EMI, it appears, just doesn't learn. Two years ago, DJ Dangermouse (now gaining a ton of fame for the ridiculously popular Gnarls Barkley tune Crazy) created a mashup of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album, called the Grey Album. It was a big hit, and probably attracted some fans of one artist to the music of the other. One thing it clearly did not do, is hurt the sales of either artist. It was clearly not a replacement for the music of either one. But, EMI and Capitol Records, who own the rights to the Beatles music, apparently didn't understand that. Their lawyers went nuts sending out cease and desist letters. Jump forward to a few weeks ago, when producer Clayton Counts, mashed up the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album with the Beach Boys Pet Sounds. Considering the history of the two albums, and the constant comparisons between the two, this seems like a natural "mashup" project. So, what happens? As Boing Boing points out, EMI and Capitol Records have pulled the same stunt, sending out a nastygram cease-and-desist letter, which you pretty much had to expect. However, rather than just demanding that Counts take down the music, the letter (which, of course, is meaningless from a legal standpoint), also demands the IP addresses of anyone who might have streamed or downloaded the songs. Counts is ignoring the cease-and-desist, and it's anyone's guess if the label will pursue this issue, but it again raises issues about lawyers making business decisions without thinking through the actual impact on their business.
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