A couple of years ago, we noted that US Immigration was making life difficult for touring musicians
by changing the way they enforced the visas commonly used by musicians. Specifically, the usual visa required proof of popularity -- but had no systems in place to account for popularity via the internet. This resulted in various well known musicians (including, by the way, our friend Lily Allen) being barred from making expected appearances in the US. It appears this sort of thing is happening again. The law still hasn't changed, but US Immigration has again increased the strictness in how it interprets the existing laws
for foreign musicians, leading some top acts to be barred from entering the country -- or just increasing the bureaucracy they need to go through. For many foreign acts, touring the US is quite important in attracting more attention.
The article discusses how this is harming some acts that have built a lot of buzz or won awards... but then have had trouble capitalizing on that with a US tour. It's kind of amusing that just as we hear from politicians talking about the importance of helping musicians with more and more draconian copyright laws, they're making it that much more difficult for them to tour, build their reputation and earn a living. The next time an American politician discusses the need for more draconian copyright laws to help musicians, perhaps a reporter can ask them about this particular issue as well.