Archive for June 26th, 2007

Licensing and Whatnot

June 26, 2007

So I I get to work a while ago and go to Pandora Radio and find the following message.

“I’m sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.

“Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.”

Okay, so I wouldn’t call this “disastrous,” as much as just a head-scratcher. I don’t understand licensing well enough to say anything interesting here. I’m not a fan of illegal downloads, so it’s not like I’m trying to get something for nothing here. I’ve heard a lot of new bands by listening to Pandora and have bought a few albums that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

So I guess my question is: why would this be a big deal for RIAA? Why would they want to hinder potential consumers from hearing about their products? Is there something larger at work here that I don’t know about?

(And for some reason I have it in my head that DeJon knows all about this stuff….so DeJon? Thoughts?)