Pandora to Shut Down in UK

Yesterday, ZeroPaid reported on the European Commission wanting a consumer friendly market for consumers.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

While it may be a welcome initiative, the Open Rights Group notes that it may be too late for Pandora.

Pandora, a website known for taking popular music and finding similar lesser-known artists with a similar style for internet users, was dealt with another blow recently. Its services helped millions of users find their own musical taste with artists they may have not otherwise found out about. It was barely a full year ago when people discovered it and considered it a major innovation in online music.

Its customers in the UK were informed that due to copyright issues and a lack of a legal framework, their services might begin blocking people within the UK. A similar move was made last year when Pandora announced it would block Canadian IP addresses. Not surprisingly, the move sparked controversy, causing many to point to how organizations like the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) refuses to invest or even support in new initiatives and innovations by others online.

Pandora also faces similar pressure in their own country – the United States. Many point out that royalty hikes would effectively kill off internet radio. An innitiative was started to fight such moves called Save Internet radio.

“It continues to astound me and the rest of the team here that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music.” Tim Westergren commented back in July, “I don’t often say such things, but the course being charted by the labels and publishers and their representative organizations is nothing short of disastrous for artists whom they purport to represent – and by that I mean both well known and indie artists.”

While there is no word yet if the web service has blocked British users yet, history has shown that it may be a likely outcome eventually.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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