Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aw Fuck...

Muxtape is down. The website's blog says that no artists or labels complained. I hope that Muxtape can come out of this unscathed.

I really feel that the RIAA is overreaching here. This broadening copyright enforcement nonsense is quickly becoming ridiculous. As I have said before, how is Muxtape really that much different from radio? To make another analogy, isn't a website like Muxtape just the piano roll of our times?

Muxtape is merely a digital version of cassette mixtapes. Muxtape has taken pains to ensure that songs cannot be downloaded, that songs are accompanied with a link to Amazon's mp3 page, and that tapes have a variety of song selections (no tracks from the same artist/release on the same tape).

The fact that it is digital shouldn't make any difference, but the fact that it does means that the RIAA is still living in analog fantasy land.

[UPDATE]: The RIAA has released a statement regarding Muxtape:

For the past several months, we have communicated our legal concerns with the site and repeatedly tried to work with them to have illegal content taken down. Muxtape was hosting copies of copyrighted sound recordings without authorization from the copyright owners. Making these recordings available for streaming playback also requires authorization from the copyright owners. Muxtape has not obtained authorization from our member companies to host or stream copies of their sound recordings.
[UPDATE 2]: Ars Technica reports that Muxtape's future is likely grim:
Actually, it looks like Muxtape may indeed be closed indefinitely. 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.

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