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News: July 2009

What's going on?

July 28, 2009

Well, I hope you enjoyed the blast from the past. For the last two weeks, the site reverted to August 1999 — the last version of the site I had saved from before it went online with a new design as Herzeleid.com in the following November. Frames, animated GIFs, embarrassing teen angst and all. (And yes, you read that right. This site has been around for over a decade.)

But why do that? About three weeks ago, new promotional pictures and a song ("Liebe ist für alle da") from the new album showed up in my forums (and elsewhere on the Internet). The files were never on my site. The users passed them around via e-mail or instant messaging services. My moderators did their best to delete any links to the files, but they can't control what people do outside of the forums.

Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by Pilgrim Management and later by Universal Music. At first they just wanted my help in tracking the leak, but then the asked me to shut down my site and forum to help them minimize the damage. Because of a very poorly worded sentence in an e-mail that I received from the management, I was led to believe that I had no choice in the matter unless I wanted to deal with lawyers. So, I shut up and put up the old site instead. I figured that was the farthest away from the leak that I could get (and it was good for a few laughs too). I have since then received a call from the management. They have apologized and assured me that it was a misunderstanding caused by the immense pressure of the situation.

I want to make this clear: I was not sued and no legal action has been brought against me, contrary to what many (mostly German) news outlets have reported. As far as I know, the only legal action brought against any fan site was a cease-and-desist letter that Rammstein-Austria.com received from Universal Music. The newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine published an article about the leak and later removed it after receiving a similar letter.

To be honest though, I really don't know what anyone hoped to achieve. No matter how or why something is leaked, as regrettable as it might be, once it is on the Internet, it stays there. The only thing you get by reacting hastily in a situation like this is bad publicity.

In any case, the site is back. The forums will remain partially offline for a little while longer, but they will return.

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Rammstein in Guitar Hero 5

July 28, 2009

According to Rolling Stone, Rammstein fans will finally have a chance to play a song by their favorite band in the next game in the Guitar Hero series. Coming September 1, Guitar Hero 5 will be available on the PS3, PS2, Xbox 360 and the Wii and will feature "Du Hast" from Rammstein's second album Sehnsucht.

Try LastPass and make your next password your last. Worried about the Heartbleed bug? Tired of remember a million passwords? This is for you!

Flake's Stasi files and classic cars

July 28, 2009

The Ministry for State Security, or the Stasi, was the official secret police of East Germany. It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. They kept files on many people who they considered to be problems, and Rammstein's Flake was among them. Before Rammstein, Flake was of course active in other bands, the most well known being Feeling B. The Stasi was investigating him for his "anti-socialist lifestyle" and for "interfering with the activities of state agencies". The Stasi asked people he worked with about him and managed to confuse the bands he was involved in with others. The file was full of incorrect information. His files were discovered on the set of a movie that is being filmed. Apparently the makers had requested some prop documents and somehow ended up receiving the real deal!

In other news, Flake is now renting out classic cars in Berlin with Classicdepot. You can find a picture of him on the site if you look carefully enough. By the way, don't be alarmed by the fact that they seem to be renting out "oldtimers" — they aren't renting out old people. That's what Germans call classic cars!

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