By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Whatever the answer, a lot of bloggers are jumping platforms. “I’m switching to WordPress immediately. The RIAA, or Google, obviously doesn’t seem to know what the labels are doing,” says Heather Browne, the writer of the popular I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, which was recently named one of the U.S.’s five best music blogs in a Stereogum poll. “Most of the tracks posted are provided to bloggers, and nearly all are willing to take a track down if contacted. Sometimes, people just make a mistake. Cracking down on a couple blogs will never stem the problem of illegal downloading. This is how things have worked since blogs started five years ago. The labels just need to embrace it at some point.”
Few industry outlooks come more panoptic than that of Ashley Jex, who writes the Rock Insiderblog, plays bass in the Monolators and formerly handled new media for Capitol Records and Suretone Records. Jex foresees a future in which the labels attempt to further assert control over their catalogs, inking deals — similar to current pacts with sites like YouTube, Imeem and MySpace — that guarantee them a share of online revenue in exchange for streaming content.
“Blogs will never die, but the golden age of the guerrilla blogger posting whatever they want is coming to an end,” says Jex. “There will be arrangements for ad-sponsored content that you can put on your blog, in the vein of sites like Hulu. Eventually, there will be software in place within all the major blog platforms — Movable Type, WordPress and Blogger — where if you’re trying to post an infringing content, you won’t be able to publish. At least, that’s the direction it seems to be heading.”
Perhaps most ominous for music bloggers are the reported conversations between the RIAA and Internet service providers. ISPs already possess the ability to monitor traffic flow based on Web addresses; on the copyright-enforcement horizon is a new tool called “deep packet inspection.” A technology with the potential to give copyright holders the upper hand in scouring the Web for infringers, deep packet inspection is currently employed primarily in law enforcement. If used for policing copyright infringement, however, it would allow ISPs and the RIAA to decrypt and track files sent across the Internet. Suddenly, a bunch of telecommunications and music companies would be given the ability to monitor files; in essence, to filter the Internet, a frightening proposition that would make a few thousand deleted blog posts look quaint.