Music Industry Continues To Shoot Self In Foot; Forces Pandora To Block Non-US Listeners

from the nice-work dept

It’s really depressing to watch the recording industry so consistently shoot itself in the foot, focusing on capturing every immediate dollar, rather than recognizing the ability of using music as free promotion to build up the size of their market. The latest case is that, a popular streaming music recommendation service (which is already facing some challenges due to the new webcaster rates) is being forced to block all non-US users of its service. This is because the recording industry wants Pandora to sign separate licensing deals in every country where it has listeners — a nearly impossible task. Anyone who’s used Pandora for more than about five minutes realizes what a great service it is for the entire recording industry. It really does a good job of recommending new music to listeners — the type of new music that fits in with what they like, and that they’re much more likely to support with money. However, rather than recognizing the numerous ways that Pandora can grow their overall market, the recording industry has to shut it down since it won’t pay them even more than they’re already being paid. This harms the recording industry in numerous ways, and it’s amazing they haven’t figured that out yet.

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Comments on “Music Industry Continues To Shoot Self In Foot; Forces Pandora To Block Non-US Listeners”

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Nick (user link) says:

This one really should be a no brainer – I am a (UK based) big fan of Pandora, and have discovered and bought music by many artists I first heard on their service.

That and friends with similar tastes is the only I get to know of new music I like, but these days it’s mainly Pandora.

Am I the only person who remembers the days of pluggers, back when music companies pestered and even bribed DJ’s to get their products in front of customers via radio?

This really is corporate suicide.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Stupid *and* ignorant

It’s stupid to want to cut off foreign listeners, and ignorant to believe it can actually be done. Any technically savvy web surfer knows that a proxy can be used to make your traffic look like it comes from somewhere else, and I’m sure Google will soon fill up with searches for information on how to listen to Pandora from outside the U.S.

Let’s just declare the internet an anarchist nation and be done with it, shall we? It’s silly to (try to) differentiate between internet users based on geographic location.

mike allen says:

Re: Stupid *and* ignorant

I agree as stupid as RIAA trieing to stop outside the US stations being heard there which i guess will be next as predicted my myself several times and oh yes forcing their extreme charges on stations outside the US As I run a internet station i will gaurentee we wont give in to the B*******

Mitch the Bitch says:

Re: Stupid *and* ignorant

Wow what a perfect subject line Wolfger.

Being a vet Ive seen chaos, and trust me, some pony-tailed pansy sitting in mommies basement in front of his PC is ill-prepared for *real* chaos. This despite the current romantisism of “chaos” that the lunatic left and it media minions currently portray on the daily newscast. To believe different is plain ignorant and history is my proof. Do you have any proof that chaos works or is in any way shape or form good for civilization? Thought not.

Kelly Goode (user link) says:

music industry lags behind must find 9thxchange

This article proves once again how far behind the music industry can be. Why is entertainment the only product that a person can’t own and re-sell? Do they not understand that the leaders in the industry can continue to make revenue by reselling their content? The 9thxchange does. CEO John Bonaccorso recognized this trend five years ago when he envisioned The 9thxchange marketplace. The 9thxchange offers ANY type of digital piece of content for buy, sell, or re-sell. The 9thXchange marketplace is the newest way to bring together buyers and sellers of digital content. The service dramatically reduces content piracy by offering the seller lifetime royalties—even on exchanges between consumers. Moreover, the service accommodates all technology platforms, file types and creators.

Dosquatch says:

Re: music industry lags behind must find 9thxchang

Ooohhh, sorry. Carpet-bombing a marketoid piece in the middle of a tech weenie discussion thread is worth about neg1,000,000,000 to your score… you don’t even win the crappy home game. In fact, your score is low enough you owe us the crappy home game. Thanks for playing, though, do come again.

That said, I do actually want to take issue with one particular element of your advertisement:

Why is entertainment the only product that a person can’t own and re-sell? Do they not understand that the leaders in the industry can continue to make revenue by reselling their content? […] The service dramatically reduces content piracy by offering the seller lifetime royalties—even on exchanges between consumers.

Or, rather, several issues at once. The fact of the matter is, I can resell CD’s and DVD’s, and the market for used material is doing quite well. One might even say “thriving”. And I see no reason for an author/director/singer/producer/whathaveyou to make *ahem* “lifetime royalties on exchanges between consumers” off of this business. Sony makes no further profit should I resell my DVD player. HP makes no further profit should I resell my computer. In fact, neither does Microsoft even though my copy of Windows goes along with the machine. Oh, noes!

And there is no causitive chain of events that you can show to substantiate your statement that offering such lifetime royalties will have any effect on the levels of piracy. In fact, I’d much more expect a negative correlation there than a positive one.

Anonymous Coward says:

I see this as a good thing. Personally I saw rumors that Warner was planning a hostile takeover of EMI in order to stop them from selling DRMless music. Good. The more often and tighter the RIAA and the major labels tighten that noose, the more people will go seek alternative sources of music that actually benefit both the consumers and the artists (and despite what the RIAA and major labels claim, I have more than enough links to refute any and all claims that they are actually out to help/benefit the artists).
Hell despite the flak it gets, MySpace too is an excellent source of new music.

Zagarat says:

Re: Re:

I think Matt is absolutely right. I have spent too much time looking for music I might like. The thing about Pandora is that I don’t NEED to download music–I’d rather NOT spend time downloading crap that turns out to be terrible. It’s better than the music kiosks at record stores.
The music companies should be encouraging Pandora. The idiots.

Chaucer Wells (user link) says:

Move the servers, already

I am hoping that innovative music streaming services such as Pandora will relocate their servers outside the states rather than continue to be harassed by a mobster-type system that is clearly intent on putting them out of business. Move someplace where the RIAA and its friends do not have any legal jurisdiction. Granted, the long-term solution is to drastically scale back the power granted under our copyright law, but is going to take years for the legislative process to reel in the monster that they have created (who in their right mind thinks that corporations should still have chokehold on artistic material created four generations ago?)

Sanguine Dream says:

So what's next?

I’ve been saying for months that the RIAA had (and could still have) the perfect opportunity to take the lead in digital distribution. But instead they went for total control. They ultimately want to have absolute control over all music, even when they had nothing to do with the production, marketing, or selling of it.

They are constantly lobbying to get custom made laws and have managed to influence the government to put anti-piracy pressure on countries that don’t acknowledge/enforce US copyright laws.

I suppose the next thing will be a law that states that any indie/garage/small time bands will have to pay royalties to the RIAA for the previlage to create/play their own original music. “So what if you haven’t played anything larger then a high school talent show. F*ck you pay us. The songs you played were your orginal creations? F*ck you pay us.”



Joshua says:


I’m a big music fan, but have been using Rhapsody for the past 8 months I’ve been in Korea. Like Pandora, it is officially only for US use. However, I’ve had only minor disruptions using the service. I didn’t know about pandora until I read this article. Its working fine though. It does have a notice that its only available to US listeners, but apparently not checking IP addresses.

HotGarbage (profile) says:

Tree of liberty etc etc

I would like to see the bottom fall out of the music industry. I do enjoy music quite a bit. I am a musician myself. I feel that the RIAA is far out of control and needs to be put in its place. The only way to do that is with a concentrated effort to bankrupt it. If you have a problem with the way you are being treated by the RIAA then do something about it. What the company is doing is not necessarily illegal, but like any business it is attempting to protect its profit margins. It is doing so by forcing you to do business on ITS terms, not yours. The fact of the matter is that while the customer may not always be right, they are still the customer and have the right to spend their money any way they see fit. I think it is time for the people to demand better treatment from this company. Make the company do business on their terms or not at all. What are you willing to do about it? If the answer is nothing then you deserve what you get.
Decaffeinated coffee is kinda like kissing your sister.

Gene_Leone_Mix (user link) says:

Pandora Told To Shut Down ...???

Tim and the Crew at Pandora!

And so here it begins… I am stunned at the blatant ignorance of such a “communist” commandment now leveled against Pandora in a supposedly free society. This is not about MUSIC, this is not about QUALITY, this is not about LEVEL PLAYING fields for ALL in MUSIC as was promised to ALL of us by our US Congress.


The Majority of our “leaders” in CONGRESS have turned their backs on the honest, fair, tax paying small business owners trying to survive in the “music” industry.

What has happened to America????

Clueless non-leadership being led by the choker leash by Big Label Money.


Obviously, they are begging here for a massive RIAA boycott, and a “peoples” revolution to rise up and make noise against all of this…. WHY?

Why Why Why? WHAT’s THE BIG PICTURE here…

Music doesn’t really matter here to “RIAA=SoundExchange”… Music is the smoke screen and mirrors…

Hang in there, You and PANDORA obviously have all of OUR support in this battle.

~ MUSIC INDIES UNITE! ~ Save Indie Internet Radio! ~

Gorilla1 (user link) says:

Don't moan, mobilize!

Another negative aspect of this is going to be “false negatives”. Pinning down geographic location based on IP address is certainly not 100% accurate. Which not only means some people outside the US will still be able to listen, but some within the US will be blocked. Pandora should be fighting this issue and win, based solely on this fact.

And just for those of you who might want to take action, there is a “hotline” run by the RIAA/MPAA for reporting violations. The phone number is 800-223-2328 (toll free). I am proposing a sort of “denial of service attack”. Flood this number with your complaints instead.

If something isn’t done, I’m sure I will be getting a call from them one of these days telling me how much I owe for playing covers of other peoples songs on my web site.

Randall (profile) says:

This is hardly a “recording industry” only phenomenon.

The ASCAP Experimental License Agreement for Webcasters also contains a clause that specifically prohibits licensed services from transmitting music programming outside of the United States and its territories.

While ASCAP doesn’t enforce its license agreements to the same degree as say, Phonographic Performance Limited, that does not give services permission to violate the terms.

Due diligence is the backbone of a legitimate business.

dropacid says:

Record Labels don't work when free promotion is su

Musicians only need record companies for the following:
1. Studio Time = $$$
2. Marketing = $$$
3. Make the CDS = $$$

Now, musicians easily do the following:
1. Record Music on their computers
2. Market their own music via the net and touring
3. Cds(tangible audio products) are dead

So, the only thing we need a record label for is to front the money for huge arena rock tours, with huge catering bills….rock on, dude, get out the lighters (ohhh wait it is cell phones now)

gergo says:

Good move by RIAA

I think it’s a good idea to cut off non-us listeners. In fact, people outside the US shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music at all! Even self made amateur “music” like whistling or humming should be banned. If people outside the US want to listen to the humming of others, they should pay! I suggest weekly fee of something like $200. And dont forget that the hummers themselves have to pay as well: they hear their own humming don’t they?

Nick (user link) says:

Well, if the RIAA suceed in nobbling Pandora the next step is blindingly obvious…

I’m sure that one of the many Russian Mp3 sites, and I am aware of over 80 thanks to this list:

will step into the breach and start providing an equivalent service with direct links to their much cheaper download services. And RIAA members will be even worse off than before.

The biggest wonder is that the RIAA haven’t run out of feet to shoot themselves in…


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