Muxtape Speaks: Justin Ouellette on the BPP

Muxtape is one of the Web's cooler corners. The simple site, born last month, lets users post a single mixtape of 12 songs. Your tape — ever evolving, if you wish — exists as a simple link that you can send around. For an example, see founder Justin Oullette's.

Ouellette came on our show last week to talk about his creation. Muxtape is growing fast enough that he's having to build server capacity sooner than he expected. It's also drawing attention from copyright lawyers, some of whom say what he's doing could pass muster and some of whom say he's heading for a Napster-style shutdown.



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I don't know. There's that one key difference between Muxtape and Napster that could make it not completely illegal: you can't download the songs. I'll be sad if it gets taken down becaue I can listen to a ton of stuff that I wouldn't normally get to hear. I'm actually changing my muxtape right now to my favorite running songs.

Sent by Sarah Lee | 5:11 PM | 4-16-2008

I think it's educational to look at and how it has fared over the last couple of years. muxtape is in essence a clone of imeem's playlist feature, leaving out the videos, photos, blogs and other social features on imeem. Everything you can do at muxtape has been possible at for the past couple of years.

Imeem got very popular very quickly, and then it got the inevitable legal actions from the RIAA. I don't believe Sarah Lee's comment about not being able to download is any real defence, imeem does a far better job at protecting the music from being downloaded and they still got sued.

Many bloggers immediately wrote them off and waited for them to get shut down like napster had. Instead imeem quickly settled the cases brought by the RIAA and signed revenue sharing agreements with the labels. The 'cool' indie fan bloggers made a lot of noise about how this was 'selling out', but that hasn't stopped the site going on to become the biggest web2.0 music site (twice as many users as, and over 100 times muxtape)

If muxtape gets big enough it'll go through the same process and it *will* change. There will be restrictions on what can be uploaded, and limitations on which territories it plays in. Muxtape will have to start paying the artists and to do this it will either throw ads at users or charge them money for using the site.

The question is, how will the users react when the first mixes start getting taken down for sharing Beatles records.

Sent by Rob Gordon | 8:03 PM | 4-17-2008

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