Call me Russ L

The promoters of ‘Surface Unsigned’ are pillocks

Posted in Do Not Use These Companies, Modern Living, Music by Russ L on 19 May, 2008

‘Battle Of The Bands’ competitions are stupid, as I’m sure we all know. ‘Popular music as a competitive sport’ is a bizarre idea, while ‘a competition you win based on how many supporters you have’ is an outright idiotic one. The larger ones based on the bands selling fixed quotas of tickets go beyond this peculiarity into the realms of being actively unpleasant. The bands do all of the promotion for the gigs due to their need to sell tickets, and cover the costs and their own petrol money through said ticket sales. ‘Sponsors’ quite often donate the ‘prizes’ (either that or you’ll be blessed enough to win a record contract or some radio play that never actually materialises). What precisely do the (supposed) promoters actually do other than eat the profits?

Enter Surface Unsigned. Danny Smith posted about them on Created In Birmingham, and after some back and forth was surprisingly surprised to find out that the above sort of thing applied. The chief differences in this case were that the nonsense was A) on a national scale with tons of heats/rounds all over the country; B) charging £6 per ticket, and C) employing a ‘text this number’ system for additional fun and profit. That’s a lot of money flowing upwards. A quote from SU’s Terms & Conditions document was posted as evidence. So far so Dick Turpin, but two months later we’d all forgotten about it just as this sort of thing is destined to be forgotten.

The massive were soon to be reminded. SU decided that the republished excerpt from their T&Cs constitutes an abuse of copyright (I say ‘decided’ advisedly; it’s not like this follows the actual law or anything) and demanded that the whole post should be removed lest legal action be taken. This frustrates me far more than their sleazy promotional system (I don’t like that, but anyone silly enough to fall for it gets what they deserve). It’s just a feeble attempt at bullying. There’s no attempt to answer or refute any of the criticism; it’s just “shut up or we’ll bash you”.

What they’re about to learn, of course, is that the internet doesn’t work like that. The CIB gang quite rightly aren’t going to kowtow to such pathetic threats, and I salute ’em for it. The offending paragraph has been re-written in lolspeak, which in my view is a more than reasonable compromise.

Your move, SU goons.

(If you don’t like entities trying to quieten criticism in New Media by this sort of method, repost a link to the original post on your blog using Surface Unsigned as anchor text, like so. Soon the Googlejuice will overflow).

Other follow-up posts:

Oh Danny Boy
C-C-C-C Chris Uniiiiiiitt
P’Ashton (including the threatening email)

EDIT: There’s a collective memory post on CIB with links to all of the many posts of support ‘n’ thought that this incident has inspired. It is actually quite heartwarming.

2nd EDIT: The man who tries to shut people up with threats feels ‘bullied’. Why do I get a sinking feeling that perhaps no lessons whatsoever have been learned from this?


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