Clear Channel Shows RIAA A Non-Infringing Use Of File-Sharing Networks
from the maybe-they'll-destroy-each-other dept
A few years back, while the RIAA was trying to shut down file-sharing networks, it regularly claimed that there were no non-infringing uses of them — though that claim was undermined by the fact that the music industry regularly uses data from such networks for market research purposes. Perhaps because of this, the RIAA’s quieted down a bit on this front, and shifted its legal strategy to sue its customers instead. Now, in a move that will probably raise the ire of the RIAA, a unit of radio giant Clear Channel is now selling file-sharing data to radio stations to help them shape their playlists. Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Mediabase unit is marketing the data from BigChampagne, the company that’s been tracking file-sharing for some time. The RIAA, despite its general distaste for file-sharing, seems to have been largely content to let BigChampagne operate quietly and make a business on the back of the P2P networks the group has tried to shut down; it’s not clear if Clear Channel getting involved will change that. What’s interesting to note, though, is that Clear Channel and the RIAA might be heading for a collision course, should this development rub it the wrong way. While the two camps are seen by many people to share an anti-consumer ideology, the two are increasingly at odds as their financial concerns butt heads. First was Clear Channel’s unhappiness with new webcasting royalty rates, then the RIAA’s demand that radio stations pay royalties for promoting its members’ music. Could profiting from a non-infringing use of P2P networks represent further escalation between the two?
Companies: clear channel