Weird Al vs. MTV Censors

Nothing pleases the seventh-grade boy in me more than the recent resurgence of Weird Al Yankovic during this, the twenty-fifth anniverary of his first hit, “Ricky.” There’s been the profile in Wired, and more recently, the coverage of his release of a parody while the original was still #1 on the Billboard singles chart (and its aftermath).

And now, the Grey Lady is getting in on the action: Censorship, or What Really Weirds Out Weird Al. Apparently, his 2006 video for “Don’t Download This Song” has been censored by for MTV, and it’s starting to cause a bit of an uproar:

In an e-mail message on Sunday, Mr. Yankovic wrote that he had bleeped out the names to the file-sharing sites in his song two years ago, after MTV “told me that they would refuse to air my video” otherwise. “Instead of subtly removing or obscuring the words in the track,” he wrote, “I made the creative decision to bleep them out as obnoxiously as possible, so that there would be no mistake I was being censored.”

He complied, “because I was proud of the song and the accompanying Bill Plympton video, and I wanted to do everything I could to maximize exposure for it.”

All of this would have been largely forgotten, if not for the introduction last week of mtvmusic.com

The names of peer-to-peer services Morpheus, Grokster, Limewire, and Kazaa are apparently too controversial for MTV to air. Do any of those still even work anymore?

Video: Weird Al Yankovic – “Don’t Download This Song”

MP3: Weird Al Yankovic – “Don’t Download This Song” (Courtesy of download.com)

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