Just last week, we wondered how long it would take before the recording industry helped kill off Turntable.fm
, which we consider to be one of the best music services we've seen in a long, long time. Apparently, it's not taking very long at all if you're outside the US. We started receiving emails from people all weekend, letting us know that Turntable.fm had officially blocked all non-US users
after realizing that its current licensing methodology technically only covers them in the US. The company insists that it's planning to return to other countries "as quickly as possible," but it may discover that's a lot trickier than they expect. After all, Pandora went through the exact same thing, blocking
all non-US users over four years ago, promising to return as quickly as possible, but it still hasn't been able to, even now that the company's public and has a giant warchest. Part of the problem is that music licensing agencies throughout the world demand absolutely ridiculous rates
from companies like Pandora, and I imagine Turntable.fm will quickly discover the same depressing news.
Of course, in the meantime, those of us in the US can continue to use the service, and folks in foreign countries can get on via proxy servers which aren't too hard to find, but basically the industry's stupid licensing regimes effectively make this very useful service, that helps introduce people to new music
, unavailable to most of the world. What a waste.