Monday, 14 July 2008

Know Thine Audience!

We're back on the 'when is free music not free music' thing again. Don't you hate it when someone promises you a gift, you get excited, then realise they have an angle? It goes sour. Push it too far and you can lose friends over it. Tonight I'm losing a 'friend'!

These days it seems the only people who want to add me on MySpace are pornstars - and I decline! So when I got an invite from an artist that had a properly contextual (these things are never truely personal) meassage attached I was interested, especially with the added carrot of free music.

I shouldn't have wasted my time downloading the 17 free tracks on offer. They all came with a spoken intro: hello this is blah, blah, blah, this song is called blah, blah, blah, brought to your by blah! I deleted all the tracks and in the interests of expressing my feelings on this issue I'm off to lose a 'friend'.

If he really was my friend he'd know that while I love free music I love it with no strings attached. Marc Andre gave away an album on the only condition that you tell people they could download it. I've mentioned it before but that is the way to do it. That's really making friends!

Monday, 7 July 2008

A little late on this one...

By now you've doubtless heard that due to a ruling in a US court YouTube must hand over an astonishing amount of data about every video ever viewed on its site to Viacom. I seen people say this is wrong for many reasons but the more I think about it the one that is most insidious is the ruling is retroactive.

Perhaps we were gullible and naive to ever treat anywhere on the web as a lawless new frontier. But people have - if we're honest I'm sure we all have to some degree. And I think web-development has benefited from that. Viacom argue they haven't - and, rightly or wrongly, a judge agrees with them.

However, I can't help feeling there's an aspect of this ruling that's like erecting fences and 'We Hang Trespassers' signs after a caravan of honest prospectors have trundled across an unmarked boundary, only to find themselves the centre of a Salem-style witch-hunt. They say 'innovate or die' but perhaps if you don't fancy either of those options you just need to a bigger gun and go hunting!