Facebook's Ban on Playlist Ruined My Holiday

We have a top holiday Facebook application list scheduled to be published later today, and it’s been ruined thanks to Facebook’s ban of the Playlist app. It’s not entirely Facebook’s fault–the RIAA had made a request for the Playlist app, which allows users to listen to songs, create playlists and share them on their profiles, to be taken down last summer.

With three of the four major music labels currently suing Playlist, the pressure from the RIAA for total compliance is weighing heavily on Playlist, and now on Facebook too. Despite striking a deal with Sony BMG earlier this month, Playlist is still in a lot of hot water.

The RIAA is tightening the pressure on Playlist and is spreading the pressure beyond the music company to the social networking platforms that support Playlist applications and widgets. This tactic of cutting off a major source of Playlist’s user access is working. MySpace gave in to the RIAA’s request last week, and Facebook is the latest to ban Playlist in order to avoid further trouble with the RIAA. So where does that leave Facebook users? And where does that leave me?

Even though Playlist wasn’t a holiday-specific application, it still came in as one of the top apps for a holiday app search on Facebook. While we may get sick of hearing Bing Crosby’s voice by December 25th, nothing keeps the holiday spirit going like a good collection of holiday music. My mother refuses to play anything but Christmas music between Thanksgiving and New Years, so it’s even engrained in my own personal traditions. And not being able to share something like that on my most central social network does in fact have an affect on me.

For other users? I’m afraid that they’ll initially see Facebook as one of the bad guys, especially after Facebook has banned other popular applications like Slide. When it comes to social networking platforms, the owners of the platforms do portray a certain amount of responsibility attached to the applications that are made available through their networks. And nasty relationships outside of those platforms can ultimately have a negative affect on everyone involved. When it’s all said and done, the ugliness between the RIAA, other large music companies and Playlist will hopefully be resolved and everyone can once again return to doing what’s best for the end users.