The news is about a legal dispute. Simply put, those Canadian cellular phone companies sold ringtones to their customers but refused to pay royalty to the musicians. What's interesting about this news is the companies' argument: downloading of a ringtone was no guarantee the ringtone would be played, thus no royalty to the musicians. Lucky to me, one commentary just summarized my gut reaction to the news:
This is a terrible line of argument from the companies, which would lead to these identical assumptions:
1. Downloading an MP3 from iTunes would not guarantee the song would be played; therefore, no royalty should be paid to musicians.
2. Purchasing a CD is not a guarantee a song will be played; therefore, no royalty should be paid to musicians.
3. A music station playing a song on the radio is no guarantee that it will be heard; therefore, no royalty should be paid to musicians.
And they actually pay the legal firm that came up with this argument? Hopefully they have a clause which states:
"Appealing to the Supreme Court is no guarantee the case will be heard; therefore, no legal fees shall be paid to the lawyers."
I really like the last line!
CBC News: Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal over ringtone tariff