EMI Admits No Harm Came From Grey Album, But Still

from the come-now dept

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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2006 @ 2:50pm


    I also view this as similar to a nuclear arms race. There is nothing wrong with wanting the strength to guarantee security from your opponents. But when everyone wants this, the prisoner's dilemma creates a monstrous situation.

    Except in this case the nukes have minds of their own and are manipulating things to get put into action. Is it any wonder we're in the midst of a legal holocaust?

    Sap the strength of these weapons running amok and we can get this thing under control. This responsibility falls on everyone--individuals, businesses, and governments. Every time you try and control a business (with lawyers) by creating laws you just feed the fire. Every time your business files a lawsuit over an issue that would have historically remained a gentleman's disagreement in a noble effort to compensate for an incident in which you were wronged you are childishly demanding the last word--and the lawyers will see to it that the argument never ends. Every time you miss an opportunity to curse a lawyer for being the scourge of the earth, or vote on legislators who favor laws, or forget to carry your own self with the dignity necessary in a world without laws and lawyers--you exacerbate the problem.

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