Record Sleeves Reproduced With Permission From Universal

 by Martin Belam, 27 October 2005

Now here's something I've never seen before. In Walthamstow's little heart of American retail - The Mall - River Island has a shop window display that features various album sleeves scattered around the floor underneath the showroom dummies. Plastered across the whole of the window is a transparent sticker declaring in bold text:

Record sleeves reproduced with permission from Universal
Universal copyright notice in the window of River Island in Walthamstow

Perhaps Universal were worried someone might download the shop-window and file-share the sleeves?

I noted though that River Island had opted to use the faithful old 12" vinyl sleeve as part of their display. It recalled to my mind Dan Hill's excellent post about the metadata that used to surround music packaging. For impact River Island didn't choose to use 12cm x 12cm CD size images. Or the 1cm x 1cm artwork I get on my iPod. Or an iTunes playlist. Somehow they don't have the required visual appeal that a good old-fashioned 12" by 12" record sleeve does.


What are music lovers going to collect when music isn't a thing you can touch anymore?

Still, that exciting opportunity is making my day.

'Things were so much better in the old days', etc etc

You can't get a snigger out of a conversation about MP3s the way you could out of a conversations about 12 inches.

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