Police wishing not to be filmed in public occasionally play popular music in the belief that the copyrighted material will prevent the footage from being uploaded or shared. Too clever by far, the technique doesn't seem to work very well and tends to draw more attention to the footage. Like other One Weird Tricks, though, it becomes more popular through coverage of its failures, a classic example of the "despite-because" phenomenon . Matthew Gault at Motherboard reports that the LaSalle County Sheriff's office appears to have instructed deputies to use the technique—a clear example of copyright fraud as a policy of law enforcement, and, technically, a public performance that defies the music industry's preferred interpretation of copyright law. [via Techdirt]
On February 25, an activist running the YouTube account Accountability Angel attempted to enter the LaSalle County Sheriff's office in Ottawa, Illinois. James Knoblauch blocked her approach, ignored her questions, took out his phone, turned on Blake Shelton's "Nobody But You," and cranked up the volume.
"As I was recently advised, I then turned on some music. At this time Angel became belligerent towards me about the music."
It isn't clear who did the advising. The LaSalle County Sheriff's Office did not respond to Motherboard's request for comment.
Again, it didn't work. The video of Knoblauch blasting Blake Shelton is sitting pretty on YouTube with thousands of views, and embedded above for your personal enjoyment or misery. The interesting stuff begins at 1:51.