Torrents! (Of bullshit)
those who complain on messageboards that a not-for-sale CD clearly marked PROMO ONLY which they had no business buying is in fact a CD-r… I salute you
By and large, as a musician I expect to get ripped off occasionally; it’s an occupational hazard. This is why I’m not too bothered about torrent sites or other internet-based free music distributors beyond my control. While I might find the principle behind them bogus and annoying, it’s just about possible to accept in return for the (theoretical) publicity it can generate. And let’s face it, other options are limited.
Just before This Mucky Age was released, a ton of pirate downloads appeared on the net; one of the promo copies was ripped by a journalist. The only objection I could think of was that it messed up search results for this site; otherwise it was vaguely flattering, in a creepy sort of way… but begs the question, Why?!? Some sad bastard even went to the trouble of photographing the packaging. It’s a decent pic, too; so ironically enough, I’m going to steal it (see above).
While checking this out, I found bands begging to be pirated – either from wanting the extra exposure that these sites supposedly offer, or to be seen as inside the great big inclusive internet tent, maybe, instead of out in the rain. And to an extent, there’s something in the righteous notions the… pirates?… bandy about, of Opening Up Music’s Furthest Horizons Without Hindrance or Limit For Everybody, of sticking it to The Man, etc etc (when they bother to make excuses, it’s usually some kind of incoherent bid for the moral high ground).
Still, it would’ve been nice to be asked. At one point there were 80-odd leaked versions out there; not many in the scheme of things, but enough to be taking the piss. It can be remedied with a little effort, though: get a DMCA takedown notice issued, and the dark grapes of villainy wither on the vine. Eventually.
This is why the US House of Representatives’ proposed Stop Online Piracy Act & Protect Intellectual Property Act are disproportionate and inappropriate. The main argument against is that these pieces of legislation are so vague and potentially all-inclusive that, as the proposals stand, they could be extended to mean censorship (by blocking) of pretty much anything. All this in the hands of a closed group of private interests. But so what?
…After all, it sometimes feels like the www could do with a good purge; times when it seems to consist almost entirely of 2nd-hand crud – endlessly-circulated photos of dogs in fancy dress, people who can’t spell screeding out massive reviews of long-forgotten 80’s horror films, regurged gossip and contention, whatever.
Yeah (that’s quite enough devil’s advocacy), then what? What’s left, other than scorched earth and Adele? The brute fact is, I have no idea where any of this is going, and care less; it was just an excuse to put that picture up at the top. Which makes me just as bad – will the circle of evil ne’er be broken…?