Apple Responds: “We’re Not Forcibly Removing Anyone from iTunes…”

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Someone’s lying, and Apple says it isn’t them.

“It will not be taken off,” an Apple spokesman told Rolling Stone this morning.

The “it” refers to the entire catalog of Brian Jonestown Massacre, whose frontman inquired about the consequences of refusing to license Apple Music, the streaming service slated for delivery June 30th.  Earlier this week, frontman Anton Newcombe tweeted about conversation, noting quite clearly that Apple would remove all of this information if he tried to opt out of Music.


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So what really happened in that conversation?  That sparked a massive debate over who said what, including the possibility that Apple’s support team simply said the wrong thing, or, that Newcombe is flat out lying.  Another possibility is that Apple will simply refuse to promote content that isn’t fully licensed across all iTunes services, including Apple Music.

Hovering in the backdrop is YouTube, another mega-player that has also threatened to yank content for artists refusing to participate in premium music service, YouTube Music Key.  In a scary similarity, that was also communicated in a phone conversation with an artist, then flatly denied by the company.

17 Responses

  1. Pinocchio

    Yeah, but DMN said they did, so Apple must be lying.
    Also, Anton Newcombe is the most important artist in the world, wich is why he is the only one Apple is putting pressure on and no one else. Without him , Apple Music is doomed to fail.

    • Perhaps Apple Will Miss Taylor Swift's 1989, Though

      A message from Taylor Swift:

      “I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music […] Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing [I find it to be shocking, disappointing]

      This is not about me […] This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt “

      Read the rest on her tumblr.

      • Anonymous

        Also from Taylor Swift’s message to Apple:

        These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”

        Thank you, Ms. Swift!

        • Anonymous

          …and more from Taylor Swift’s message to Apple today:

          “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

  2. hahaha

    Yes, apple really cares about all that sweet sweet brian jonestown massacre money.
    cash cow.

  3. Anonymous

    So Apple has finally been forced to change its position — awesome!

    No need to work for free.

    All artists are free to opt out of Apple Music now!

  4. Anonymous

    “So what really happened in that conversation? That sparked a massive debate over who said what, including the possibility that Apple’s support team simply said the wrong thing,”

    @Paul Resnokoff : ARE YOU REALLY THAT DUMB ?
    Do you realise that @Appleofficial is a fake account with NO tweets and 500 followers ( since yesterday ) ?

    How about you leave “journalism” to journalists and open a blog about , I don’t know , Lego or Transformers ?

  5. Tim F.

    “So what really happened in that conversation? That sparked a massive debate over who said what, including the possibility that Apple’s support team simply said the wrong thing…”

    Let’s see: a guy who is known to not have the greatest mental stability nor the most balanced temperament goes off, posts innumerable inaccuracies (claiming Apple has $700 billion in cash, pays Chinese workers $1 per day, and many other patently false claims), posts utterly unrelated hatred because of his misunderstanding “Burn the Bay Area down starting with Cupertino… give back San Francisco to the Gays and Indians,” who continues to post idiocy in the face of being proven wrong and not being able to provide any evidence of another single artist who supposedly was threatened in the same manner, and even though he is still posting stupid, inaccurate screeds against Apple is utterly refusing to address any of the criticisms directed at his claims or to back up his own claims in any way whatsoever… While we continue to get lots of reactionary, ignorant, misinformed, self-defeating idiocy (for example, the claim that Mastered for iTunes — which has been around for a while — means that Apple is taking away final mastering control from producers, a headline that is still floating around even though the single source for the article is now an approved Apple Master and says it is a good thing) from digital music purveyors, independent labels, and others who are proving themselves just as stupid, self-defeating, scared, paranoid, and incapable of rational thought and good business practices as the old regime of manufactured pop acts, large music labels, and the RIAA/MPAA…

    Yeah, let’s pretend we can’t know what’s going on and that there is a possibility that an Apple rep misspoke or that Apple is pursuing a similar strategy as YouTube even after seeing how badly that went done… rather than taking this for what is most likely and logically the case: Newcombe is a misinformed, ignorant, lying, attention-seeking windbag who can’t be relied upon as a source of news, certainly not in the case of a controversial, single-sourced news piece.

    • Anonymous

      “give back San Francisco to the Gays and Indians”

      At least he isn’t boring. 🙂

      As for the accuracy of his statements — that’s not really interesting, is it? It takes people like him to get any kind of information from Apple.

      • Tim F.

        “As for the accuracy of his statements — that’s not really interesting, is it? It takes people like him to get any kind of information from Apple.”

        Umm, NO! If he’s completely and utterly inaccurate in his non-music-specific comments — facts that I know as a non-musician and are plainly available to one and all with an internet connection and five seconds — realities that are basic to any business, not just the music business — why would I take anything he says specific to music as factual and adding to the discussion? Why should I think he knows what makes for good business in any form, never mind in music, if he’s completely and utterly wrong?

        Here, I’ll pursue one of his points in a tangent: he claims Apple has $700 billion in cash. Completely and utterly ludicrous… Apple does however have a little under $200 billion — currently around $194 to be exact. But… $172 billion of that is held offshore and cannot be repatriated back to the US to pay for (the vast majority of) the royalties without massive tax penalties. That leaves $22 billion dollars in the US. But Apple has also issued more than $45 billion in debt (mostly) in the U.S, and virtually the entirety of the remaining $22 billion in the U.S. is now tied up in Apple’s dividend program and stock repurchase plan. Apple essentially has zero cash in the U.S. to pay for the royalties. Does that mean that Apple isn’t massively successful with enormous financial resources and an easy ability to pay for this expense (other than cash) and that their current cash situation (needing to use cash to preserve or enhance market valuations, a reticence to repatriate cash because of tex penalties, etc) isn’t of their own making and still the envy of all other worldwide major corporations? No, but it shows that I have some understanding of Newcombe’s new object of vitriol, basic economics, facts, and the reality which surrounds us all and that he very likely lacks such and therefore does not need to be weighed as a serious source (never mind the single source) for major financial and legal information related to Apple.

        As to whether or not Newcombe has gotten any information from Apple, I would firmly disagree. Newcombe has provided NO information whatsoever, has elicited NO NEW information from Apple whatsoever, and instead has exclusively been a source of DISinformation with absolutely no basis in fact or corroboration.

  6. So what about Beat1 - can you opt out?

    Is Apple forcibly removing artists from iTunes if they refuse to stream their songs on Beats1?

  7. Wooly

    Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything. Artist can always decline.