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Message started by quarky42 on Nov 28th, 2007 at 5:03am

Title: Dear Romantics
Post by quarky42 on Nov 28th, 2007 at 5:03am
Dear Romantics or Whom This May Concern,

I was a fan of the band until I recently learned of your law suit against Activision for the Add-On content that features "What I Like About You".  From what I understand, this content was properly licensed by the company.  Furthermore, I respect the performers for being able to play such a good version of your song.

I don't mistake their version of your song as the real thing for even a second.   There are differences.  Perhaps some people will be fooled, but that just means the performers did a good job.  You should be flattered that they included your song in the add-on for Guitar Hero 2 and you should drop the case immediately.

I am losing respect for your band daily as this news draws out.  Have you never heard of a "cover band" before?   The best cover bands sound the most like the original authors.  That is the point of a cover band.

You can't license a song for use in a video game and then turn around and say that it was "too good".   You are doing a disservice to video gamers and Romantics fans alike.   As a video gamer and a fan of rock music I am
offended twice by your attitude that you are entitled to more money.  If you wanted more money you should have A> Offered to help the programmers create the track for the game or B> Should have charged more for the license.

Since you already licensed it, you are too late.   Perhaps you will respect future requests from a "video game" company more to use your music.  If/When you get another request you should try to find out if you can perform the music yourselves for more money.

Keep in mind though, that the point of the video game is to have as large a library of GREAT songs as the developing company can afford.  If you charge an arm and a leg for the use of your song in the game, then chances are your song will be left out.  Even if it is kept in, that means you have bumped out a song of someone else's.  You have to take into account that you get value by having your song features within the video game.  More people will recognize the song and now they will see the name of the band that originally made it.   Most radio stations are very bad about giving the names of songs that they play.

Also, take into account that this is a "social" video game... it is played with friends & family.  You should realize that for every 1 video game sold, your song has the chance to be played by MANY people.

Put yourself in the video gamer and the fans shoes first...before you start worrying about your pocketbooks and you will continue to make music that rocks.   Bands lose relevance when they focus on the money.  If you make great music, the money will come.   Make music because you like it and because you like to share it.   You don't have a right to charge extra
because someone else was able to perform your song nearly as well as you could.  That should be a challenge to you, to make your music better and more difficult.

Anyone that plays the game will know immediately that the song is performed by a cover band.  It says so when you start playing.   Anyone with half a brain that takes the time to think about it knows that when they see the list of songs / artists there is no way that all the songs could be performed by the original bands because each band would be WAYYY too greedy to make the game affordable.   People here are a fan of math showing how much money GH might have made, but no one has figured out that if each band charged what Romantics are trying to charge for the use of a GOOD COVER of their song, then the game would have to cost between $50 and $100 more than it did.    I don't need math to show this...just assume that each band was entitled to between $1 and $3 per track, per disc sold.  If that was the case, then the price would have to be paid by the buyer:  The video game / music fan.   This doesn't take into account that for every game sold people now are exposed to your band's music and shown your song name and band name in big letters.  The 2 people that I know face-to-face that have this game have bought music simply because it was on a Guitar Hero game and they decided they liked it.   I'm sorry, but a good cover is still a good cover.  If they wanted more money they should have charged it at the beginning or offered to do a real performance for it.


A very disappointed fan.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by jonnie2224 on Nov 28th, 2007 at 6:38am
Learn the music business before U write a long letter !!!!

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by oldfriend on Nov 29th, 2007 at 9:43pm
Hey quarky, how long have you been working for Sony?

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by applesauce on Nov 30th, 2007 at 6:29am
haha oldfriend ;D

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by solodka on Nov 30th, 2007 at 12:55pm
Here's another quote that I thought was exceptionally well written:

#8 posted by Michael W. Dean , November 23, 2007 1:46 PM

I know copyright enforcement seems really unhip to a lot of folks these days, but copyright is a right guaranteed in the US Constitution. ("...To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries....")

I happen to really like the US Constitution, ALL of it, and really hate to see it stepped on. It seems to me that a lot of people these days yell loudly when their rights are violated, but then want to violate the rights of others whenever it feels convenient.

Do the commenters here who are bemoaning the enforcement of this Romantics issue think the Constitution should be changed?

And if copyright law should be enforced for one, it should be enforced for all, regardless of perceived artistic merit. (By the way, most of the music I like is really dark: Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Bauhaus, etc, but I think "What I like About You" is a particularly well-crafted pop song, it rocks, and I respect it for that.)

I know that old-school media companies tend to be WAY overly proactive about going after all perceived "violations", really selfish about trying to extend copyright law for too long, and often slam Fair Use as illegal use. And I think the Internet has changed the playing field to the point where copyright law needs some reinterpretation.

People are making inroads. Among them are Creative Commons. I dig Creative Commons and use it on some (not all) of my projects. I also give away some art, and there are millions of people doing that.

But I also maintain copyright on some projects, for a number of reasons. And I feel strongly that the underlying principals of copyright law are sound, and should be upheld. For all.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by PIRATE on Dec 1st, 2007 at 7:19am
well put solodka....well put. alot of folks dont hesitate to violate, but once they get violated they seem to come out swinging. everyone knows the guidlines, rules and laws!

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by solodka on Dec 1st, 2007 at 8:50am
Not to confuse anyone, I didn't originally say it.  I just repeated it! :)  Click on the link and you can read the whole thing!

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by scum1 on Dec 9th, 2007 at 6:24pm
I'm with Quarky. The song was payed for so no copyright was broken. Sad grab for cash I say. Too bad it will turn off many new fans as well as some old fans. Sure I know this is a fan board and as usual most fan boards are filled with fans who think their favorite band can do no wrong. Time and time again I see it on all fan boards. Blind following. :(

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by oldfriend on Dec 10th, 2007 at 1:02am
Gee, we get a "brand new" member who comes here just to post on the situation concerning the guitar hero game. This person has probably never heard or isn't even aware of the 61/49 album and is certainly no fan. Hey scum, go take out your frustrations over this situation on someone else's message board. We don't need a "fan" like you around here. Take a hike.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by scum1 on Dec 10th, 2007 at 3:42am
Just what I expected as a reply. You can never have a real discussion with obsessed fans. Their band can do no wrong. Sorry to disappoint you oldfriend but I have a legitimate gripe. Am I a fan yes. I am a fan of all kinds of music. I'm adult who owns over 1000 cds. I did not come here with acting juvenile and slinging mud. I am just disappointed in the situation. I actually think most of the people here have no clue about the Guitar Hero games and are all to quick to side with the band. I mainly am upset that it is going to be bad publicity for the band. I'm not going to say I really care about them that much beyond liking their music but turning off a new generation of fans is not going to help spread their music. I've had my kids ask me to buy them a cd from bands like the Allman brothers and other because they heard a song covered by someone in guitar Hero. There is a new fan and some sales for a band a young kid probably would not of heard of except for the game and kids will turn other kids on to music they like resulting in many new fans. Maybe if you took the time to read my post before bashing me for being a new member( I been a casual fan for years ). Just because I'm not a fan who comes to these boards does not mean I am not a fan and have no right to an opinion.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by rockford_boy on Dec 10th, 2007 at 5:23am
Scums a Baby Boomer who owns or has stolen 1000's of pieces of music on line during their selfish self-centered life. Along with loads of illegal drugs, why because I'm allowed to break every law and NOBODY can hold me accountable for it, because my name is SCUM. Very fitting.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by scum1 on Dec 10th, 2007 at 6:01am
So I have stolen 1000s of songs? No I own over 1000 cds. The actual cd in the case that I bought. I support musicians through buying cds, going to concerts. Self centered? I never attacked the band but I get attacked because I think they are making a mistake. Do any of you actually read my post or are you just mindless attack dogs.  I am a music fan. I go by the name scum1 because i always have. It was because I have tattoos and an earring since before it became trendy and people used to pass judgment on me because of my looks. It's a joke name. I am a responsible adult  with grown kids who are also responsible adults. You sure pass a lot of judgment on me without knowing anything about me other than the fact that I disagree with the bands action. How about someone sane here actually responding to my points? Why is it so hard to see the fact that alienating possibly millions of music fans is not a good move. It is fun however to see you guys prove my point over and over with the personal attacks on me. I have never once had a  rational discussion on a fan message board of any band. I always have hope that maybe some fan actually be able to think clearly. These bands are people. People make mistakes. if you think they are infallible then you have a problem.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by oldfriend on Dec 10th, 2007 at 10:28pm
You never found it necessary to come here and post about one of the band's albums, one of their live shows, or anything else positive about the band, but you did find it necessary to come here and whine about guitar hero. Then you talk about coming here for a real discussion. Again, you never found it necessary to come here before this issue. We heard your opinion. No need to state anything about it again from a "fan" like you. No get out of your mom's house and get a job.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by scum1 on Dec 11th, 2007 at 2:53am
Still I listened to the band some and enjoyed the music for many years. I also do not remember whining about anything. I just said I thought it was a mistake and of course I was instantly attacked and called names. Me living in my moms house lol.  I'd say your the ones acting like children. I listen to hundreds of bands and I don't go to all of their boards and post stuff. I just saw this news and wanted to see what was up and say I thought it was a mistake and maybe have a discussion about it. No chance of that though. Why would someone want to come to this board and discuss the band. If they said anything that was slightly negative ( like I thought the band was a little off at last nights show) I'm sure they would be attacked by the fanatics here. This is a worship board not a discussion board I see. No music fans here just idiots like you oldfriend. I dare you to prove me wrong and yet you still just bash away without addressing any of my points thus proving my point that band forums are useless except for idol worship.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by solodka on Dec 11th, 2007 at 6:30am
I will agree that of course, everyone has and is entitled to his or her own opinion.  And you do, Scum1, have a right to say and voice your opinion as you see fit.  I will also agree with you that you did so in an adult manner, not name calling or mud-slinging as some others have done.  But you also know that if you try and attack someone's children, favorite band,  etc. the fans and parents will become defensive and protective of what they love.  That is a given.

That said, not everyone is happy with every decision that is made in this world.  You will always have people that are for you as well as against you.  I do however feel that you must protect what you feel is right and go forward with an action to defend that right.  Do people hate the Beatles for suing for what they think is right?  I do not know if you are an attorney or not Scum1, but I can point you in the direction of a few websites that can counter your point of if in fact a copyright of some sort has been broken or not.  Have you read the actual complaint?  Do you understand it?  It is not that cut and dry of a situation.  Remember also to not always believe everything that you read.  Things are forever being taken out of context and not exactly as they were said.  

Will they lose fans from the lawsuit?  Were these loyal fans before the lawsuit?  Or are these people who never even knew who The Romantics were before Guitar Hero?  I'm sure they know who they are now.  

I do hope that when this is all said and done, more things will be explained as to exactly why things came about the way that they did.

Was that your point Scum1?  I'm not really sure.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by scum1 on Dec 11th, 2007 at 9:32am
I'm sure the court will decide and the band might even be right. I just happen to think it is a bad move from the point gaining new fans. If the Romantics where the Beatles they could stand to lose a few fans. The Romantics on the other hand could gain a lot of new fans through the exposure. There is huge potential for this band to make money if they gained a bunch of new fans who do not already own any Romantics music. If you do some research there are bands who where unknown before GH and now are in high demand just because the game got there music heard by millions of kids(and adults). Trust me when I say I have a huge dislike for the record companies and I know they have shafted many a musician. I support the bands right to sue. I just think it is a bad idea and even if they win they will lose. Take Metallica. They won and Napster got shut down. In the end though they pissed off so many fans that they will never be as big as they were and it probably cost them a lot of money. They were right and napster should of been shut down I think but in the end they acomplished nothing excempt harming themselves. They did not understand and I don't think The Romantics understand the power of GH and what having your song in it in any form can do for them. Enough rambling though. I appreciate your rational discussion solodka. You have proven to me that there is some intelligent life on fan boards.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by oldfriend on Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:50am
Any time you want to debate music, let me know. I have a little experience in that area.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by magicpencil on Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:00am
I've watched this discussion play out a bit and just wanted to add my two cents worth here.
The reality is this......
Big companies are in the business to make big money and often don't care about who they rip off in order to make that money. The entertainment business is one of the Biggest offenders in this practice as they prey on the artists who supply the ideas and content for their product.
I know because I work in the entertainment business and people are ripped off daily. The ones who are cheated often don't do anything. However, a few will mount lawsuits against the entertainment companies. Those companies have lawyers who work for them full time and will find ways to drag out a lawsuit for ages.  Unfortunately, even with a strong case, the small guy suing finds him/herself with giant legal fees and a drained bank account sometimes before the actual trial begins.  Even if the small guy wins, the entertainment company will appeal the decision and drag it back into the courts for another five years or even find a way to countersue.  
I have no love for Sony, Warner Bros., Activision or the like.  
The Romantics have a couple of songs that get active airplay. One in particular has made a lot of money for them.  It's their cash cow....and they need to protect that particular song in every way possible.
Sometimes Lawsuits happen because it's a way of protecting a property somewhere down the road...and often it's not about the money. It's about making a point or setting a precedent.  If it is about the money, it may be regarding how that song earns money down the road.
Obviously, The Romantics felt that their rights were infringed on and they're taking action. There's nothing wrong with that. If they win, more power to them. They're smart to do this.
Doing nothing often leads to more trouble. Whether they have a case or not, that's for the courts to decide.
I honestly don't believe that a good lawyer would accept this case without strong evidence anyway.
If this upsets the creation of more Guitar Hero software, I'm really sorry to hear about that, but an artist has to protect their rights too. It's not always fun and games on the other side of the fence.
As far as Mr. Scum's sincere concern regarding the loss of some Romantics fans because of the lawsuit, I'm sure the group will survive without them.
Because in my humble opinion, if this lawsuit was enough to lose them, they weren't worth having in the first place.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by rockford_boy on Dec 14th, 2007 at 8:40am
Mag Pencil. The Romantics actually haven't made any REAL money off of their 3 most popular tunes until a few years ago. Former mgt was making all the bucks. The band sued, won, but didn't get the back pay (no surprise) and since the late 90's they have finally been able to get some pay.

If you do work in the biz there are many examples of David and Goliath. Cheap Trick and Sony has been one of them. They sued for Budokan, which they were being shorted millions in royalites, won the case but it hurt them with the label. The second suit is ongoing and deals with download royalities. As you stated, the company has full time lawyers and they draggggg everything out. The only way to take a case on, such as this one, is to have precedent in earlier rulings and this case has such ammo. The Romantics will not loose fans and the aptly, self named (not by me) scum is just one of many the band wouldn't care to see go by the wayside. A fan, musician, or music lover understands the plight this group is in, a novice doesn't and will never understand.

I've been ripped off, and it stinks. But, that's Show Biz!

Thanks for your input and acknowledgement of the dirty music biz.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by magicpencil on Dec 15th, 2007 at 7:57am
Rockford, Believe me, I know ALL about the Romantics history and know that the actual lawsuit concerning their catalog of songs netted them absolutely nothing from their former managers.
But since that suit has been settled, I've heard What I Like About You everywhere.....literally addition to regular radio airplay.
That one song has become part of our culture, it's the ultimate party song. It's the title of a TV show!
I've heard that song used for every product from Beer to Greeting Cards to Theme Parks!
Aside from the Romantics actually playing it at concerts, I think you need a small licensing company to properly keep track of all the ways that the song is used and how monies are being dispursed.
So like I mentioned in an earlier post, they are smart to go after Activision, even if it nets them zero now. It might set some sort of precedent for the future.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by pinkbubelz on Dec 18th, 2007 at 7:58am
I, for one, appreciate your statements and am glad to hear some reason here.   It's not always about money, sometimes things have more to do with principal than
money or fame or fortune....

Prior to the internet, and my being able to connect to many Romantics Fans around the world, I had absolutely no idea the amount of pain the band had to go through to secure the rights to MY favorite song (What I Like About You).... It was one of the few songs that I instantly LOVED the moment I heard it years ago. Like most fans and public, I had assumed the band had made lots of royalties on it and were sitting pretty.  It wasn't until I connected with some long-time (and close friends) of the band online, did I come to understand the reality of how they were ripped off over many years.   It's one of the reasons we as fans had to wait so many years for their most recent album, "61/49"....  

Even now, hardly a day goes by without my hearing "WILAY" on the radio, in a store, on a TV commercial, etc.  

To "Scum"-- whether you are or not, is not really the point, but when you come onto the site and immediately start talking negatively about the band, many of the regulars WILL be offended. If that wasn't your intent, then you would not have started posting on this site with negative comments. Perhaps you should have taken the time to get to know some of us before coming out swinging.

It IS possible to have a civil conversation here, without causing others to be defensive.  Believe it or not, the fans here ARE able to see both sides of the story, but the problem is that some have come charging onto the message board with only the intention to "flame" and cause disruption.   Some of us have in the past HAVE agreed to disagree, and it's okay.  We all are independent thinkers and not everyone will be all smiles and friendly on every subject on this site.  But if you want any respect from anyone here, then you should be more thoughtful about how you present your views to us.  

BTW, posting with a screenname that immediate brings in negative connotations is not exactly going to help you to endear yourself to the others on this board....Perhaps you could have started out with an introduction about yourself-- so that we could know more about you...before posting your opinions.... the response you might have received may have been far more receptive than coming in here as a stranger and accusing the band of ruining your fun.

Title: Re: Dear Romantics
Post by oldfriend on Dec 18th, 2007 at 11:25pm
Alice Cooper plays the song fairly regularly on his late night radio show. I have heard it a few times. Pretty cool.

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