Ringtones

Shawn

I was interested in your talk with John Grubber last week on YML. I
was surprised at the vehemence of how Apple's ringtone support was
received.

I thought I'd list a few things that occurred to me why Apple is
doing it the way they are.

As far as buying the ringtone on top of the cost of the track, if you
compare that to other ringtone services, you don't get the original
track anyway. So since you are building the ringtone from a music
track they probably think it a reasonable assumption that you want
the whole track anyway.

As far as music you have ripped from a CD, I would think that the
deal with publishers mandated that people could only use tracks that
can be proven by Apple that they own. I'm certain ripping a CD is not
proof - as far as publishers are concerned you could have borrowed,
or bought and returned the CD having ripped it (this may be simply
spite because of 'fair use' and the analogue hole).

As far as I am aware (and I'm open to correction on this) when you
buy a track/CD, you are not licenced to broadcast the track or play
it in the form of a public performance - ie it is for use in your own
home and your own ears. I believe in theory you could be breaking the
law by playing music you own on a ghetto-blaster when walking down
the street (not that a cop would ever bother trying to stop you
unless it is an issue of nuisance). If you were playing the radio,
the radio have the license to broadcast, so the law is not broken. I
would expect publishers therefore would leap on classifying ringtones
as a public broadcast.

As far as re-using a different part of a ringtone later, the only way
of doing that for free would be if you could prove that you threw the
previous one away - something that is impossible to do (backups etc).

Should Apple be in the ringtone business? Well, they probably can't
simply provide a conduit for people to source ringtones from wherever
to put on their own product, because they are a supplier of media
that may be used. The license of that media probably does not cover
that use (this probably doesn't come under fair use since the
ringtone industry has been alive longer than ripping CDs). So either
they keep chasing people by software updates to prevent them from
doing it, or they provide their own service, and let the third
parties provide alternate solutions where those third parties don't
have a legal conflict of interest (breaking their functionality
occasionally - though probably not intentionally - apart from the
trival renaming thing!).

As far as my own opinion is concerned, I think Apple's offering is
reasonable when compared to other services, but I think they would
have done themselves a favour if they priced the ringtone at less
than 99c - 49c would have been more appropriate because people would
at then see that as a portion of the song rather than the whole.

One question I have is are the iTunes+ tracks included? ie do you pay
99c for a ringtone for a 1.29c track?

Best wishes and keep up the good work

Cheers
Phil Connor
Windsor UK

Apple does ringtones wrong!

Just like everything else that they try to simplify they have screwed this up too!
I feel sorry for you guys and the way you have to do things, everything's simple, easy, intuitive, ....
well that's not the real world! Wake up you people!

Just being helpful
http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com

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