If you picked up Nine Inch Nails'Year Zero remix album, 1337-ly titled Y34RZ3r0r3m1x3d, you probably noticed the second disc "halo 25 data," containing the multitrack master files for every song from Year Zero. Some of them had already been posted online not long after its initial release, and that experiment's success led to the full-blown version. It's obviously meant to spur fan remixes, with the last piece in the puzzle being an official site to organise and distribute them all. Thanks to Universal's legal wrangling with YouTube, it's not going to happen.The gist of all the law suits against YouTube is that, because it doesn't pro-actively take down or automatically block copyrighted content, it effectively doesn't fall under the DMCA's safe harbour provisions. If Universal, Trent's former record label, hosts a site where a fan pulls a Danger Mouse with Year Zero and Prince's 1999, which Universal doesn't own, they think they'll be opening themselves to the same blasts they're pelting YouTube with. Then their lawsuit would be in jeopardy, and you can't have that.
While I am profoundly perturbed with this stance as content owners continue to stifle all innovation in the face of the digital revolution, it is consistent with what they have done in the past. So... we are challenged at the last second to find a way of bringing this idea to life without getting splashed by the urine as these media companies piss all over each other's feet. We have a cool and innovative site ready to launch but we're currently scratching our heads as to how to proceed.
Do I really have to emphasise here how hard it sucks someone trying to change the game is being roadblocked by legal squabbles over a content/copyright model that's in drastic need of revision? Also, loophole ideas anyone? [Nine Inch Nails]