Microsoft Rips Off Arcade Fire, Doesn’t Do a Very Good Job

By Bob Marshall Comment

By now, the Aracade Fire’s epic anthem “Wake Up” is as much of a part of the band’s album Funeral as it was last year’s Super Bowl on CBS coverage and the emotional trailer for 2009’s Where the Wild Things Are. Whereas Viacom and Warner Bros. respectively saw the advantage in paying for the rights to the song, Microsoft decides it’s just not worth the effort to go through all that work.

So, hey, why not just have some studio musicians shift “Wake Up” a few frets higher on the guitar, keep the same rhythmic patterns, and invite people to chant under it? It’s basically the same as using the actual song, so why not? Also, this time the Arcade Fire won’t get the opportunity to donate the proceeds from licensing out the song to some dumb charity like they did with that money from the Super Bowl. Everyone (read: Microsoft and Bing) wins.

Really, guys? This is even worse than Yahoo!’s dumb Vampire Weekend rip-off from a few weeks ago. Is this laziness? Is this uncreative thinking? Is this just simple economics? With companies like Facebook and Groupon being valued at $50 billion and $15 billion apiece, you would think that even companies on the fringe of this “new tech bubble” have disposable enough income to purchase some indie band’s song. Maybe the tech-bubble doesn’t actually exist, or maybe Bing and Yahoo! should just give up and admit that the war’s over, and Google’s won.

For comparison, here’s AF’s “Wake Up.”