Let me give you a bit of a refresher on how I work. I’m not one of these folks who’s first instinct is to find the nearest regulation and see in just how many pieces I can break it before it turns lunch time. Actually, where I can, I tend to do the exact opposite–then help folks who would like to do the same to be able to do so. But see, there’s a small problem at times with that logic. And you guys over at EMI just ran smack into it at full speed.
There’s a song by country singer Dierks Bentley that’s apparently been out since October of last year. I only just heard it last week. I wanted to see if I could find the music video for it. Partly, because I’ve yet to see it, and partly because short of lining myself up for one of those “pay us $4000000000000000 and we won’t sue you for $100000000000000000” letters, that’s the only way I’d be hearing the song without deciding to park myself in earshot of the radio or TV until it comes on–for the record, when you’ve got things to do, that just doesn’t happen. Sorry, EMI. So I did what any legal-minded person with 10 minutes free to do it would do. I hit the interwebs for the official video. And what’d I find?
This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Yep. A music video, that I was perfectly willing to listen to legally, I’m not actually legally (by EMI’s definition of legally, anyway) allowed to listen to. So I did what any legal-minded person who doesn’t have the time or the spare brainmatter to park himself in front of the TV until the thing decides to come up in the rotation would do. I went to a few of those *other* sources on the interwebs. Yeah, you know the ones. And if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know the rest. those *other* sources, in no uncertain terms, told me they had exactly what I was looking for, and I could have it in as long as it took for the thing to download. so, following my own logic, I thought about it for about 5 seconds, then tried a few more legal avenues. Got told in very diplomatic–appologetic, even–terms to please to be shoving off now, EMI doesn’t want me seeing it, and thanks kindly. So I went back to my other sources. And, hell, I hit download.
In that very instant, and not for the first time, I became a statistic–the kind of statistic that companies like EMI hold up and wave around while all the while screaming “More copyright! More enforcement! Because piracy!”. And, like so many times before, it won’t trouble my sleep any. Why not, some back office executive’s likely wondering–assuming back office executives even read stuff like this, which is probably more evidence I should be considerably more awake–or caffinated–than I am at the moment before writing this. Because, to put it simply, I followed the law, and the law tried to lead me off a cliff.
To be clear, I wasn’t even planning on downloading the bloody song. It’s good, but not so good that I just had to have it right the hell now. I’d of even, were I intent on grabbing the song for my own personal use, coughed up whatever the going rate for the thing is on iTunes–assuming 1: iTunes had it and 2: EMI let them sell it to me without the same brainless geographic restrictions (neither of which I checked, because again, wasn’t interested in *downloading* the song). I’d of listened once or twice, then poof, off to do whatever the hell else I was planning to do–like move nearly 1 TB of crap from one drive to the other so I can reuse the first one for fun things. EMI had other plans for me, clearly.
So, as of this morning, also not for the first time, I am James, the pirate. And it’s all EMI’s fault. I should probably be expecting one of those letters soon.