Murdoch sells at Yard Sale

Rupert Murdock’s NewsCorp Sells at Yard Sale

Copyrights to music by every artist on the planet

and the personal information of millions of users

sold for a pennies on the dollar.

I very much enjoyed the news that Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp recently sold for less than one-tenth what they paid for it, losing more than half a billion dollars on the deal. Think about it this way: Even though NewsCorp owned copyrights to half a dozen songs by every musician on earth, and could advertize to, and collect data from millions of users, not only could they not make money, they took a 500 million dollar bath.


In fact, all of those musicians, myself included, actually drove people away from, and towards, with our constant barrage of self-promotional “comments” and “friend requests.” While my weird music has not made me any money, I’m quite proud that my efforts cost Rupert Murdoch half a billion.


It really didn’t take a genius to know that Rupert Murdoch overpaid for, and that “the bloom was off the vine” as they say, even then. Everyone was already migrating to, and online advertizing really hasn’t been that effective anywhere. So, the value of these social networking sites remains mostly speculative, and fads pass quickly. This one took 500 million dollars of Rupert Murdoch’s money, with it.


Anyone remember They imploded back in 2000, but they did a lot of things right for musicians, and cultivated a lively online community. If you were one of the few people with a fast internet connection back then, held a vast collection of music, of all styles, from around the world, and offered lots of ways to access it. Musicians used it to find other musicians with enough in common to create online “scenes” and coordinate tours and gigs. I don’t think any site has matched for musicians since then, but could.


Most musicians still use their site. It’s free, makes it easy for anyone to access all of your relevant information, as well as sample your music. I haven’t updated mine in years, but you can still hear:

  1. Several cuts from: my 2006 CD Handmade at

  2. My “circuit-bent” music at

  3. Episodes from my 1995-8 TV series, Nukebusters TV, currently in resurgence on Access Humboldt, and in Pakistan, at


Other than artists and musicians, has become kind of a ghetto. Real estate developers know that artists can turn a ghetto int a che-che neighborhood ripe for gentrification. I think should work that angle, and do more to serve the needs of artists and musicians.


Maybe should incorporate a “Pandora” like feature that sources all of the music at gave musicians lots of opportunities to communicate with each other in groups, and lots of opportunities to work together to promote each others music. If you liked one band, would also recommend other bands based on your taste. Just some suggestions for the new owners of If the new owners take my advice and shift the focus of to serve the artists who most heavily rely on the site, I’ll bet could lose even more money in the future.

Author: john hardin

Artist bio: The writer in me says: “Don’t tell them who you are, show them what you do.” The artist in me says: “It must be strong, simple, bold, yet rich with detail, but above all, original.” The filmmaker in me says: “We need to contextualize your work by weaving the roots of the Psychedelic Revolution, the Environmental Movement, Gaia Theory, Future Primitivism and musical influences from Iannis Xenakis to Bart Hopkin into a narrative that portrays an iconoclast's struggle for cultural relevance from the forested hinterlands of rural Northern California within the greater post-industrial, post-post-modern, post-reality mind-fuck of the 21st Century.” The critic in me says: “Will that guy ever shut up?” The comedian in me says: “It has to make me laugh at least once.” The engineer in me says: “Don’t forget to tell them that you do it all off-grid, with solar power, using recycled materials.” And the improvisational musician in me says: “Cut! Great job everybody!”

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