Apple Denies Allegations of Thuggish Treatment of Musicians

Despite reports to the contrary, an Apple representative tells Rolling Stone that the company is not threatening to remove music from its iTunes Store by artists who do not sign up for its new streaming service Apple Music. “It will not be taken off,” a spokesperson for the company says.

The controversy arose when Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe took to Twitter with a series of missives alleging an official Apple rep had contacted him about the Apple Music service. The company is planning on offering the streaming service for free for its first three months, and it sparked controversy when news leaked that Apple did not intend to pay labels royalties on music streamed during that time period. Newcombe, however, claimed the company bullied him during his Apple Music negotiations.

“They said we want to stream your music free for three months,” he began his tweets, collected in full at Fact. “I said what if I say no, and they said, ‘We’ll take your music off iTunes.’ Hardball? Fuck these satanic corporations.” He went on to write, “The biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for three months and pay me nothing – [if] I say no, I’m banned…. My guess is that they will come out of the gate with shit streaming for free or low cost then blow everyone away with higher quality streams. Devils. They shouldn’t threaten people to work for free. It’s not ok for these fucking idiots to decide art has no value.”

A representative for Newcombe did not immediately reply to a request for comment or evidence of these tactics. 

When Apple’s streaming service launches later this month, it will be facing formidable competition. Spotify added video and original programing last month, and it announced a new partnership with Starbucks. Meanwhile, Jay Z’s megastar-endorsed Tidal – despite its CEO leaving and its app falling out of the iTunes store’s most downloaded apps chart – continues to feature exclusive content from Jay Z and Madonna, among others. This competition is likely why Apple Music is testing a market penetration system, offering its service for free before switching to paid and ad-supported options that will complement a free radio program.

When Rolling Stone asked Apple executive Eddy Cue about the difficulty of getting labels on board for the company’s three-month trial period when the service was announced, he said, “There’s lots of negotiations that go on with all of that.” In the same interview, Jimmy Iovine addressed the general concern among artists who want to be fairly compensated by streaming services. “A lot of artists are confused,” he said. “If you get 100 million streams on a song and you’re only being paid on 20 percent, the check’s not going to look good. The money’s not going to look fair.”

Asked how Apple Music would improve that, Cue addressed consumer perceptions. “People will pay for great services,” he said. “They said they wouldn’t pay 99 cents for a song but they did. We’ve always believed that. When you go to work, you don’t work for free; nobody works for free. Nobody can say, ‘I want to work for free.’ Nobody says that.”

Apple Music’s three-month free trial begins on June 30th.

Career Hiccups

career-hiccupsI’ve gotten a few requests lately to address “career hiccups” — how to deal with failing the bar, being awkward with coworkers, making a huge mistake — and I think this is a great question. So: let’s discuss.

For my $.02, I think that YOU are the biggest hurdle to get over after a career hiccup. You can say the right thing in the moment and after the fact, and coworkers either accept you or they don’t — but until you forgive yourself you’ll never be at the top of your game again. I remember a time in my career when I started a list of all the screw-ups I’d made, slight or otherwise. As in, an Excel spreadsheet (because that’s how I roll). And you can sit there and say, objectively, “Kat, that is crazy,” but in the moment it made perfect sense to me. Let’s remember everything I ever did wrong, in a sort-able chart! (Let’s just say this idea didn’t work out for the best.)

One of the quotes I think of often is from Eleanor Roosevelt: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” I think, for most people, your mistakes leave their mind once the issue is resolved. If someone else is dwelling on one of your mistakes, the best way to get over it is to do better and show improvement — which is hard to do when you’re still apologizing for and punishing yourself for something in the past.

Another great quote, this time from Emerson — I have the magnet form of this on the front of my fridge: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Readers, how have you gotten over career hiccups in the past? Have you ever worked with someone who had a career hiccup — how did it affect your opinion of them, and how did they regain your good graces? (Have any other favorite quotes to get you through the rough times?) 

Psst: we’ve talked about the imposter syndrome before, as well as when low self esteem affects your career.

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Will your self-driving car be programmed to save you, or others?

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The trolley problem is a thought experiment that puts a person in a lose-lose situation and forces them to react. The same concept is being applied to autonomous vehicles to help determine how they should react in an accident.

Continue reading Will your self-driving car be programmed to save you, or others?

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‘Mother Emanuel’ Church Suffers A New Loss In Charleston

The church that was the scene of Wednesday’s mass shooting has survived a string of challenges, from racism to an earthquake. Emanuel took its current name at the end of the Civil War.

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Another Look at the Air Jordan 7 “Cigar & Champagne” Pack

Trailing last years Air Jordan 6 “Cigar and Champagne” Pack that celebrated Michael Jordan’s first championship in his sixth signature shoe, the revered theme continues this year with the aptly titled Air Jordan 7 “Cigar & Champagne” Pack. With ties to MJs second title run, the celebratory pack highlights the Air Jordan 7 in two […]

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Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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