And Another Useful Online Music Service Shut Down By The RIAA

from the one-by-one dept

Ever since it launched, people have waited for the RIAA or its member record labels to go after Muxtape. The site allowed individuals to upload MP3s that they had and create a streaming “mixtape” of music. It was actually a pretty cool way to hear new music from individuals you trusted — just like sharing mixtapes back in the 80s. You might think that, perhaps, the recording industry would recognize how successful mixtapes were back then in promoting certain bands, and wouldn’t freak out about an online version. But, of course, this is the RIAA we’re talking about. While the details aren’t clear, Muxtape has shut itself down, claiming that it needs to get some stuff sorted out with the RIAA. There is always the possibility that it’s doing this to get extra attention, but if we take the company at its word, then it seems likely that the usual pattern is happening. An RIAA label is demanding some ridiculous license fee, and threatening to sue if it doesn’t get it. If it’s a label like Warner Music, it’s probably also demanding equity in the company. Either way, it will be interesting to see if Muxtape ever comes back, and what the details of its “resurrection” will actually be.

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Companies: muxtape, riaa

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Comments on “And Another Useful Online Music Service Shut Down By The RIAA”

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wnyght says:

I know the idea has been brought up before, but a boycott would solve this whole promblem with the RIAA. STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS! It’s that simple. If they don’t make money, they go under. Personally, i haven’t bought a cd in years since this crap with the RIAA started getting rediculous. IF i want to support a group i like, i go to their concert, but refuse to buy the cds.
I don’t know why I bother saying anything, the same people are going to keep buying albums and complaining about the RIAA at the same time. If you are not willing to do something about it, i suggest being queit.
I’m done!

Jim says:

Re: Re:

Awesome. Stop buying their CD’s is the answer. Go to their concerts. Then when the band you are “supporting” gets dropped by their label for poor album sales, and can no longer afford to fill their van/bus with gas because there is no tour support, have lots of fun trying to go see them. Some bands can and will pull off living on an independent label, and more power to them. I was in one myself, and its not fun coming home to several thousand dollars worth on bills, and having $500 in my pocket.

While it is true, bands dont really see much money from the record sales, its all the other perks that come with being on a label that is the real bread and butter for bands. Labels will give bands money for gas, bills, merch whatever. When you take that away, it makes it much harder for any band to survive.

B says:

Re: Re: Re:

A lot of “if then this then this” in that comment. I reject your idea that a band that’s selling out concerts would get dropped by their label under pretty much any circumstance.

They could change their business model over the whole thing. CDs don’t carry a whole lot of value, since they’re easy to copy… however concerts are a limited commodity. There’s no rule that says the label can’t take a cut of the concert profits instead of taking virtually ALL of the music “sale” profits.

In fact, one might argue that such a situation would be BETTER for the music scene, as labels would be more encouraged to have their bands/acts play live shows and tours and score better venues.

Anyways… if CDs were made illegal tomorrow and every one of them destroyed, the music industry would adjust. The recording industry would disappear overnight, but music would live on, i assure you.

It did fine for centuries.

Ralph says:

Re: Re: Re:

We’re all very sorry you’ve made some bad business choices, and chosen to align yourself with the recording industry. Too bad for you, but you’ll get no real sympathy here. You’ve chosen to be screwed by record labels, and that may mean it sucks to be you.

When you’re done whining, please join the line of McDonald’s applicants. End of the line, please.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Now, no offence, but there’s a huge pile of bullshit. Most bands get paid more money through live shows than through album sales- that’s an extremely well-known fact. Live shows are growing – it’s only the recorded music industry that’s having problems right now.

If a band is dependent on their label for gas and bills, like you suggest, they’re idiots as that means they sold off the rights to both live and recorded music as well as merchandising to their label and are getting nothing in return. Bands with more than one brain cell will make money off one or the other, if not both.

You seem to have had bad experiences with live touring, but do you ever stop to think that has more to do with how well-known, or even how good your band was? Many musicians seem to think they’ll make money regardless of the above criteria, but that’s simply not true. A label is not required to make lots of money from touring, but you can’t just expect to show up at a venue and have people pay to see you if they don’t know who you are. That’s where non-label promotion comes in, and there’s a thousand ways to do that.

Also, many bands make money not from the venue/booking itself but from merchandise, e.g. CDs and T-shirts sold at the gig. If people weren’t buying these from you, maybe there was a reason?


Re: Re: Re: eh, sort of.

It’s such a hard call. I mean, sure, for some, word of mouth IS good enough, and one can argue that if you’re good enough, you can make a name for yourself without a mega corporation promoting you. And I do agree to a certain extent. I mean, if we didn’t have these huge companies pouring millions into hype machines, we might not have some of the crappier fan crazes that we’ve had in our history. Still, it’s not totally fair to say that one can’t affect the other (record sales and concert sales)

Even before record sales, you need radio play, some sort of pre-release exposure. Companies bail on artists all the time. Kelly Clarkson, as an example, was not fully backed on her most recent effort because she chose to go “her own way”, and it wasn’t pushed the way it could have been. However, that’s probably not what caused a dip in sales, because she was in the public eye from day one. Chances are, her “own way” was just crap compared to previous releases, and her fans revolted.

Maybe when all this stuff is sorted out, artists will stop blaming labels for crappy sales.

That’s the way of the machine…cookie cutter artists who get hollywood treatment promotions that manufacture sales. Maybe it’s time we throw a wrench in the machine.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 eh, sort of.

I’d actually argue that’s the point of what we’re trying to argue. Artists with no discernible talent other than the ability to dance and sing to pre-vetted commercial tracks have no place in “real” music. That’s the stuff that the RIAA tries to sell because it can be packaged as a formula and targetted at the lowest common denominator.

However, once mixtapes, universal free promotion and the like takes over, the untalented are competing directly against the talented. It’s no longer about which glorified karaoke singer gets the spotlight but about whose songs are the best, who the best singer/musicians are. This scares the RIAA because they cannot control this directly. They’re back to how they were in the 60s, rejecting The Beatles because they don’t see which way the market’s going and searching for new talent instead of manufacturing it.

Superthrust (profile) says:


I completely agree! BOYCOTT!

I will be blogging and making a E-episode about this. Your great idea is not going un heard. I will gather others to support it.

Email me with your Online Handle, or who you would like to be referred to as.


Anonymous Coward says:

I think you make a misstake . . .

When you assume somehow the RIAA has some interest in record sales. While it might seem that way becuase they are an industry orginization, it is not really true. The RIAA exists solely to maximize income from royalties, through lobbying or investigation, expose and enforcement. Understand the people at the RIAA make money and get bonuses based on increasing royalty income, they could care less about initial record sales (unless thier is opportunity for royalty recovery).

The record promotion industry is dead, they know they have no reason to exist anymore. So what you will continue to see is more and more of these desperate cries of a dying industry, who will scratch and claw at every penny on thier way out. What you see now my friends, is the recording industries “exit strategy” as an economically viable industry.

Norm says:

To Jim...

…Jim the folks that usually comment on these articles are actually only concerned about their “freedom” to get everything free.

Sure they will ‘say’ they no longer buy CD’s due to the RIAA, but we all know the truth (wink wink)

They actually feel they are doing bands a favor in sharing music that somehow it’s like free publicity.

Jim (a different Jim) says:

Re: To Jim...

That’s simply not true. I don’t buy CD’s anymore, and I don’t download music either. Come to think of it – I don’t even download the music that is free to download (though I did add Girl Talk to one of my Pandora stations).

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was in 2004 when my web server deleted all of my mp3s (even though they were legal, password protected, and only streamed by me). I travel too much and use too many different machines to use physical media to store something I want access to. I don’t want to have to deal with physical storage and I can’t store it on the web…. that is when I decided “owning” music became too much hassle.

Solution: I just use Pandora or SomaFm. I get to listen to music I like anywhere conveniently and I continuously find shows to go to (any working bands out there – make sure you use Pandora’s “on tour” feature). I probably average $40 on concert tickets per week (between my girlfriend and I).

Long story short: you are wrong. There are many music fans that don’t buy or download music, and the RIAA’s legal tactics are a big part of why.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: To Jim...

“Anon Coward – you point doesn’t hold water. Playing music over the radio is a tad different than making copies for everyone and handing them out.”

The action may be different but the result (in spreading recognition of the music and artist) is the same. It was this IDEA of music promotion you seemed to have trouble grasping for some reason;

“They actually feel they are doing bands a favor in sharing music that somehow it’s like free publicity.”

Anonymous Coward says:

…Might think that, perhaps, the recording industry would recognize how successful mixtapes were back then in promoting certain bands…

Certain bands being the 2 key words in that pharse. I just don’t understand how you can jump that it would help all bands. Some of these sites would be successful if they got permission from the proper channels.

Trent Reznor... wanna be says:

no major label needed..... just add value

If more people were to follow Trent Reznor’s model, I think it would make the music industry re-think things.
For those of you who don’t know his model, he gives away his music, free of charge on the Nine Inch Nail’s website. So there is no fighting to get his music. Then he sells his CDs at a premium (in limited numbers, making them a collector’s item) to the die hard fans, and the CDs usually come with some really cool stuff, autographs, etc. He also gives incentives to come to his concerts, not just an over priced ticket, but a kick ass show with all types of free stuff to take home (adding value to his ticket) my props to Trent, and hope others learn there are other models.

Techdirt has had articles about this before, check em out.

GetReal says:

“Labels will give bands money for gas, bills, merch whatever.”

What fantasy land are you living in, and what drugs did you have to take to get there????

Labels don’t ‘give’ bands anything, they may provide an ‘advance’ against future sales, which then locks that band into that label until the advances have been paid back, but there is no way in HE11 that the labels just ‘give’ bands money (unless as someone else pointed out the band was stupid enough to sign over all rights so that they don’t even earn anything from touring other than what the lable ‘gives’ them for the performance).

Stop buying CD’s, stop buying music from legitimate online sources, start sharing music with your friends or downloading it for free online, things won’t change until the RIAA is completely wiped out.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: You guys are so cool!

Sorry, I must have missed the part where we refused to pay anything.

This isn’t about free vs paid music. This is about the music industry shutting down valuable advertising opportunities for their music because they’re too blind to see the benefits of letting people hear the music first. This is doubly idiotic because anyone who’s listened to music in the last 20 years has bought music on the strength of a friend’s mixtape – fact.

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