Sunday, December 02, 2007

Promos and piracy

I've gotten a few promos that have special anti-piracy warnings for advance copies. I can understand the interest in keeping things from public ears before release (even though I think it's comical that a geek with a blog isn't the public). Most of them contain fairly strong words about reserving the right to take legal action, etc, etc. For the most part, it rubs me the wrong way regardless of whether or not file sharing is right or wrong, because I see the industry (at least as far as the majors go) protecting themselves, not the artists and certainly not the fans who they screw over every chance they get.

All that aside though, I recently received a promo with one of the more stringent warnings and I thought it was funny enough to share. It came sealed with a sticker that read, "If this seal is broken you must contact the person who sent it to you immediately." I must? Immediately? What are they sharing? Sensitive national defense information? Government secrets? Evidence on the Kennedy assassination? I thought it was just a rock album. The next thing you know, I'll need a security clearance to listen to a promo! I hope I don't lose the CD, because the FBI might have to get involved. C'mon, I understand that you don't want the thing to get leaked and it might require strong words to deter some people, but this one was just silly. I love music and I understand that the business is a necessary evil, but don't ask me to like it and don't expect me not to laugh when it takes itself too seriously.



Blogger The Mad Hatter said...

You can't argue that strong language, even if preposterous, will still deter their target audience. People who upload promos online have in mind to do it regardless of the warning language. They're just being highly reactionary over the increased rate of album leaks for bands of all calibers.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

yeah, that's about the size of things....I've had plenty of promos that have my name embossed on the CD and those actually do have tracking software, so I think what it is is that the labels want to thwart promo recipients from spilling the goods ahead of time. I had a publicist tell me she fought like hell to get actual promo copies of a high profile release she sent out instead of just issuing the online download, so it's a strange way of business.

The thing I always think about is how we all taped albums and cassettes back and forth, so much that it had to constitute a generous portion of record sales being lost even then. However, it was looked upon favorably as building up a scene instead of stealing music. Food for thought.

11:43 AM  

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