Amazon hits used vinyl seller with intellectual property violations

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by R. Totale, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason Thread Starter

    I've just read about a case where a long faded artist filed (bogus) intellectual property violation claims against a seller with Amazon, causing Account Health issues although under first sale provisions in the law the resale of these items was perfectly legal. There's an enormous thread on this here (you may need an Amazon seller account to read it)

    Two false intellectual property violations for 30 yr old vinyl records

    TL;DR - if you have any Michelle Shocked items up for sale on AZ you might want to remove them.
     
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  2. Gene Parmesan

    Gene Parmesan Have a good time all the time.

    Location:
    PA, USA
    She seems like a real great human being....
     
  3. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    She went off the rails years ago.
     
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  4. manicpopthrill

    manicpopthrill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas
    In her twisted mind she thinks she's sticking it to the 'man', when in reality she's just hurting the little guy.
     
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  5. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Dear God. She's a piece of work.
     
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  6. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    She obviously wasn't paying attention when the ever-divisive Garth Brooks created controversy during the 1990s by bullying independent music retailers who stocked both new and used CDs. Brooks claimed that because no royalties are paid on the sale of used CDs, writers, labels, publishers and artists were being cheated. Not sure if Garth Brooks assumed that existing laws could be repealed or if it was more of a calculated publicity stunt where he could use the so-called cause to paint himself as the "champion of the recording artists and the music industry." Garth failed to realize that he had no more rights to secondary sales than authors did on sales of used books. Ultimately, Garth came to his senses and stopped bullying the independent music retailers, many of whom stocked both new and used CDs.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Garth Brooks CD bar-b-q parties for retail freedom
     
  7. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    The best quote was how the income from her recording career has slowed to a trickle and she now wants to stop people selling her used CDs. I still see her LPs in charity shops, and that's a telling statement.
     
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  8. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Her income has probably slowed to a trickle because she's as crazy as a football bat.

    Prior to this incident, the last two rounds of publicity she got (within the last 5 years or so) were for (a) going on a homophobic rant at a concert in San Francisco and (b) then stiffing her backing band on her subsequent "comeback" tour. I first got the impression that she wasn't playing with a full deck a couple of decades ago when she berated her audience in Portsmouth, NH, for not having enough black people in it (i.e., she was yelling at her own audience because they were white and not black), and a few years before that, her Arkansas Traveler tour with The Band and Uncle Tupelo fell apart because the other artists decided not to work with her.

    It's probably a coincidence that Arkansas Traveler was the last album of hers that I can recall getting any kind of publicity (Wikipedia informs me that she had to be talked out of appearing in blackface on the cover of that album).

    I saw her once at the Newport Folk Festival and she put on a good set (Captain Swing tour).
     
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  9. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Not sure if she hit up Discogs yet, but similar stuff has been happening on Discogs for some time. Mostly they delisted boots and pirated versions for sale but there have been many items delisted due to similar claims as this case.
     
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  10. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Location:
    Boston
    shocking...
     
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  11. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I wonder how she'd object to people giving away their used CDs / LPs.
     
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  12. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    Not well by the sounds of it.
     
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  13. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    In her mind, she seems to think that being repulsive in her viewpoints and how she shows up in public, combined with an intense effort to prevent new listeners from getting access to used copies of her music to try them out, is a way to gain new listeners and fans? Eventually she may realize that it will have the opposite effect. Or maybe not, and she'll keep battling until no one can legally get any opportunity to listen to her music ever, and/or make herself so repulsive and distasteful to most other human beings that no one wants to put forth extraordinary effort to listen to her music anyway.
     
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  14. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    I loved her first album and the Campfire Tapes. Then she got born again and went from being a lesbian to being a homophobe and fell off my radar completely .
     
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  15. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason Thread Starter

    While discussion of Michelle herself is probably welcome in Music Corner, it's really less important here than the idea that it appears any given artist can get a bug up their ass and ask that their previously owned stuff be yanked from Amazon. At that point, judging by this case, not only does Amazon immediately fold, they will go on to punish any resellers who happen to have innocently (and legally) listed items by that previously un-bugged artist. There appears to be no way to avoid Amazon's punishment if this happens with something you listed.
     
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  16. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    You're 100% correct and I apologize for my previous derailment.

    What's truly annoying is that in the last 5-10 years or so, Amazon seem to has become Bootleg Central. At some point, I noticed that there were tons of bootlegs listed for popular groups like the Grateful Dead, and it seems to be very widespread now. I've also seen bootlegged books bought on Amazon. So they obviously don't feel like they have any obligation to do any actual due diligence themselves, but by banning albums on demand, they can claim to be "responsive" to artists' complaints.

    One of the more abusive aspects of Internet culture is the assumption (by many) that they have the right to post anything they want, and that it's up to the copyright holder to object for each individual act of infringement. This was legally codified in the DMCA and is the financial basis for sites like YouTube, but I've seen it going back to the 90s when authors had to contact individual fileserver admins to attempt to get unlicensed copies of their works removed.

    It's a legal philosophy that obviously benefits large corporations and large-scale scammers much more than it benefits the vast majority of individual creators, and Amazon is apparently taking it to the next level by applying it to physical merchandise.
     
  17. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    She's a talented artist. She is unfortunately, also, not all that mentally stable. It's unfortunate.
     
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  18. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    It's probably easier and less expensive for sites such as Discogs to simply give in as opposed to launching a thorough and fair investigation before removing items. Not to mention, they don't want to deal with any bad publicity.

    I believe she controls her masters for the Mercury material, but can't understand how selling original pressings from 20+ years ago would be in violation of any laws.
     
  19. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    I'd be curious to know if she also has a beef with the UK-based Cooking Vinyl which originally released the Campfire Tapes. That label played a significant role in her success as an artist on an international level.
     
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  20. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    And as I mentioned, it gives them cover to say "Look how responsive we are! We blocked these items as soon as the artist complained!"

    It isn't illegal in any way. Not even a grey area. This has been settled law for decades.
     
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  21. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    That's usually where "sticking it to the man" leads. Now run along and go purchase the latest super-duper Woodstock mega-box.
     
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  22. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    That was a fascinating read. I especially liked the "precariat" bit - amusing that she's using that as an insult (?) to the people she's trying to... help (???) by attacking a corporation with enough money to justify not caring about them (?????)

    My knowledge of her goes no further than a handful of posts on this forum suggesting that she has never been dealing from a full deck. If nothing else, that's certainly been confirmed.

    It's really worrying that these companies (Amazon, eBay, Google) have gotten so big that they don't actually need to have any human interaction with their customers to keep afloat. The problem is that the Internet is still in its infancy, and we still haven't explored the whole legal territory there. When a gray area like this comes up and we have no way of connecting with those companies, what can we do?

    Back when I used to follow video games, there was a fascinating development in the whole legal procedure when the late John Bain pretty much single-handedly rewrote copyright law back in 2013 or 2014. A no-name game developer abused YouTube's awful copyright policy in an attempt to delete the negative review of their poorly-made game, and it blew up in their face when YouTube actually got involved. All those other companies that were hopping around abusing the system suddenly had to try to undo the damage and try to make amends. It was awesome to see justice get served in the digital age - I haven't seen it since and I worry we won't see it on that scale again.

    The key there was that John Bain was part of a huge network which had access to the few humans left at Google. If a nutcase like Michelle Shocked gets some delusion about attacking Amazon and they just swat her away onto innocent sellers, that's a serious problem. There are no content networks on Amazon and used LP sellers aren't high-profile critics with millions of fans. This is going to put innocent people out of business, branded as criminals, when they not only did nothing wrong, but had nothing to DO with what they're being attacked for.

    May as well change God in that awful "From A Distance" song to Amazon - their revenue stream doesn't indicate that anything is wrong.
     
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  23. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Was talking to a friend of mine on Saturday who has been following MS for most of her career. He saw MS perform recently and Pete Anderson (ex-guitarist, band leader and producer for Dwight Yoakam) is working with her again, at least for live shows. If she's capable of reconciling with a longtime friend/musician/producer/colleague in music on that level, I'd like to see her make things right with the sellers who have been adversely affected for selling used copies which were legally released under contract with Mercury.
     

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