New Danger Mouse CD Released As A Blank CD-R Due To Legal Fight With EMI

from the now-that's-creative dept

If you follow copyright issues, you’re no doubt aware of Danger Mouse. He’s the DJ who got quite a lot of attention a few years back for creating one of the very first mainstream mashups — mixing the Beatle’s The White Album with Jay-Z’s The Black Album to create the rather unique The Grey Album. Of course, one of the main reasons why the album became so well known was because EMI sent cease-and-desist letters to everyone who posted copies of the album, and then to anyone who posted that they were going to participate in the “Grey Tuesday” protest. The whole thing seemed pretty silly. It’s not as if anyone listening to The Grey Album would find it a substitute for either of the other albums.

Since then, of course, DJ Danger Mouse has gone on to even more mainstream success with his Gnarls Barkley project, a collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green. However, it looks like DJ Danger Mouse has another album that he’s been working on, in association with Mark Linkous (of Sparklehorse). Yet, due to ongoing legal troubles with EMI, he can’t actually release the music. So he’s come up with a rather creative solution. Found via Andrew Dubber, the news is that the next album will be released as album artwork with a blank recordable CD.

Yes, a blank CD-R.

There is no music on it. Because if there were music on it, it would get him in more trouble with EMI. Yet, if you have that blank CD and all the artwork, you certainly could (not that they’re suggesting you do…) find that music elsewhere and burn it to the CD. The statement from Danger Mouse reads:

Danger Mouse’s new project Dark Night Of The Soul consists of an album length piece of music by Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and a host of guest vocalists, along with a collection of original David Lynch photography inspired by and based on the music.

The photographs, which provide a visual narrative for the music, are compiled in a limited edition, hand numbered 100+ page book which will now come with a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: ‘For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.’

Due to an ongoing dispute with EMI, Danger Mouse is unable to release the recorded music for Dark Night Of The Soul without fear of being sued by EMI.

Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of Dark Night Of The Soul and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is.

In some ways, this is reminiscent of what the band Green Day did many years ago, offering up blank CDs with artwork for fans who had downloaded the music from unauthorized sources. Yet, in this case, it’s even more interesting since there are no authorized sources at all for the music. It’ll be fun to see how EMI reacts. Update: Meanwhile, the folks at NPR alert us to the fact that they’re hosting a streaming version of the album for anyone who wants to hear it.

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Comments on “New Danger Mouse CD Released As A Blank CD-R Due To Legal Fight With EMI”

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47 Comments
R. Miles says:

I can see EMI's response now.

“By providing the blank CD-R, ‘DJ Danger Mouse’ has perpetuated copyright infringement by telling people ‘Do with it as you wish’.

This action appears to mock our previous attempt of protecting the original artists’ rights. We have no choice but to use legal recourse for an injunction to cease immediate distribution of the blank media.”

Personally, I think a blank flash drive would have been better. Who the hell uses CDs anymore?

Good luck, Danger Mouse. You can bet EMI’s going to get their panties in a bunch over this one.

The Truth Beacon says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Ok, maybe I missed the sarcasm, but why would you by a used CD-R??? Oh wait a minute, you mean after someone else has burned the music on to it for you. Ok, now I get it. Good plan, assuming anyone is willing to give up their copy.”

You idiot… It’s a joke that you are obviously too stupid to get… Read it again a few times, and you will realize that he’s treating it just as a normal album which he has little interest in other than the political statement…

IanK says:

Re: Re: Oh, *DJ* Danger Mouse...

How about jazz, or pop, or nearly ANY music created in the past 20 years? Music has ALWAYS been about taking what has come before and turning it on its head. I dare ANY “musician” out there to attempt to create something akin to what Danger Mouse does. To dismiss it shows more about the listeners prejudiced views of what music is thanthe skill that created it. Taking different musical elements, combining them into a new form takes just as much skill as playing scales on the piano. I’ve played guitar for almost 20 years, I also have recoreded bands and runa project studio and I can tell you that I have heard more talent in the electronic/mash-up/remix scene than in the hundreds of pop/rock acts that come across my desk. Sorry Pete, but YOU are the irrelevant moron here.

Jon Ostrow (user link) says:

Good Idea... But Takes Away From The Music

I like the message that Danger Mouse is trying to send to all of the major record labels, and I think it is about time artists start truly standing up to the labels. But, I think that this ‘protest’ may be a little too powerful. The music that Danger Mouse has created for this album is now going to just represent a ‘protest’, which I can imagine was not the original intent for the music. Its just too bad that it came to this, because the music of Danger Mouse will be lost in this process of this all.

That being said, I praise Danger Mouse for standing up to the labels and making the voice of the artist heard. Well Done!

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