We’re running a contest giving away some Flight of the Conchords merchandise (see sidebar–enter to win).  I got this comment about it:

I hate to be a hater but when did you start taking $$/schilling for posts? You do know that HBO is owned by AOL-Time Warner, yes yes?

Not to say I dislike Flight of the Conchords (or any HBO show), but this just seems low from a blog whose anti-riaa posturing I’ve consistently respected.

Hopefully we’ll get back to the regularly scheduled programming after the jackals come and go again.

This is my response:

I feel I must respond to the above comment.  First, thank you for being nice about your complaint.  I take this site�s reputation very seriously.  Now, to clarify: I do not receive any money from any of the labels or companies that submit material for review here, and believe me I get offers all the time.  I also have been offered tons of material by major labels�material that I have ended up buying in stores�but I reject it because we don�t review material here by RIAA labels, who have made it clear that they do not want our help or support (except when it benefits them and then only under their terms).

However, I did run a contest giving away a CD by The Fields, and they are on a boutique of a major label.  I also gave tickets away to a Kaiser Chiefs show.  Now, we�re giving away some Conchords merchandise.  We also gave away a Cartoon Network package.  I do not consider give-aways to be reviews, and I do not post any mp3s or other material in a giveaway unless the material is hosted by the sponsor of the contest.  Basically, I run these give-aways because I think my readers like free stuff.  I don�t hype the major labels here, and never will, but I�m happy to pass their swag on to you, my readers.  If they get some free publicity out of it, so be it.

That said, are there more of you who find this objectionable?  Please drop some comments and let me know.  If you don’t think it’s worth it, I’ll stop.  I don’t benefit at all from the give-aways (and frankly they’re kind of a pain in the butt to run), so if you all find them objectionable, lets just drop it.

 What do you all think?

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