RIAA issue prompts Muxtape hiatus

Web 2.0 darling Muxtape has shut itself down due to a dispute with the RIAA. Little is known about when or if it will return.

Free music mixtape service Muxtape has temporarily been shut down due to pressure from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). There's not much more information about downtime besides a small note on the front page of Muxtape.com saying that "Muxtape will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA."

Presumably the RIAA had gotten wise to the considerable amount of music that was being hosted and played on the service, bringing it into the same tier as some of the streaming radio services that have had to pay considerable licensing fees just to stream tracks to its users.

Back in April, my colleague Daniel Terdiman chatted with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's senior intellectual property attorney, Fred von Lohmann, who said that a site like Muxtape was only able to scrape by if it did not reach a critical mass, and if it had good legal ground both in principle and on paper. We may be only beginning to see if the latter holds true.

Update: Muxtape's blog has posted a tidbit of information about the downtime:

No artists or labels have complained. The site is not closed indefinitely. Stay tuned.
Beta users of Muxtape For Bands: you are unaffected by this outage.

Visitors looking to play some free mixtapes on Muxtape will have to look elsewhere. The site has voluntarily shut down while working out some legal kinks with the RIAA. CNET Networks
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