The greedy bastards.
Benjy Eisen for Rolling Stone: Grateful Dead fans, perhaps rock’s most dedicated bunch, are taking a stand against the band they love. Until recently, Deadheads could download countless live recordings of the band for free from third-party sites, including the popular Live Music Archive (archive.org), which once hosted nearly 3,000 Grateful Dead shows. All of the downloads were pulled last week at the request of Grateful Dead Merchandising (GDM), the group that handles official products for the band and is overseen by its surviving members.
Deadheads have answered in protest. In an online petition, fans have pledged to boycott GDM — including CDs and concert tickets — until the decision is reversed. (The band itself broke up in the wake of leader Jerry Garcia’s 1995 death, but in recent years guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have toured simply as “the Dead.”)
GDM recently began selling live music downloads through its online store. The sudden lockdown could be a simple non-compete strike, or it could foreshadow a long-rumored deal with iTunes that will make the entire Grateful Dead live vault available for purchase.
Fans were incensed that the policy change applies not only to official soundboards but audience recordings as well. Throughout their four-decade career, the Grateful Dead actively encouraged fans to trade live recordings and even designated a special “taper’s section” at the concerts. In return, Deadheads largely respected the band’s wishes that the concert recordings weren’t sold for profit.
You have no idea how sad I am about this. I fought it hammer and tong, but the drummers had inoperable bricks in their head about it.
What’s worse is that they now want to remove all Dead music from the Web. They might as easily put a teaspoon of food coloring in a swimming pool and then tell the pool owner to get it back to them.
It’s like finding out that your brother is a child molester. And then, worse, having everyone then assume that you’re a child molester too. I’ve been called a hypocrite in three languages already.
How magnificently counter-productive of them. It’s as if the goose who laid the golden egg had decided to commit suicide so that he could get more golden eggs.
This is just the beginning of the backlash, I promise you.
This is worse than the RIAA suing their customers.
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