by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 9th 2008 10:15am
Back in May, we noted that the recording industry, in a shooting-itself-in-the-foot method, was demanding that music discovery site Pandora block all non-US listeners, over an argument concerning the exact licensing terms of the music that Pandora streams. The recording industry has been demanding that Pandora sign separate licensing agreements in every country, or it must block them. Now, for anyone who has actually used Pandora, it takes all of about three seconds to recognize that it's the type of service that should be the recording industry's best friend. You put in songs, musicians or even styles of music that you like, and Pandora finds you new music that it plays in a stream, like a personalized radio station. Pandora makes it incredibly easy to both discover and buy new music. If I worked for a record label, I'd be running around the world heavily promoting Pandora, and working with it to promote new artists. Yet, instead, in true RIAA fashion, it's demanding a tithe instead. While Pandora has been blocked in many countries since back in July, it kept going in the UK, believing that it would work out a reasonable solution there. Apparently not. As countless UK-based Pandora fans have been submitting over and over again, Pandora is now shutting off access to UK listeners. What does this accomplish? As far as I can tell, all it does is take away a wonderful music discovery service that helped push people to actually buy music. Only in the minds of recording industry execs would a company doing free advertising for you be seen as something that needs to be shut down.
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