Madonna Has Choice Words For Music Pirates
The Madonna camp is looking to clamp down on online peer-to-peer piracy of her new Maverick album, "American Life," by flooding file-sharing networks with decoy files. Those who download tracks from sThe Madonna camp is looking to clamp down on online peer-to-peer piracy of her new Maverick album, "American Life," by flooding file-sharing networks with decoy files. Those who download tracks from such services as KaZaA are greeted by the voice of Madonna asking, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?" The new album is due April 22; the title track is No. 37 this week on the Billboard Hot 100.
Madonna is no stranger to pre-release piracy. In the lead-up to her 2000 set "Music," unfinished portions of the title cut flooded such services as Napster. No advances were sent to journalists for "American Life"; instead, in what has become a common practice, writers were asked to listen to the record at the office of Madonna's publicist.
Meanwhile, Madonna is making her major-label repertoire available to digital music services, but is restricting permanent ownership offers to those who buy an entire album; individual tracks are not available for purchase on a stand-alone basis.
What's more, the artist is not making her music available on a rental basis. Such usage rules leave subscription services like MusicNet, Pressplay, and Rhapsody out in the cold. Those services offer their music as streams or conditional downloads, then allow subscribers to select individual tracks for burning; they do not offer albums for purchase in a bundled form.
The strategy is not in step with Maverick parent company Warner Music Group's (WMG) primary digital music stance. The major has made more than 45,000 tracks from its catalog available for a la carte purchase, with virtually no usage restrictions. WMG declined comment on Madonna's online offerings.