Sunday, August 15, 2004

Billboard/Reuters continues the MP3 blog storyline

The latest article on the "controversy" is here.

RIAA's spokeman responds to Billboard:
"It's up to individual copyright owners to decide how their works should be distributed," says a spokesperson for the Recording Industry Assn. of America. "Those who choose an MP3 blog to boost attention -- that is their choice, because they're the ones making the decision, rather than some third-party profiteer deciding for them. In terms of piracy, it's an issue we're monitoring, and we could decide at any time to make this an enforcement priority."
Translation: We realize that the recording industry sees this development as an alternative means to market their product. Our hands are full with all the other lawsuits we have initiated against peer-to-peer users. We reserve the right to go after them if the industry sees fit.


Jason said...

It's so hard to trust the RIAA. Someone should make a list of all of the 'representatives' who have given quotes about mp3 blogs. It would be an interesting analysis to the issue. If fair use wasn't such a grey area, my whole blog format would change (for the better).

Jim H said...

True that. But it's clear industry is watching this development as a cheap way to promote - makes you wonder if they haven't already set up their own media-friendly blogs just like they set up fake websites to promote films. I search to find out if somehing is being widely sold before I put it up. I may discuss some of these artists (Die Warzau, De La Soul, Public Enemy) at a later date but wouldn't presume to put their music up especially when most online music retailers and even their own websites offer plenty of samples. The only exception I have made is for the Minutemen.

Jim H said...

On second thought, I should probably heed you since you are the guy with the law background (I did take a course in common law and my takeaway is that people under 18 can't make contracts and common law is mostly based on common sense).

Jason said...

I am not a lawyer, I just read alot of legal material because it happens to be my job to do so. I find myself reading things that are out of the scope of the legal subjects I work on because of this. Right now, I think blogs like yours are pretty safe. I think they (RIAA) might go after suspect blogs (if they choose to do so) because the authors might be getting songs via P2P. They would have to show that they actually own the music they post ... which would be a great irony (if the music they post is from a P2P network) because many people post statements saying to support the artists and an amazon link to the album.

Eric said...

I think alot of people have a false sense of security by putting up that big ol disclaimer, which is akin to feeling safe simply by asking the undercover narc if he is cop. I too fall into that trap. Perhaps I'm naive in thinking that if I stay away from major label stuff I'll be OK. Of course, it so tough to know what a "major" is anymore. And sometimes I slip and post something great that I forgot wasn't "indie" ( like Jawbox ). I'm hoping that my personal site flies under the radar ( and by all stat counts, it is ) due to the independent nature of the artists I like. The bigger threat from the RIAA may eventually be to the blog hosts like blogger, livejournal etc. than to individual bloggers.

I'm not qualified to debate any of the legal aspects so I won't touch that. I can see both sides of the issue, but right the passion outweighs the prudence.

It may be a moot point anyway. I can totally see myself burning out on this. I already spend way too much time thinking about all of this shit.

Sorry for rambling

Jim H said...

I'm with you Eric for the most part. But I can't see them going after Blogger or Live Journal - they don't host music files after all. Maybe they can try and intimidate them but that's about it.

I actually got so sick of the music industry that I stopped listening to music for about 10 years. Really - I mean I bought a CD here and there but just couldnt' bring myself to care after seeing so many good bands get swallowed and chewed up or just drop to the bottom in obscurity because they had outlived their usefulness as the "next big thing" (to borrow another blog's title). It was online music (first iTunes and the power of a 5000 song digital jukebox, then mp3s from bands, then mp3 blogs). I never did peer-to-peer -- it just seemed ... wrong. can check my iTunes, cduniverse, B/N and amazon account. I think I've put more in than I have "taken out" via MP3 blogs.

But then the music industry and their front man has always been over-reactive. Durign the '80s they tried to ban cassette tape recording. Seriously. There were bills drawn up and Congressmen intoning about the evils of people taping music and giving it to friends. It's laughable now but the shit was always rolling... it's not new at all.

Anonymous said...

There already are industry fronted MP3 blogs out there. They know it is a great promo tool, especially since one or two songs appear at most and only for a limited time. That might change as full album sales of a material product (CD) fall to single song sales of data files (MP3). All these threatening words are, if anything, just laying the ground work so if they do go after a blogger it will be "We told you so."

That said, I've been doing an MP3 blog of 99% out of print vinyl stuff. Plenty of it appeared on major labels. No complaints. No cease & desist orders. I know two bloggers who have gotten C&D orders and they were from single band members or artists who put out a short run indie single 20 years ago and who mistakenly think that they could be making thousands if not millions from it. The bloggers have removed the offending content and that was that.

Anonymous for understandable reasons...

Scott Soriano said...

RE: home taping legislation: the industry tried to do the same with DAT records (they succeeded in keeping tarrifs too high for consumer purchase) and with CD recorders. They were undermined by PC cd burners. They tried to code CDs but hackers cracked it. Finally consumer audio cd records were available to the market. Who were the first to develop and sell a consumer model? Philips, one of the five majors and who also incidently own the patent to the audio CD. Philips also own the patent to the cassette tape. The industry is not the monolith that RIAA would like you to believe. Soem know when to cut their loses, step forward and cash in.