Is There a MeFi Policy for In Thread Music Links? October 28, 2006 6:50 AM   Subscribe

What's the policy on posting music links in thread?
posted by felix betachat to Etiquette/Policy at 6:50 AM (6 comments total)

I have a lovely, live recording of this song, one which would be an appropriate addition to the thread. It's from A Prairie Home Companion and is thus probably not in the public domain. But it's also not a studio cut and not likely to be available elsewhere.

Is there an official MeFi policy on this kind of stuff? It's far tamer than what gets passed around in MeCha or on the music blogs. But then again, I don't see it done here, which makes me think that it must be frowned upon.

Sure, I could just mail it to the OP, but given that AskMe is meant as a more general, community resource, wouldn't it be better to upload it to yousendit and post the link?
posted by felix betachat at 6:50 AM on October 28, 2006

At least attempt to get permission from someone in ownership of the piece. It's not that hard. Google for contacts, email them, ask nicely, etc.

You'd be surprised how often the answer is some variation of "yes, of course! By all means! My goodness, where did you find that?" or even "Can I have a copy? It's been lost for years!", and as a bonus you get to write to the artists/producers of something you enjoy.

I try to do this as often as humanly possible with any independent, out of print or rare music I download, which is a rewarding exercise in itself.

(To be clear, however, I don't download RIAA catalog works, for sure. There's little or nothing there that I want. So the artists I write tend to be much more approachable, if only due to obscurity.)
posted by loquacious at 7:23 AM on October 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

Loquacious, kudos on your respectful approach to indie music/musicians.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:31 AM on October 28, 2006

To answer the question, I'm not aware of any policy. But I wouldn't worry about getting clearance.

Just post it at YouSendIt or some other service that expires. I'm a musician myself, and I've found in Google results that people have traded my (unreleased) songs in this way. As long as it's not at some personal location FOREVER, it's not really a big deal. The expiring link at YouSendIt will more or less hide your tracks and prevent the whole community from getting it.

Then again, I really want a copy of the song, so I may be biased.
posted by fake at 7:33 AM on October 28, 2006

People downloading a song may very well intented to use it only for purposes allowed under fair use, such as schollarly investigation.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:12 AM on October 28, 2006

There's no policy but when in doubt, go by the golden rule: don't be an asshole.

Posting a link to one song sounds ok since it's live and not off an album or anything and it is pertinent to the discussion, but trading torrents for the entire catalog is being an asshole.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:37 AM on October 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

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