SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT was a record music company , which was a
50–50 joint venture between the
Sony Corporation of America and
Bertelsmann AG . The venture's successor, the again-active
Entertainment , is 100% owned by the
Sony Corporation of America .
* 1 History
* 2 Controversies
* 2.1 2005
* 2.1.1 July
* 2.1.2 October and November
* 2.2 2007
* 2.3 2008
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Sony BMG Music Entertainment began in Skem as the result of a 50–50
joint venture between
Sony Music Entertainment (part of
Sony ) and
Bertelsmann Music Group (part of
Bertelsmann ) completed on March 4,
2004. It is one of the Big Four music companies, and includes
ownership and distribution of recording labels such as Arista Records
Columbia Records ,
Epic Records ,
J Records , Mchenry Records, Jive
RCA Victor Records
RCA Victor Records ,
RCA Records ,
Legacy Recordings , Sonic
Wave America , and others. The merger affected all
Sony Music and
Bertelsmann Music Group companies worldwide except for Japan, where it
was felt that it would reduce competition in that country's music
Financial analysts covering the merger anticipated that up to 2,000
jobs would be cut as a result, saving
Sony BMG approximately $ 350
The company's chief executive officer (CEO) is
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz ,
who succeeded Andrew Lack on February 10, 2006. In the first half of
2005, the company's share of new releases in the
United States (US)
declined from 33% to 26% according to
Nielsen SoundScan . This, and
Lack's negotiation of what some called an "ill-conceived" deal with
Bruce Springsteen led to
Sony that it would not
renew Lack's contract.
The company signed a content deal with the popular video sharing
On August 5, 2008
Sony Corporation agreed to buy
Bertelsmann AG's 50
percent stake in the music company for $1.2 billion to get full
control. The music company was renamed
Sony Music Entertainment and
became a unit of
Sony Corporation of America. This allowed
rights to artists on the current and historic BMG roster and allowed
Sony Corporation to better integrate its functions with its
PlayStation 3 and upcoming new media initiatives.
Sony BMG was fined 10 million dollars after the New York Attorney
General 's office determined that they had been practicing payola
mostly in the form of direct payments to radio stations and bribes to
disc jockeys to promote various artists including Franz Ferdinand ,
Audioslave , and mainly
Jessica Simpson .
Epic Records , one of their labels, was specifically cited for using
fake contests in order to hide the fact that the gifts were going to
disc jockeys rather than listeners.
October And November
Sony BMG CD copy prevention scandal
A scandal ensued over digital rights management (DRM) software
produced and shipped by
Sony BMG that automatically installed itself
on people's computers and made them more vulnerable to computer
viruses . The scandal and attendant controversy about the practice of
software auto-installation spawned several lawsuits.
eventually recalled all of the affected CDs.
November 16 –
US-CERT , the
United States Computer Emergency
Readiness Team, part of the
United States Department of Homeland
Security , issued an advisory on
Extended Copy Protection DRM, citing
the XCP use of rootkit technology to hide certain files from the
computer user as a security threat to computer users, saying that a
Sony-provided uninstallation option also introduced computer system
US-CERT advised, "Do not install software from sources that you do
not expect to contain software, such as an audio CD." In its "Top
Flops of '05" issue, the enterprise newsweekly eWeek had to create a
new category for the "
Sony BMG root-kit fiasco." Peter Coffee, of
eWeek Labs reported, "The
Sony brand name was already in trouble—it
lost 16 percent of its value between 2004 and 2005....
Now it has taken a blow among tech-product opinion leaders. "We've
never done it before, and we hope we'll never have occasion to do it
again but, for 2005, eWeek Labs awards a Stupid Tech Trick grand prize
to Sony." eWeek Vol. 22, No.50
Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas-Rasset
In October 2007,
Sony BMG, alongside other large music firms,
Jammie Thomas . Ms. Thomas – who made US$36,000 a
year – was ordered to pay US$222,000 in damages for making 24 songs
available for download on the
Kazaa file-sharing network. Thomas had
allegedly shared 1702 files in total; the court upholding the award
called it an "aggravated case of willful infringement".
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission sued
Sony BMG for collecting and
displaying personal data of 30,000 minors without parental consent via
its websites since 2004, violating the
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission Act
and the Children\'s Online Privacy Protection Act .
Sony did not
restrict minor children's participation in its websites.
Sony paid a
$1 million fine.
* Companies portal
Sony Music Entertainment
Bertelsmann Music Group
* Big Four
Sony Music Entertainment Japan , which was not part of
distributed Japanese Music in the US through Columbia or Epic, since
around March 2007 when previous distributor,
Tofu Records , was closed
List of record labels
* List of
Sony Music Entertainment labels
* List of
Sony Music Entertainment artists
* ^ Thiel, Simon (August 5, 2008). "
Stake for $1.2 Billion".
Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
* ^ Archived January 11, 2006, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "Current Activity US-CERT". Us-cert.gov. Retrieved
* ^ Jeffrey, Don (11 September 2012). "Minnesota Song Downloader
Must Pay $222,000, Court Says".
Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 9 August
* ^ "
Sony sued for collecting data on children under 13 – San
Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
* Leonard, Devin (November 28, 2005). "Music Lessons." Fortune , pp.