Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RIAA attacks MySpace’s music player for playing artist-approved tunes

At first it might have seemed like the RIAA is innocently out to protect the rights of artists, but enough is enough. Now the RIAA is filing a suit against Project Playlist, the music player used on MySpace to play music that has been approved by artists for consumers to listen to and include on their personal pages.

According to CNET, the RIAA is for some reason under the impression that Project Playlist is somehow in the wrong for letting users hear music that has been explicitly uploaded and approved by artists for consumers to listen to as a marketing technique. The RIAA said, “Project Playlist performs and reproduces plaintiffs’ valuable works (and induces and enables others to do so) without any authorization whatsoever…without paying any compensation whatsoever.”

Well, that isn’t too far off. For anyone that releases music via MySpace, they sign off on an agreement that notes it won’t be for any monetary compensation. It isn’t like Project Playlist is holding a gun to artists’ heads and demanding they submit their stuff for no pay.

Really, it isn’t Project Playlist’s fault that MySpace chose its third-party player. Then again, it would be really hard to take down MySpace, which is owned by News Corp. The RIAA probably recognizes that it would be in bad form to bite one of the hands that feeds it, and is taking out its unleashed aggression on hapless small third-party software developers.

As CNET aptly points out, even though Project Playlist doesn’t directly host the songs that are uploaded for MySpace, that has never kept the RIAA from picking on torrent groups or file indexing websites. The biggest problem with the RIAA picking on Project Playlist is that the artists themselves are the ones responsible for signing off on the distribution of their music on MySpace, so what right does the RIAA have to file a suit?

In fact, the whole reason artists distribute music on MySpace is so that users who like what they hear of a few songs will go out and buy a new album. MySpace is a terrific venue for advertising your content and show schedules; if anything, the RIAA is only harming the artists it claims to support by directly attacking on of the best marketing tools at their disposal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They're not talking about the MySpace music player in your screenshot. They're talking about, which you'll notice is a different player and different site entirely. People make their custom playlists and embed the player on their personal pages, not their music pages. If I want something by Shakira, I log into Project Playlist, add Shakira's "Inevitable", and it is song number one on my list. Then I can search for a Bill Monroe tune, and put Blue Moon of Kentucky as my second track. This is no doubt shady, and I can understand the RIAA going after it . However, there are some legit bands offering their music through there as well to increase their exposure.