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May 2
Sony Sued for Music Downloads

There are a lot of would-be podcasters out there that are full of great ideas, but have yet to turn on a microphone and make any noise. A fair number of these silentcasters are so because what they really want to do is produce a music podcast like a typical radio show. Unfortunately, both the American RIAA and Canadian CRIA enforce the heck out of their member label’s licensing agreements and playing signed music is an open call to be sued. Not something most podcasters want or can afford.

There are some sources of so-called podsafe music out there: music that is either liberally licensed, not licensed, or specifically licensed for use in podcasts. I’ll start a podsafe music roundup within the next few days to enumerate them all.

In the meantime, there have been some artists that have been less than pleased with how their labels are handling online music. I can’t find the article right now, but several months ago at least one band left their label because their label wasn’t on iTunes, and more recently the Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick are suing Sony for bilking them out of royaltlies from legal Internet downloads. After the rootkit fiasco, Sony is really, really fumbling the ball in this new digital age. TVs they know; media – not so much.

What does this all have to do with podsafe music? Directly, not much. But there’s a rising realization amongst bands that their labels really aren’t their friends any more. There’s more money (maybe), more good will, and more freedom being an independent and making their music available for podcasters. Only time will tell if that’s a workable model, but some people have suggested that the time is right for an iTunes record label. I’m only lukewarm to that idea because I don’t believe that Apple will license the music for use in podcasts, but I can’t argue that it would probably fly.

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