Well, my friends… The end of music bloggerin’ as you & I know it may be ending soon.
You see, over in Ireland, there’s a group called IMRO that is basically a union for music artists that have decided it would be a good thing to force music bloggers who host music on their site to pay licensing fees to “play” the music on the site if it’s available in Ireland (of course it’s available in Ireland, as far as I know, none of block any countries).
Though initially they are targeting Irish bloggers, like Nialler9, The Torture Garden, and Asleep On A Compost Heap, they’ve made it clear, they will require every blog that is accessible to Ireland to pay up, even if they don’t “play” Irish bands. It’s a very strange thing and, if they succeed, opens up a terrible precedent. If bloggers pay up to Ireland, what’s to stop the ASCAP, SOCAN or PRS from doing the same thing?
I make 0, that’s a big fat Z-E-R-O, dollars on this site (it’s actually a money-losing endeavour with server fees and what not). If suddenly I’m forced to pay licensing in Ireland and then the States and whatever other country decides they want in, well, yeah, no…. Ain’t happening. Me & probably every other blogger you know will do one of 3 things.
1. Stop the music. Maybe embed some licensed stream or maybe a legal 30 second clip (Mmm…. 12 minute prog songs summed up in 30 secs? Awesome-o) but that’d be it. Sounds exciting, eh? In this world of portability, where you listen to the music pretty much everywhere BUT attached to your computer, embed onlys are pretty limp.
2. Go rogue & underground, ala PirateBay or whatever. Host the site through some secret country, anonymously, etc, and hope they never find you. Exciting. Personally though, bloggerin’ ain’t worth going to the pokey for…
3. Quit. It’s already a scary place with Blogger shutting people down, DMCA notices to twitter, and crazy shit. Now paying up? Nope!
I’m too old to “go rogue”, so I’d probably go to 30 sec embeds or, if it’s allowed, Soundcloud or something…. OR just say “fuck this”.
Nialler9 wrote a wonderful article with tons of details here. For more info, The Guardian also has an article & Shane at The Torture Garden has now written on it a couple times. Basically it all comes down to the same thing. Blogs, love them or hate them, are a part of the music industry now, we are part of “getting the word out” and getting bands the press they may or may not get other wise.
What’s funny, sad, etc, is that alot of these blogs, me included, are inundated with emails from labels, bands, PR people, etc asking us to listen & share their music, for FREE! Listen to this, post this, please! This includes bands covered by the IMRO. Talk about a mixed message, eh?
So… what if this passes through and the bloggers that keep on bloggerin’ pay up, then the next one wants money, then the next. At some point, you won’t be left with much except the rich “opinion makers” which is why so many people turned to blogs in the first place! Because the opinion of the few is too often, well, crap.
Go to Nialler’s write up, follow up, learn what you can do, write the IMRO, make yourself heard. Basically, give this proposal a BIG. FAT.
Okay, before we call this a day, let’s get some music going, eh? And man I’ve got a GEM & special treat for you!!! The unimitatable TsuruBride has made a rare and elusive mixtape!!! This one was made for Crane’s Day down in the Society for her Crane Buddy and now that everyone’s got their Crane’s Day gifts, I can finally share this with you!!! It’s called Bibliomania and given Baby’s penchant for readin’, I’ll give you oooone liiiittle gueeeess on the theme.
Man… really? I had to tell you that? Oh my. 20 gems blatantly and not-so-blatantly about books, reading, and/or adorable librarians! HOT! So let’s do this, okay? Let’s keep the music going, let’s keep the “blogosphere” going, let’s keep, not just my voice, but really everyone’s voices heard, and let’s get our mixtape on as……
Illustration by The Black Apple
TsuruBride Presents… Bibliomania!!!! (Full Zip)
01 Camera Obscura – Books Written For Girls
02 The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Young Adult Friction
03 Magic Bullets – The Book Is Closed
04 Belle and Sebastian – Wrapped Up In Books
05 My Morning Jacket – Librarian
06 The Magnetic Fields – The Book Of Love
07 The Decemberists – The Engine Driver
08 The Beatles – Paperback Writer
09 Of Montreal – In The Army Kid
10 The Smittens – Gumdrops
11 Elvis Costello And The Attractions – Every Day I Write The Book
12 The Monotones – The Book Of Love
13 Lali Puna – Faking The Books
14 Cake – Open Book
15 Moxy Fruvous – My Baby Loves A Brunch Of Authors
16 Talking Heads – The Book I Read
17 The Shins – Pressed In A Book
18 Stars – My Favourite Book
19 Piano Magic – I Am The Sub-Librarian
20 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – There She Goes, My Beautiful Woman
Amazing. Thank you Baby, so so much!!! I love your mixtapes so much. I hear you in every song. SMOOOCH!
Cheers everyone and until next time??