’s Singer: Corporate Abuse of Intellectual Property Is Out of Control

Jun 22, 2015 9:26 AM PST

BOSTON —’s Coleen Singer recently penned a piece on loss leaders and online commerce, saying corporate abuse of intellectual property is out of control and “seriously injuring” the livelihoods of content creators.

Singer wrote the piece looking at pop singer Taylor Swift’s bold move to hold back her new album from Apple because the Cupertino, Calif.-based company was unfairly withholding royalties from artists with its new streaming service because it was offering new customers 90-day trials without payment.

Apple, however, responded to Swift on Sunday night in a series of tweets from Eddy Cue, a key lieutenant of CEO Tim Cook, who said the company would flip-flop and pay artists for streaming music even during customers' free trial period.

But for Singer, the Apple royalty flap is just one of many loss-leader approaches that have potential to harm or are currently harming content creators. Singer wrote the commentary for news and commentary site

“YouTube seems to be making a little progress by allowing revenue share advertisements on videos that are uploaded by producers, and this might be a good first step to playing fair,” Singer wrote.

“But, such monoliths as Amazon Kindle Store, ITunes, Spotify, PornHub, etc., are continuing to require content producers to provide their works for free simply has to go.

“I certainly am no economist, but think the bright minds at those corporations could indeed figure out a formula for reimbursing content providers with a percentage of revenue based on either overall sales growth from these promotional programs, or in the case of the porn tubes, a percentage of the advertising revenue they generate for selling penis pills on the same page that our porn clips are viewed,” she wrote.

“As it stands now, Amazon, iTunes, the porn tubes and others see our creative works as simply ‘bait’ to bring in more market share to them to sell something other than our works.  They are the mousetrap. We are the cheese. Maybe it’s time to start paying for your cheese.

“And why does this matter to you?” she asked. “Imagine an online world with nothing but Wikipedia, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmo and YouPorn. Scary.”

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