Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Death of Music Blogs?

Lord, I hope not, but this article in the Free Music Archive blog makes a good argument that  the MP3 blog has seen it's day -- thanks partly to the evil Recording Industry Association of America and federal law enforcement.

The article, by Casey Rice, brings up cases in which music blogs have gotten in trouble by posting MP3s sent to them by record label publicists.

I didn't get seriously riled until I came to this paragraph:


MP3 blogs have also come under fire from law enforcement. Take for example, the hip-hop site Dajaz1, which was seized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement division at the prompting of the RIAA. Dajaz1 is exactly the kind of blog that is serviced by major label promotions departments, yet it found itself in the crosshairs of government enforcers with little understanding of the contemporary music industry and the tastemakers who help power it. How is it possible that the labels’ legal guns have no clue what its promotional division is up to? How can Homeland Security shutter a site for an entire year with no apparent recourse? Few would argue that seizing sites that traffic in illegal pharmaceuticals or tainted baby formula isn't a good thing, but there are serious issues raised when the US government suppresses speech on the mere accusation of infringement. Policies to combat commercial piracy are one thing. The haphazard shutdown of blogs that exist to expose people to new music, and which receive countless MP3s from the major labels, is another. It’s easy to imagine this kind of overreach contributing to a decline in MP3 blogs — is a tussle with the G-men really worth it?
Have I told you lately how much I hate the RIAA?

And what's with Homeland Security doing their bidding? Is some hip-hop blog really a serious security threat?

This site, in its eight years of existence, has not been primarily an MP3 blog, though I often post both stream and downloadable music. And I'll keep doing it until Homeland Security drags me away.

In fact, here's a cool show from the Live Music Archive by The BellRays.




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