A few months ago, one of our summer legal interns, Jenny, and I were talking about interesting, fun, law-student-worthy projects she could do. At the time, a friend had sent me a link to yet another fabulous mix that was distributed illegally. That got me thinking and I posed the following problem to Jenny: how do I legally post a streaming mix "tape" to this blog that includes any song I want?
Jenny very diligently started researching and took all our ideas of websites that exist in some quasi-legal realm and started piecing the whole thing together. She quickly ran into all sorts of legal bogs and the post is still in mothballs.
Anyway, I thought of it the other day when I saw that muxtape was planning a revival as a completely different service from the online mixtape service it started as. Muxtape's founder Justin Ouellette writes eloquently about his experiences with the four major label groups and the RIAA when he was trying to negotiate a licensing agreement that might have kept Muxtape alive in its former form.
Muxtape is only the latest instance of the mainstream music industry biting the hand that feeds it by refusing to embrace and enable the new and then laying blame when those services are popular. They seem to enjoy crying poor. And now that venture capital is getting harder to come by, there will be fewer services for major labels to try to squeeze for cash. Digital Music News takes a good look at the possible venture capital lessons learned from muxtape as well.
So, inevitable new, cool illegal services + industry reluctant to work with emerging tech = more music available to music fans but less money getting back to the artist and the record company. After a while, artists realize the majors aren't helping their careers and they find more visionary people to help them build music careers. If history is any guide, the major four will hold progressively tighter to their declining revenues and be less likely to work with emerging tech...
Around the merry-go-round they go...you'd think they'd recognize the view after seeing it a few times?