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Weird Al Premiere Cancelled Due to Net Leak 266

Posted by Zonk
from the fluent-in-javascript-as-well-as-klingon dept.
SilentChris writes "In what's probably a first, AOL cancelled the 'World Premiere' of Weird Al's newest video 'White and Nerdy' due to it being leaked on the internet. Al writes on his MySpace page: 'Apparently, the video has already leaked online, and AOL doesn't feel comfortable doing a World Premiere promotion for a video that a number of people have seen already ... Anyway, it's really a bummer... it would have been great promotion for the album... but hey, life goes on.' As for the video? Arguably Al's best work (but I'm a little biased)."
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Weird Al Premiere Cancelled Due to Net Leak

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  • Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by QuantumFTL (197300) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `kciw.nitsuj'> on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:38PM (#16161934)
    A video... leaked onto the net... before it was supposed to come out? That sure is weird.
  • by joshetc (955226) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:38PM (#16161935)
    I've already seen it anyway, who cares about the premier!

    [/not trolling]
    • Re:And I care why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:59PM (#16162107)
      Because it's not all about you. Wierd Al is still one of the little guys. He worked hard for the fame he got and deserves his success. It just shows that fans may think it's cool to leak but it is damaging. It cost him the premiere and possibly hurt sales. It's not the first time fans have damaged the very thing they love. Wierd Al was one of the first geeks in a sense. He had his own equipment and worked out of his parents basement. He's never gotten rich but he's done well. I've seen him live and he puts on a good show. In this case jumping the gun on the release isn't a victory for the community but more of an attack on it since it hurts one of their own. A fan gets a thrill from being the one to release the video but at what cost? They didn't create it so what right do they have to release it just to get a little reflected glory? Eventually groups like AOL may not even bother with premieres if they constantly get trumped by fans, then what? The performers loose yet another way of getting their work out there. Yes fans are getting it out there but it may be a handful of people seeing it compared to millions thbrough a major outlet. The fan didn't own it Wierd Al did and he's very generous with his material and not a member of the evil empire. They should be condemed for releasing it not given a thumbs up. Such things will in the end hurt everyone. I want to see Wierd Al keep doing his thing. He should be free to distribute it as he sees fit. Everyone would have a chance to see it this was about a fan doing something irresponsible as an ego trip.
      • by omeomi (675045)
        Wierd Al was one of the first geeks in a sense. He had his own equipment and worked out of his parents basement.

        That's true, Another one Rides the Bus was recorded in a bathroom...

        That Segway bit cracked me up. I can't wait until this album comes out.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by DurendalMac (736637)
          No, that was My Bologna, unless he also did Another One Rides the Bus in one as well...
      • by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:32PM (#16162383) Homepage
        Eventually groups like AOL may not even bother with premieres if they constantly get trumped by fans, then what?
        Then they can have an Exclusive World Second!

        At least it would be more original ;)
      • Re:And I care why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Wordsmith (183749) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:40PM (#16162429) Homepage
        I generally agree with your sentiments about Al, but just one thing ... how do you suppose a fan leaked it? How would a fan get it, if it hadn't already been leaked?
        • Odds are it was leaked by someone who bought, was given a review or other promo copy of, or otherwise got their hands on the CD (which had the video on it I believe) in advance of its street date. Disappointing, but in the absence of Harry Potter-like enforcement of street date, it was bound to happen.

          Speaking of "Weird Al" videos, here's a hilarious one [warcraftmovies.com] that sets machinema footage from World of Warcraft to "Hardware Store."
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fitten (521191)
        Yep. I agree with you 100%. Wierd Al is one of our (the geek world) friends. He has released a number of songs in unencumbered mp3 format for free download for starters. He's fairly good with the lingo and I wouldn't doubt that he's a true geek like many of us. Hurting your own is definitely *not* cool.
      • Preach it, brother! I mean, how else can he afford another solid-gold Humvee?
      • Hear me out. (Because I know nobody *ever* goes for conspiracy theories on slashdot. That was irony.)

        I like Weird Al. In fact his stuff is usually better than the pop crap he parodies. I bet that he is genuinely bummed about the way this has panned out. He plays the part well of the "little guy" as you said.

        However--what if AOL was banking on this? What if this was a ploy intended to garner support for their aging business models? It's easier to keep the status quo than to develop new business models
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        "It cost him the premiere and possibly hurt sales."

        That's BS. AOL/RIAA is trying to "teach pirates a lesson" by hurting Al. The leaker didn't do a favour, but if their system of secrecy can be felled by one woman, then they need a new business model to survive.
        • That's BS. AOL/RIAA is trying to "teach pirates a lesson" by hurting Al.

          There's really no other explanation for it. It was a pretty idiotic move by AOL that's probably gonna cost Weird Al more sales than the leak will generate.

          Or, after all these decades of evidence to the opposite, are we still supposed to believe piracy reduces sales?

      • Well I doubt it would have been posted to slashdot if it was just a normal video release (slashdot has posted weird al stuff before but still...).

        I think the fact that its a banned leaked video will make it all the more popular. There is no such thing as bad publicity! I know I certainly wouldn't have gone to AOL to view the video. Did anyone even hear that AOL was planning on doing this? I don't really see what weird al has lost here. Does he get paid by AOL when people freely (iassume), watch his video?
  • by rvw (755107) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:40PM (#16161948)

    Isn't that the best premiere a "Nerdy" video can get? Being "leaked" to YouTube, featured on Slashdot?

    • by Duncan3 (10537)
      I'm sure he would prefer it was seen by people that BUY music, instead of just playing the free video, or ripping the audio track to mp3, like everyone on YouTube or /. would do.

      So yes, YouTube screwed Wield Al.

      Maybe an 7/10. Not Al's best, but catchy.
      • by merreborn (853723) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:58PM (#16162096) Journal
        I got my first few Lamb of God albums via copy infringement, a couple years ago.

        Since then, I've bought a shirt, both their DVDs, pre-ordered their last CD, bought the rest, and saw 'em live twice.

        Yep. They sure got screwed. I'm sure they really wish I'd never even heard of 'em.
        • by Gulthek (12570) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:13PM (#16162224) Homepage Journal
          Just because an illegal act makes them more money in the long run doesn't make any less illegal. You don't get to decide how they share their music.
          • by soft_guy (534437) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:25PM (#16162319)
            Just because an illegal act makes them more money in the long run doesn't make any less illegal

            I found out about this cool store once because I had ran in there earlier to escape the police who were chasing me. So, I decided to hold the place up. After I got home, I realized the store was totally cool, so now I shop there all the time.

            Sure, I robbed them once, but I've more than made up for it by becoming a valuable customer! I'm sure they are glad that I know about their store.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Sardak (773761)
              You know, that would almost be a valid comparison, if copyright infringement placed anyone's lives in danger or actually removed something from their possession.
          • Just because an act is illegal, doesn't mean that it's impossible. So, yeah, he does get to decide how they share their music. So, we've got FAIR vs. LEGAL vs. POSSIBLE. Personally, I'm rooting for FAIR, but I always did root for the underdog.
          • by Mr2001 (90979)
            Likewise, just because an act is illegal doesn't make it wrong. Legislators don't get to decide questions of morality.
        • by stubear (130454)
          Who's to say you wouldn't have done all that after listening to a sample online or in one of the record stores that lets you listen to albums before buying them? Correlation does not mean causation and even if it were, anecdotal is not the plural of data.
      • by Catbeller (118204)
        It is a rare, successful artist with multiple hit albums that ever makes it to the point where the record companies actually cough up any money (after the artist finishes paying off the LOANS -- expense to the RC, always a loan to the artist) to the artist. And of course, with the new digital download accounting, even old timers are finding that the new online deal cuts out 75% of their royalities due to magical "new technology" charges.

        Artists make money from live performances, 'cause the RC's haven't man
  • done! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:40PM (#16161950) Journal
    Posting a direct link to a video on /.'s frontpage.

    Al, I think that's damn close to a world premiere right there, and a better class of audience than AOL. :)
    • by in2mind (988476)
      I dont know if Youtube's system is just slow,but its dissapointing that youtube video doesnt yet show
      the number of clicks from slashdot on "Sites linking to this video".
  • by mwyner (65962) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:40PM (#16161957)
    There's a great Wikipedia article on the video [wikipedia.org] containing some of the little things you may have missed.
    • by hords (619030)
      The Star Wars kid parody was hilarious. That poor kid. hahaha
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gosand (234100)
      There's a great Wikipedia article on the video containing some of the little things you may have missed.

      Pretty cool. Although, I am surprised at this statement from the wikipedia page: When the lyrics "Steven Hawking's in my library" are sung, Yankovic is shown holding A Brief History of Time, adorned in an unusual cover.

      From best I can tell on the YouTube video, it seems to be the Illustrated Brief History of Time. I don't know why this would be considered "unusual". Of all the minute details on thi

    • Speaking of wikipedia, check out the edit history of the article the nerd vandalises in the video: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Atlantic _Records [wikipedia.org] How am I not surprised.
    • by Garabito (720521)
      From the article:

      He might "know pi to a thousand places" but only about 700 are shown in the background while making this claim in the video.

      Looking for goofs in the video is one thing, but this is just creepy!

      This is rather interesting:

      * The Wikipedia article Al edits (by typing "YOU SUCK!" in big letters) is the article about Atlantic Records, which is a joke referring to the fact that the real-life Al didn't receive permission from the company to include a parody of James Blunt's song "You're B

  • Nobody cry. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:42PM (#16161976)
    Weird Al is going to get *far* more promotion via YouTube "leak" and the accompanying promotion. The only one losing in this is AOL, who might have nabbed a few clickthroughs for Classmates.com. Sure, Big Al has to come out and sort of say "wow, that's too bad" but the reality is that he's gonna reap the benefits of not only a free-for-all distribution, but also the publicity surrounding "those darn pirates."

    Buck up, Al. You're richer than the rest of us, going to get even richer, and we find you funny despite it all.
    • Re: Nobody cry. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SilentJ_PDX (559136) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:07PM (#16163117) Homepage
      Weird Al is going to get *far* more promotion via YouTube "leak" and the accompanying promotion.

      True... but he won't get any money from the deal that he had with AOL. Also, what's the chance that AOL people are more likely to buy something from Weird Al vs. the /. and YouTube crowd? (Especially when the /. crowd finds opinions like yours "Interesting" instead of shallow and selfish)

      Buck up, Al. You're richer than the rest of us, going to get even richer, and we find you funny despite it all.

      When does someone become rich enough that it's ok to steal from them? Does your "stealing from rich people" policy only apply to music/tv/movie stars and software developers (ie. people whom you can steal easily from) or should we all be able to steal from Warren Buffett, too?
  • Yeah, real bummer (Score:4, Informative)

    by oskard (715652) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:43PM (#16161982)
    "Anyway, it's really a bummer... it would have been great promotion for the album"

    I'm sure that getting Slashdotted will more than make up for it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:45PM (#16161999)
    Underling: (excited) Hey boss, you know that Weird Al video we're gonna promo? It's been leaked all over the net. There's a lot of buzz! I think it's gonna be a big hit.

    Boss: (annoyed) You mean hackers stole one of our products?

    U: Well, not exactly, I mean, everybody's talking about it, this is a great opportunity for promotion. I had this idea for instance, we could let people make their OWN parodies of Weird Al's video and put them up on YouTube with a special tag, then we could give a prize to the best--

    B: (more annoyed) What the fuck is U-Tube? A brand of glue? Cancel the premiere of Queer Al's video, that's the only way to show those pirates who's boss.

    U: You mean "Weird Al" .. but .. it's so popular .. we could make a lot of ...

    B: Hey kid, this is AOL, you think we got this far by being idiots? Now get out of my office.

    U: (dejected) yes sir.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Prof.Phreak (584152)
      B: Hey kid, this is AOL, you think we got this far by being idiots? Now get out of my office.

      U: (dejected) sir, we're not in your office.
  • Like premiere where? MTV doesn't play music videos anymore.

    Oh you mean... Premiere on AOL's page?

    Well... I think that is a blessing considering had it not bene canceled and not been on Slashdot and Youtube that many of us would have never seen it.
  • "Leaked"?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ewhac (5844)
    What the hell do they mean, "leaked?" I saw the video about four days ago. It was posted on Weird Al's MySpace page.

    Who's yanking whose chain here?

    Schwab

    P.S: Yes, it's an excellent video.

    • by catbutt (469582)
      Al's post is 4 days old, and he posted it on the myspace page in the post.
    • Re:"Leaked"?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by nebaz (453974) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:02PM (#16162126)
      Did you read his blog?
      I'm very sorry to say that the AOL "First View" Premiere of the "White & Nerdy" video has been cancelled.

      Apparently, the video has already leaked online, and AOL doesn't feel comfortable doing a "World Premiere" promotion for a video that a number of people have seen already. (I can understand songs leaking, but a video? How'd THAT happen?)

      Anyway, it's really a bummer... it would have been great promotion for the album... but hey, life goes on.

      So...

      I'll be uploading the video to this page shortly. Tell your friends!


      It was already 'out there', so he put it on myspace. Order of events.
      1) Leaked
      2) AOL Cancelled
      3) Al put it on his site.

      He might have put it on his site either way, but there is no contradiction between leak and wide availability.
  • Lyrics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CODiNE (27417)
    How about somebody post the lyrics for a deaf geek y'all?
    • Re:Lyrics (Score:5, Informative)

      by Known Nutter (988758) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:11PM (#16162206)
      White & Nerdy by Al Yankovic

      They see me mowin'
      My front lawn
      I know they're all thinking I'm so white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Can't you see I'm white and nerdy?
      Look at me, I'm white and nerdy
      I wanna roll with
      The gangstas
      But so far they all think I'm too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      I'm just too white and nerdy.
      Really really white and nerdy.

      First in my class here at MIT
      Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
      MC Escher - that's my favorite MC
      Keep your 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
      My rims never spin, to the contrary
      You'll find that they're quite stationary
      All of my action figures are cherry
      Steven Hawking's in my library
      My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
      Got people beggin' for my top eight spaces
      Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
      Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
      I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
      I'm a whiz at Minesweeper - I could play for days
      Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed
      My fingers' movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze
      There's no killer app I haven't run
      At Pascal, well I'm number one
      Do vector calculus just for fun
      I ain't got a gat but I got a soldering gun
      Happy Days is my favorite theme song
      I could sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
      I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
      I'm fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon

      They see me roll on
      My Segway
      I know in my heart they think I'm white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Can't you see I'm white and nerdy
      Look at me, I'm white and nerdy
      I'd like to roll with
      The gangstas
      Although it's apparent I'm too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      Think I'm just too white and nerdy
      I'm just too white and nerdy
      How'd I get so white and nerdy

      I've been browsin', inspectin'
      X-Men comics, you know I collect 'em
      The pens in my pocket, I must protect 'em
      My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
      Shopping online for deals on some writable media
      I edit Wikipedia
      I memorized Holy Grail really well
      I can recite it right now and have y
    • by MagicM (85041)
      You can find them here [justfuckinggoogleit.com].

      (Damn slashdot spoiling all the fun. Ok, fine. Lyrics [ph-online.net].)
  • No, the video didn't remind me of Lazy Sunday [nbc.com] at all. Not one bit.

    But Mr. Pibb and Red Vines are crazy delicious.
  • Apparently, the video has already leaked online, and AOL doesn't feel comfortable doing a "World Premiere" promotion for a video that a number of people have seen already. (I can understand songs leaking, but a video? How'd THAT happen?)

    Anyway, it's really a bummer... it would have been great promotion for the album... but hey, life goes on.


    And having tens of thousands of people watching the video isn't great promotion for the album? In this YouTube age, why do we need 'premieres'? You see the video, you ei
    • ...And having tens of thousands of people watching the video isn't great promotion for the album?...

      Having tens of thousands of people watch a video: Great promotion.

      Having millions of people watch a video: Even greater promotion.

      The fact is there are still a lot of people using AOL and a leak like this does hurt Al to some extent - but having it posted on Slashdot will probably make up most of the lost viewership.

      I have to agree with him though, who the heck leaked the video anyway? It seems to me like s
  • proof, that "pirates" are actually good for business.

    They should have made a "world premiere" so they could have pretended it's their "marketing work" that generated money for WA, so he might just leak all his video to youtube and completely forget about the major.

    On an aside note, it is nice to see for once, even if it is on a humorous way that the "nerd" is the hero.
    And that hawkins, etc ... are presented as "cool stuff to do" (well collecting action figures also, but you cant win them all).

    Cheers
  • That's a little shortsighted. Surely the amount of promotion AOL could lend to this video would include more viewers than those who would learn about the video through word-of-mouth? AOL could promote this to a broader scope of users, and to arguably a different demographic. AOL is also losing out on being associated with Weird Al, which is better than being associated with... just a crappy portal? Oh well.
  • Cliche (Score:2, Funny)

    by hey (83763)
    I am a bit sad that just listing all these cliches about, well, us is funny.
    Could somebody do this about gay or black people and get away with it?

    The myspace page if nobody has mentioned it yet:
    http://www.myspace.com/whiteandnerdy [myspace.com]
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      Sure so long as a gay person or black person did it. That's the prevailing attitude.
      BTW Al really is geeky so it's the same deal. Also nerds have been taking back the "n" word rendering it useless as an insult.
    • Re:Cliche (Score:5, Insightful)

      by winomonkey (983062) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:47PM (#16162473)
      You are absolutely right, we should be offended that someone made a parody of something that is so true. I mean, the gall of some people, making fun of themselves and others. Gay and black people are fortunate that they have escaped the wrath of popular media and comedy. I mean, just imagine it...blatantly gay people being the butt of jokes on a televised series? Oh, Will and Grace. Black people being criticized and stereotyped on public television...oh, sorry, Chris Rock and 90% of the black comedians out there beat you to it.

      If we can't look at some of the stereotypes and laugh, then something is wrong. The great thing about disagreeing with stereotypes is that we can then educate people about the fallacies of their own biased and incorrect views. If you think that we are getting a bad rap (pun only partially intended here) from this video, then get out there and say why it is so wrong.

      I laugh because I am white and nerdy, but know that I am much more than white and nerdy. I mean, I am tall, and well, I guess that I am just tall, white and nerdy. But still, I am more!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SCHecklerX (229973)
      Well...

      It seems socially acceptable for some black folks to refer to each other as nigger. Try doing that as a white boy to your black office worker and see what happens.

      Weird al is 'one of us', so he's allowed.
  • What do you mean "would have"? I saw the leaked video and it was hilarious!

    How many of you spotted Donny Osmond in it, or perhaps Seth Green?
  • Everyone chip in, let's buy that hoody he's wearing and mail it to k-fed.
  • Case study.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Churla (936633) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:27PM (#16162342)
    I'm a Wierd Al fan. Few who hold their geek cred near and dear to them can claim not to be. But I have no idea of this "premier" or anything else involving a new video (like you could see videos on a channel on cable? na.. never.. not now a days).

    On the other hand, I catch it on Slashdot and i'm there. And loved it, I cried laughing and got bad looks from people in other cubes until they saw it.. at which point we all geek bonded.

    Probably did better for him to have it leaked than played on AoL.
  • by isolationism (782170) on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:29PM (#16162354) Homepage
    And I'm glad Weird Al isn't taking it too hard (or at least, he isn't showing it) -- it's a fantastic piece of work, and if it's popular it's because it's that good and chimes with a pretty wide audience.
  • In the very beginning, is that the Gentoo logo behind Al
    on the floor of the stage (outlined in red lights)?
  • by kinglink (195330) on Friday September 22, 2006 @03:02PM (#16162599)
    Seriously AOL, you have the world premier, this is the reason Weird Al doesn't mind piracy because the people making it a huge issue is the people who control the music. Weird Al wants people to buy his cds and get money to him. AOL wants the "world Exclusive" so they look special.

    When is the RIAA and businesses working with them going to grow up. It's not like there wasn't bootlegs of exclusive material before the internet, it's not like there's going to stop bootlegs even if it's never placed on the internet. All they are doing is acting like the spoiled child who was about to get a toy, his friend got one first so when he gets the toy he smashes it because he doesn't want it any more. The problem for that kid is the only person he hurts by doing that is himself, his friend will continue to have the toy, other people might notice from the kids temper tantrum, but in the end his friend will keep playing with his.

    The solution to something like this is to do a world exclusive when you get it, not 30 days after the fact or trying to drag it out as long as you can for promotion, you promote it BEFORE the video is finished and once it's done you show it off.

    It's just a shame that piracy is blamed for something like this when it's really AOL's fault. Piracy didn't stop AOL from showing it. It's still a "world exclusive" just because some people saw it first. Didn't the execs and people behind the scenes of AOL see it before airing it? (Otherwise it might be a porno that someone accidently mislabeled).
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this could be the first ever music video that features the Schrodinger equation.

    Weird Al has genuine class.
  • by BobSutan (467781) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:05PM (#16163098)
    Not only is the video/song pretty good, even with this "leak" he's still getting great coverage, or as some have pointed out, even better coverage. Case in point, if the premier had gone off without a hitch most of us wouldn't have even heard about it.

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