[rumori] Ringtones cost music industry $1m a day

From: Edjunkita (edjunkitaATwanadoo.nl)
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 22:09:46 PDT


Ringtones cost music industry $1m a day
 By: Tim Richardson

Mobile phone users could be costing the record industry up to a $1
million a
day according to a new report.

UK-based Internet monitoring company, Envisional, claims that those annoying
mobile phone ringtones that are downloaded from Web sites and rip off
popular tunes could constitute a breach of copyright.

 Envisional claims that while most sites charge users for downloading each
tune few cough up royalties. And since record companies are entitled to 7.5
cents for every tune downloaded, Envisional claims that the dosh soon adds

How it reaches the magic number of $1 million a day is anyone's guess,
 though, since by its own admission reliable figures are hard to find.
"It's all a bit finger in the air," admitted a spokesman for Envisional,
"it is a bit
of a guestimate."

 If the exact financial scale of the problem is a little tricky to
assess, so too
is the legal position.

Intellectual Property lawyer, Clare Griffiths, said that the whole issue
is very
complex - both for consumers and distributors since both can be in
breach of
the law.

"Copyright in the music will be infringed by taking a 'substantial part'
of a
 musical work," she said, even if it just a small part of a song.

 The legal waters are further muddied since the moral rights of the
 songwriter may also be infringed by the fact that a melody is turned
into a
  ringtone which may be seen as damaging the integrity of the music.

Said Griffiths: "The application of the existing law to these new
scenarios can
also throw up interesting debates: for example, is the song being
broadcast/performed when the phone rings, especially in a public place,
further infringing the rights of the copyright owner?"
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