November 27, 2005

Boing Boing publishes hearsay

Over at Uncle John’s blog we’ve been covering the recent Deadhead controversy in a teapot concerning the removal (or rather, prevention of downloading) of 2300 Grateful Dead shows from the Live Music Archive.

There are many theories and suppositions floating out there about what motivated the change in policy, as well as a fair amount of disinformation (for example, the music will remain in the archive for perpetuity, but for the time being the soundboards can no longer be freely downloaded or listened to via the site).

In covering the story, Boing Boing quotes an anonymous reader and accepts that person’s theory about who is behind the policy change and why: Boing Boing: Greedy Grateful Dead widow burns down online show-library.

It’s traditional in rock ‘n’ roll to blame the wives and widows (see also Yoko), and this kind of explanation also serves to let the heroic rockstars off the hook for what their handlers decide on their behalf.

While I’m in general sympathy with Cory Doctorow’s philosophy regarding the sharing of the Dead’s music and free culture in general, it appears that he didn’t bother to do any original reporting at all. If he had he would have learned that the Deadheads are still free to trade recordings as they always have, “acting as unpaid, volunteer evangelists for” the band.

Posted by xian at November 27, 2005 11:14 AM


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