So, further to this post here, the inevitable happened and big business shat all over the best use of the music and the internet since, well the internet and pandora.com has shut down services to the UK. Here’s a highlight of what Tim Westergren, the founder emailed to users in this country:
This is an email I hoped I would never have to send. In July 2007 we had to block usage of Pandora outside the US because of the lack of a viable license structure for Internet radio streaming in other countries. It was a terrible day. We held out some hope that a solution might exist for the UK so we left it unblocked as we worked to negotiate an economically workable license fee. After a year of trying, this has proved impossible. Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US.
It continues to astound me and the rest of the team here that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music
I wrote to them expressing how lame this whole affair was and I even got a personal email back thanking me for my support and general heavy usage. What jolly nice people. Still, this news was so big it even made the BBC News website.
Nonetheless, after a few rant about this on a music website, all isn’t lost just yet. I was directed to ths site here that might be a back door for us Brits still use the wicked Pandora technology. I haven’t actually tried it yet, so don’t moan to be when if doesn’t work. It seems to be broken at present and probably won’t change. Any other suggestions welcome though…