I'm glad to see that it's not just me who thinks this IMRO licence farce is simply that. I urge the reader to check out Nialler9 (who has done great work already in this battle), Swear I'm Not Paul, MP3 Hugger, 2UIBestow and the Torture Garden for some wonderful literature on this controversy. The links are all available in the sidebar under the "A Few Of My Favourite Things" tag.
In my short time in the Irish blogger community, I have encountered a number of difficulties. The strongest of these was actually attracting readership to this blog (a far more difficult prospect than I had anticipated), hence my beginnings on twitter and my pestering of the aforementioned blogs and many musicians and djs (The vast majority of these have been more than helpful and have made this experiment of mine thoroughly enjoyable and much easier and I'd like to extend my thanks.)
However, it seems as though IMRO are intent on making this hobby of mine even more difficult. I am not going to claim for one second that this blog or any other should host and share songs without charge - UNLESS permission has been granted by the artists and representatives. The 5 blogs listed at the top of this article have done more than their bit in the publicising of Irish musicians, often giving away MP3s that they had been given by the musicians: obviously eager to reach a wider audience.
It is this point that (to borrow a phrase from Peter Griffin...) really grinds my gears. Many musicians are more than willing to lend their music to blogs in order to reach wider audiences. Take this quote from James Vincent McMorrow (taken from his facebook page...)
"IMRO is asking Irish music blogs 2 pay a license fee for posting mp3s on their sites. I give songs 2 blogs all the time on the understanding they can post mp3s of them completely 4 free. The notion that some of the smaller blogs will have 2 pay the same fee as the bigger ones 4 doing this is a bit troubling."
I commend Mr. McMorrow for this - while many musicians may be wholly on the side of the bloggers in this debacle, very few have actually spoken out. I hope that those who have kept their silence are contacting IMRO directly to let their feelings be heard.
Finally, IMRO seem to be of the opinion that the small blog (for example, this one run in my spare time on a laptop in my kitchen. I fit it in around work, college and my social life - it exists as a hobby: almost a tool for continuous writing practice on something that I truly love.) should pay the same fee as the professionally run set-ups who reap advertising fees and more. This is simply impossible. The only feasible result of this would be the closure of small blogs and, thus, lot less people talking about Irish music. Is this what IMRO want?
As I mentioned at the start, the likes of Nialler9, Swear I'm Not Paul and more have written exceptional literature on this fiasco and I would urge you to check it out. The entire Irish blogging community seems united in their anger at this shameless attack. It is genuinely saddening to think that an organisation supposedly existing for the benefit of Irish music and musicians may be the cause of the collapse and closure of dozens of blogs.
EDIT: Some handy links for y'all...
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.