As the row over IMRO‘s decision to charge certain music bloggers in Ireland for a licence to host copyrighted matertial, The Cast Of Cheers and MIA Sparrow both withdrew from the final show of this year’s Showcase Tour in Dublin on Saturday night. Writing on their MySpace blog, The Cast Of Cheers commented, “we apologise to anyone who was coming to see us but due to IMRO’s current stance on the LOEL (Limited Online Exploitation Licence) situation we cannot in good conscience support them right now. We hope you understand and support us, the bloggers and the websites we’re doing this for.”
MIA Sparrow, meanwhile, said, “we each contacted IMRO (as individual members) on Wednesday this week, making our feelings clear about the blogging license issue, expressing our concerns and requesting clarification on it, but none of us have received a reply as yet. Although we were happy to play tomorrow’s gig knowing that there would be an IMRO/bloggers meeting on Wednesday, we feel that with the headline band pulling out and with the general call for -band solidarity’ it would now be wrong to perform. We apologise to anyone who intended to come to see us and to IMRO for any inconvenience caused and I hope you understand our position. We also hope that this issue gets solved as soon as possible.”
IMRO’s decision to target certain music blog sites (including Nialler 9, Asleep On A Compost Heap and The Torture Garden – all written by members of the State team) has attracted widespread attention, including this article on the Guardian website. A meeting between the various parties is expected this week.