Hugi Magazine #33: MP3 Power

Hugi #33 header graphic

The great Timberland zik-ripping controversy! A Hugi perspective!! by CiH

(In other words, blame the mag, not me if this doesn't work!)

Timberland outdoor supply company logo

It is often said that consists of 5% useful information, 85% navel-gazing boredom, and 10% of really interesting flamewars. The current controversy over music ripping by the entity known as "Timberland" firmly belongs in that last ten percent of the really interesting stuff.

Now we've got to ask, what the heck is a footwear and outdoor clothing company, established in 1973, and with quite a decent business in its chosen sphere of activity, trying to do getting mixed up with the music business? Did Nelly Furtado turn up one day at the head offices, and throw a coquettish grin and a flash of thigh in their direction, asking them to produce her next album or something?

If that was so, it was the worst mistake of their corporate career. I think it was tragically inevitable that with a total lack of experience in music production, that some form of plagiarism was used as a a quick fix. I suppose they thought that no-one in Finland would give a stuff if Timberland "borrowed" some music from there, as they all live in igloos of course and spend their spare time shivering (taken from the usual USA-ian perspective of faraway places as relied on by Geo Bush jnr!).

That is one view, the favoured propaganda version which Timberland use to deflect criticism of their behaviour, pleading ignorance as their defence. However, upon visiting the Timberland website, and taking a closer look at their Spring catalogue, I'm not so sure of this. Take a look at the evidence below and decide for yourselves!

an image of a running shoe a dress shoe; these alt tags are so inane

On the left hand side, we have the 'XLR8' blue mesh running shoe, which features a cushioned heel, which also contains both SID and Protracker replay and ripping capability. The right hand shoe is a smart black 'Marquis'formal dress shoe, which boasts of an .SM3 and .XM to .MP3 convertor hidden in the shoelaces! These can be plugged quite easily into existing studio and mixing equipment. The Marquis even has a USB 2.0 port tucked into the side of the sole, to enable easy data transfer of any ripped ziks to any pc compatible, the naughty people!

If this wasn't bad enough, one of our spies managed to grab this picture of a fully operational SID-Station from inside Timberland GHQ, risking a good "shoeing" if they were caught, I might add! Our spies ears picked up on an attempt to mix a Tomas Danko tune into a Cheeky Girls lyric, the idea of which sounds like hellspawn in a blender to us.

I don't really know what this is, but I have to write an alt tag for it ... it appears to be an older tape and relay computer, back when computers were the size of a room

So in response to the Timberland logo at the top of this article, for your crimes against scene music, no, I don't think you can "make it better"!

On the other hand, could we be referring to this Timberland instead?

Timberland Tree & Garden Services company logo

Who are a firm of tree surgeons, based in Plymouth (UK). This mystery gets shallower by the minute!

CiH, for Hugi Mag, Feb '07