Defenders of the old copyright order say it’s all about protecting content creators–if you download an album or movie for free, the logic goes, you’re depriving an artist of the income he or she deserves and disincentivizing them to continue making art. While that’s usually true to some degree, it leaves out something important out; the record labels and film studios, often the entities pushing hardest against piracy, generally stand to make more if a project succeeds and lose more if it fails than the artists they represent.
A telling example: Steve Loveridge, the director of a documentary about M.I.A. that’s existed at least since last year, became fed up with the sluggish promotional schedule that often accompanies a major-label release, and decided to release a teaser on YouTube over the weekend. He made the film, so why shouldn’t he?
The clip, featuring “archival footage with M.I.A., Diplo, and others, plus interviews with Kanye West, Switch, Spike Jonze, XL’s Richard Russell, and Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine,” according to Pitchfork, was quickly pulled down after the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry filed a copyright claim against Loveridge.
UPDATE: Watch the trailer below, archived by D.Dot Omen.
Loveridge, predictably, got some frantic emails about the whole affair from Roc Nation, M.I.A.’s management company. He responded in the most flippant way possible, writing, “I really couldn’t give a flying fuck. Count me out. Would rather die than work on this… nothing personal :),” then posting the whole exchange to his Tumblr.
Will the M.I.A. doc see the light of day? First, let’s wait and see if Interscope ever decides to put her album out.