Feeds

Pandora shuts box on users outside US

Record cartels kneecap streaming service

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Pandora.com, the popular net radio station that helps users discover new music and build custom playlists, will block most people outside the US from accessing its service because of legal pressure being exerted by record labels.

Launched in 2005, Pandora has always billed itself as a service for US listeners only, but until now it never enforced that policy. Beginning Thursday, people accessing Pandora from most IP addresses originating outside the US will be prevented from accessing streaming services.

"It's devastating for us to have to do that," Pandora founder Tim Westergren told The Register. "We're terribly disappointed and frustrated, but the existing law right now is such that we can't legally," stream to most users outside the US.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act mandates compulsory licensing to internet broadcasters streaming to US-based listeners, but there are no such laws requiring copyright holders to license their works for net consumption in other countries, Westergren said. Pandora has been working to secure licenses to stream music to non-US listeners, but other than in the UK, has made little progress so far.

Westergren said Pandora's move to block users outside the US follows months of pressure from record labels.

Pandora has racked up a loyal following who are attracted to the service's sophisticated music analysis features, which Westergren first began crafting in 1999 under the lofty-sounding Music Genome Project. It assigns more than 50 trained music analysts to listen to music, one song at a time, to catalog close to 400 attributes, helping users to figure out which tunes work together well in a playlist.

While it's sad to see a site a useful as Pandora get whacked in the knee-caps by the record cartels, there's still reason for hope. So far as we can tell, the prohibition against users with foreign IP addresses should be easily circumvented by ProxyBlind or some other proxy service.

Pandora has also pledged to continue its efforts to obtain licenses for its outside users. In the meantime, Pandora is promising to maintain a record of bookmarked artists, songs and other settings. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.