After surfacing on Google Drive, Frank Ocean’s ‘Blond’ has been on SoundCloud for more than a day. Strangely, none of this stuff getting ripped down…
Frank Ocean’s just-released album, ‘Blond,’ has now surfaced on SoundCloud, the latest high-profile leak from a major Apple Music rival. Over the weekend, a leaked copy of the album surfaced on Google Drive, as first reported by Digital Music News. That Drive link remains open and available as of Monday midday, despite tens of thousands of views on that story since Sunday.
The SoundCloud full stream seems to be spreading across multiple accounts, including ‘Rap Favorites,’ with approximately 27,800 followers. The ‘Rap Favorites’ SoundCloud link is easily found through Google search results, and other versions are quickly found through SoundCloud’s own search engine.
Sounds like another leak, but SoundCloud changes the game entirely. The reason is that it’s not illegal for fans to stream the album from SoundCloud, given that the copyright breach has happened on SoundCloud’s servers (and it’s their responsibility to tear it down, or at least respond to a DMCA takedown request). In the case of Google Drive, torrents, and web-based downloads, fans are committing copyright infringement the minute they download a copy for themselves (though whether that will be enforced is another question).
Is all of this happening on purpose?
Meanwhile, illegal (and free) versions of ‘Blond’ appear to be proliferating everywhere, with little policing by the Ocean camp. That could be intentional, with Ocean already cashing a fat check from Apple in exchange for an Apple Music exclusive. Effectively, Apple has every interest in clamping down on freebie copies to drive Apple Music subscriptions, while Ocean has every interest in spreading it — especially since he’s already been paid.
That conspiracy theory actually makes strategic sense for Ocean, given that most revenues now come from live performances, not recordings. So why not get as many people into the music as possible?
Google keeps feeding the free…
In line with that thinking, a quick search on Google for ‘Frank Ocean Blond free‘ yields more than 3 million results, with dozens of free torrent links, web-based streams and downloads, not to mention the SoundCloud option on page 1. In an earlier anti-piracy report, Google claimed that searches for music containing words like ‘free,’ ‘mp3,’ and ‘torrent’ are rare, at least in comparison to simpler searches like ‘Frank Ocean Blond’.
More as this develops.