Why is this minor technical issue important? January 19, 2010 9:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm having a hard time understanding why a public relations missive from a mainstream corporate band about a minor technical issue is somehow worthy of inclusion on the front page of MetaFilter.
posted by jason's_planet to MetaFilter-Related at 9:18 AM (47 comments total)

Bevcause it addresses a really interesting issue about how a band who really built their base on the viral videos they put out wound up getting stuck in this copyright morass and in a weird sticky problem that basically made it impossible for their video to spread the way that is necessary if part of your appeal really has to do with this sort of thing. The post has 82 comments and zero flags. It touches on issues of copyright, technology, pop music, record labels and the shifting relationship between bands, their fans and their corporate masters.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:23 AM on January 19, 2010 [35 favorites]


What jessamyn said.

Now, anyone up for a pint?
posted by purephase at 9:24 AM on January 19, 2010


Personally, I liked it because it showed an interesting first-person perspective on the End Of Music Publishing As We Knew It, and the potential for continuing to make money as a musician.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:25 AM on January 19, 2010


Put another way, it's not a minor technical issue, it's a series of decisions that made some sort of sense to the people making them but had the unintended consequence of totally screwing over the band that the record company is expected to promote. That's sort of interesting. The fact that the band went directly to their fans to explain what was going on is also a sort of technology-enabled end run about old school models of doing things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:25 AM on January 19, 2010


Speaking as someone who writes press releases for a living, this ain't one. And the technical issue does represent a small facet of a wider story that affects a wide swath of people: music industry copyright, censorship, corporate demagoguery, the plight of the artists they purport to represent and their fans, who are ultimately the real victims when a record label pulls this crap. So it's interesting.
posted by zarq at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or... what Jessamyn said. I shoulda previewed
posted by zarq at 9:27 AM on January 19, 2010


The post has 82 comments and zero flags.

So it gets a metatalk and without any flags? You would think there would be at least one.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:29 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


All right. Fair enough.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:29 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


If we were going to start an FPP-grading system, I would give that post and the interesting discussion (88 comments, quite a few commenters) it has triggered a higher grade than single-link Slate article posts or posts consisting of a single link to a widely available Gawker media blog.

But luckily we don't have that kind of system. You don't have to love every post. We've had this discussion before.

I thought there was some really interesting viewpoints brought up in the commentary as well, particularly with regard to the 20th century music industry as a bubble.
posted by bunnycup at 9:29 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the topic was interesting. I had no idea that the pay structure for videos did not include embedded links. My opinion was/is that many people were unaware of this pay model. Finally, their missive is not the fodder of the post. The underlying theme (how do we value music/art/literature in a hyper-contextualized world) is really the most interesting part of the thread...and what jessamyn said.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:30 AM on January 19, 2010


"A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others."

You may disagree whether the topic fits the criteria but judging by the thread, many others don't.
posted by rocket88 at 9:30 AM on January 19, 2010


What's with your attempt to slyly slag them off as a "mainstream corporate band." If they released music themselves the story would be Metafilter-worthy? If they released music themselves EMI wouldn't be involved and thus there would be no story. The corporate part of the equation is clearly part of the story itself. I get that this indicates you don't like them, but they're not manufactured or something. They're a band using and being used by a corporation, not something cooked up in a lab by a team of marketing experts.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:33 AM on January 19, 2010


Your username provides a clue to the source issue for this pointless call out.
posted by Babblesort at 9:41 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the topic was interesting.

If only the subsequent discussion were as well.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:42 AM on January 19, 2010


There certainly is a lot of discussion in the thread itself about the merit of it and it being a non issue.

I, for one, see the non-ability to embed videos into a blog as a sure sign of things changing in the music industry. HAMBURGER.

And that video was supposed to cost a bunch on money? All I see is maybe paying for some buses for that band, a round of happy meals, and a boom for the camera to operate from.
posted by Big_B at 9:50 AM on January 19, 2010


Here, let me help: The Beatles and Radiohead are also mainstream corporate bands.
posted by box at 9:51 AM on January 19, 2010


If we were going to start an FPP-grading system, I would give that post and the interesting discussion (88 comments, quite a few commenters) it has triggered a higher grade than single-link Slate article posts or posts consisting of a single link to a widely available Gawker media blog.

My own pet peeve is the single-link TED talks with writeups that basically say "{Person} gave a TED talk!"

But fortunately the scroll function on my mouse works just fine, so I just don't bother to read them.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:56 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another corporate mainstream band press release from OK Go!'s erstwhile label-mates.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:01 AM on January 19, 2010


Sidhedevil, the scroll function on middleclasstool's mouse obviously doesn't work.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:01 AM on January 19, 2010




Well, thanks for posting this in MetaTalk rather than attempting an in-thread derail, I guess.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on January 19, 2010


Well, thanks for posting this in MetaTalk rather than attempting an in-thread derail, I guess.

If only there was some way to embed the derail.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 AM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


...that said, my response to most people who wish to complain that other people are interested in links that they are not is "Boo hoo, STFU."
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on January 19, 2010


music + copyright + recording industry + internet + video + first person perspective = metafilter nirvana.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:20 AM on January 19, 2010


well, jp gave it his best to do this the appropriate way. he's conceded the post's merit and now we should be done here, I hope.
posted by shmegegge at 10:22 AM on January 19, 2010


Someone give shmegegge a new torch. His seems to have sputtered out.
posted by Babblesort at 10:27 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, jessamyn, that was spot on and eloquent, and quick.
posted by caddis at 10:40 AM on January 19, 2010


God I hate sardines. I really, really put in the effort... mashed them up with frsh ground pepper, hot-sauce and a little dijon mustard, some diced celery and olives. Put this on a toasted low-carb pita, which I find yummy for similar applications of tuna. All I could taste was an oil-spill at low tide.

With that in mind, it was a good FPP and I fully endorse EVIL cameras.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:42 AM on January 19, 2010


Listen up, everyone: Only important shit on the front page from now on. None of that silly shit anymore; we serious business peeps won't stand for it any longer.
posted by carsonb at 10:45 AM on January 19, 2010


If we were going to start an FPP-grading system, I would give that post and the interesting discussion (88 comments, quite a few commenters)

To be honest, it was more interesting before it degenerated into "standard Internet piracy argument #23."
posted by smackfu at 10:53 AM on January 19, 2010


Kinda slides into that within the first dozen comments.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on January 19, 2010


I think it's 43 comments in before anyone mentions piracy, and for the most part few are advocating for piracy.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:34 AM on January 19, 2010


The conversations leading up to it are all part of the familair set though - 43 is just where they snap together to make Voltron.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lions or vehicles?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:44 AM on January 19, 2010


As pointed up by jessamyn and bunnycup, the discussion is interesting and needs to go deeper than the usual knee-jerk GRAR PAMPERED ARTISTS.

I'm quoting someone below, posted just a couple days ago on the blue, who knows a thing or two about producing music:
"I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn't last, and now it's running out. I don't particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it."
posted by _dario at 12:22 PM on January 19, 2010


If we were going to start an FPP-grading system, I would give that post and the interesting discussion (88 comments, quite a few commenters) it has triggered a higher grade than single-link Slate article posts or posts consisting of a single link to a widely available Gawker media blog.


I don't agree with this callout, but it's not really cool to to make an argument that the callout sucks because you happen not to like two of jason's planet's 98 posts.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:26 PM on January 19, 2010


Whatever. OK Go is awesome. That is all.
posted by slogger at 12:37 PM on January 19, 2010


Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.

every time I hear this argument, I kind of nod my head and think "huh. you know, this makes a certain sense."

at the end of the day, though, I keep thinking of reasons why it's only a certain sense. I mean, people fucking LOVE music. Its availability to the public without a live show has naturally resulted in the boom we've talked about during the 20th century, the same way the assembly line and mass production resulted in housing, transportation and other booms of the same century. and while our consumption is outpacing our resources, and there are problems in that across all industries, we're not talking about bubbles, here. Making quaint comparisons to the poverty-stricken days of jesters is satisfying in an armchair expert kind of way, but it's not accurately describing the march of progress or anything. People will still want music in their houses, and convenient high speed transportation, and will pay out the ass for it. We're not watching history move past the era of recorded music any more than we're watching history move past the era of instant communication just because people are using land lines less. There are a million problems with holdover business models in music, manufacturing, transportation and other industries. reduced demand for those services is simply not one of them. people want music now more than ever. we're still traveling distances that were once prohibitive. we're still talking in real time with people across the world and we're still watching pre-recorded media streamed to our households.

that whole "oh, making money off music is a fad argument" is really ridiculous. I mean, bogglingly myopic. there are fuckloads of dollars out there that will people will pay for music. they just don't want it the same way. Piracy aside, record companies are people who don't understand how to get that money so they just keep isolating channels of distribution because they don't know what else to do. the ok go thing is not because someone at the top of the corporate food chain at EMI thought to himself, "well, I understand that virally moved music gets the band out there and can ultimately result in record sales, but at the end of the day I'd like to isolate distribution channels because I believe that a strictly controlled marketing apparatus will filter signal out of the noise of viral media and provide higher gains down the line." no, it's because someone high up at the food chain heard "people can listen to this song FOR FREE?! what are you, fucking kidding me? kill that shit!" that's entirety of the thought process at that level of decision. there are probably informed workers in that company trying to push the former message through in tiny increments, but they're not being heard right now because their bosses don't want to be told that they don't get the market. they want to go in front of a board of directors or a shareholders meeting and say "we are squeezing the FUCK out of the market right now. BAM! dollahs, bitches." they don't want to say "well, there's this revolutionary idea out there that says that if we provide content for free we can monetize down the line, so here's the red line graph going down to show our devotion to this principle and here's the EXPECTED upturn later, if we're right." they want to say "we are stopping those filthy pirates in their tracks. fuck those pirate guys." that a streamed music video embedded on a facebook wall comment has nothing to do with piracy? not a punchy enough message, I guess.
posted by shmegegge at 1:46 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eno's argument actually makes no sense to me at all, but I guess I'm not surprised that someone who's already made his money off the recording industry might feel okay getting behind it. The only reason people are unwilling to buy music is that they don't have to; they still want recorded music, as shmegegge says. That the technology exists to get recorded music without paying for it is not in itself a good argument for doing so. The technology also exists to knock over a liquor store, you know.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:29 PM on January 19, 2010


well, jp gave it his best to do this the appropriate way. he's conceded the post's merit and now we should be done here, I hope.

More like conceding that MetaFilter's mainstream and I weren't seeing eye to eye on that particular post and that I wasn't winning anyone over.

So . . . fuck it. Move on.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:09 PM on January 19, 2010


probably should have closed this thread when jason's_planet said "All right. Fair enough."

leaving it open is just opening a forum for criticism of his already-rescinded viewpoint.
posted by tehloki at 10:48 PM on January 19, 2010


The only reason people are unwilling to buy music is that they don't have to;

Just stop right there. Next thing, you'll have me paying for tap water.
posted by philip-random at 11:55 PM on January 19, 2010


your tap water is free?
posted by caddis at 6:51 AM on January 20, 2010


No, that's just my gray water recirculating system they keep tapping into.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2010


your tap water is free?

Yes and no. It comes bundled with all the other stuff I pay taxes for and, the broker I am, the less I pay for it to the point of zero if I've had a particularly bad year.
posted by philip-random at 8:35 AM on January 20, 2010


Quick, someone get PR a drink!
posted by cjorgensen at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2010


Know what I've noticed? The comments noting the banality of an FPP are much more excruciatingly dull than any other part of said FPP. It's like browsing a library with someone who complains whenever they run across a book that doesn't look interesting.
posted by zennie at 10:45 AM on January 20, 2010


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