In­dus­try looks for pot of gold at the end of In Rain­bows

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

Back in 2007, the mu­sic busi­ness story of the year was Ra­dio­head’s de­ci­sion to re­lease their al­bum In Rain­bows on a pay-what-you-want ba­sis.

The ma­jor­ity of in­dus­try ob­servers fol­lowed the party line that this was a rev­o­lu­tion­ary move.

Few men­tioned that the Ox­ford band could only af­ford to do this be­cause they had es­tab­lished a huge au­di­ence over a 12-year ten­ure and a six-al­bum in­nings on EMI.

But Ra­dio­head’s al­tru­ism with In Rain­bows was never go­ing to be in­fi­nite.

The Tor­rent Freak blog re­ported this week that in­dus­try lobby groups the Record­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica (RIAA) and the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of the Phono­graphic In­dus­try (IFPI) have be­gun to tar­get fans who are shar­ing In Rain­bows songs on­line with cease-and-de­sist letters.

Yep, the very same songs the band were giv­ing away po­ten­tially for free in Oc­to­ber 2007.

The prob­lem lies in the fact that the band signed a brace of deals with XL Records and Sony sub­sidiary ATO for the De­cem­ber 2007 phys­i­cal re­lease of the al­bum.

Now, the RIAA and IFPI, the bod­ies who rep­re­sent the la­bels Ra­dio­head signed with, have sent in their le­gal ea­gles, ask­ing blogs shar­ing the band’s ma­te­rial to stop.

“These record­ings are owned by one of our mem­ber com­pa­nies and have not been au­tho­rised for this kind of use,” said the RIAA, which rep­re­sents ma­jor US la­bels, in one let­ter.

Given Ra­dio­head’s stance on file-shar­ing, you’d ex­pect a re­sponse. Af­ter all, do the la­bels re­ally own the record­ings or do they just have rights over the phys­i­cal dis­tri­bu­tion of the al­bum?

A band rep de­clined to com­ment when con­tacted by Tor­rent Freak.

Ra­dio­head: no such thing as a free al­bum?

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