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Muxtape Tells All
September 26, 2008 8:28 PM   Subscribe

Muxtape's Justin tells the story play-by-play. You may remember an earlier post about muxtape being shut down. After all kinds of speculation, discussion, and consternation, we can finally know what really happened.
posted by crazyray (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by mullingitover at 8:36 PM on September 26, 2008


hmmm at least those old northern soul guys from the 60's dont have me ripping them off anymore.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:42 PM on September 26, 2008


i'm sorta glad he didn't play ball. it was fun while it lasted.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:46 PM on September 26, 2008


Isn't there some pretentious, insufferable jackass that Gawker has been obsessed with at the helm of Muxtape? I seem to recall this site being founded by someone who was pilloried mercilessly on Gawker.
posted by jayder at 8:49 PM on September 26, 2008


and may a flight of flash files sing thee to thy rest.
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 PM on September 26, 2008


So the labels were willing to play ball with him and come up with something reasonable, and their hired lackeys in the RIAA subverted that all? What sort of sense does that make?

The RIAA needs to be defined as a terrorist organization.
posted by Dreama at 8:53 PM on September 26, 2008


It sounds like Justin was way too naive to run a business that was, let's face it, built almost exclusively upon copyright infringement. But it's nice to see that he is going to start a site in service of bands, where they can post mp3s and put them in playlists along with all sorts of other goodies. Lord knows there's a real market gap for something along those lines.
posted by dhammond at 9:06 PM on September 26, 2008


And now, please go to MixWit.com for generally the same experience.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 9:08 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


It sounds like Justin was way too naive to run a business that was, let's face it, built almost exclusively upon copyright infringement.

Yes. If he wanted to start a website that revolved around illegal activity, that would've been fine, I have used plenty in my day. But passing it off as a "business" was just silly from day one. Also, the interface sucked, and it wouldn't accept .m4a files. Awful.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:12 PM on September 26, 2008


I miss muxtape.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:35 PM on September 26, 2008


I don't see Justin as "naïve". After all, he had a lot of fun and didn't pay a penny and still has big exposure, software, and a potentially viable business model.

The "naïve" people are the labels. Oh, not with this deal in specific - in general. Read the article, see how their left hand screws up the deal that their right hand is trying to make. Read how hundreds of thousands of dollars in human time are wasted as a result. Note how the labels make less money every year.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:51 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


i'm sorta glad he didn't play ball. it was fun while it lasted.

It sounds like he tried to play ball, but the music labels decided to play hardball and shut him down in the middle of negotiations. It is possible that what he was doing was legal if he was paying internet radio licensing fees (was he?)
posted by delmoi at 10:35 PM on September 26, 2008


It sounds like Justin was way too naive to run a business that was, let's face it, built almost exclusively upon copyright infringement.

Do you think broadcast radio is a business built exclusively on copyright infringement? Or do you think that radio stations clear each and every piece of music they play on the air?

Neither of those things is true. And broadcasting on the internet (as opposed to on-demand streaming) is legal provided you pay the statutory license fees. The fees for internet streaming are pretty expensive, especially compared to broadcast radio but it is possible to setup a legal internet music service.
posted by delmoi at 10:38 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure the new one sounds much different from myspace, hopefully more professional looking. I'm also not sure why he ever went the website route, obviously websites are big targets. Muxtape could function by either being based in abroad, say Sweden, or as an open source p2p application.

Your p2p application would be a media mixing tool which could (1) record mixing instructions, (2) reply the mix from mixing instructions and original source media, and (3) fetch & cache any missing source media via http, ftp, or torrent. You'd give the program quite a large cache, say >5 gigs, since you'd save originals for all you muxtapes. I suppose you could also retain the music permanently, offer it as torrents for your muxtapes, etc. In the end, people could transparently download & play the mixing instructions; however, playing might be postponed if some source media was being downloaded.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:15 PM on September 26, 2008


I'm glad Justin posted this follow-up.

The original Muxtape was great and I liked it a lot... but he was correct to leave the negotiations with the labels and change the focus of the site.

The machinations required to close that deal simply weren't worth the compromises being requested and compensation being offered by the other side. Good for him.
posted by Kikkoman at 11:30 PM on September 26, 2008


Dear every non-signed recording artist - This is how the Big Boys f*ck you out of services that could help your career. So pay attention.

I would have enjoyed this more if Justin would have recorded every "We're going to sue you ... but can you guarantee us placement?"-style conversation he had with the label execs and uploaded those.
posted by bhance at 11:33 PM on September 26, 2008


There's a great lesson here: Don't build a business around copied content. Instead, empower people to create their own content and help it spread. Can't wait to see the new Muxtape.
posted by fraying at 2:00 AM on September 27, 2008


Instead, empower people to create their own content and help it spread.

Like pretty much everyone else, you're ignoring that the only reason the RIAA have so much leverage in these events is that - despite the myriad alternative channels and ways to bypass them - the major record labels remain the only source of music people actually want to listen to.

And Justin sounds like a self-absorbed dick.
posted by cillit bang at 5:38 AM on September 27, 2008


Neither of those things is true. And broadcasting on the internet (as opposed to on-demand streaming) is legal provided you pay the statutory license fees. The fees for internet streaming are pretty expensive, especially compared to broadcast radio but it is possible to setup a legal internet music service.

All of which is true, but do you believe the individual who ran Muxtape intended to set up a legal music service from the start?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:18 AM on September 27, 2008


What a moron.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:29 AM on September 27, 2008


I have this feeling that if you find yourself at a party with Justin, the very first thing he will say to you is muxtape.
posted by plexi at 6:34 AM on September 27, 2008


Well, now he has to sell me on how the new Muxtape will be better than Bandcamp.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 6:36 AM on September 27, 2008


What a really important post this is.
posted by Zambrano at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2008


Am I wrong to assume that the labels directed the RIAA to attack to pressure him into a worse negotiating position?
posted by meta_eli at 9:40 AM on September 27, 2008


"it wouldn't accept .m4a files."

No one with any self-respect or dignity would accept .m4a files.
posted by Eideteker at 10:25 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's a great lesson here: Don't build a business around copied content. Instead, empower people to create their own content and help it spread. Can't wait to see the new Muxtape.

Tell that to the guys who sold Youtube for 1.6 billion dollars.
posted by delmoi at 10:30 AM on September 27, 2008


Justin isn't a self absorbed dick, and when I met him at a party, i think we talked about food, muxtape didn't come up.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:02 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"the major record labels remain the only source of music people actually want to listen to."

A quick scan of my recently-played list reveals only three tracks on major labels. And one of them is a bootleg remix.

On the Muxtape that I'd made, the only major label track was a Dr. John one. Almost everything else was out of print bits and bobs.

But if the Harlem Globetrotters were really upset about my sharing their "Put a Little Meat on Your Bones, Lucinda," I'd have happily put up something from the Washington Generals.
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 AM on September 27, 2008


Tell that to the guys who sold Youtube for 1.6 billion dollars.

Not only do the YouTube guys better know how to run a quasi-legal business (by not doing things like putting obviously infringing content in their featured videos section, something Muxtape should have been careful to avoid but didn't), they were also smart enough to tell copyright owners to take it to the courts, where they can argue their DMCA safe harbor arguments. YouTube is still around because Google has stood their ground.

I wouldn't be surprised if the first two words out of Justin's mouth when told by the labels that he ran a willfully infringing site were "Yeah, but..."

This is amateur hour.
posted by dhammond at 3:42 PM on September 27, 2008


For those who liked the concept of Muxtape and want to make their own: Opentape.
posted by chime at 10:42 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you think broadcast radio is a business built exclusively on copyright infringement?

Of course not. It's a business built on Payola.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:27 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


A distant cousin of muxtape, and a bastard of child of opentape, a music video based version of the former is mixtube

Check out my New Wave playlist here.

Want more? I reviewed a handful of other ways you can create and share your favorite music video playlists .
posted by edman at 3:18 PM on September 29, 2008


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