by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 17th 2007 11:08pm
In the last few years, we've heard numerous stories of musicians rocketing to stardom, thanks to the internet. In fact, some bands really are coming out of nowhere, with tons of internet support worldwide, even if the band has only been together a short while. Apparently, that's a huge problem for foreign bands looking to tour the US, as the type of visa that US immigration grants to touring musicians requires that those musicians can show that they are "internationally recognized" for a "sustained and substantial" period of time. Unfortunately for internet superstar musicians, US immigration doesn't seem to recognize internet popularity as being "internationally recognized" and the quick rise to popularity hurts on the "sustained and substantial" period of time analysis. The folks in immigration respond that they will consider internet popularity, but since they have no idea if the popularity is real or manufactured, the band needs to prove that the sites that talk about the musicians are popular themselves, first. Even if that's the case, it seems that a few well known UK acts are having an awful lot of trouble getting to the US. Perhaps they should simply show the ticket sales from sold out clubs in the US waiting for them (the article notes that clubs have had to cancel sold-out shows after the musicians were unable to make it to the US). Either way, it's yet another example of how the internet is making old processes obsolete.
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