Friday, February 12, 2010
Stones Throw fights the noble fight
C-box, who we use as our primary means for interaction on this site, has frozen the chat box in response to a DMCA complaint. I'm waiting to hear from them specifically, but playing the odds, I'd say it's Stones Throw. [update, 2/13 -- heard from c-box...yes, it was Stones Throw]
I did the math: We've made 878 posts over the 3+ years of the blog, many of them containing multiple albums. That's a LOT of instrumental albums upped. Through the years, we've received a few complaints -- less than a dozen -- and we've always honored artists'/labels' requests.
Personally, I disagree with the premise that you can absolutely control digital media. A site like this attracts tastemakers and dedicated fans of the music that will buy your music after they've heard it -- not encased in the webplayer on your site, but on their ipod or car stereo or whatever. However, artists/labels have a right to be stubborn (unenlightened) about this, as the law as written is with them. Besides, some could give a fuck about communities that form around blogs, and would shrug if they disappeared along with their links.
Enter Stones Throw. They've already acquired a reputation of sorts in how they go after blogs and links, so to some this is no surprise. We've put them on our "Do Not Post" list, although as far as I know, two posts have fallen through the cracks since that policy started in '08 -- and have been taken down immediately upon notification. Admittedly, the c-box is a little harder to police.
The difference between Stones Throw and everyone else is that they immediately go to hosts. I suppose it's efficient from their perspective, if it's all about control. If anything, it reveals their relationship to the culture: they invest a lot of money in their brand and culture, as can be seen on their website. But make no mistake, their version of this culture -- beatmaking -- is branded, copyrighted, and controlled. While they have talented producers on their roster, Stones Throw itself? It's a t-shirt.
So keep fighting the noble fight, Stones Throw -- against well-intentioned communities of artists and listeners in the culture you're trying so hard to brand.
And to everyone here -- beatmakers, fans of instrumental hip-hop -- let's keep this place free of Stones Throw.