Dotan … since I saw you…can’t download you!!!
I’m always amazed (and surprised) about HOW complicated it can be to download sometime legal music on the net… a quick experience I like sharing with you.
My wife and I were in the Netherlands (Holland) during the summer break. We came across a new upcoming artist (discovered on MTV): DOTAN. We liked his music, rythm and song. We took down the artist’s name, so when back home in Paris (France) we could go (like we usually do) to iTunes store and download this new song into our library.
Surprisingly, we couldn’t!! Dotan’s song was (an still is) only available on the Netherlands iTunes store (not the French one). My wife (being Dutch), tried to get an iTunes account in the Netherlands (giving her parents Dutch address)… that doesn’t worked either: the credit card details were France based!
Dotan is from the net generation, using social media to share his content. He has his own web site (and blog), his Facebook, MySpace and Hyves page, and his music video clip is available on YouTube.
So you can stream it as many times you want on your PC, your iPOD, iPhone etc… but you cannot own it!
For the last 5 years, I’ve been in the entertainment industry, working weekly with producers, rights-holders, authors, software vendors (such as Apple and Microsoft), has dealt with DRM issues, content identification, fingerprinting, watermarking and all these filtering technologies used by YouTube, Dailymotion and others… and had great difficulty to explain (simply) to my wife – a consumer – why it was SO DIFFICULT for her to get that song from a European artist, discovered in a European country, where goods are supposedly to circulate freely…!
As you may or not know, currently, most online retailers (including Apple) limit sales of digital media to either the countries in which they are based, or where the buyer is based, due to complex copyright rules and fees across Europe. In fact, each E.U. country has its own collecting society, which has the exclusive right to collect royalties for the use of music of songwriters in that country. A percentage of the royalties is passed back to the artist who has contracted the society to look after its copyright.
The good news is that, apparently, music rights holders are nearing agreement on a pan-European music license, which would enable music to be bought online across the European Union, as stated last May by the European Commission (here). The commissioner Kroes notes Apple’s statements that if iTunes is readily able to license rights on a multi-territorial basis from publishers and collecting societies, it would consider making its content available to all European consumers, including those in EU countries where iTunes is currently not available.
Let us hope that this multi-territorial music licensing issue is dealt with rapidly, so that consumers are (still) encouraged to ‘legally’ download and for Dotan to get his music out of the Dutch boundaries!