Grrr…stand up to bullies

Extremely displeased by bully boy tactics.

I checked my email this morning to find an email from Blogger saying that links had been removed ‘Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog infringes upon the copyrights of others.’

Now, I cannot actually check the article concerned, which was an interview with James Allan of Glasvegas, because it was removed. Yes, not just the mp3 (which I had believed that I had removed, given that I allowed my account to lapse with the file hoster concerned, as I felt that they had seriously let me down a few months back) but the whole interview, which frankly speaking, I consider to be MY intellectual property.

I would like to say that I do not blame Glasvegas for this. They’re a great band, James Allan was a charming interviewee and his sister and manager Denise remembered that he had promised me a place on the guest list when they played Edinburgh last month. However, I do feel that removing mp3s of demos that the band had made available for free on their website is somewhat unjust. Yes, I posted them, they were free. Added to which, james Allan had commented that before many of the songs were out, fans seemed to have learned the lyrics to the songs from blogs.

Until a few months ago, the first three singles from the band (recorded prior to their signing with big record company, I won’t name it here,) were available to download from a well-known online retailer. You now cannot buy them from said retailer. Now, if the band chose to do that, that is their choice. BUT: if you have previously enabled things to be either downloaded for free or to be downloaded, then withdraw that, people will distribute them ILLEGALLY, and if they were once available to buy -guess what, the band won’t make the money that it might have done!

Back when I interviewed the band in January, James Allan was very modest, and even with the signing frenzy that was happening, didn’t seem to have let it go to his head. From what I saw onstage last month in Edinburgh, he still hasn’t. As well as coverage in the NME (three covers this year, I think), what has helped them was the coverage in blogs like this. Oh, and bizarrely, people like me who played them to their students in aesthetics, and the students went and bought the album and singles.

There are those who see all copying and distribution of music as being the same as walking into the shop and stealing multiple copies. I beg to differ. Whilst I have had to cut down on music buying of late (there’s, y’know, bills to pay, and there is a recession coming -sorry, but the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, this is not scaremongering), I have bought pretty much everything by Glasvegas I could lay my hands on. Including buying a copy on vinyl even though I’d been sent a promo CD and buying a copy of the LP for brother Seconds’ birthday. I might also add that when I reviewed the album in September I stipulated at the end of the review ‘Don’t copy this, go and buy it.’ Short of going and buying thousands of copies of the album and giving it to strangers in the streets, I don’t think I could have done more to promote the band.

So why the hell am I being made to feel like a common criminal?

Like I say, this is not a rant at Glasvegas, but at people who feel that they can use bully-boy tactics and scaremongering. As I’ve mentioned before, I co-run what is Scotland’s newest and smallest record label. I hereby declare that I will never, EVER hound people who promote the bands whose records we release. And may I be struck down if I do.

Glasvegas’ album is out now. It’s brilliant, go and buy it. And go and buy the Aberfeldy single, it’s brilliant too.

If you are the sort of person who is trying to concentrate on internet crime; here’s a tip: deal with the real criminals: people who exploit others. Not bloggers who do this out of love of writing and music. The web police are no more than manifestations of George Orwell and William Gibson’s worst nightmares come to life.

After that rant, there’s only one thing I could possibly post:

Crass -‘Do They Owe Us A Living?’ mp3

I had been going to post ‘Police and Thieves’ by the Clash, until I remembered that it is on a label with big scary lawyers (well, very likely).

Oh, and I will post the review of the Mogwai/F*ck Buttons/Errors gig tomorrow, it was brilliant).

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