Michael Robertson's Crowdsourced List Of 1,400 Examples Of EMI Giving Away Free Music; EMI Denies All But 3

from the um... dept

Want some free music from EMI? You may remember that EMI is in a legal battle with Michael Robertson and his current company MP3Tunes (well, one of his current companies). MP3Tunes is a music locker. It only lets you upload your own songs, but also does have a search engine, Sideload.com, that will search for freely available music online. As part of the lawsuit, EMI insisted that EMI has never authorized music to be posted for free online, so any and all music from EMI that is found by Sideload must be unauthorized. Except… of course. that’s not true. EMI hands out free mp3s to journalists all the time to post, and often has them on their own website. When asked about it, EMI finally admitted to allowing a grand total of three songs to be distributed freely online.

To prove that EMI was lying, last fall, Michael Robertson offered up a bookmarklet that people could use to let him know whenever they found free MP3s of EMI music on legitimate sites (mainstream media, artist’s own websites, label marketing sites, etc.). That “You Lie, EMI” bookmarklet seems to have worked wonders. Robertson has now collected over 1,400 examples of EMI giving away free MP3s. He’s even put the whole list in a nice Google spreadsheet, so you can check it out yourself (and even see where EMI has put up free music).

I’m not surprised to see our friend Lily Allen on the list. As you may recall, last fall, right after Lily went on a bit of a rant about the evils of file sharing and distributing unauthorized music, we pointed out that on her official LilyAllenMusic website, she and EMI (who runs the website) were distributing mixtapes full of songs from EMI artists… and artists from other record labels as well (though, we doubt EMI got the rights to do that).

Either way, nice job crowdsourcing the proof that EMI does, in fact, lie:

This list is just a fraction of the songs EMI makes available, but it’s irrefutable that EMI uses free song files as promotion. Astonishingly they are still telling the court that they don’t authorize song files to be distributed for free. They are denying these songs are legitimate in spite of overwhelming evidence of MP3 files from retailers, blogs, artist sites, label sites, and marketing sites. Even when you point to one of their own corporate blogs which offers downloads they remain steadfast in their claim that they don’t distribute MP3s online for free.

Thanks to the MP3tunes user community, we have powerful evidence to refute EMI’s claims that they don’t distribute promotional songs. I think it’s one of the first examples of crowdsourcing evidence. The evidence was assembled not by parties to the litigation or their legal teams but citizens with a computer and motivation to help out. We’ll learn later this year whether it will help MP3tunes prevail.

But weren’t we just told by the head of PPL in the UK (home of EMI) that “there is no such thing” as “promotion” when it comes to music, and “for free” should be erased from our vocabulary. Perhaps that explains EMI’s actions. They no longer recognize the concept of free promotion as existing after listening to Fran Nevrkla’s speech.

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Companies: emi, mp3tunes

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Comments on “Michael Robertson's Crowdsourced List Of 1,400 Examples Of EMI Giving Away Free Music; EMI Denies All But 3”

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jose jose (user link) says:

i work at a radio station, and i get tons and tons of free promotional ALBUMS every week. sure the hardcopies i get aren’t for free for the public, but i do get a lot of electronic packages with no pw or anything. people can just grab them if they are good at google or whatever. so for emi to say that promotional music doesn’t exist it ridiculous.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Shoe meet corner ... I guess I am going to have to wait for this paint to dry ...

“But weren’t we just told by the head of PPL in the UK (home of EMI) that “there is no such thing” as “promotion” when it comes to music, and “for free” should be erased from our vocabulary. Perhaps that explains EMI’s actions. They no longer recognize the concept of free promotion as existing after listening to Fran Nevrkla’s speech.”

Everytime I think that big media has gone as far as they can to set them up for failure, they do something even more self defeating and stupid.

EMI has unintentionally brought the “Search (and Destroy) Engine” of china to the west. While EMI isnt as hated as The Kitten Killer of Hangzhou they are getting there. Now that this tactic of crowd sourcing evidence has been used sucessfully once look for it to be employed more frequently in the future. This goes back to the comments I made about how there are 50,000 of them and almost seven billion of us.

Way to pick a fight EMI !!!

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: By the way ....

Here are other things EMI hasnt considered …

If EMI “DOES” issue DMCA take downs for the mp3’s it provided for promotional value it is reamed, damned, frak’d, and basically screwed. They ruin any chance in the future of people trusting them online to promote their music for them and other record labels. They alienate their biggest fans, the people who build web sites dedicated to worshiping their artists.

If they “DON’T” DMCA take down the songs after being notified they are there, they are damned, frak’d, and basically screwed. How do they justify that in a court of law? So lets ask them why these songs are available on line, and why they havent removed them.

This is a damned if you do, damned if you dont moment.

Plus in the case of Viacom -vs- YouTube this shows hows this is an industry double standard.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: By the way ....

Someone should contact the web sites and tell them that according to a recent court filings …

“EMI has clearly stated that “ONLY” these three songs have been authorized for promotional distribution.

song1 – CRC checksum nnnnnn
song2 – CRC checksum nnnnnn
song3 – CRC checksum nnnnnn

Please remove all EMI music not specified on the 3 song list from your site. You will be notifed of any changes to this list in the future. US law allows for penalties of up to $130,000 USD per infringement. Removal of all non authorized EMI material from your site is required by law.”

Is it a lie? is it the truth? is it legal? Or is it just playing with words?

wallow-T says:

per Hypebot blog: did anyone check the data on this list? It doesn’t look good.

Example: Richard Thompson, “She Said It Was Destiny” – that song is from the album “The Old Kit Bag,” some years after Thompson left his EMI contract.

Example: there is a line for R.E.M. with no songs listed. R.E.M. has never been associated with EMI, and their current deal is with Warner.

Example: the Beausoleil track is from a Yep Roc label (indie) album.

OK, I have only done a quick check on 4 artists who I listen to, and for all of them, the songs listed here are not EMI releases.

If Michael Robertson files this in court I predict he’s going to get torn to shreds.

Example: Regina Spektor’s “Us” appears to be on the Sire label, again a Warner imprint.

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