One of the more high-profile copyright battles in recent memory was the battle over the Grey Album, which melded Jay-Z's The Black Album with The Beatles' White Album, much to the consternation of EMI, which let the cease & desist letters fly. It was never clear why EMI, which controls The Beatles' music was so upset, as the album can't possibly have done much to damage future sales of Beatles music; if anything, it probably exposed people to it that hadn't before been familiar with the band. Speaking at the Web 2.0 conference, a representative of EMI has admitted to this, that there wasn't any harm from the album, as he put it, "It's not a question of damage, it's a question of rights." What this means is that the company's strategy is being driven not by the operations side, which could have recognized that there was no harm, but by the legal side, that has an interest in seeing more of these cases. And seeing more cases they have, as it recently went after another project similar to the Grey Album. Obviously, a company needs lawyers, but when they're making business decisions, then there's problems.
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