Apple on Monday released SOI Removal, a one-click tool for removing Songs of Innocence, the free U2 album the company gave its customers. This was necessary, apparently, because a vocal number of entitled, narcissistic gits found whinging about free music easier than ignoring it, hiding it, or...gasp...not downloading it.
Mind you, there are all sorts of reasons to not want the album—just for starters, you don't like U2—but the amount of vitriol spewed over this subject is mind-boggling. So Apple, calm and cool under CEO Tim Cook's leadership, politely made a webpage dedicated to the task of deleting it.
From that page:
If you would like U2’s Songs of Innocence removed from your iTunes music library and iTunes purchases, you can choose to have it removed. Once the album has been removed from your account, it will no longer be available for you to redownload as a previous purchase. If you later decide you want the album, you will need to get it again. The album is free to everyone until October 13, 2014 and will be available for purchase after that date.
Do you want to remove Songs of Innocence from your account?
Just to be clear:
- This tool removes Songs of Innocence from your iTunes music library and your iTunes purchases, too.
- If you use this tool, you will no longer be able to redownload the album from your purchase history—which you had to do in the first place before you got all cranky about it.
- Even if you do that, you could still choose to go to iTunes, find the album, and download it for free again—at least until October 13th, 2014.
- After that, you would have to pay for it, just like anyone else who didn't grab it while it was free before that date.
Watching this tempest in a first world teapot, I've little doubt there will be some kvetching from disgruntled jackanapes complaining about being forced to pay for an album everyone else got for free.
In a heartfelt post to U2's site, Bono wrote on September 9th:
People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library. Country fans, hip hop aficionados from east LA, electro poppers from Seoul, Bhangra fans from New Delhi, Highlifers in Accra… might JUST be tempted to check us out, even for a moment. What a mind blowing, head scratching, 21st century situation. Over 500 million people…that’s a billion ears. And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way…the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.
"...the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail," which, according to some parts of the Internet, is akin to invading your privacy, rape, fascism, and general crimes against humanity. Check out Peter Cohen's excellent post on the subject at iMore.
So, if getting a free album from aging Irish rockers is the worst thing that has ever happened, the fascists over at Apple have delivered you from tyranny. Oh, the irony, but at last our long global nightmare is over.
Lastly, a tweet from Charles Arthur sums up this whole thing pretty well:
2004 music industry: "stop taking music for free!" Internet: "haha!" 2014 music industry: "have this music for free!" Internet: "nooo!"— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) September 13, 2014