Linkin Park Beat Bootleggers - Rolling Stone
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Linkin Park Beat Bootleggers

Band hires security to prevent leak of new album

With school kids burning CDs to sell to friends before the official
release date, the threat to the already beleaguered music business
is understandable. So record labels are now taking unprecedented
steps to protect their merchandise. Perhaps no disc has been more
heavily protected than Linkin Park’s Meteora due March
25th. None of the copies have left the custody of the band members,
management and executives at Warner Bros. When the album was being
mastered, the band had security guards on hand in the studio
twenty-four hours a day to prevent any leaks. As tracks were
finished, all earlier CD versions were destroyed. Press, radio
programmers and retailers can only hear the album by going to the
company’s offices. The same level of security will likely be in
place for new albums by Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Madonna and Staind.

Interscope records recently rushed out rapper 50 Cent’s Get
Rich or Die Tryin’
five days ahead of schedule, after the
album was leaked early to the Internet and bootleggers. It doesn’t
seem to have adversely affected the album’s sales (1.7 million in
its first two weeks). But one Interscope executive says the rushed
release still caused problems. “It throws the whole marketing
campaign topsy-turvy,” he says.

Korn frontman Jonathan Davis believes significant sales of the
band’s last album, Untouchables, were lost to piracy, and
he vows to do something about it. “We got so fucked on our last one
— it leaked four months early,” he says. “[Next] time there will
be no CD going out before release. We’re not going to give it to
the label until a week before it comes out.”

Not everyone is so worried. With Kid A, Radiohead
loaned journalists digital-music players that were unable to copy
the record. But for their next album, due in June, they probably
won’t take those precautions. The band’s publicist believes that
past album leaks did nothing to harm sales — and may have, in
fact, helped build the buzz.

In This Article: Linkin Park


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