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Illegal content. That’s why the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) took down the online music mix tape maker Muxtape yesterday, it said in a statement to Portfolio’s Sam Gustin. While this is hardly surprising to many of us, it’s odd that Muxtape said yesterday that it was under the impression that no artist or label had complained about the music sharing service.

The RIAA paints a different picture:

“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,” the service told Portfolio.

That may throw a cramp in the site’s promise that it will now be closed indefinitely. However, given the hoopla raised about this shutdown, perhaps the labels, artists and RIAA will work with the site for some sort of legal alternative.

As I went into at length yesterday, the whole situation between the RIAA and the proponents of digital music is becoming farcical. The RIAA shut down Muxtape, but several other alternatives will undoubtedly rise up soon. Some already have, including the startup 8tracks which basically uses Internet radio rules (that copyrighted tracks can be played as long as they are streamed and the user can’t pick what track is next) to circumvent the RIAA.

There are also more questionably legal alternatives in MixWit and Favtape.


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