Since 1998

Bold'n'Boasy Entertainment

Muscle Your Way To Fame By Being Independent.



Posted by Bold n Boasy Entertainment on July 1, 2015 at 6:55 AM

With the advent of legitimate, centralised and easy-to-use pan-global digital distribution systems like Apple’s iTunes Store, increasing numbers of catalogue owners are eschewing local physical distribution deals and instead simply activate distribution in a particular territory or market with the tap of a key. Of course, even with digital-only distribution, there is still a place for a local promotional campaign to make the most of the release. In fact most labels will combine physical and digital releases of new material in the same strategy. There is more than one eff ective and legitimate digital distribution service, but at the time of writing one could be forgiven for thinking that there’s only one that matters: Apple’s iTunes Store soft ware-based online music shop. Within a year of its introduction in the US in 2003, it had sold over 25 million songs. Th e iTunes Store was a complete game-changer for the music distribution industry. We didn’t get it in Australia until 2005: its launch was a very signifi cant date for the music industry – at last the public had a legal way to download music. Like withholding tax, above, the iTunes Store could be the subject of its own (much more interesting!) book. Th e iTunes story contains many twists and turns: battles with the Majors over catalogue, digital rights protection experiments, sound quality developments and regulatory issues created by its monopoly position, but this is not the place for the tale. The basic iTunes Store distribution licence is a non-exclusive master licence of the digital reproduction and communication rights in the master and associated artwork, but if the licensor gives another digital distributor more favourable terms, they are obliged to give iTunes the same deal. Apple ‘re-sells’ the tracks to customers with access to the iTunes soft ware application, under the contractual terms of the customers’ end-user licence agreement for that soft ware and the iTunes Store’s Terms of Use. The terms include permission to burn copies of the tracks (subject of course to the provisions of the Copyright Act), store and use the tracks on several devices at the same time and generally use the tracks for personal, non-commercial use. The basic term of the contract is around 3 years, but either party can pull down the licensed content if they believe they no longer have the right to authorise its distribution. Th e iTunes Store must be able to sell each of the licensed tracks separately, whether the track is released elsewhere as a ‘single’ 


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