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Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 20,846

About Me

Lifelong Democrat

Journal Archives

Sorry if I seemed to be "schooling" you

I’ve been licensing music for over forty years so I have quite a bit of experience with this business. Actually, I’ve written for jingle houses (a total rip-off for the writers; only the singers get residuals). It’s simply a business and none of the songs you hear in commercials (or otherwise) would be there without the permission of the copyright holder.

We listeners have no stake in the business other than our personal connections to the songs we identify with. That’s why advertisers go after those songs: They want us consumers to connect the songs we love with the products they’re selling.

In spite of our personal connections to music, we don’t control it any more than you or I have a say in for how much our neighbor sells their car or house. Songs are intellectual property like a book or a movie. The audience doesn’t own it. The fault isn’t Applebees’s, per se, it’s their advertising agency who has pitched and licensed the song.

It’s too simplistic to suggest that a licensee is “too cheap” to commission a new jingle. It costs nearly the same to get a new jingle or to license an existing song. This is particularly true if the advertisement uses the original recording and the ad has to license the song and the master recording, usually at the same price. Advertising budgets on a national level are in the millions of dollars and the percentage that goes to the music is relatively small. Most of the money goes to broadcasters. Besides, the jingle business has shrunken tremendously in the past 20+ years. For an existing song, the advertiser had to pay for the music and hire musicians and singers to create a “sound-alike” recording, (i.e., Osempic).

I get it: We all connect things, like songs or movies, to our lives. But we simply don’t own them. Im sorry this business practice offends you. I’m asking that you place the responsibility where it belongs, on the owner of the song. They’re the party that makes the decision to “sell out.”

Music licensing is big business

Your complaint is misdirected. The use of your favorite songs in commercials is the result of decisions made by the song’s writers and their music publisher and the record label (in some instances). If those rights holders have decided to make their music available for licensing, then it’s their responsibility… and their profit.

That’s why they do it, for the money. Music is a business, after all.

In that business, a publisher has two fundamental responsibilities. First is copyright management which includes filings with the Library of Congress (in the US) as well as registration of the song with various organizations like ASCAP or BMI and others. Second is song exploitation where different income streams are tapped. In the past, these would include record sales, public performances (radio, concerts, etc.), printed sheet music and licensing for film/TV/commercials and so on.

Today’s technologies have seriously diminished those income streams. The near-disappearance of physical album sales, the great shrinking of printed music (it’s mostly digital today) and the explosion of streaming services have reduced the ability of publishers to maintain the income from their music. As a result, many publishers have turned to aggressive campaigns to place songs in commercials or to issue synchronization licenses for films and TV. These have become the primary income sources for music catalogs.

Accordingly, this is why some investors have spent huge sums to buy classic catalogs like Bob Dylan’s. Those investors want a return on that money. Incidentally, not all investors buy catalogs. Many financial backers invest in existing companies expecteing a high percentage of any profits generated by the catalog.

So, you can’t really blame Applebees, United Airlines (they killed “Rhapsody In Blue” for me) or Ozempic for paying to use those compositions. Blame the writers and their publishers. They want to continue to make money from their music.

By the way, they’re not “ruining your music.” It doesn’t belong to you and the owners can do as the please.

I've read and heard many rumors

There seems to be an assumption among many in the pontification business that the Fox lawyers want to settle instead of going to court. The evidence and testimonies that have become public paint a damning picture for the network. The Fox lawyers' malfeasance was a huge mistake and they know it; they've lost the Court's faith and respect.

If settlement talks are occurring, my assumption is that Fox thinks they can find a dollar figure and buy their way out of the lawsuit, perhaps with some confidentiality built into the settlement agreement.

This would be bad. Dominion has built a solid case and it's no longer clear that their goals are financial as much as reputation-related.

However, this is a zero-sum legal and public relations circumstance. It's not enough for Dominion to win their case. Indeed, Fox News must also lose in a big way and very publicly. This is the only way to blunt the corruption of Fox News and its hosts. Fox should have to pay a large sum and make all kinds of public statements of contrition and apology. That's the only way Dominion-- and, by extension, the United States-- will win this case.

I hope the trial is going forward and today's postponement is because of a simple procedural or scheduling issue.

Guns in America

It's relentless.

It's heartbreaking.

It's every day.

It's everywhere.

It's unstoppable.

It's insanity.

It's the fucking Republicans and their NRA.

It's their fault.
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