Barenaked Ladies on Trojan Horseback


— 1:05 AM on September 19, 2000

There's an image for you. Here's a CNN.com article talking about a tactic the musical group the Barenaked Ladies are using to make life difficult for Napster users.

Basically, the wacky Canadians ("With their beady little eyes, and flapping heads so full of lies") are using "Trojan-style downloads" (the article's words, not mine) that are named like tracks from the band's new CD, but are in fact advertisements for that CD. To make things even trickier, the tracks start out sounding like the real thing, then fade into adspeak.

Perhaps the author is a Napster fan; the second half of the article does a 180, covering artists' positive reactions to Napster and MP3's, including Courtney Love's thesis that the record companies are the real culprits in the "stealing from the artists" game. There's also discussion about the Smashing Pumpkins' recent release of their last album in online format only, done basically to hack off their record label.

I was curious to see how effective the Barenaked Ladies' tactics were, so I popped onto Napster and did a search for their new single. I found a plethora of files, including a number entitled "Barenaked Ladies - Pinch Me (without the ad).mp3." Ah well, better luck next time I suppose. Perhaps for the next album they'll leak titles like 'BNL - New Single (without the ad).mp3', 'BNL - New Single (no, seriously, this one really doesn't have the ad).mp3' and 'BNL - New Single (OK, I was just kidding before, but this one seriously doesn't have the ad, I swear).mp3'.

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