Muxtape Shut Down By RIAA For Real


Scenario for the
virtual mixtape site to reopen not very promising.

By Fred Mills


The other day (Aug. 18) it was reported by Pitchfork that
the virtual mixtape site Muxtape had temporarily been shut down – a message on
the site’s homepage displayed (and is still displaying, as of this writing),
“Muxtape will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem
with the RIAA.” Elsewhere on the site there was a posting that read, “No
artists or labels have complained. The site is not closed indefinitely. Stay



Since then, however, it appears that, despite the “brief
period” being predicted by Muxtape, the Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA) is indicating the shut down might be more than just temporary –
that, given the legal and financial logistics, is “indefinitely.”



According to a report by technology website Ars Technica,
the RIAA “confirmed it was indeed responsible for the site ceasing operatons…
At issue is Muxtape’s hosting and streaming of MP3s.” Naturally, the music
contained on those MP3s is, by and large, copyrighted material, and the users
of Muxtape routinely don’t obtain clearance or permission to post songs.



The RIAA stated to Ars Technica, “For the past several
months, we [RIAA] have communicated concerns to Muxtape on behalf of our members. Muxtape has not yet obtained
authorization from our member companies to host or stream copies of their sound



Ars Technica further observes, “It looks like Muxtape may
indeed be closed indefinitely. The RIAA says it has been in communication with
the site over the past several months over the getting the ‘illegal content’
taken down. In order to get the RIAA’s official blessing, Muxtape would likely
have to sign a licensing agreement and begin paying royalties à la and
Pandora. An agreement would dissipate the legal gray cloud hanging over
Muxtape, but the royalty burden may well prove onerous.”


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