Friday, February 18, 2005

Beatallica Cease & Desisted



Beatallica, the band that performs a hybrid of Beatles and Meatallica songs, has received a cease and desist notice [PDF] by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the copyrightholder of The Beatles' compositions. The notice claims that Beatallica's uses of the Beatles songs "without the express authorization or license has caused and continues to cause substantial and irreparable injury and is in direct violation of Sony/ATV's rights." Interestingly enough, the cease and desist letter is aimed at the ISP of Beatallica's website, demanding to remove certain sections as well as all links to music and lyric files.

This is yet another example of how fan's jubilation and creativity, expressed in remixed music, is come down on by the music industry. It is reminiscent of the action taken against DJ Danger Mouse's Grey Album, a remix of Jay-Z's Black Album and The Beatles' White Album. EMI, claiming copyright of the White Album, also sent a cease and desist, only heightening the popularity of the album to the number one position. The Grey Album is still available here.

It makes you wonder when music corporations start to learn that these actions only have a detrimental effect, while remixes like from Beatallica increase, rather than doing injury, increase the fan base (and buying power) of the original fan base. Here's one fan who doesn't seem to mind that his music is injured: Metallica frontman James "let's sue Napster to dead" Hetfield:
"Yeah. I heard that. That was amazing. Someone put a lot of thought and talent into that man!" Asked if he was being sarcastic, he said, "No, not at all. I heard it online. It was about a year ago, or more. It was pretty amazing. It was pretty well thought out so I'm glad there's people like that in the world to do that and it's very entertaining for us, for sure!"
- - -
Thru Blabbermouth

Update
: boingboing reports that Metallica's Lars Ulrich weighs in:

Lars Ulrich contacted the band earlier today to offer his support. He will be contacting his people in the biz to get in touch with Sony, and he'll let us know if anything transpires.
Update (24 feb): boingboing reports that Beatallica's ISP has shut down the site

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