Postet til: DRM, English-articles, Musikk og lyd & NRK

NRK pulls «Our daily Beatles» podcast because of rights


(this is an English version of NRK må dessverre stoppe «Vår daglige Beatles» – for our international readers)

Yesterday we wrote that NRK is podcasting all 212 episodes of the radio series «Our daily Beatles» – with the original music – for free. Some thought this was too good to be true. And it was…

Our new agreement with rights holder TONO gives us rights to publish radio and TV shows we aired a long time ago. But the agreemnt NRK has with rights holders IFPI and FONO only allows us to publish shows that has been aired the last four weeks. And since «Our daily Beatles» was aired in 2007, we have to pull it from the podcast (see below for details about the agreements).

This is not how we would like things to be!

But we can’t break our agreements with the rights holders.

The Beatles – bilde fra The library of Congress

Coverage

The Beatles podcast got massive international coverage:

The Guardian:

Effectively, every track in the Beatles official catalogue will be released this month by NRK. But each song, from P.S. I Love You to I Am the Walrus, is preceded by three minutes of decidedly un-Liverpudlian commentary.

News.com: Beatles songs now available for free.

Rolling Stone:

Whether this Norway deal represents a thaw in the Beatles’ stance toward digital downloads remains to be seen.

Ars Technica: Norwegian podcast puts entire Beatles catalog online—legally

Boingboing: Free, legal downloads of every Beatles song

Digg: Over 200 people have digged it so far. Best comments (in our opinion):

Thanks to TONO (same as RIAA in the states) for finally taking the first step into the 21. century.

I wish I spoke Norwegian, seems like the comments before each song would be interesting.

Three agreements

NRK has agreements with three major rights holder: TONO, FONO og IFPI.

TONO has the rights for Norwegian composers and writers – the people who write the lyrics and the music.
FONO represents the rights for Norwegian record companies.
IFPI represents the rights for international record companies.

NRK recently got a new agreement with TONO where we pay a considerable amount of money to be able to use music from TONO’s members on tv, radio and new media. This agreements gives us the right to podcast shows with music, as long as it isn’t more than 70% or 42 minutes per hour.

Broadcasting director Annika Biørnstad in NRK og CEO Cato Strøm in TONO signed a new rights agreement in November 2007 (photo: Glenn Slydal Johansen).

Both NRK and TONO er very happy with the new agreement. It gives NRK the possibility to create new services online with our huge archive. Composers and musicians earn a lot when we play their music on NRKs 3 tv-channels, 13 radiochannels and online.

The NRK-TONO agreement is unique, and we in NRK salutes TONO for their vision. People’s media habits have changed dramatically the latest years, with MP3-players, music without DRM, bittorrent, MySpace Music, Last.FM/Pandora and streaming of full albums online (like Britney Spears did with «Circus»).

So why stop the Beatles podcast

The Beatles comes under our agreement with IFPI, which says that we only can put up shows for download that were aired the latest four weeks, and where the music is less than 70% of the show’s length.

«Our daily Beatles» were aired in 2007 (not 2001 as we wrote yesterday), so we have to pull the podcast. If it was aired today, we could have podcasted the next four weeks within the agreement.

So why not send the show again on one of your channels?
This is a question people have asked several times already. We could have done it, but choose not to.

Negotiatons with IFPI

NRK are negotiationg with IFPI these days. Our former agreement actually ran out the 31. December 2008. We do hope to get an agreement that is just as good as the TONO agreement mentioned above. Both consumers, NRK, artists and record companies will win if we can make our archives available for the public. NRK has several hundred thousand video clips in our archive, and if we only can put up the latest four weeks for podcasting/download, the new services will only have 1% of our content. Which is – lame.

We need agreements – like the one we have got with TONO – where we can put our archives online with few limitations – for your listening and viewing pleasure!

What is NRK and NRKbeta?

NRK is the major tv and radio station in Norway. The BBC of Norway if you like. We are funded by lisence fee like the BBC. For more information – see our English about page. NRKbeta.no is NRKs Norwegian technology website with some occasional English articles. E-mail nrkbeta at gmail dot com if you want to talk – and these guys work at NRKbeta.

42 kommentarer

  1. >> So why not send the show again on one of your channels?
    >> This is a question people have asked several times already.
    >> We could have done it, but choose not to.

    Sorry, this is crap! You(!) choose not to? You triggered an avalanche.

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  2. @reader: As we didn’t have the rights for more than four weeks, and the agreement with IFPI is under negotiation, we wouldn’t want to do something we could have to change tomorrow again. I’m sorry you feel that way, but we did a mistake and have to follow the agreements we make with the rights holders.

    @leo kuipers: We publish English articles from time to time. I wish we had time to translate all our articles to English, but unfortunately we don’t. But if you go to the frontpage of NRKbeta.no, and scroll below the latest posts etc., there’s a function that uses Google Translate on all the articles. You can translate to almost 20 languages. The result is so-so but you get the meaning most of the time.

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  3. Ærlig talt.. Trodde dere virkelig at der skulle slippe unna med dette…? Jeg kjenner jeg blir lettere provosert av den naive dusteholdningen vi klarer å fremføre i dette landet. Snakk om å miste ansikt for hele verden. De virker nesten som om dere har blitt så begeistret over et tilsynelatende smutthull at dere rett og slett ikke har gått grundigere til verks enn å skrike ut EUREKA, VI HAR LURT SYSTEMET!! På tide å oppføre seg som en proffesjonell aktør, NRK.

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  4. @Ringo: Som vi har skrevet flere steder, så hadde dette vært helt fint om det var artister som var omfattet av TONO-avtalen.

    Vi har ikke trodd at vi har funnet et smutthull, fordi den kontrakten vi har med TONO nettopp er som den er FORDI vi skal kunne tilby mere av alt det kule vi har lagd som nedlasting/podkasting (og fremtidige nye tjenester) til dere.

    Så har du jo kjemperett i at det var uprofesjonelt at vi ikke sjekket alt grundig før vi publiserte «Vår daglige Beatles» som podkast.

    At dette skal representere en «naiv dusteholdning» som vi som nasjon har, får du stå for selv. Jeg synes Norge er langt framme på bruk av nett, vi er langt framme på forbrukerrettigheter – og viser vei i mange saker.

    Da NRK la ut sin mest populære serie som bittorrent inspirerte vi kringkastere over hele verden.

    link to nrkbeta.no

    I kveld har Apple fjernet DRM på iTunes, en sak som Forbrukerombudet i Norge har kriget mot i årevis. Ikke at jeg tror det norske Forbrukerombudet hadde noe som helst betydning for hva Apple og plateselskapene gjør med DRM. Men det viser at den norske tanken om at folk må få bestemme selv er riktig.

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  5. For ordens skyld, Øyvind – NRKBeta er i en klasse for seg selv, og da mener jeg første klasse. Dere er etter min mening norges beste nettside. Men jeg _blir_ provosert. Ganske enkelt fordi vi har en best-i-verden-holdning litt for ofte, uten egentlig å sjekke fakta. Noe jeg ikke forventer av NRK-Beta! Du ønsker sikkert dokumentasjon for denne påstanden men jeg lar være. Det er en subjektiv betraktning. Men denne Beatles-saken er en blemme.

    Jeg synes også, som du selv påpeker, at vi skal være veldig forsiktige med å utrope forbrukerombudet til seierherre i kampen mot DRM. Men jeg synes du går litt utover egen bedreviten i å kalle «jeg bestemmer selv» til en korrekt leveregel. Dette blir for politisk og tipper over i moralens store sandkasse, men, ta det for det det er værd; folk vet ikke alltid hva som er best. (og du som jobber i NRK bør jo vite dette… Ja jeg sikter til økosystemet NRK og etasjene med bedrevitere og beslutningstakere som helst burde jobbet på arkivet). Derfor har vi regler. Ja, trafikkregler, regler for skikk og regler for bruk. Regler ofte ikke du og jeg er enige i. Men kanskje regler som faktisk er best for oss alle. Når det er sagt – død over DRM!! For noe makkverk. Håper sonesystemet på DVD snart også må til pers.

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  6. Haha, what an embarrassing affair for the NRK brand! I bet the guys over at Bush House (all NRK viewers know that the Norwegian broadcaster really looks up to their British sister/auntie) all have a smirk grin on their faces now: «Silly NRK thought they ware such smart-asses.» :-D

    Oh, well. You did an honest mistake, at least.

    I know you’ve probably heard several ideas already, but how about persuading the guys responsible for making the programme schedule to join you for a «stunt» to really show Auntie Beeb and the rest of the IntarWebs 3.0 that NRK can really pull it off?

    During night you broadcast this boring SMS chat combined with a movie clip jukebox for HOURS! Why not put in one episode of «Our daily Beatles» each night? I bet all the _good_, repairing publicity NRK would get to actually manage this would be more profittable than 5+ minutes of that SMS-box. Then you can later upload it on the web for the real audience.

    [Or how about re-broadcasting the episodes of the audio records in binary by coding them into TeleText pages? I know you have several available pages that are not in use. Even if no one could decode the data, you still have broadcasted it so I guess you should be able to push it into the Tubes as well afterwards (assuming your IFPI deal covers this way of broadcasting). I know Teletext is really low-rate traffic, but one episode per day should still be feasible :-) ]

    Oh, well.

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  7. It’s no problem, the Beatles songs are widely availale online. There’s just no way to download them while the artists get paid. But that’s not a problem for the public, if the artists don’t care to authorize any such places.

    Good luck in your negotiations with IFPI.

    I suspect that if multilingual Norwegians had access to your original broadcasts (en masse, or even better one at a time as you rebroadcast them), they would be happy to contribute volunteer translations of the introductions (into various languages). If you posted their uploaded translations, then downloaders could vote on which translation to their language was most popular (and also flag spam or obscene uploads for removal). In the end you could keep one or several translations per language, and build quite an amazing international archive — of not just the songs, but the commentary.

    There are community-subtitling efforts occurring in several places online as well (for video), e.g. opensubtitles.org.

    Indeed, having the community transcribe the audio report about each song into simple text would make it findable with search engines. Those uploading translations would be asked to upload both text and their own reading of the text, suitable for radio or podcast.

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  8. It’s a shame…the Beatles podcast was awesome (I managed to listen to 2 shows before this debacle), not just for the free music but the comments if you know the language (I’m swedish so it worked alright). NRK must be the most progressive broadcasting company on this earth, and I really envy the norwegians for that. If I lived in Norway, I might actually have a TV!

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  9. «NRK is the major tv and radio station in Norway. The BBC of Norway if you like. We are funded by lisence fee like the BBC.»

    It’s a «licence» fee, in case you are interested in the spellcheck.

    Thanks for the English translation, anyway.

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