Saturday, 27 May 2006

Pearl Jam: free music video "Life Wasted" (Creative Commons licence)

In case you missed the mention in the Creative Commons blog or news release or the Google blog, famed grunge rock group Pearl Jam have made their music video of "Life Wasted" available for free download via Google Video.

It was going to be free only until 24 May, and then you'd have to purchase it after that date - but it's still on the Google Video site for free today, and that page now says "Free until 1 June, 2006", so it looks like they've extended the date.

The video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs license so you can download it, copy it and send it to your friends legally for free, but you can't exploit it commercially without permission e.g. try to sell it to others. (You can play it online or manually download it - it'll normally be a GVI file in your My Documents, My Videos, Google Videos folder; you'll need to have installed Google Video Player to play it offline.)

If you're a Pearl Jam or grunge fan and haven't heard of it yet, now's your chance to grab the video. (I tried to include it below - to do that you should just be able to click the Embed link on the Google Video page for the code to copy/paste into your blog) and it showed fine in the Preview view. However, you have to add a </embed> after the code given, tick Stop showing HTML errors for this post and cross your fingers before you can get it publish. And it showed up fine on my test blog, but the exact same tweaked code on this blog just gave me a forever at 0% page so I gave up in the end and deleted the code. Not the place for a Google grumble here, but it's another illustration of non-joined up thinking on the part of Google, why can't they just get their products to integrate properly with each other? I feel another post coming on... Edit, tried again, now it's working. Still need the </embed> though.)

What I'd like to know is, have they included any DRM (digital rights management) so that the video stops playing after 1 June, whether embedded on webpages (playing the video file direct from Google's servers) or downloaded onto your own computer? It doesn't look like it. If it doesn't "self-destruct" after that date, will people be willing to pay for it when they can get a copy for free from anyone who managed to download it before 1 June?

I'm not a grunge fan, but I am a Creative Commons fan, and I think this is a clever way to promote the song. It's great that more "name" artists are taking it up; I hope the viral marketing over the Net that should result will actually help them make money, and prove wrong those who argue that providing free promos under CC licences (even a limited time one like this) would hurt rather than help musicians and artists. We'll see what happens after 1 June...


Zoe said...

'famed grunge rock group Pearl Jam' ? :)

D'you not mean 'popular beat combo'?

Improbulus said...

Zoe - but of course. In fact I nearly posted that instead of "grunge rock group", but then I thought like only 2 people would get the reference...