Warner Music Decides That Imeem Doesn't Have Enough Publicity

from the publicity-by-lawsuit dept

The recording industry really is impressive in its near complete inability to learn from previous mistakes. Every time it sues or tries to shut down some service, it first attracts much more attention to that service and then, even if it's successful in shutting it down, all of the users move on to more underground services that are even less likely to provide the industry with new opportunities for profit. The latest such case is Imeem, a moderately popular service for users to create playlists of music, videos and photos and share it with others. As far as I can tell, users can't download from the service -- they can only stream and listen to or view others' playlists. There are, obviously, a ton of legitimate purposes for such services -- though, you'd never know it listening to the lawyers at Warner Music Group who have decided to sue the company, claiming that it's making money on "the illegal use of free music." Once again, this is actually a service that is helping to get people to promote the recording industry's music for them (at no cost!) and the recording industry's reaction is to sue it. The industry has done this over and over and over and over again, and so far all its done is make the situation much, much worse. Who in their right mind would think that it would make sense to keep doing it? You would hope that the folks behind this decision are so crafty as to realize that by suing it, they're giving it more publicity that will lead to even more people using the service to promote its music... but it's difficult to believe that the decision makers here are able to think that far ahead.

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  1. identicon
    Josh, 16 May 2007 @ 7:31am

    Internet Radio

    Not as familiar with the US regulations as I am the Canadian, but regardless I'm sure that WMG would prefer that a company get permission for this kind of use (as per the notice and any and every CD released) and that the site pay royalty fees to WMG and the artists. From a business perspective WMG only uses a numebr of services to promote their music. they use as many as the have the capacity to monitor. Once their monitoring capacity is exceeded, anything can happen. This concern is very similar to release of counterfeit goods in black market. When you can't monitor your product and it is altered in someway, you are still ultimately responsible (or will at least get the backlash from the situation). I think it's important for companies to monitor their product and the use of this product. At the same time I think WMG is at point where it can afford to increase staffing to monitor sites like this and if they were smart, embrace it and work with it to ensure that WMG comes off looking good all the way through. Imeem should be left alone until users start modifying the music to misrepresent it. As long as it's being played in it's true form, without lyrical changes (language editing not included) and people are listening, sit back and wait for the cash register to start ka-chinging. Imeem should continue and should do so with the support of a major label or two.

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