Rant: No Doubt in YouTube's policies? I beg to differ

author PP date 10/04/09

Rants are short bursts of opinionated anger written either by the Rockfreaks.net staff or by guest columnists, where the pen and paper is free for the author to steam out at whatever relevant issue to music or the related industry. The topics can range from how bad a highly anticipated release actually was to the ridiculous price of concert tickets or beverages at venues, the choice is entirely up to the author. You hate karate-moshers? Can't stand Green Day? Write a few paragraphs about it and email it to xre@rockfreaks.net. If it's good enough, it will be posted in this space.

Rant: No Doubt in YouTube's policies? I beg to differ

So earlier today I was logging on to YouTube because I knew that a new No Doubt single had been leaked and was in circulation through peer-to-peer media. I'm a huge fan of the band's earlier work, despite Gwen Stefani's sell-out moves since then, and of course I wanted to hear the new song as quickly as possible. I'm also one of those people who despises owning just one song from a record, so instead of downloading it through illegal means and supporting piracy, I figured it'd be better to check out the next best place where all new popular music inevitably ends: YouTube. After all, the new No Doubt album will likely not be released before spring 2010 at the very earliest, and having one song seemingly lost in my massive music folder would just end up pissing me off in the long run. Deleting music is a crime against humanity, as you know.

And sure enough, a quick search for "No Doubt stand and deliver" revealed at least three still-image streams of the new song. But guess what? The audio is missing in each of them. The first time I thought it was just a bad upload by an internetically-challenged person. By the second time I began having doubts. By the third stream, I faintly remembered hearing something about YouTube/Google agreeing to combat copyright infringement more aggressively upon request of the music labels, and that one of the approaches would include the removal of the audio-feed from reported songs.

Am I the only one who finds this utterly pointless and stupid? Is it not hundred percent retarded to block quasi-legal access to a song that a fan wants to hear just because it's not supposed to be in circulation just yet? Since the song IS in peer-to-peer and torrent circulation already, this feels like another one of those gazillion times as of late where a major record label is shooting itself in the lone healthy foot still remaining. For what better publicity is there for an already hyped album by an artist--who hasn't released anything in almost nine years--than having a whole bunch of people hear it and then forward the links to their friends - this WITHOUT any of them actually downloading a copy of the goddamn song in the process? And this isn't just about me wanting to hear a No Doubt song in advance of it's release, it's happening to stuff that's ALREADY IN CIRCULATION as well! What could the record industry possibly gain from such a retarded move? Does this not force loyal fans of the band, such as myself, into obtaining a sample of the (hopefully) good things to come through means that are almost certainly illegal?

I know, I know, if we were to be all righteous and morally correct, then we'd all sit here and wait until May 11th when the No Doubt song premieres on the Gossip Girl episode. But anyone who actually believes that the majority of people will do that probably believes in imminent world peace and that it'll never rain on Roskilde Festival again. Then let us also remember from our The Pirate Bay article that torrent-software automatically shares the song you are downloading with others who are downloading the same song - even if you delete the torrent file straight after your download finishes.

So lets sum things up. In order to prevent people from hearing the song on YouTube, the record label requests that the audio from the song is removed so that people can't hear the song (no matter how incredibly stupid that sounds in the first place). And then the same people who probably would've streamed the song once, twice, maybe thrice and possibly sent on the link to their friends (free word of mouth viral promotion. Screw marketing budgets) are now downloading an actual copy of the song and sending it to countless others in the process. Let us remember that the original objective of the policy was to combat piracy...when will someone grab the executives into a stranglehold and teach them the lessons of technology? The image below may be a repost from the aforementioned article, but it applies here as well.

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