According to his own blog, 18 year old Even Sandvold Roland is a big fan of Dave Matthews Band. His excitement was therefor high when he discovered that their new album was going to be released bit by bit ahead of time on iTunes. Hitting the link, he got the all too familiar message (at least for us in Europe) “only available in the USA”. Annoyed as one can understand, he tweeted the following message on the microblog service twitter (translated from Norwegian): “Pissed now! iTunes Music Pass for Dave Matthews Band’s new album is only available in the USA. Typical! Don’t complain about pirating!”
Nothing out of the ordinary so far, but the reply he got from the Artists and Repertoire manager from Warner Music Norway, Terje Pedersen, certainly explains why there’s now a trend on Twitter called #warnerfail: “I think you should steal it, then you can brag about the process on your little kid blog afterward. After all I don’t want you to be angry”. It should also be mentioned that the Norwegian word for “little kid” (alternately “brat”, “little kid” is from the Oxford dictionary) he used is a curse word that doesn’t have a good translation, and that directly translated it would be “shit kid”.
The story has blown up big time and Even has been on radio talking about it, as well as his own blog and articles in national newspapers in Norway. the original reply from Terje Pedersen has been deleted, but can still be seen as a screenshot on Even’s blog and at the time of this writing it can also be seen by searching for “drittungebloggen” on Twitter. Terje Pedersen later apologized for the incident in a comment on Even’s blog, but frankly the apology talked more about why the record industry is still in the stone age.
The story is probably not over yet and I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in the next few days. Record companies are extremely busy digging their own graves these days, with the Pirate Bay trial giving pirating more free advertising than anyone could have hoped (or feared) and I doubt Warner will have more supporters after this little stunt. That fact makes it even more ironic that this whole story started because Even tried to pay for his music, but no-one would take his money.