Infernal Industry Insight: Don’t Go To Court. Extort!

1368
118
Share:

Good day mortals.  I have many names.  Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, and The Prince of Darkness (which Ozzy admittedly holds a non-exclusive license to use) to name a few, but on Disqus I simply go by “The Devil.”

Before getting started, I’d like to congratulate each and every one of you mortals (and Mr. Thrashnkill in particular) for taking the initiative to free yourselves from the monotonous doldrums of other metal news sites to establish this brave new toilet of the metal community.  I am most pleased.

Given that I’ve seen the entire history of recorded music since the days of the gramophone, I’m in a unique position to provide insight on some of the business and legal trends going on in the sinking ship more commonly referred to as “the music industry.”  So from time to time, I’ll be posting content updating you on events of significance or making observations that you might find useful (or at the very least amusing) relating to the state of the industry and metal’s insignificant place within it.  After all, I am, contrary to popular belief, all about empowering mankind to reach its full potential, and particularly the metal community which I am so fond of.

Bloomberg is reporting that Soundcloud (yes, the very same site that many of you have uploaded your shitty demos to) is close to a deal with the “Big 3” major record labels (Universal, Sony, and Warner) for these labels to acquire an equity share in Soundcloud.  Of course, this isn’t the first time major labels have acquired equity share in an internet start up (See, e.g., Youtube, Spotify, and Beats Music).

What makes this deal interesting is that the driving force behind it is the Big 3’s underlying threat that they’ll simply sue the shit out of Soundcloud for copyright infringement if a deal acceptable to them cannot be reached.  In this regard, they’ve approached Soundcloud with “an offer you can’t refuse.”  And it’s a rather brilliant move that I expect will reflect the way the industry responds to similarly situated start ups.

Why look like the bad guy by filing a lawsuit against an “innovative start up” when you can just use the fact that it could never afford years of protracted litigation in Federal Court to leverage a deal to acquire equity once a start up demonstrates the potential for long term viability?  Even better, why share any profits incidentally generated from the infringing material hosted by the start up with your artists when you can simply acquire an equity share in those profits to keep for yourself instead?

The HUGE upside in all of this is that there’s a demonstrated pattern of the bigger corporate fish out there vastly overpaying to acquire these start ups once they see that major record labels have a stake in them (i.e. Google’s acquisition of Youtube and Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats Music).

Assuming the Soundcloud deal goes through (which it probably will), the only question that really remains is who is going to pay a billion dollars or something absurd like that to acquire Soundcloud.  Really that situation is a win-win for both the labels as well as the Soundcloud founders and preferred stock holders, but probably won’t work out so well for the Soundcloud employees they’ll likely fire when that happens due to “redundancies.”

My crystal ball has been broken for decades now, so I can’t say what internet media start up is going to be the next big thing among you fickle mortals.  But rest assured that if and when the next big thing becomes successful, the Big 3 will be all over it, and if it hosts any modicum of infringing material, it will receive the same “offer you can’t refuse” they delivered to Soundcloud.

Do you have questions, comments, insults, or offers to sell your soul to deliver to The Devil?  E-mail him at 666buddysatan666@gmail.com and you might be featured, exploited, and/or ridiculed in the next Infernal Industry Insights post. 

  • I think this piece serves as an excellent reminder: Do not start a band.

    • God

      Psssssh being in a band is for nerds.

    • DAVID GUNN

      HAH! THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID…

      NOW LOOK AT ME: ROADRUNNER RICH!!!

      #FATAROUNDTHEWALLET

      • I thought I could avoid you by creating this site. Now you’re here, on Sirius/XM in my car, everywhere! King 810 is the future.

        • DAVID GUNN

          <3 LOVE YA.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            Is Gunn your real name , if so its actually really fucking cool.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          no kidding right ! fucking jose is shilling big time burger king, a disgrace. It just dropped into the devils dozen a couple of weeks ago. How does this happen ? We pay for sirius, its not a radio station. So when i hear the dj’s shilling for bands like motley crue (saying how great their shows have been on the farewell tour) i get pissed off. We pay their salary. Someone called into jose and asked why there is not more death metal on LM. His reply was that whenever they take polls of what listeners want death metal is last. When the fuck was this survey ? Why was i not informed ? Everyone who phones into this new 666-live show says their favorite band is pantera when they are asked. I mean it goes from a guy in his pickup in nebraska to a rich housewife in new jersey. Jose says ” so what’s your favorite band that’s played on Liquid metal ?” *pregnant pause* , *maybe clearing of throat*, but the answer is always there – PANTERA ! Now i love pantera myself but c’mon. The Liquid Metal channel is probably one of the worst channels sirius has in terms of programming, and it’s definitely the biggest shill channel considering the amount of new music played.
          IN short , it fucking sucks pretty badly.
          Thats the CONAN take.

          • I’ve been considering writing a piece about how much I dislike hearing Jose on the radio. I know this site should be positive and that dude is really powerful in the metalsphere but damn do I hate listening to him talk.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            no , you should do it, it’s not negative to point out someone who is on their high horse like jose is. Any disagreement is considered an affront to metal unity to jose and is “destroying the scene” When a lot of stuff was fucked up at the golden gods awards jose chastised everyone for being negative about the only thing we (metal fans) get. Just because its supposedly the only thing we get for an awards show doesn’t mean it should be run worse than a community cable access show. It’ just like ” oh, don’t run down the crue, they are fucking gods of metal, we owe them, it doesn’t matter how many times they fuck up on their retirement tour” Thats bullshit, and if my favorite band pulled shit like that i would be the first one to call them out on it. When a band goes on a retirement tour that has that many hiccups on a nightly basis it probably means they should have retired 5 to 7 years ago. I don’t go for this coddling of bands. We are suppose to treat crue like they are senior citizens, oh those old fogeys can’t play more than an hour and a half on their retirement tour. Ole mick needs to lay down and vince probably needs an oxygen machine. These guys are about as rock n roll as lawrence welk. A walking, talking trying to sing goddamn motherfucking blight on old school metal. Drug fiends, hiv spreaders, rapists and killers. And worst of all poor musicians & horrible songwriters.
            * drops mic *
            CONAN has left the building.

      • LOL @ Roadrunner

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      And kill yourself. Music is dead. Time to die.

      • Ace Ventura

        DON’T KILL YOURSELF!
        RESPECT ALL LIVING THINGS!
        EVEN YOURSELF!

        -ACE VENTURA, PET DETECTIVE.

        • M Shadows!

          CUNTING LIFELOVER!

          • Tyree

            BOOM!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I never thought I would see the day of liking something Mr. Poop Shadows said.

          • Paris Hilton

            BUY MY NEW SINGLE!!! COME ALIVE!
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KXwYjG8txo

            -PARIS HILTON

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            The voice of a generation. The next Johnny Cash.

          • M Shadows!

            ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Not Hail to the King, not music.

          • M Shadows!

            YES! FLACCID PENIS UNDERSTANDS1

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            Hey, the blue panda bear look is sexy, i think you were way ahead of your time !

      • Mr. Bojangles

        We could be very good friends.

        -Mr. Bojangles

      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        So much love in the air!

      • Cock of Steele

        God that, that makes me realize, I don’t wanna be me.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      I would say start a band for fun, be realistic, if you have a family don’t lose your house following the dream. If you are single go for it i guess. As i have watched with horror over the years interviews with my favorite bands, musicians who are the VERY best at what they do , say time and time again they have other full time jobs to support themselves i realize the full story. Music = art, art doesn’t always pay, just ask van gogh. I joked to roger from mortician that maybe if he starting cutting off his ears it would prod fans into actually purchasing the music he makes, everyone clamors for a new mortician album day and night, but how many of those cocksuckers are going to buy it ?. You pretty much have to bundle an album with a diamond ring and a rolex do get anyone to buy it these days.

  • Gorgasm

    Can we just have a war of corporations like the one from Demolition Man?

    I’m dying to just eat Taco Bell for the rest of my existence.

  • Started a band? Fuck you, pay me!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ydqjqZ_3oc

    • Tyree

      Perfect!

    • This movie never gets old. One of the best movies of all time.

      • Negrodamus

        I agree %100, this and Raging Bull are probably both top ten, all time.

    • KJM

      Scorsese is THE MAN. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this.

    • KJM

      “Oh, teenagers living in their mom’s basement downloaded your album so you lost money on it? FUCK YOU. PAY ME.”

  • IfJthenS

    Well… that’s depressing.

    • More than a little bit!

    • Christian Molenaar

      Speaking of depressing, I’d love to hear The Devil’s thoughts on this gem of an idea…
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2014/06/18/youtube-is-about-to-delete-independent-artists-from-its-site/

      • Youtube is fucking themselves in the ass so hard with this. I know for a fact I won’t be spending as much time on youtube because of this.

        • Christian Molenaar

          After secretly getting rid of their old motto (http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2009/04/google_quietly.php) it seems nothing’s off limits. I think their business strategy can be easily described as “buy promising young startups and ruin them beyond repair.”

          • I thought that was EA’s job.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            And they are masters of that. Fuck.

        • I’m frustrated with the way YouTube allows rights owners to strip content without much, if any oversight. But ultimately, YouTube is a 300 ton juggernaut and they dgaf about your or my concerns.

          • Christian Molenaar

            Yeah, no one’s ever going to stop using Youtube and they know that, so Google (like Facebook) will continue adding unnecessary new features nobody asked for or wanted (while ignoring what people actually want) and as the consumers we can’t do anything about it.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            But honestly, it’s only a matter of time until these things collapse; within social media these things seem cyclical. Although I could be wrong, as the internet is still very new. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook has a myspace-style exodus within the next 5-10 years because of their over-reliance on ads and forcing bands to pay them to get their posts seen by their fans.

          • I don’t see realistically see Google (or Youtube) being unseated. Facebook, possibly. I dunno, never underestimate disruptive technology.

          • Mr. Bojangles

            MySpace was once what Facebook is. You never know.

            -Mr. Bojangles

          • i’m anxiously awaiting FB’s collapse. hate that fucking site.
            i miss out on parties because some people only send out FB invites.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            I agree. More and more I’m only using it to talk to you guys on the group. I’ve had enough with people reposting buzzfeed and thoughtcatalog posts. Fuck both of those websites. Also the people that take those stupid fucking “Which GoT character are you?” quizzes. I don’t give a single fuck what GoT character you are, because it’s a fictional television show and book series. And the people that post those fucking generic inspiration quotes overlayed on pictures of sunsets and people holding hands. FUCK EVERYTHING. BURN YOUR POSSESSIONS AND LEARN WHO YOU ARE. /endrant

          • /resumerant

            “i just want to thank god for the beautiful weather we have today!”
            *posts pictures of kids
            *posts pictures of dinner about to eat
            *grandparents “like” all my photos

          • Whenever I read the words “Sunday Funday” I want to things on fire.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            If I see one more #tbt or #mcm post I’m going to rip out my own intestines and use them as a noose to hang said person.

          • 1. googled
            2. regretted it
            4. profited

          • Xan

            Can’t forget about man crush Monday.

          • Bert Banana

            Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays 🙁

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            I had a crazy aunt of mine “like” my profile picture that was a photo taken during a family vacation. She proceeded to comment “I know exactly where this photo was taken! I can feel your heart.”

            wat.

          • Paris Hilton

            The stress in my life has been cut down by at least half since I got rid of my Facebook (srs). People come and go in your life, I don’t think it’s natural to have like 400 people all up in your shit 24/7.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Exactly. Who gives a fuck what Kelly from 7th grade english class is doing with her life? You haven’t seen or talked to her in 10 years, why the fuck should you care?

          • Paris Hilton

            EXACTLY! It’s a glorified gossip site imo

          • Christian Molenaar

            Didn’t we all meet through a certain glorified gossip site?

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            There’s also a reason we left said site.

            EDIT: Multiple reasons*

          • Bert Banana

            Ummm…the reason is that one day you will log on and see it’s she birthday and then you can wish her a happy birthday then brag to your coworkers that you still keep up with your old classmates from 7th grade

          • yup, i don’t have to check my phone for FB updates anymore (it was a problem), i don’t have to worry about ex-girlfriends asking why i un-friended them, etc.

          • Paris Hilton

            Yep, don’t have to worry about the risk of annoying people you meet adding you too!

          • TrickleDownTacoRiff

            well said bruh..

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            How do you think you sold 400 copies of your album the first week !

          • Guacamole Jim

            OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

          • Paris Hilton

            Perhaps….

          • Poop Mango

            I use it pretty exclusively for keeping up to date on shows in the local music scene and for band discussions that can’t wait until practice. Everyone posts boring shit there otherwise, Twitter is way more entertaining.

          • KJM

            Twitter & Diaspora are the only social media I have accounts on at this point. I have a Tumblr but that’s not really the same thing.

          • Xan

            It helps if you don’t have friends. I have about three friends who regularly post and I ridicule them constantly for listening to some of the worst metalcore I’ve ever heard.

          • TrickleDownTacoRiff

            hahahaha…its was cool to read this and watch it develop the way it did…YES!!!!

          • Bert Banana

            FTR I got Tyrion Lannister.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Fuck you.

          • Mr. Bojangles

            I miss your mom. Having nothing to do with FB.

            -Mr. Bojangles.

          • she talks about you a lot

            JM

          • KJM

            Killed my FB account back in 2010.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Google’s never going away, but I can see Youtube falling in its dominance but never dying. I think more specialized platforms will come up (like soundcloud and vimeo) that may steal some viewership from music and some other categories.

          • The Devil

            Really what is going to bring about change is a different way of looking at streaming rights in terms of the law of copyright.

            There have been two recent House Judiciary Committee meetings on this issue in the last couple months, so you can expect some proposed legislation in that regard coming down the pipe. Whether or not it will pass or how extensively it will effectuate change is anyone’s guess, but you can expect the labels to do some strong lobbying to protect their interests.

            http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2014/07/articles/the-summer-of-copyright-part-2-the-house-judiciary-committee-plans-omnibus-music-licensing-bill-the-music-bus/

          • INTERESTING. Looking forward to how that develops.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Exactly. Copyright law is so fucked and weird right now, and very little has been done to revise it since the advent of streaming and the like. But yeah, the major labels will undoubtedly have their grimy paws in politicians’ pants to get their undeserved due.

          • The Devil

            Also consider the fact that many of the contracts artists are under were signed long before Spotify was even a thing.

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            And now that I read into all this stuff more, it just seems like an unholy alliance between YouTube and the major labels to force independent artists to sign to major labels in order to get their music out there. Allowing for even more bullshit milking of artists by these labels.

          • Christian Molenaar

            It seems like that because it pretty much is that. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy to force artists to sign with them, but I’m sure that’s an angle they considered when weighing the other pros, e.g. forcing smaller artists out of services so the companies basically have a monopoly on entertainment.

          • The Devil

            It’s their counter stroke to the wide availability of online music services as a way of consumers to discover music that isn’t necessarily on a major label.

            If they can control the major channels of online streaming music (which let’s face it, is the future of music consumption), they can control what is available for consumers to hear. Kind of like how they had a heavy hand in what was played on the radio back when people used to consume music on that dinosaur technology.

          • Christian Molenaar

            Exactly this! So long as they control the means of distribution (once radio, likely soon to be streaming services) the average consumer basically has no choice in the media they take in. I sound like Karl Marx, lol.

          • Fart Johnson

            Opening up facebook to older people pretty much assured their continued profitability for the next couple decades. They’re far less likely to switch to a new format whose quirks and layout they’ll have to learn all over again.

          • Christian Molenaar

            Oh yeah, I mean eventually everyone will move on to the next big thing but I really don’t see that happening any time soon. Twitter tried but isn’t social enough, MySpace tried and…was Myspace, Google Plus tried and…was Google Plus. I think as time goes on the cycles between site usage will get longer so it’ll likely be about 5-10 years as you said. I don’t think *anyone* is happy with Facebook (via ads, “sponsoring” posts, massive privacy leaks/selling user information, straight up experimenting on users’ psyches– http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/07/10/facebook-experiments-on-users/ ) so I’m sure most people are discontent enough that they’d go to a new site if one showed up that could compete, but I think it’ll be a while before one does. With Facebook being publicly traded, I doubt any investors are going to take a chance on some new startup.

          • KJM

            This would be the perfect time for sites like Vimeo and Dailymotion to step up and show people that they’re out there. Too bad they’d probably end up getting bought out too.

          • Christian Molenaar

            I think it’s unlikely they’d take the steps to advertise themselves, which is a shame. Of course, as “the little guys” I think they’d likely take the first buyout offer they received.

          • Mr. Bojangles

            That sounds more like a 70 lb cat that I know.

            -Mr. Bojangles

          • KJM

            As a friend used to say “Reality rears it’s ugly head”.

          • TrickleDownTacoRiff

            Sorry Joe but I cant not do this right now…

            I’M THE JUGGERNAUT BITCH…I’M A PART TIME STRIPIER AND I DO HAIR!

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Wow. Fuck everything.

      • Gorgasm

        There’s still Vimeo, right?

        • KJM

          As I just posted, Vimeo needs to let people know that they’re out there.

          • Poop Mango

            Vimeo has always needed to let people know. I’ve always thought they were better than YouTube, but nobody knows about them or cares so what are you gonna do?

      • The Devil

        http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/indies/6157651/global-indie-sector-unites-to-launch-fair-digital-deals-declaration

        This is the best response the Indies have, which is pretty much tantamount to saying “hey, we all think independent artists and labels should be treated more fairly with respect to digital media rights,” without actually doing anything about it. Lololololololol.

        • Christian Molenaar

          Yeah, I saw that. I think they’re trying to make an offer Youtube can’t refuse much like you said in the main post, but they don’t actually have an leverage so everyone will ignore this like the tiny petition it is.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          you can tell me if this is a harsh statement, but i think it sums things up pretty well for where we now sit in 2014.
          WE CANNOT BELLYACHE ABOUT OUR BANDS NOT GENERATING ENOUGH INCOME TO MAKE A LIVING WHEN WE HAVE BEEN STEALING MUSIC FROM OTHER BANDS FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS.

          The time for poor me is over, the ship has sailed, it’s a double edged sword, we gots tons of great music for free, the downside, many bands broke up because they could’nt make money. Now if some young lads want to set the world on fire and have the talent to do it , it’s sadly not going to happen. With no push from a solid record label a person is DOA.
          Music for profit ? GAME OVER

          • The Devil

            Stay in school kids. Stay in school.

      • KJM

        The youtube deal is partly why I killed my G+ account. Months of private conversations revolving around youtube videos suddenly became public, total bullshit.

        • i actually like that feature (and i do love G+), it adds some accountability to the conversations. it makes me think twice before saying stupid shit, it shows me how many people enjoy my comments, and it lets me respond directly to people who say stupid shit!

          • Christian Molenaar

            Accountability is exactly what I don’t want on the internet!

    • Gorgasm

      How about a fresh soundcloud set? Would that cheer you up?

      https://soundcloud.com/cvltnation/sets/trudger-dormiveglia

      • Tyree

        Nice, I was just listening to this this.

        • Gorgasm

          I’m just finishing it up.
          So damn good!!!
          Even secured a vinyl copy for myself as well.

          • Tyree

            It’s a mean son of a bitch for sure.

          • Negrodamus

            This is the one you were telling me about!

          • Gorgasm

            Yup. Thank the cvlt for getting this full album stream out there.

      • IfJthenS

        Yeah, this’ll definitely perk up the day.

      • this is great! thank you

    • Mr. Bojangles

      Let the depression set in, lose all hope, and look to the skies for Mr. Bojangles to save you wretched scum.

      -Mr. Bojangles

      • Xan

        All hail the mighty and luscious Mr. Bojangles.

  • Fart Johnson

    Kinda surprised the Big 3 aren’t the Big 2 or Big 1 already.

    • Me too. I’d like to look into label consolidation over the last few years.

      • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

        Aren’t a lot of “independent” labels part of larger labels anyway? Not within the metal community, really, but Top 40 type shit?

    • The Devil

      I dunno if the FTC would even allow that, but then again, they allowed the Sirius/XM merger, which I NEVER thought would go through.

      • Fart Johnson

        That’d be true if two of the three weren’t headquartered outside the US already. Then again they can just merge and establish the new entity in the Caymans or Ireland or wherever.

    • KJM

      Just wait.

  • TrickleDownTacoRiff

    Ahhh yes. A new generation comes to terms with the fleeting noting of idealism. Que evil laugh…