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FTC says, "Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers."

Is ArtistServices.net truthful? Are they misleading?

Following is correspondence for a case study on misleading advertising, unsubstantiated claims, and unsolicited email (UCE or spam) to musicians, artists, bands, and performers.


The following message was sent to you from a visitor to your page on MP3.com. MP3.com is not responsible for its content.

_______________________________________________________________________

Hello,

I was just checking out your mp3 page and thought you might be interested in setting up your IUMA web page--it's free, and IUMA pays ALL it's artists! AND it drives more traffic to your mp3 page! IUMA is a powerful resource for artists and bands on the Web, and it is the launching pad to the EMusic Network, which includes IUMA.com, EMusic.com, RollingStone.com, DownBeatJazz.com, and Yahoo Digital.

If you're interested, just CLICK this address to link to IUMA's artist sign-up area (or copy/paste it in your browser address window):

http://blahblahblah/

Good Luck!!!
ArtistServices.net

P.S. If you already have a IUMA page, please disregard this message.


To ArtistServices.net:
hehehe... did you really look at my page?

we'd love to do a case study on you, too!

visit:
http://widgette.com/MP3dotCom/What_Went_Wrong.html


On yes, I'm just an mp3 artist myself, I check out artists' pages/songs every day, and let artists know about the IUMA deal (as an affiliate).

Cool page and tunes!


An email was sent to Ted Ray asking where we could hear his music... several days pass... still no response.

dear Ted Ray,

did you get my last email asking you where i can hear your music?

we are quite interested in your endeavors and want to make sure we portray you in a fair light.

please respond at your earliest convenience.

thank you.


Hello, Thanks for your interest, but we're taking our sounds back to the studio for remixes with new equipment--then we'll put the tracks up under a new band name. We'll let you know then, as soon as we're up.

Have a great new year!

Ted


So, we write Ted and ask if there is any reason we can't conduct an interview?

question number 1:
What musical instruments do you play?

A day or two passes with no reply. We send another question.

question number 2:
what is the name of your band?

A day or two passes with no reply. We send another question.

"Ted, have you been getting my questions?"

question number 3: what can you tell me about the band?

A day or two passes with no reply. We send another email.

ted,

have my questions been tooooo boring to answer? maybe this will help lively things up?

4) "You will be affiliated with ArtistServices.net Internet Radio Network of successful mp3 artists, including our #1 ranked artists!"

what does this mean... and, how does one become unaffiliated?

5) "I decided to join mp3's New Music Army and recruit artists to "join the revolution."

do you explain, as well as, get signatures from the artists you intend to exploit?

6) "Your song will then appear on the station forever."

do you explain to your artists that you are acquiring their musical publishing rights?

7) are you aware that you website, http://ArtistServices.net/ , has severe privacy and security violations?

please respond at your earliest convenience (as we will start publishing the article this week... and hope to allow you to present yourself in a favorable light.)


Hello,

No one is required to stay on the stations--artists are not required to sign anything to be added to the station. No one is exploited. I really don't understand what you mean. I guess it should say "will remain forever, unless you request to be removed." That's never come up, though--as you know, most artists are happy to added to stations. Publishing rights are held by the publishing companies, and writers never give up any of their ownership to us, none are held by ArtistServices. ArtistServices has nothing to do with this, that's between the artists and, if they choose to use one, their publishing companies or record labels.

Frankly, I don't quite understand who your are, why you have such a bone to pick with us, . . . We're just trying to help artists, and have been doing so successfully for some time. Any artist is free to join our group, or not. And their joining us is fully nonexclusive, no ownership involved. All may come and go as they please.

Why are you so disturbed by our services? We've never had any complaints from artists we help--just the contrary, we hear praise for our work regularly.

At any rate, I hope this helps you. If there is anything I can do to help your better understand our services, please let me know. I really do not understand what you mean by "security/privacy violations." If there is anything stated incorrectly, we'd want to clarify/correct. Can you explain what you mean?

Regarding your threatening tone about publishing your article, I don't think anyone has ever heard of you or your business--what you publish is your business, but I suggest you get your facts straight to protect yourself from personal liabilities.

Thanks


Ted,

I've been spammed!
Hmmmm... don't you remember how this all started? You contacted me with unsolicited commercial email (UCE). Not only that, but:

Have you spent any time at http://www.ftc.gov/? Are you aware that what you are doing is against the law? Would you have preferred that I go straight to the FTC with our complaint? As far as the bands you represent, are they aware of your activities? Hmmmmm... I wonder if they share in your legal liability?

"No one is exploited."

Contradiction: a statement form that has only false substitution instances is said to be self-contradictory... and is logically false.
Irving M. Copi -- Introduction To Logic (1982)

Your website touts "Music Promotion". Promotion is a form of exploitation. How can you claim to promote musicians without exploiting them?

Intellectual Property Rights
You are exploiting the bands, individuals, their likeness, image, and music for your own commercial gains.

On your website, I see commercial advertising for your own services, as well as, many other companies. (e.g. www.free-banners.com, www.911hits.com, ics.hitbox.com, yup.com, www.compubank.com, www.cafepress.com, www.vstore.com, elance.com, www.abysscasino.com just to name a few)

Are your artists sharing in these revenues? Aren't you aware that their have been lawsuits against companies for behaving in this manner... MP3.com in particular?

Misleading And/Or A Failure
How can you be a musician that is in business to promote musicians... and I can't hear or find any of your music? Were you a liar when you said, "I'm just an mp3 artist myself." Are you just a failure at your core business? Or, are you both?

Privacy & Security
On this matter, I do not know where to begin. You, your company, and your website appear to be behaving in a socially irresponsible way with privacy rights and security standards. Do you remember spamming me? That is a privacy violation. Are you aware of the cookies, Shockwave/Flash, frames and Java Script running on your website? Those are privacy and security violations to everyone that visits your website. How about the musicians privacy and security? I found no privacy, nor security, policy at your website. That is a privacy violation of anyone that has submitted information to you.

Shall I go on? These were just the first few thoughts that came to mind... I'd bet with a little help we can think of some more?

Hey, why not ask the audience? Ohhh... that's right... you said, "I don't think anyone has ever heard of you or your business."

But, that's cuz this ain't about business... it's about music, isn't it? We have scores of millions of viewers to our network. So, what do you say we hear what the audience has to say?


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