by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 14th 2008 8:01pm
If you haven't followed the "MP3 blogging" scene, it's grown quite big over the past few years, to the point that most folks (including the record labels) have effectively turned a blind eye to the copyright questions it raises (for once, this is a good thing). In many cases, record labels even treat some of the best music bloggers similar to the way they've always treated radio DJs -- sending them promo CDs and trying to get "air time." Most music bloggers don't ask for permission before blogging songs (some have policies saying they'll take down a song if any musician complains). However, over on an NPR blog, one of the bloggers has been putting together "mixes" of music on the blog, and being quite careful to ask for permission before any song is included. As BoingBoing points out, when the blogger, Carrie Brownstein, asked the Grateful Dead's label if she could use a Grateful Dead song, the response was a rather pompous demand that the band would require a piece done on the band on the radio show All Things Considered as well as a feature about the Grateful Dead on the NPR website. Just for using a song in a way that many would say was fair use (not to mention that it would be from a band that actively encouraged fans to tape and share its music broadly). If anything, it sounds like the record label overreaching in seeing an opportunity to get more press for a band that hardly needs any more. But, on the whole, it shows the sort of attitude that's becoming all too pervasive these days when people need to ask "permission" to help promote a song or a band.
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