After recently covering how an Irish performance rights society wanted to charge hotels for public performance fees because people could listen to music in their rooms, comes the news (sent in by eoinmonty) that a different Irish music organization, the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), is demanding popular music blogs throughout Ireland pay up to keep promoting music — even when that music is sent to the bloggers by the record labels and musicians directly for the sake of promotion. They apparently have already hit up some of the most popular Irish music blogs, even though some of them make no money at all (have no ads) and are done purely for the love of the music.
The issue, of course, is that IMRO covers the songwriting/composition rights — like ASCAP or BMI in the US — rather than the performance/recording rights. So, in IMRO’s short-sighted view, it doesn’t even matter if the musicians and labels want the music playing for free on those blogs, it has to collect for the songwriters. Apparently, no one has stopped to realize that in demanding hundreds of pounds from some popular hobbyist sites that those sites will likely go away, and the songwriters will get significantly less exposure for their music.