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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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August 9, 2007

AC/DC Snubs iTunes, Makes Life Difficult for Fans

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

There are a few bands whose music is famously not available through iTunes. One of those, the headbanging legends AC/DC, has decided to do an exclusive deal with Verizon's online music store.

In writing about this deal for PC World, Tom Spring at first seems to want to make this out as a big deal, saying that "Record labels and artists are starting to stand up to Steve Jobs and iTunes". No, sorry. Smart musicians and labels do not cut off their noses to spite their faces. iTunes is the place to sell music right now and if you're not there you're not selling as much as you could if you were. Spring himself notes that Verizon isn't selling singles or user-created mixes. If you want this music you have to buy whole CDs and by the way you have to pay two bucks more than you'd have to pay to buy the same CD from Amazon.

And this is hurting iTunes exactly... how? Not at all, really. By the end of his blog entry Spring is back to pointing out that Apple is doing one thing well: making it easy for consumers to buy downloaded music. Labels may chafe at the fixed song pricepoint and certainly would rather have the whole thing locked up in tighter DRM chains, but for now iTunes represents the best legal deal for consumers buying big-label music.

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies


1. Alejandro on August 9, 2007 10:19 AM writes...

They're not necessarily cutting off their noses. They might be adopting a longer term strategy (by denying Apple the possibility to gain too much power in the music distribution business)

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2. drwex on August 9, 2007 1:26 PM writes...

I suppose that's possible but I don't think it's realistic. Apple's power might be affected by the Cartel acting as a whole, or even two or three of the major labels but they don't seem to be able to get it together.

More realistically a competitor to iTunes would make a difference if it provided a place for labels to jump ship TO. It's not enough just to say "we won't sell on iTunes" - you have to sell somewhere.

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3. Pointless on September 18, 2008 7:47 PM writes...

Pointless. Sell to everyone - why is everyone so political?

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4. andy on March 1, 2009 5:20 PM writes...

i dislike this immensely, mean i cannot listen to ac/dc on anywerre but youtube, which sucks, as i lack the ability to get music off anywere but itunes

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5. Brian on March 6, 2009 1:57 AM writes...

AC/DC needs to just let it all go and sell their music on itunes. I really do get Angus's point on the whole "album" thing, BUT, if they still want to sell their music to todays young folks, they just have to give in to itunes. All of us old guys own all of their stuff on complete albums, but thats just NOT the way todays youth do things. In order to remain popular for many years to come, I fear that they will have to concede sooner or later. Brian

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6. Joker101 on July 16, 2010 10:08 PM writes...

Good for AC/DC I will NEVER buy my music from Apple
while they dictate what you can or cannot do with hardware that you have purchased and own. Yes their kit is good, but it's not so good that that I will let them tell me what to do with it once I own it.
Boo to Apple - Stand up for independance.

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7. Nancy on November 9, 2010 1:07 AM writes...

I want to buy AC/DC music. With all the complaining musicians do about piracy you'd think that they would be smart enough to make their music as widely available as possible. I don't use any music service other than itunes because I am a teenager and therefore don't have a credit card and none of the shops near me sell their older CDs so what other options do I have if I wish to have some AC/DC music on my MP3 player?

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8. Andy Stewart on December 6, 2010 5:23 PM writes...

AC/DC have been a pig of a band to deal with. I own a music supply company that supplies music for Digital Jukeboxes. AC/DC have refused to grant licences to put their music on digital jukeboxes in Australia. That's right, go to a pub in Australia and you can't play AC/DC whilst having a beer. AC/DC need to get there act together... Not happy coping the flack from angry clients for not having AC/DC when it's the band's "up you Jack" atitude.....

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9. Rod on December 22, 2010 7:14 AM writes...

Most of the songs on their albums are junk, with one or two good songs thrown in to sell the album. No wonder they don't want to sell singles.

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10. Rod on December 22, 2010 7:14 AM writes...

Most of the songs on their albums are junk, with one or two good songs thrown in to sell the album. No wonder they don't want to sell singles.

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11. Scott on April 5, 2012 10:00 PM writes...

Acdc was the first album i had as a all my life...i own an iphone with ac/dc packed in it that these dickheads could have made money on and didn't....screw them and thier bs.hey angus...kiss my ass!you haven't made a good song since the razors edge album you old washed up loser!all hail the black label society!

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12. LC on June 12, 2012 1:21 PM writes...

I agree with Rod. I am an AC/DC fan and always have been since I discovered Back in Black in my twenties, but I refuse to buy entire albums for the one (or if you are lucky) two good songs on each one. I do not believe they are attempting to preserve "the art" by requiring the consumer to purchase the entire album - but instead trying to maximize their own profits. Can we say the pot is calling the kettle black?

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