So, you’ve come to The Blah Blah totally unsuspecting, new to this whole MP3 blogging thing, and as you sit here, read the articles, and download the MP3s, you can’t help but feel like an RIAA representative is standing behind you watching, waiting to haul you and your computer off to jail for downloading free MP3s.
And as you sit and sweat, you ask yourself, “Is this even legal?”
Well, the short answer is: nobody knows yet. The recording industry has investigated certain large-scale MP3 blogs and has complained that tracks be removed from certain sites (and the bloggers have always complied), but they have yet to pursue the phenomenon as a whole and set a court precedent. So, as of now, the whole thing is in a gray area, but if record companies pursue it, MP3 blogs might become illegal, or they might be promoted as a way to get the word out on music (this is the smarter choice I think).
Here at The Blah Blah, we’ve taken a number of steps to increase our legitimacy. For some of the MP3s we host, we’ve received permission from the artist or record label to offer them, and we’re working at receiving permission for even more. For others, though we don’t have specific permission to post them, they come from artists or record labels who have posted the MP3s for free on their websites. Others come from live recordings, and still others come from artists who have set a precedent that they don’t mind distributing MP3s for free.
Now, there are other MP3s on this site that fall into none of those categories and are questionably posted. All of us who write for The Blah Blah have visited MP3 blogs and had our eyes opened to new artists who we later downloaded legally (ie. we paid for it). Our hope is that we’re fueling interest in the artists we post here and helping them receive sales, not taking away from their income. We look at ourselves as grassroots campaigners for musicians that don’t usually get radio play and have few ways to get the word out.
In that hope, we always link to the artist’s website, MySpace page, iTunes download page, and CDs on Amazon. It is also with this spirit in mind that we promise to remove any MP3 that an artist or record label wants us to remove, and we only leave MP3s up for a limited time. We’re not here to destroy artists but to promote them and help them grow.
If you’re still not sure about the whole thing, think of it like a modern 21st century mix tape. It’s fun for us to put together, and fun for you to listen to.
If you have any questions or new information regarding legal issues, please feel free to e-mail us or leave a comment.