back to article US music royalties' collector sues T-Mobile over ringback tones

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) quietly filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the US wing of T-Mobile last month. On 19 December the performing rights’ group fingered the telecoms firm for allegedly using unlicensed copies of BMI’s repertoire on its ringback tones service. The BMI said it had licensed ringback tones on …

COMMENTS

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  1. David Hicks

    Well there should be some sort of punishment

    For people too inconsiderate even to stick their phone on silent during a meal out at a restaurant.

  2. Daren Nestor

    To be fair...

    if the customer is paying for the ringtone (which they are) then a copy of the music is being sold and there should be royalties paid on it.

  3. Anonymous John

    Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI)

    What about the inventor of the Body Mass Index? Doesn't he/she have a prior claim?

  4. Stratman
    Grenade

    title

    "Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant?"

    They bloody well ought to be!

    Not for copyright infringement but for forcing their unhumourous ringtones on a restaurant.

  5. heyrick Silver badge
    Stop

    OMFG

    Really, we ought to drag all the copyright lawyers outside and sever body parts with accurately thrown LPs. Leave the bastards lying in the street with blood spewing out like a cheap horror flick.

    While I, and any decent person, respects the right to an artist to gain benefit for their creations, this has gone far beyond being a parody of itself to being just obscene. How many artists (Bono excepted, STFU already) actually morally support the way things are going? A world where ringtones count as a performance, playing your CDs with the car windows open counts as a broadcast, and people who didn't create the content in question expect to be paid hansomely for your trivial mistake. OMFG.

  6. Studley
    Thumb Up

    Infringement? who cares

    Copyright infringement? Hard to say, but I'd still be delighted if they were banned.

    "Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant? Under this reasoning from ASCAP, it would be a copyright violation for you to play your car radio with the window down!""

    Again, I have no problems with the above being declared illegal / punishable by death.

  7. Graham Bartlett

    @The EFF

    "Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law...?"

    No, but the company who trousered a ton of money for streaming ringtones to people's phones and then refused to pay the creators of those ringtones most certainly are. They're broadcasting streaming music in exactly the same way as an internet radio station does, so they're subject to exactly the same rules. Jeez, sometimes I wonder how EFF guys manage to tie their own shoelaces.

  8. M.A
    Big Brother

    fair use

    as a ribgtone is less than 30seconds long is that not fair use in the USA

    big brotner cause thats what it is

  9. Les Matthew

    talk about a bad example

    "Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant?"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Dear Father Newyearmas

    Given the parties involved, would it be possible for them both to lose?

    I've been good all last year...

  11. Joe User

    The name is almost right

    AS[S]CAP indeed....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Morons

    Should know better than to have this on a server and hold it there. Better to allow the user to create their own and put it on the phone and then you have no knowledge of what they are using or where they got it from.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    What's this $1.49 PER MONTH shit?

    Making people pay more than once (pay-per-period, pay-per-listen/view) for media is an outright obscenity. This is why DRM must be fought tooth and nail as well - because it's used to enforce this kind of scam.

    And they have the temerity to call us freetards "thieves"!

  14. John Tserkezis

    I love the ringtone market.

    They charge a bomb for several seconds worth of relatively low quality audio from a several minutes worth of high quality music track, where the entire track can be had at about 20% of the cost.

    Now they're taking offence at a company that's onselling these for nothing.

    Sounds fair. They've realised that users don't want to pay for high-quality full tracks, yet are happy (or stupid enough) to open their wallets for something they could have done themselves with little effort, for a tiny fraction of the cost.

    1. Rasczak
      Coffee/keyboard

      Quality ?

      <quote>

      They charge a bomb for several seconds worth of relatively low quality audio from a several minutes worth of high quality music track, where the entire track can be had at about 20% of the cost.

      </quote>

      I hope by quality you are referring to bitrate/sampling frequency rather than any artistic merit. I couldn't imagine it being used to describe most of the sort of tracks that are on the ringtone adverts in any other sense.

  15. TeeCee Gold badge
    Flame

    Ringback tones.

    The only thing in the world more annoying than ringtones.

    I'd like to thank the BMI for identifying a way of sueing the fuck out of T-mobile for selling this shit.

    Personally I think the only just punishment here would be to strap the CEO of T-mobile into a chair, gag him, gaffer tape two handsets over his ears and then set 'em to playing the same godawfully shite 20 second song clip on loop, with the volume turned up far enough to make the earpiece speakers distort. Failing that though, this will have to do.

  16. David 105
    Stop

    Don't give them ideas!

    "it would be a copyright violation for you to play your car radio with the window down!"

    I'm sure somewhere there's an industry bigwig dreaming up a way to charge for this. After all, if you hear the latest <insert "cool" musician name here> track being pumped out of a car stereo with a decible - drivers IQ ratio of 3:1 then you might decide that you don't need to buy it, clearly therefore a "lost sale" and clearly depriving said industry bigwig of that weeks coke supply, sorry, I mean depriving "cool" musician of vital revenue which will mean that they have to give up their dreams of making music and go to work in McDonalds

    Of course, having heard the song pumping out of a car stereo, the only reason that there'd be a "lost sale" is because you realised how cr@p it was.

  17. Ben Oldham
    Paris Hilton

    Ringtones are NOT Ringback Tones

    RTFA

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringback_tone

    Come on guys. As if you'd pay a monthly charge for an MP3 file on your phone...

    Even Paris wouldn't.

    Would she?

  18. Tom Kelsall
    Stop

    Yet another reason...

    for a radical review of global music licensing laws and processes. The artists don't benefit from these suits HALF as much as labels, distributors and so on. The time is right to put the power back in the artist's hands and to sell music directly from artist to consumer - I'd be a lot happier paying an artist directly for his stuff than paying some faceless corporation! And, of course, if I needed a CD version I'd burn one. But I'd be far more likely to carry my music around on my MP3 player of choice and broadcast it direct to my car/home stereo as required...

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