Word: Sony Music Attempts to Shut Down Indie Project Bizarre Tribe

Posted: June 6, 2013 in Alternative, Hip Hop, Jazz, Underground, Word
Tags: , , , , ,

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“Industry rule #4080: record company people are shady.”  Q-Tip hipped folks to this many moons ago and we’re still witnessing the greed and misappropriation of our (hip hop) culture from huge record labels.  I’m a fan of Gummy Soul and Amerigo Gazaway.  They’ve proven themselves as innovators and risk takers.  They recently released Gazaway’s mash-up Bizarre Tribe, a conceptual meeting of A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde hits.  An incredibly familiar but original idea, Bizarre Tribe is a classic hip hop head’s wet dream.  Apparently, Sony has caught wind and wants some of the pie.  Sony sent a cease and desist letter to the producers to stop distributing the free project.  WTF??  Read Gummy Soul’s informative, hell-yeah worthy retort below.

Dear Sony Music,

Thanks for reaching out. The fact that our small independent label warranted the resources of your legal team speaks to our work ethic and we appreciate the validation.

In response to your copyright infringement claim over Gummy Soul’s Bizarre Tribe; A Quest To The Pharcyde by Amerigo Gazaway (“Bizarre Tribe”), understand the vast majority of the samples used to create Bizarre Tribe were not taken from the catalog of A Tribe Called Quest (“ATCQ”). What your diligence failed to uncover is that Gummy Soul is not in the business of merging one artist’s instrumentals with vocals of another. Had one of the six Sony attorneys copied in your email deemed it necessary to listen to Bizarre Tribe before pursuing legal action, you would know that our projects are much more nuanced.

To be clear, the re-orchestrated instrumentals on Bizarre Tribe were sourced from the original jazz, soul, and funk recordings SAMPLED by ATCQ, allowing Amerigo to create his own, distinct production within a similar framework. Given the brief and limited use of ATCQ material on Bizarre Tribe (around 2 minutes of material out of a 55 minute album), and the method by which our reinterpretations are created, it is clear that Amerigo’s effort is protected under the fair use exception of copyright infringement.

Read the rest here.

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