Thursday, June 21, 2007

Leakers Almighty

Wednesday afternoon the kind folks at Idolator linked to a new blog (so new it really had no posts) that is all about leaking the names of people who leak tracks. I’m pretty sure that this guy posting the names of bloggers who post unauthorized tracks on another blog is not gonna “solve” the music piracy situation – but it is a funny situation.

Many commenters on Idolator and the dude’s blog (which as of today had still outed no one) are freaking out claiming that any such name-leaks are violations of this right or that amendment. Funny how people are all concerned with rights and fair-ness when theirs are at issue and far less so when the “rights” belong to a band who’s music they wanna own. I don’t want to go into all this again but it got me thinking about …

A few years back there was a huge album coming out and the label only sent out CDs with watermarks on them. That is standard now, but this techniques was a bit new then. These were NOT the CDs that were-uncopy-able that only play in old school boom-boxes but rather each disc had the name of the director and prod co that it was given to encoded into the 1s and 0s of the digital file.

I heard the song but never got a disc. The director in question did not get the job but in a few weeks word came down that “his” copy of the song had ended up on the internet. The track had been panned by amateur and pro critics all over and the label was feeling stung so they launched a full-fledged investigation.

A week or so after that I am in the office of the same prod co and there is a Pinkerton agent there. Yes, the strike breaking, Lincoln protecting Pinkertons that even scare Al Swearengen on Deadwood. Unfortunately, the music piracy Pinkerton was not wearing a six gun or swinging an ax-handle. He was just an ex-cop looking guy with a clipboard. He asked a lot of people in the office some questions and then left.

Nothing really became of it, but this has to be the ultimate “analog solution to a digital problem.” I guess the Texas Rangers or Musketeers were not available.

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