(Not) My Space

Do you have a MySpace page?  Did you add the music player that allows you to stream music when people visit your page?  Well, that’s about to end. NO MUSIC FOR YOU!

According to Wired magazine, MySpace has hired Gracenote to do some dirty work for them.  Gracenote has some kind of program that will troll your MySpace page and delete any music where you don’t hold the copyright (Um, that would probably be 99% of the music on the MySpace service). I have a MySpace page, but I don’t really do much with it.  I was thinking of streaming a song or two, but I became too lazy…so that didn’t happen.  But one thing I do use MySpace for is to check out music from bands that look interesting.  If I like a song, I may download it so I can listen to it again, but for the most part I’ll sample the song using the player’s streaming function.  But now, that’s all going to end. I think the MySpace example is just side 2 (of a 4 LP set) of the record labels using their power to pressure alternative mediums that promote music to shut up after benefiting from the power of that medium. Music blogs  — though not as visible as MySpace since they are not housed in a central location — have had similar run-ins with the music industry.  The only one I know of is Jefito’s problems with his ISP about the number of music files he was putting on his site.  I don’t think there was a specific complaint from the RIAA about the files on there, Bluehost (his ISP) was just getting nervous about the possibility that they would get tagged by some lawyer representing the RIAA.   What’s odd is that Jefito was getting music sent to him from the majors to review on his blog! Yes, the same blog that allows readers to sample music and buy the whole CD if they like what they hear by following a link to Amazon. And it’s the same blog that posts mp3s so you can download them for free — which as we all know is illegal.  But the majors who were sending him music just sort of turned a blind eye. They liked the fact that the music was being introduced in a thoughtful way to his readers (but they would never admit that in public).

With MySpace, it’s a bit different because many of the bands that post their music on the site may have a record deal, but they don’t own the copyright to the music. This means they are essentially violating copyright laws when they load songs on MySpace — even though they are promoting music that they made and is distributed by a record label with whom they have a business agreement.  It’s all messed up…I’m curious, though:  if you get a freebie mp3, and you like the artist, do buy the CD or pay for a download from an online music service?  Does the offer of a freebie make you more willing to shell out $$$ and buy more of that artist’s music, or do you just take the free sample and look for others?




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