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Podcasting and The Evil Empire

One of the biggest things I wanted to do with was bring podcasting to the website.  For those who don't know, podcasting is like a weekly radio show you could download and listen to whenever.  I envisioned a great show where we features a song from most of the albums we reviewed this week plus some new music and some of my favorites.  It would rock.

So what's the catch?  If you want it to sound good, it's 100% illegal.  Most of the music we review is controlled by an evil organization called the RIAA that seems to be pushing itself to destruction as fast as possible.  Currently, the RIAA is suing anyone that listens to, makes remixes of, or burns copies of their music.  Soon, they will sue the artists that make the music and then not even artists will want to be associated with the RIAA.  Then, the RIAA will be gone.

No, that's not going to happen.  The RIAA controls much of the music in the world and probably over 95% of my music collection.  So how does it become illegal to podcast this music?  Well, if it were a radio program on terrestrial radio, then it would most likely be OK.  The station will have licensing agreements with a couple key partners such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.  Their systems will keep track of how many people were listening, what songs were played, and such. Then they'll have to pay thousands of dollars to those companies.  I can handle that.

But no.  If it's a podcast, people can download it, so they're making copies of it.  According to the licensing arms, these are the same as making a mix CD for your wedding and giving it out to the guests.  The fees for that are not something you want to do on a regular basis, especially if you only have a couple listeners and very little money.

The podcast, though, plays more like a radio show, so it should be licensed like a radio show.  Wrong again.  Apparently radio-like licensing will never again be given out, because radio stations were an exception to the new rules.

So what's a small website to do?  Well, for smaller licensing fees I could play 30-second samples of a song.  Sounds fun, right?  Heck no!  I wouldn't listen to it if you paid me!  (If you do want to listen to them, look to and find an album you want to hear samples from.)  I can't get the gist of the song from 30 seconds.  If I can, the song is probably a modern worship song or just a bad song.

Enough of my rantings for a night. Hopefully I'll be able to do these posts earlier in the evening so that I will be less hostile.  And hopefully we will be able to get up at least some audio interviews as an podcast.  That would be worth listening to (if I can get over the fact that my voice sounds nothing like I think it does...).