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"Free" Videos from Universal's Suretone Label: Highly Polished Spam

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This week, an imprint of Universal, one of the "Big Four," is going to start dropping DRM-free videos with acts like Weezer onto unnamed "file-sharing networks." A stunning new turn in direction in the fallout from Jobs' "Thoughts"? Shnope: You only get half of the video before it directs you to the label's web site to finish it, complete with ads and all the other goodies you've come to expect from official distribution channels.


The Times claims that the move shows the "recording industry is recognizing that it might have to loosen its control to attract the giant audience found in largely unregulated corners of the Internet." Wrong.

I don't see how freely distributing what amounts to unprotected ads, taking advantage of users' bandwidth for distribution, is loosening control or "rethink[ing] the rules of distribution."


Nothing has changed, other than that the ads are no longer fake files from MediaDefender which promote Coke—now they're just promotional material for the labels themselves. Utter garbage.

Music Labels Offer Teasers to Download [NYT]