Pandora has been forced to close its service to all countries outside of the USA, including Canada, reports tech crunch. The reason? Internet music and radio providers are facing increasing scrutiny from legislators which amounts to increased regulations and decreased “wiggle room” in the ever shrinking digital commons.
Pandora, since its launch in the summer of 2005, has stated that their service is for USA residents only, but of course it didn't take long before international users were registering with a variety of five digit US zip codes.
Now that IP-based filtering has caught up with Pandora, it seems all of us non-Americans are busted and our nifty personalized radio station service will be no more as of Thursday this week. This folks, is yet another attack on internet-based audio services and non-corporate radio.
It may seem like there are plenty of digital fish in the audio sea, but without sustained resistance and organization, internet radio will look a lot like the world's oceans: depleted.
The email sent from Pandora iterates:
This isn’t the only bad news recently for Pandora. Along with other Internet radio companies, they have also been fighting the RIAA over revisions to the fee structure they must pay for playing music online. The rates they pay are significantly more than satellite providers pay, and terrestrial radio stations pay nothing to play music. Two very brave congressmen, Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), have proposed legislation that would require Internet radio startups to pay no more than satellite providers, which should allow many Internet radio startups to stay in business. Read more about the legislation on the Pandora blog and SaveNetRadio.