As many of you may know, one of my life goals is to be able to pretend I’m Jamaican. Part of this training involves, obviously, listening to lots of dancehall music: it’s a tough job, but I think I’ll make it through somehow.

Anyway, I should be sleeping right now since I haven’t in a while, but I decided to check Google Reader and heard via HearingTest (big up Molli Fire!) that Mavado just dropped his new video! And I really mean JUST: I’m the 545th viewer.

One really interesting thing about this video (besides the fact that it had a trailer) is that VP Records really seems to have gotten the hang of YouTube. If you visit the video, you can see that it VP posted it as a response to a previous “Last Night” video, which was just the audio of the song laid over a picture of Mavado. So, the for-legit record label saw these technically copyright-infringing videos on YouTube and, instead of taking them down, recognized that they were good for business and could be used as an ally. Indeed, they picked the Last Night video with the most views to “respond to” so that any viewers of that video, which currently comes up first in a search, will see the link to the real video placed prominently on the page.

VP Records could have just as easily gotten a piece of the YouTube limelight by sending cease&desists to all the other videos, but instead they chose a way for fans to find the video that respects and even acknowledges the helpful enthusiasm of their share-happy fans. In fact, since we (by which I mean MIT Free Culture) began tracking copyright-related takedowns a few months ago, VP Records has not taken down a single video! This is really great news, especially since just 33 minutes ago EMI just took down a video hosted on YouTube by BMG. WHAT? Thanks, VP, for being a sane record label in this respect at least.