Weird Yet Wonderful Offer: Upload a Fake Version of Gridlink’s Longhena, Get a Free Download of the Real One
Gridlink’s brilliant final album, Longhena, came out this week on Handshake, Inc. And like any label, Handshake is concerned about illegal downloading. So what attempts are they making to block listeners from obtaining the album in such an elicit manner? Why, they’ve gone ahead and asked fans to upload fake versions of the album across the net in exchange for a free download of the actual album. Says Handshake, Inc. head honcho David Hall:
“In less than twenty-four hours of the release of the digital version of the album, torrents, uploads and file sharing of the album was taking place. Jon [Chang, Gridlink vocalist] and I both knew it was inevitable, but we didn’t think it would happen so fast. We were giving away a free digital download of the album with the purchase of the vinyl, so someone who actually bought the record, must have uploaded their copy and started sharing. I wanted to come up with a creative way to stop the sharing and uploading, so the idea of creating a fake album and putting it out there seemed like a good way to go.”
“I appreciate that people want to listen to the album…it’s an amazing record, but they can stream it for free from Bandcamp, and it will soon be on Spotify and other subscription-based streaming services. I hope people have fun with the contest, and I hope we flood torrent and upload sights with fake Longhenas.”
So the goal here obviously isn’t to make money (not that anyone thinks they’re getting rich off a Gridlink release anyway), but just to discourage illegal downloading in general. As Hall explains on the Handshake website:
“What pisses me off about illegal downloading and sharing of music is A) all these torrent sites and upload sites and blogspots etc., etc., make ad revenue off every little click that is made on their sites. So these people are actually MAKING money off the backs of other people. Also, it’s totally disrespectful to the band/artist…it presents an option to obtain their music in a manner they have not approved of.”
The phony Longhena, created by Hall himself, features twenty-eight tracks (the same number of songs that appear on the real Longhena when you include the vocal-free “karaoke versions” which come with legal downloads, natch) of various silly sound effects (crying babies, booing crowds, etc.) instead of the actual songs.
Hall is making it INCREDIBLY easy to take advantage of this offer, too: all you have to do is download the fake Longhena at this link, upload it to whatever means of illegal downloading you prefer (various torrent sites, Rapidshare, Megashare, Sharieshare — whatever whatever whatever), and email a screen cap of the upload to info AT handshakeinc DOT com. The first one-hundred people to do so will all received download codes for a free copy of the album, and be entered into a drawing to win a either a limited-edition, sold-out blue vinyl copy of the record, or a black vinyl copy of the record.