Last Wednesday, we posted some MP3s from the forthcoming Dinosaur Jr. album–including one that had been taken down from Faronheit after a comment from the Web Sheriff, only to be reposted on Pitchfork a few days later. Today, we got our first visit from the Sheriff, and he (she? it?) was kind enough to leave us a comment:
DJ’s label (Fat Possum) have allowed fans and bloggers to Almost Ready and Been There All The Time as promotional tracks and to give fans a flavour of the new album … .. other tracks are, not unnaturally, being held back to release (the Pitchfork track being a special, temporary arrangement) … .. hence some tracks being allowed and other not … … this is common practise amongst indie labels these days and we hope this answers your (and your readers) question.
In the circumstances, therefore, we’re also obliged to ask you to remove your copy of We’re Not Alone.
Well, first of all: Fine. We were taking “We’re Not Alone” and the other Dinosaur Jr. MP3s down today anyway–we only keep most MP3s up for a week (an exception can be found here). But are we crazy for thinking it odd that an MP3, with no protection on it, can only be downloaded from one site–after all, if you’re letting an unprotected audio file out in the wild, even for a limited time, shouldn’t you expect it to thrive? Wouldn’t that file not thriving be more worrisome to the people charged with promoting the band’s music? (And wouldn’t you want people who, say, don’t read Pitchfork–and yes, they do exist–to maybe get exposed to the record as well?)
Anyway, we don’t want to call shenanigans or anything; we just want to point out, like we did last week, that the idea of the “exclusive download” sounds sort of like the “MTV Exclusive” touting of the old days, except not really, because it’s a lot easier to redistribute an MP3 than it was to redistribute a video in the pre-YouTube era, and because the idea of an “exclusive MP3″ is somewhat oxymoronic. Did we say “somewhat”? We meant absolutely.