Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Right and Wrong way to Deal with Fans

A few months ago, I found this catchy little song by Guyz Nite about John McClane of Die Hard fame, and I posted it back in mid-July, and I hadn't really thought about it much since then.

That was until I was watching football on Sunday and a commercial for the upcoming DVD release of Live Free or Die Hard featuring the song. Suffice it to say, I was floored.

I mean, in many, many, MANY cases, when a movie studio finds out that someone is using their copyrighted materials, even if the use is very flattering to the properties involved, well, lawyers get involved and cease and desist letters are sent.

But that isn't what Twentieth Century Fox did. No, they ran with it, and I am surprised I actually about to utter this line, more studios should do what Fox did. I mean, think about how much positive publicity a fan base in this Youtube age can generate with their labors of love. I think more media companies should adopt this kind of policy, and I would like to congratulate the members of Guyz Nite because of all the exposure their work is likely to receive now.

It should also be an object lesson for artists like Prince who recently has been going after a lot of the fan sites dedicated to him and his work. His representatives are demanding these sites remove all photographs of him and his album art, his lyrics, or any images inspired by him, including tattoos and license plates. Now that is really disrespecting the people who love you the most. That's cold, that's so cold. And there are also discussions about compensation for damages... from his fans?!?

I understand why Prince would go after some of the file sharing sites, but to unleash lawyers on fan sites, that seems to be a really bad move karmicly speaking. Granted, I am not famous enough to truly understand the hardships of being so exalted that people are willing to permanently show their love for me by getting tattooed with something about me. But from where I sit, I wouldn't drop trow and take a big old dump on those same very same people, which in essence is what Prince's representatives are doing.

In short, I think these actions are a mistake on so many levels.


Guy said...

Guyz Nite would like to thank YOU for noticing. It's been a hell of a ride--check out the DVD release--we've got two bonus features on there.

Thanks Bro!

Guyz Nite

Eric Rosenhek said...

This reminds me of when a contest was held for bands to put together the 'theme song' for Snakes On a Plane.

It's also nice to see when some outlets sign deals with YouTube to post their content.

Jeremy Barker said...

Oddly enough, I have a tattoo of you dropping trow and taking a big old dump on Prince. He deserves it too.

MC said...

Guy: And I would like to thank you for rockin' hard.

Eric: I think such arrangements are mutually beneficial to both parties and as such, should become a much more standard procedure.

Jeremy: God, I needed to laugh like that. Funny thing is, with Prince's stature, he was standing full height when I did it too.

Tuffy said...

Prince's thing is especially assholish after he depended on his fans to stick with him when he stood up to his label a couple years ago. What a douche!

SamuraiFrog said...

The days are coming when artists are going to want damages just because you sang along with the song.

MC said...

Tuffy: Well, that and the fact that before all this, he was widely regarded as one of the most forward thinking artists when it came to the internet.

SF: I think you are right, sad but true.