Last week’s RIAA-assisted shuttering of the shared mixtape site Muxtape caused many an Internet-savvy person who liked “indie” music and Helvetica to shed a tear or two. But apparently someone out there has decided that Muxtape will not only live on, it will thrive! And grow, like kudzu or dandelions in a field! Behold Opentape, “a free, open-source package that lets you make and host your own mixtapes on the web.” Yes, that’s right: For the price of some time slapping the code on a site and some Web space, you can have all the liability that Justin Ouellette had when he was hosting Muxtape users’ MP3s on a server that he paid for!
Sharing your musical tastes should be fun and easy. We believe there is no reason it has to end with the shutdown of a single site, so we’ve created a free tool to make this possible.
Opentape’s creation and design are proudly inspired by Muxtape’s success and sleek interface. We were sad with it’s untimely shutdown and wanted to let the web mixtape movement continue.
But wait! Are these gramatically challenged coders’ motives all that altrustic? Jackson West at Valleywag wonders if this isn’t a way for Muxtape fans to “get back” at the RIAA by forcing their lawyers to play the old whack-a-mole game:
The first clue is that the site is powered by the favored online publishing platform of millennial hipsters, Tumblr. Another clue is that the domain registration information points to 152 W. 57th Street in Manhattan, which just happens to be IAC CEO Barry Diller’s address (Justin Ouellette, Muxtape’s founder, worked at IAC site Vimeo). Then there are two small hints in the code:
If this is a way for Muxtape fans to get revenge, it sure does seem blockheaded. But then again, clueless hubris on the part of Internet-drunk script kiddies seems more likely than the idea–floated in the post’s comments–that Opentape is actually a “honeypot,” and the RIAA hopes to catch potential song-streamers by seeing who will install it on their servesr. The fact that it only took Muxtape five months to get shut down over copyright issues is a sign that the trade organization is slowly catching up with technology, but they can’t be that savvy… can they?