Trust, But Verify: If Pandora Really Wants to Negotiate, Here’s Five Things They Could Do To Start Regaining Trust

How little has changed…

Music Technology Policy

It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.

Mark Twain

No surprise here–press reports have surfaced that “Pandora, the web’s top radio service, has held preliminary discussions with groups representing music artists as well as indie and major labels about ending an increasingly aggressive feud over music royalties, multiple sources familiar with the talks told The Verge.”  (This from the reliably first Greg Sandoval, the best in the business.)

What’s interesting about this is that the government has handed Pandora two really huge reasons to never talk to the people who create their product:  compulsory licenses and ancient anti-trust decrees that produced the rate courts. You remember antitrust law, that’s the thing that doesn’t apply to Google.

In other words, Pandora comes to “negotiate” with a state-sponsored gun to our heads and an icepick up our noses.  Oh, and millions of stockholder…

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