Saturday, October 25, 2008

Columbia's war on fans

Glasvegas. Popular with blogging music fans, of course, and drawing a lot of their status from the free publicity they give. Their label must be thrilled, right?

Not quite: Columbia Records bullied Google into taking down an interview on 17seconds with James Allan because there were dead links to mp3s. Mp3s which aren't commercially available anywhere. And which weren't actually owned by Columbia in the first place.

So that's a label enforcing a takedown of an interview whose content wasn't connected to them, because you used to be able to download tracks that weren't anything to do with them, and which you couldn't even get to any more. This isn't about intellectual property; it's about control. 17seconds is clear that they don't blame the band - but Glasvegas surely should answer for what is being done, after all, in their name.

[Thanks to Simon T]


Anonymous said...

It's a really stupid situation but then again I guess that's what you get when you sign to the blind majors. If the band had any sort of integrity they would have immediately issued an apology and distanced themselves from the people at Columbia Records or demanded an apology from Columbia for bringing their name into disrepute. Of course, in a fair world the band would be able to get out of their contract after the label offended their fanbase and possibly effected their income (which of course is an amusing but unsurprising case of the label biting the hand that feeds) but at the end of the day the label will get their own way and the band will be forced to lump it.

Can anybody imagine the people who released their early singles demanding that Columbia take down things connected with the band? Oh that's right - no.

h. said...

How about Google allowing themselves to be bullied, though? I mean one expects this type of dickery from the majors, but it's surprising to see a company of Google's stature capitulate so readily. Disgusting all round, I think.

Laura Brown said...

@ h: Google were quite happy to censor themselves for the Chinese government, so I'm not at all surprised that they gave in to a record company. "Don't be evil," my arse.

(Of course, I still use their sites every day, so what does that make me?)

Anonymous said...

I suspect Glasvegas have bigger problems at the moment... such as how to make a record which isn't dreary and crap like all their output so far...

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