Why the RIAA shut down Muxtape


When Muxtape was shut down at the weekend, it was met with utterly predictable “Death to the RIAA!” cries. Hopefully we’re above such childishness here, and can spend a minute or two looking at the cartel’s claims, and then we can evaluate the RIAA’s position.

This is what the RIAA told Portfolio.com:

For the past several months, we have communicated our legal concerns with the site and repeatedly tried to work with them to have illegal content taken down. Muxtape was hosting copies of copyrighted sound recordings without authorization from the copyright owners. Making these recordings available for streaming playback also requires authorization from the copyright owners. Muxtape has not obtained authorization from our member companies to host or stream copies of their sound recordings

Would Muxtape have qualified as a public performance, for which authorization would have been needed, or fair use? I make a Muxtape using AmazonMP3-purchased songs then put it on here for you all to listen—would I be violating copyright?

All I’m saying is, not every discussion of RIAA tactics needs to descend into silly name-calling and unproductive temper tantrums.