Why Is The RIAA Sending Takedown Notices Over Music Radiohead Gave Away For Free?

from the seems-odd dept

One of the “wakeup calls” for the music industry to recognize new business models were coming was the famous Radiohead “name your own price” experiment for the album In Rainbows. Frankly, I still think that particular experiment gets too much attention, as it wasn’t well thought out or organized and was mostly done on a whim. I also thought the band made a mistake in ending the download portion even if many people mistakenly claimed that this was an admission that the project was a failure (the band said from the very beginning this was their plan). And, when the numbers came out, it became clear that the experiment was a huge success.

Since then, the band has also come out as very pro-file sharing and anti-RIAA. For example, the band’s manager has said that file sharing should be legal and that it is “a great thing for culture and music.” In the meantime, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has pointed out that the record labels have been unable to innovate and has predicted the imminent demise of the major labels. Oh, and most importantly for those who claimed the “free” part of their release was a failure, last summer the band officially released a track for free and distributed it via BitTorrent themselves.

So, all of that should make you wonder why the RIAA and the IFPI are issuing DMCA takedown notices for blogs that have hosted In Rainbows. Why indeed? TorrentFreak notes, accurately, that Radiohead did do deals with major labels for distribution of the physical album of In Rainbows, but I was pretty sure they kept the copyrights themselves. Perhaps that’s not the case? However, it does seem strange to see songs from In Rainbows included in takedown requests from the RIAA and the IFPI.

We keep hearing from the RIAA and the IFPI that all they want is for consumers to “respect the artists’ wishes” when it comes to how their music gets distributed. So, we have to ask, since Radiohead has made it pretty clear they’re perfectly happy with their digital copies being distributed this way, why won’t the RIAA and IFPI “respects the artists’ wishes” on Radiohead’s In Rainbows?

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: ifpi, riaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Why Is The RIAA Sending Takedown Notices Over Music Radiohead Gave Away For Free?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
41 Comments
Marcel de Jongsays:

Simple answer

because RIAA and the IFPI aren’t there to represent the artists, but the industry. And the industry is harmed by actions like Radiohead’s… at least that’s the perception in the crumbling ivory towers of RIAA and IFPI. They are losing control very fast, control they have grown used to in a very short time. and now they are grasping at straws to keep that control, through bullying tactics, and they don’t care about whether it’s truthful or respects the artists’ wishes.

Greevarsays:

Re: Simple answer

The recording industry is like an abusive spouse. They use you when it’s convenient for them and when you try to do something that violates their control of the relationship, they get nasty. They call you names, they break your things, and they try to reassert their dominance over the relationship. They’ve become so comfortable with using artists and beating up on consumers that they think they have the right to do so. There’s only one thing you can do. You need to end the relationship.

Anonymoussays:

Like you said, it depends on if they (radiohead) actually kept the copyrights themselves. Or maybe they’re under contract with a major label, that covers everything they release for a certain length of time.
You know the RIAA won’t say one way or the other, especially if they’re at fault, and who would believe anything they say anyway. The only way to know is if we hear it straight from Radiohead.

Anonymoussays:

There fixed for ya.

because RIAA and the IFPI aren’t there to represent the artists, but the industry. And the industry is harmed by actions like Radiohead’s… at least that’s the perception in the crumbling ivory towers of RIAA and IFPI. They lost control very fast, control they have grown used to in a very short time. and now they are grasping at straws to regain that control, through bullying tactics, and they don’t care about whether it’s truthful or respects the artists’ wishes.

They are not loosing, they lost complete control over it, which I don’t even think they had before, what they did had before was the illusion of control, because they were able to dictate the terms to other business and still do, but when it comes to the general public they never had any control, that is just ridiculous, people shared and copied by the bucked, is just now they have an idea of the real size of that behaviour now.

Anonymoussays:

“Since then, the band has also come out as very pro-file sharing and anti-RIAA”

-to-

“TorrentFreak notes, accurately, that Radiohead did do deals with major labels for distribution of the physical album of In Rainbows, but I was pretty sure they kept the copyrights themselves.”

Does not compute. They hated the RIAA so much that they crawled back to them a few months later?

btr1701says:

Re: Who buys CDs?

I have bought a few things digitally, but
there’s just something I like about having a
physical copy of my purchase.

Same here. I look at the CDs as basically a back-up system for my hard drive, should it ever shit the bed.

My taste in music also runs to some rather obscure classical and soundtrack recordings which are often not available in the online music stores. It’s CD or nothing for those.

The Infamous Joesays:

Re: Re: Who buys CDs?

I look at the CDs as basically a back-up system for my hard drive, should it ever shit the bed.

Funny, I look at the internet as a backup system for my hard drive. (when it comes to music, anyway)

It just so happened that I ran into this last month, when I had a (admittedly very old) hard drive fail on me. Luckily, the only thing on it I cared about were a few hundred mp3s. So, instead of heading to the basement to dig around for the CDs, I headed to a popular torrent site and took care of it. Did I do something illegal? Probably. Should it be illegal? I obviously don’t think so.

Known from Experiencesays:

Re: Who buys CDs?

“stuff the CD into the box in the basement.

I have bought a few things digitally, but there’s just something I like about having a physical copy of my purchase.”

Make darn sure your basement isn’t damp or humid.

The aluminum layer on cds is not sealed or protected from the elements (so much for the myth of a cd “lasting forever”) and the aluminum will ROT if exposed to moisture, destroying the cd. It only takes one tiny dot of decay on a cd to wreck it!

Known from Experience

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I was referring to an in-person gift exchange. You can see how much nicer it is to hand someone something than to tell them you have sent or will send some electronic files.

As for the gift card, that is also not the same as picking out particular music to give. I think Amazon will eventually have something where you order a gift card that allows the recipient to download a specific set of songs, whether it’s an “album” or a “mix tape” put together by the gift giver. Unless they already have and that’s what you’re talking about, in which case I’ll shut up now.

Even though I’m pretty sure Radiohead has retained copyright ownership, they put Warner/Chappell in charge of administering the rights. And there’s where it gets complicated. Even though Warner/Chappell is owned by Warner Music Group, they’re a separate company which, as far as I can tell, isn’t a RIAA or IFPI member. And since they’re purely a publishing rights company you wouldn’t expect them to be.

That would seem to indicate neither organization has standing to file a takedown claim.

Rich Fiscussays:

No I'm not

Warner/Chappell administers all digital rights for In Rainbows.

From the Warner/Chappell website:
Warner/Chappell announced a partnership with rock band Radiohead to create a first-of-its-kind rights clearance strategy for the digital release of the album, In Rainbows.

http://www.warnerchappell.com/ourhistory.jsp?currenttab=about_us

From Billboard:
Radiohead and its long-time publisher Warner/Chappell Music have launched a unique “all rights” digital licensing service for the alternative rock band’s new album “In Rainbows,” Billboard.biz can reveal.

The music publishing giant has created a global “one stop shop” solution for the critically-acclaimed set, which will enable potential rights users worldwide to secure licenses from a single destination, effectively side-stepping the label and traditional collecting societies networks.

For the new album, Warner/Chappell will administer all digital rights, including mechanical, performing, synchronisation, lyrics, master recordings, image and likeness, and will license synch rights for both publishing and master rights for TV and film synch uses in the offline world.

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i2b2de0172fdbe913ae4cd239c685e236

Nastybutler77says:

Re:

Even though Warner/Chappell is owned by Warner Music Group, they’re a separate company which, as far as I can tell, isn’t a RIAA or IFPI member.

From the Who We Are section of the RIAA’s website:

Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Non-Music,
Warner Bros./Elektra, Warner Bros./Hollywood, Warner Bros./Rhino,
Warner Classics, Warner Curb Hank, Warner Latina Non Music,
Warner Music, Warner Music Canada, Warner Music Latina,
Warner Music Latina/Peerless, Warner Nashville Non-Mus Video, Warner Off Roster,
Warner P&D, Warner Strategic Marketing, Warner/Reprise Black Adv,
Warner/Reprise Cntry Adv, Warner/Reprise Video

Most of which would comprise the Warner Music Group I do believe.

Rich Fiscussays:

Not if they're a separate company

Warner Music’s memberships don’t automatically extend to the companies they own, and per their website, Warner/Chappell is a separate company.

Warner/Chappell Music is WMG’s award-winning global music publishing company.
http://www.warnerchappell.com/about.jsp?currenttab=about_us

I’ve also found more evidence that Warner/Chappell administers digital distribution rights. Last.fm lists them as the label for In Rainbows.

http://www.last.fm/music/Radiohead/In+Rainbows

Anonymoussays:

The RIAA is manned by windigos.

At the same time, Wendigos were embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess; never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they were constantly searching for new victims. In some traditions, humans who became overpowered by greed could turn into Wendigos; the Wendigo myth thus served as a method of encouraging cooperation and moderation.

Since ancient times in all cultures people are warned about greed. It does have real repercussions.

In Rainbows - Disc 1 or Disc 2?

This may require a just a touch of clarity… Looking at the URLs in the RIAA complaint, it appears the only reference to In Rainbows was probably Disc 2, which was NOT part of the original pay-whatever-you-want deal. Disc 2 was sold with the distributed discbox months later, though Radiohead apparently did make them available for digital download on their W.A.S.T.E. site. I do not know if THAT download had a free option.

The IFPI complaint has URLs referring to In Rainbows, as well as the bonus disc.

That point may be nitpicky, but it may present a wrinkle as far as who owned which copyrights on which songs from In Rainbows? At any rate, the RIAA still clearly is not respecting the artists’ wishes in this case, as you note, Mike.

Re: Re: In Rainbows - Disc 1 or Disc 2?

Right, I know, I said that. But that was AFTER disc 2 was distributed as part of the physical discbox (with a fixed price of ?40), which is the part that was through a label, no?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_rainbows#Bonus_disc

I agree that this is very stupid of the RIAA, and I adore Radiohead and have been happy to see them promoting free culture, but doesn’t the fact that the RIAA’s complaint is only over disc 2 (it seems) make it less fair to tie these takedowns to the pay-whatever-you-want-offering on disc 1?

After all, what was the price that Radiohead charged for disc 2 on WASTE? I don’t remember. If they distributed for free then my whole point is fairly moot I suppose.

Jaredsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: In Rainbows - Disc 1 or Disc 2?

No the Discbox was done through waste. Not through a “proper” label. http://www.discogs.com/Radiohead-In-Rainbows/release/1158751

Disc 2 was never actually distributed by anyone other than Radiohead.

although I guess discogs says it was “published” by
Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd. Not sure what that really means in this case.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ┬╗

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it