I received a cease-and-desist from the Walt Disney Corporation for hosting the Kleptones' Night at the Hip-Hopera mashup. (Disney owns Hollywood Records, who owns the rights to Queen's catalog.)
The irony is that I'm not even hosting the files anymore... The links on my site are all redirected to someone else's server, and have been for weeks. At any rate, I'll be forced to remove the direct links by November 23.
As far as I know, I was the first person to put the DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album on the Web. Now, I see the suppression of artistic freedom again with the Kleptones album, which has always been freely-distributable and never made a dime. It's depressing to think that our horribly broken copyright law means that nobody can legally hear this album or create others like it.
The cease-and-desist is below. The album itself can still be downloaded from the mirrors on the official Kleptones site, but I'm not sure for how long. If anyone has any ideas for creative protest, now's the time.
Update: I've compiled a list of active mirrors to download the album. If you want to be added to the list, e-mail me or add a comment.
From: "Plotkin, Steve" <Steve.Plotkin@disney.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 16:04:50 -0800
Subject: Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted and/or Trademark Properties/File # 05-0165 - www.waxy.org
VIA U.S. & ELECTRONIC MAIL
November 8, 2004
Mr. Andrew Baio
555 Privacy Lane
Re: Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted and/or Trademark Properties/File # 05-0165 www.waxy.org
Dear Mr. Baio
I write on behalf of Disney Enterprises, Inc., and Disney s subsidiary, Hollywood Records Inc. (collectively Disney ), the owner of rights to the Queen music tracks.
It has come to our attention that you and/or your affiliates ( You ) are using without permission on Your Internet website waxy.org part or all of a number of songs by Queen, including some or all of the following:
God Save The Queen
Keep Yourself Alive
Another One Bites The Dust
We will Rock You
Play The Game
I'm Going Slightly Mad
I Want To Break Free
Radio Ga Ga
Spread Your Wings
(It's A) Kind Of Magic
Don't Stop Me Now
Who Wants To Live Forever
Disney does not permit the unauthorized use of its names, copyrighted works and trademarks. Such use infringes Disney s trademark rights, copyrights, and/or constitutes unfair competition.
Disney hereby demands that You immediately remove from any website owned or operated by You or on Your behalf, all music tracks containing any part of any song by Queen, and any other property of Disney, and that You provide me with a letter by November 23, 2004, in which You confirm that You have complied with the foregoing and that You agree not to resume such use.
Very truly yours,
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-0643