Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RIAA: "We killed Muxtape, and we're darn proud of it"

Ars Technica is reporting that the RIAA is cheerfully admitting that it forced the closure of Muxtape, citing "the sound of people enjoying music" as its reason. Oh, alright, then:

"For the past several months, we have communicated concerns to Muxtape on behalf of our members," the spokesperson told Ars. "Muxtape has not yet obtained authorization from our member companies to host or stream copies of their sound recordings."

And is the RIAA trying to find a solution to the problem of killing off yet another initiative that was introducing people to new music?

Not really, no:
The RIAA says it has been in communication with the site over the past several months over the getting the "illegal content" taken down. In order to get the RIAA's official blessing, Muxtape would likely have to sign a licensing agreement and begin paying royalties à la last.fm and Pandora. An agreement would dissipate the legal gray cloud hanging over Muxtape, but the royalty burden may well prove onerous, as industry stalwarts like Pandora are considering closing up shop due to the high royalty rates demanded by rightsholders.

So many people will go elsewhere; others will just listen to a little less music. Nobody wins.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's a question. If somebody was legitimately using muxtape for uploading their own material and was successfully selling it through the provided links, couldn't they sue the RIAA for lost sales? I mean they could always pull the old music industry trick of making up a random figure of how much money they've "lost" and multiply by it by whatever the temperature is.

Alternatively, isn't it about time smaller labels started suing them for all the losses. I mean there are apparently 1600 member labels all of whom, as far as I can see, are going to be loosing sales because of the various ridiculous actions of these self-serving bullies.

simon h b said...

My understanding is the smaller labels role in the RIAA is to provide legitimacy by making it look like a broad-based organisation but, much as the way the UK always make the Eurovision final no matter how rubbish we are, the majors underwrite the organisation and pretty much fix its policies. But it would be fascinating to see some of them try...

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