Stipe fans the world over, rejoice: the bald crooner has taken the interesting decision to release open-source videos
for his upcoming single Supernatural Serious
In the first such move I've heard of, the band has decided to release eleven different music videos for the song under an Open Source Initiative approved license
. Unlike a simple free download, the license allows you to download high-definition versions of the music video and remix them to your hearts content. The band is even encouraging you to share your creations on their YouTube page
The move, far from encouraging rampant piracy as the RIAA seems to fear from un-DRMed tracks, is likely to help boost the profile of the upcoming album at little cost to the band. Heck, it's already got them a free advert here on bit-tech
Whether anything watchable will come out of the project remains to be seen. Although the files are in a high-definition format – an interesting choice given the eventual target platform will be the decidedly non-HD YouTube – the use of MP4 compression helps to keep the file size down to a manageable 250MB per video.
If you're a fan of REM and have access to video editing software that supports the MP4 format – the sticking point for most amateurs, I would imagine – then download the videos
and have a go. Open source: it's not just for software any more.
A brave move in an industry the RIAA tells us will crash and burn if piracy isn't managed, or a cynical ploy to get free advertising off the OSI's back? Share your thoughts over in the forums