Sunday, February 08, 2004

THEY THINK YOU'RE STUPID: Considering that hardly a single advert sneaks out these days without being tested to destruction and beyond, it's curious that The Recording Academy, the Grammys people, have screwed up their radio and TCV anti-downloading spots so badly. They're running adverts which scold the music downloader, but they're based on the assumption that - in the words of their President Neil Portnow - "people still do not realize why it's illegal." The Academy have built an incredibly patronising website what's the download to explain why. What they don't realise is that people know exactly what the arguments are supposed to be - but don't buy them. Buying a major label download won't make the difference between there being any more new music or not; it might help service the massive debt of a French Sewage company.

There's much else to explore on Whats The Download - spending a couple of minutes will allow you to harvest a whole bunch of interesting facts you might never have known because, erm, they're not actually true. For example, apparently, "The downloading of music from the Internet really exploded when the MP3 format became available". Odd, because the format became available at the end of the 80s, and yet we don't really recall anyone rushing about with Morrissey's solo music on their Amigas. We could have sworn that the downloading of music took off with the launch of Napster. Likewise, apparently the courts "agree" with the RIAA that downloading music files is just like stealing a CD from a store - although no case has yet come to court where a person has been accused of downloading a file, and certainly no court has handed down a judgement where they draw a direct comparison between file sharing and theft of a CD - they're thinking of "an advert with Britney Spears in", which isn't quite the same thing as a court of law. And so on.

They've at least provided a message board, which at the time of writing seems to only have been discovered by anti-RIAA types. We wonder if messages like this, with links to and the like survive postmoderation.

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