Everyone should be careful about what images they post on social media. Using a “hot” government-monitored keyword in combination of – say an image of pot – has gotten more than one person busted. But this time metadata had nothing to do with the hot water a celebrity dove into when he tweeted a picture; hey, when you have 19.8 million Twitter followers like Kanye West and you step in a steaming dung pile, some of those followers are going to notice.
West apparently took a picture of his desktop screen, showing he was listening to Sufjan Stevens on YouTube, and then tweeted the photo. While that might sound innocent enough, other than he listens via YouTube instead of purchasing the music, it’s the other open visible Safari browser tabs that caused a stink.
West’s new album, The Life of Pablo, is available on Tidal where it can be streamed but not downloaded. As a result, it “sparked rampant piracy” as in a “half million illegal downloads” within the first 24 hours, Digital Music News publisher Paul Resnikoff told NPR. It’s estimated to be in the multimillions now.
A few weeks ago, West was ready to sue The Pirate Bay over it. “Kanye is going to meet with his legal team to discuss the possibilities of starting legal action against torrent site Pirate Bay,” an unnamed source told HollywoodLife. “He’s going to talk to his lawyers and see where he stands, and hopefully Tidal will partner up with him in any legal proceedings because it was supposed to be an exclusive release.”
Yet when you look at the second tab where “Pirate Bay Torrent Xfe…” is visible, it appears as if West might have been trying to pirate some music software from The Pirate Bay. TorrentFreak noted that the “tab itself is not from The Pirate Bay website, which uses a different title structure, but comes from a site that uses the TPB brand.” Instead it may be from a “release blog, which lists a pirated copy of Xfer Records synthesizer software Serum.” TF added, “This suspicion is supported by another open tab pointing towards a Music Radar article listing the best VST/AU plugins, where Serum comes out as one of the winners.”
Serum, an “advanced wavetable synthesizer,” was created by Xfer Records and is available for $189. Deadmau5, a DJ and music producer who co-founded Xfer Records, noticed the tabs in West’s tweeted picture and was not amused.
Not too much later, Deadmau5 suggested helping West out via Kickstarter.
Yeezy, a ”reliable provider of marketable drama,” may be setting us up for a prank – who knows with a guy who claimed to be “50% more influential” than the Apostle Paul and calls himself “Yeezus.”
A few weeks ago, West tweeted that he was $53 million in debt. He begged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “to invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas;” West said he was “down” for Google co-founder Larry Page’s help as well.
West also has a tab open for “MediaDownloader” which helps folks rip music from YouTube. Ars Technica pointed out that it might be a tab opened via automatic pop-ups.
A MacKeeper tab is open as well, but whether or not he uses it for security – or if his credentials were included in the 13 million user accounts exposed in December – is not known.
West’s tweeted picture gave Samsung a free plug as the brand name is clearly visible on his monitor.
After the ruckus West raised over the The Life of Pablo being pirated from The Pirate Bay, you might think The Pirate Bay team would be miffed. Instead, they were amused, telling TorrentFreak, “If he runs into difficulty he should try the forum for technical help and support.”
Meanwhile, West’s actions stirred up an Internet storm with hundreds of angry tweets aimed his way. It could be that West doesn’t care and all that matters is his wife Kim Kardashian said his “whole album is genius.”