handers. this scam is why www.allofmp3.com was shut down by the big record companies

its the same with hardware and they put this down to global respective wages which is why in spain a ps3 costs 599 euros = $825 even though in spain the average wage is less, than that of the us!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2007 @ 8:17

27.9.2007 10:45

Quote:
this scam is why www.allofmp3.com was shut down by the big record companies
AllOfMP3 was shut down by a Russian judge. The record companies alone have no power to do anything. But last I heard, he's been over ruled and AllOfMP3 is coming back.

And, the record companies didn't go after AllOfMP3 because of their low prices. It's because the copyright holders were getting ZERO compensation from the AllOfMP3 sales.

37.9.2007 11:09
nobrainer
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
this scam is why www.allofmp3.com was shut down by the big record companies
AllOfMP3 was shut down by a Russian judge. The record companies alone have no power to do anything. But last I heard, he's been over ruled and AllOfMP3 is coming back.

And, the record companies didn't go after AllOfMP3 because of their low prices. It's because the copyright holders were getting ZERO compensation from the AllOfMP3 sales.
the american government threatened russia with blocking them from entering the wto if they did not shut down allofmp3.com with pressure coming from the record industry lobby.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/01/world/...serland&emc=rss

Quote:
PARIS, June 1 Rising consumer popularity is turning AllofMP3.com, a music downloading service based in Moscow, into a global Internet success story, except for one important detail: The site may well be illegal.

Wide-ranging coverage of Russia and the former Soviet republics, updated by The Times's Moscow bureau.

So great is the official level of concern about AllofMP3 that American trade negotiators darkly warned that the Web site could jeopardize Russia's long-sought entry into the World Trade Organization.

Operating through what music industry lobbyists say is a loophole in Russia's copyright law, AllofMP3 offers a vast catalogue of music that includes artists who have not permitted their work to be sold online like the Beatles and Metallica at a fraction the cost of services like Apple Computer's iTunes service.

Sold by the megabyte instead of by the song, an album of 10 songs or so on AllofMP3 can cost the equivalent of less than $1, compared with 99 cents per song on iTunes.

And unlike iTunes and other commercial services, songs purchased with AllofMP3's downloading software have no restrictions on copying.
as allofmp3.com paid royalties to the russian royalties collection agency the case has been thrown out of russian court because they operated legally in their country.

american law is not global and threatening thousands of innocent ppl with starvation by blocking entry to the wto was pure bully tactics and undermining russian law. because the american record industry refuse to accept the royalties so the price fixing scam can continue is what should be in court for price fixing.

Court rules that AllofMP3.com operated within the law

IFPI refused to recieve royalties in Russia
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2007 @ 11:23

47.9.2007 12:49

Originally posted by nobrainer:
the price fixing scam continues regardless because of back handers. this scam is why www.allofmp3.com was shut down by the big record companies

its the same with hardware and they put this down to global respective wages which is why in spain a ps3 costs 599 euros = $825 even though in spain the average wage is less, than that of the us!
The regional price fixing scam is why corporations hate importers be it video,game,software or media or hardware of any kind, they want to maximize their proffering at any cost.

its simple sale a item as a fixed price on a world the average would raise the USD price of most items by 10-20$.

57.9.2007 15:11
nobrainer
Inactive

@ DVDdoug

its not just the russian's that have been threatened with trade embargos because of the music industry lobby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6DBn0BncMk

@ ZIppyDSM

i hear ya man. its a sad day when copywrite infringement is policed more than serious crimes, especially when it is a civil case not criminal. its not hard to see who controls the american government.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2007 @ 15:15

67.9.2007 15:19

Originally posted by nobrainer:
@ DVDdoug

its not just the russian's that have been threatened with trade embargos because of file sharing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6DBn0BncMk

@ ZIppyDSM

i hear ya man. its a sad day when copywrite infringement is policed more than serious crimes, especially when it is a civil case not criminal. its not hard to see who controls the american government.
Corporations live in their own lil world, Sony begin a prime example, you can not do anythign without market share yet lets sale the bloated beast for a high price and call it a "value", if they took some debt up front they could have sold have sold 6-10 million units by now at a price of 500USD world wide, by fostering the region scheme you blame importers for lost sales on products you already sale, corporate logic FTW!.

78.9.2007 11:30
duckNrun
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
this scam is why www.allofmp3.com was shut down by the big record companies
AllOfMP3 was shut down by a Russian judge. The record companies alone have no power to do anything. But last I heard, he's been over ruled and AllOfMP3 is coming back.

And, the record companies didn't go after AllOfMP3 because of their low prices. It's because the copyright holders were getting ZERO compensation from the AllOfMP3 sales.
The copyright holders were 'getting zero compensation' by their OWN choice not to do so. Had they approached ROMS with evidence that they owned the copyrights to the digital forms of the music they would have been paid the amount that they were entitled to receive under Russian law. Regardless of what the media maffia WANTS to be paid, or thinks they SHOULD be paid, they are still subject to the rightful rule of law that a country determines to rule by. It's called being a soveirgn nation and it's something that businesses simultaenously hate (for the constraints it gives them) and employ to their advantage (cheap labor, child labor, lax pollution controls etc) constantly.

The media chose not to do this for possibly a variety of reasons:

1. Had they accepted payment from ROMS this would have validated the services that WERE paying royalties as well as validating ROMS and the copyright system that was established under Russian law. A copyright system that they opposed due to the the fact that it gave ROMS the ability to collect royalties on ALL music regardless of whether the respective copyright owners wanted the royalties charged, collected, distributed or not- along with their music. It is interesting to note this copyright model that the music industry has opposed is cuurently the model that their American media counterparts are trying to get passed in the US essentially allowing them to charge and collect royalties on all music regadrless if the copyright owners give them this right or not. This could result in Independent labels, individual groups with no label affiliation etc having a single entity charge and collect royalties even if these musicians and copyright owners said they wanted nothing charged and to allow people to distribute their music for free.

2. The copyright holders to the music being licensed via ROMS while owning the copyrights to the music itself could not PRODUCE EVIDENCE that they owned the copyrights to the DIGITAL FORMS of the music as required by Russian law and therefore could not access the royalties being paid. For example many contracts that were written before the digital era did not specifically give the music industry rights to digital forms of the music simply because this was a format that did not exist at the time and the contract writers did not forsee the day when this format would exist. Under this situation the original copyright holders (the artists) could collect the money themselves as opposed to the recoding industry since under Russian law they would still own these rights since their contracts never mentioned they were giving up their rights to digital forms of their product.

3. #2 above poses a problem and a solution. The problem: Had any artist tried to obtain these royalties they probably would have been sued in their respective countries for breach of contract for taking royalties that their labels were entitled to. The solution: the labels have the artisits collect the royalties and subsequently give them to the labels as their due recompense. The problem: Had they tried this solution they could have encountered groups not wanting to give up the royalties and arguing that they never gsve these digital rights away in their contract. Had a court in the contract country agreed with them then all the money collected from iTunes (et. al.) would have had to been forfieted by the industry and paid to the artists instead of the 3 cents per download that they were, and are, currently paying the artists. This would have cost the industry tons of money, a new revenue stream, a the loss of a new distribution model.

Whatever the actual reasons were, and are, the royalties were, and are, being paid in the amounts dictated by these collection agencies and/or Russian law to the organization assigned under Russian law to collect them. A little time spent googling these facts, and these laws, would show more than simply buying into the party line about 'no compensation being paid' and how these are rogue groups trying to steal from the artists and the rightful owners of this IP.

And this isn't discussing the difference in income levels, cost of living, consumers accessing the global market for the benefit of the consumer similiar to the corpations doing so for their benefit or anything else that can help shed light upon this whole sitaution and topic.

cheers

811.9.2007 1:25

this is going to be one of those long drawn out battles i feel.

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