The beleaguered entertainment industry has received another blow in its battle against the downloaders, as uber-cool music producer Danger Mouse has revealed plans to issue his latest album with a blank CD-R.
Due to a falling out with the suits at his record company, EMI, Danger Mouse (real name Brian Burton) will release his Dark Night of the Soul album with elaborate packaging, but will ask his fans to download the contents via the internet on to the included blank disc - and not by official sources either.
Young Mr Burton, who is half of Gnarls Barkley, has worked with Banksy and Damon Albarn (there is always room for one blip) and first won praise with his internet-only - and non-record company sanctioned - The Grey Album, a mashup of the Beatles and Jay Z. Now, following the EMI dispute, Danger Mouse says he "hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is".
The announcement is surely the sort of thing that sees record company execs remove their faces from mirrored surfaces and move at speed in the direction of high-storey windows. Just consider what the entertainment industry has to put up with already: early releases, forced preview downloads, DRM technology and unnecessary accompanying applications - and that's just the music biz.
Just last week, the UK creative industry stopped searching eBay for limited edition Nike trainers long enough to ask ISPs to step on prolific filesharers, while a study from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) revealed that one in four software installations in the UK was illegal.
Illegal software, the BSA warned, might not live up to your expectations and could leave you open to security issues - leaving Sneak wondering when they were going to start talking about how it differed from the official version in many cases.
While the above examples aren't quite as cool as Hip Hop industry spats, they still show just how concerned the 'biz' remains about pirates. Artists lowering a ladder for the miscreants to jump onboard ship isn't going to help anyone. Unless...
Sneak eagerly awaits the day that Celine Dion follows suit. Because surely a blank Ms Dion CD is the best Ms Dion CD.
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