The RIAA is Stifling Creativity


That’s what Calvin Powers said after he was told he needed to end his podcast. The Americana Music Show featured “hand-picked, road-tested, feel-good music and interviews with your next favorite bands.” The RIAA told Powers he was hosting unauthorized recordings. In other words he was playing music and that’s a no-no.

The RIAA letter to Powers stated they were working on behalf of a label. He has to take down all 450 of his previous shows in addition to ending the show. Powers told PBJ that the show was a huge part of his life and it was ripped out overnight. “I was devastated. So it’s very tough for me to talk about it.”

In a blog post Powers said the RIAA is stifling creativity. “They are killing an opportunity to connect new voices in the music scene with new listeners. In my opinion they are doing a disservice to the singers, bands, and recording labels they claim to represent. That’s on them.”

Powers wrote on his blog that the RIAA has so far only sent him a “cease and desist” email. But, he said, if the RIAA actually sues him for damages, he’s worried they will come after his personal savings, retirement, and his house. “I can’t afford to put all that at risk.”

Powers knows this is not a free speech issue. “This is matter of property rights and contract law. I can rail against how the current laws in the United States are rigged to protect the radio industry. I can complain about the unfair royalty rates for podcasters. I can point out how other countries treat podcasters more equitably. But I will not make the claim that the RIAA is infringing on my free speech.”


  1. Rolling Stones, Rhianna, John Legend….all big AMERICANA artists. Guess you didn’t read the article closely.

    From the article:
    The Americana Music Show featured “hand-picked, road-tested, feel-good music and interviews with your next favorite bands.”

  2. Hi, folks,
    Your article regarding Calvin Powers’ difficulty with RIAA is sobering. One thing could have helped the podcasters out here a great deal, though, would have been to tell us what music Mr. Powers was playing. If it were to have been tunes from Rhianna, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac or, perhaps John Legend, he was in fact breaking the rules. However, there are many royalty free music businesses that advertise that they are specifically for podcasts, blogs, videos, commercials, etc. It would be really frightening if he got that cease and desist order while using royalty-free music from sources such as Audio Jungle, Artlist, Audio Hero, etc. It would be a great service to the podcast and blog communities if you would provide a small dose of additional information. Thank you!


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