The producer of a mashup album that combined the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band has been threatened with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit by EMI, the Beatles' music publisher. EMI has also demanded that he turn over the IP addresses of the hundreds of thousands of people who downloaded the mash-ups, presumably so that EMI can sue all of us, too.
The mashups were released by the fictitious band "The Beachles," as part of a notional album called Sgt. Petsounds, and they were a kind of noise-rock experiment in mixing up the two seminal albums (both albums are known for their own use of "found sound" and mashup techniques).
Clayton Counts produced the album for some DJ friends of his, and was not commercially compensated for his efforts (Counts has recently relocated to look after sick relatives and is broke, lacking even a telephone). It's idiotically inconceivable that anyone who hears Sgt Petsounds will decide that they've got all the Sgt Pepper's they need, and decide not to buy the Beatles' original as a consequence. No economic harm could possibly arise to EMI as a result of the existence of this album, which was favorably reported in USA Today and other major news outlets.
This follows a pattern set by EMI of indiscriminate censorship of people who do to the Beatles what the Beatles did to the artists who inspired them. First EMI tried to crush DJ Danger Mouse's incredible "Grey Album" (the White Album plus Jay-Z's Black Album), then they took down djBC's Beastles (The Beatles plus the Beastie Boys) and now they're coming after The Beachles.
Copyright is supposed to protect expression and encourage creativity. EMI is using copyright to suppress both. They are censors and thugs.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]