Special Comment- The Death of Muxtape

I was going through old bookmarks, when I saw a bunch of Muxtape playlists that I had liked. I remembered that the site had been having some RIAA trouble, and I went to see if it was still up.
In short, no.
The story is worth checking out and reading fully, but basically the founder of Muxtape was in negotiations with the big record labels to try and license the content being hosted. The labels were receptive to a deal, but were strong-arming the founder over editorial control and independence. In the middle of negotiations, the RIAA served a DMCA notice on their web hosting service who then pulled the site.
This kind of thing irritates me to no end. I understand the financial pressures that musicians are under, and I understand the desire to want to recover revenue from listeners who are not paying for it. But, at the same time, stopping individual websites does absolutely nothing to disrupt the piracy that goes on. Furthermore, these websites that gather large numbers of listeners are hard to build up. Thus far, they have been much more successful than the label-sanctioned attempts to do legal music 2.0. It would be more cost efficient to try and divert even a small bit of that stream into your bank account than to try to dam up the river.
The thing is, like everything else, computers and the internet have made it easier to record and be heard. I, too, mourn the passing of big, expensive, recordings that use studio orchestras and scores of session musicians. I wonder if mega-tours or even music superstars will exist in 50 years. But I do know that record labels can no longer price their music as if they are selling a scarcity.
*This started as a Tuesday’s Top Tune post, but then Tuesday turned into Wednesday and it became no longer about a song. Maybe next week I will finally get the timing down right on one of these things.

One response to “Special Comment- The Death of Muxtape”

  1. That’s so weird. I was reading this story today, but now can’t remember how I got there. maybe we were linked from the same place.
    and I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. I wish the big labels would just jump on the train and capitalize on where the music industry is really going, instead of trying to take everyone else back to the 90’s.

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