Daft Punk Fights Piracy With Convenience, Streams Entire “Random Access Memories” Album Days Before Release

Posted: May 14, 2013 in GT, Technology

After weeks of teasing, endless itty-bitty leaks, and
about a zillion radio plays of the one track they’d
released so far, the entirety of Daft Punk’s new Random Access Memories has just hit iTunes, days before the official release. The catch: it’s streaming only right now. You can find
the link right here. Hit the “View in iTunes” button,
then just tap the “Listen Now” button. Enjoy your early
taste of the album you’ll be hearing all summer. While a few sites are declaring this a “leak”, that’s
almost certainly not the case. Apple did something
similar to this leading up to the recent release of
Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 album, and the promotional
text of the stream specifically suggests that you “pre-
order the album” — which isn’t something they’d say if it wasn’t intended to go up a bit early. “Why would they do this?” you might ask. “Isn’t this
just giving pirates a hi-fi copy to spread around?” Yes — but that’s very much not a worry at this point.
We’ve got just four days before the album’s official
street date. The album is almost certainly on trucks
around the country. Once it’s on the trucks, it’s being
ripped and uploaded to the Internet, almost without
fail. Streaming your album early, on your terms, is the
new “accidental” leak. It’s fighting piracy with the only
tool that can really fight it: convenience. A massive
chunk of people who download leaks do it just to get
a taste; to say they heard it early. By giving those
people the taste they want through a sanctioned, official, high quality means, you’re nixing the need for
them to download a bootleg copy. Will it eliminate piracy of the album? Of course not —
but it’s one small nudge upwards in a hugely uphill
battle. (Plus, artists make most of their money by way of
touring these days anyway — and if there’s any show
worth seeing live, it’s Daft Punk)

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