Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good news and bad news about Linkin Park's LIVING THINGS Acapellas and Instrumentals

Linkin Park may have started an intellectual property controversy with their new release:
LIVING THINGS Acapellas and Instrumentals - LinkinPark.com:
Most fans, especially those who are remixers and producers themselves (and there are many), would have been happy to see the launch of this album. It contains acapellas (vocals only) and instrumentals of all the songs on Linkin Park's latest album Living Things. This is a real gift for remixers and producers, because they (we) no longer have to find ways to extract the vocals from the album version, which usually degrades the sound quality.
Except that this is no gift. Unlike other artists like Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead who give away "stems" (vocal and instrumental parts) of their songs for free, Linkin Park is selling this album on iTunes at full price.
That annoyed some fans, but many were willing to pay for the tracks.
Then fans started noticing the legal small print (literally in a smaller font size) below the website announcement (highlighted below)
"DJs, producers, and remixers:
We've noticed all the amazing remixes that you've been creating, and we want to give you more tools to have fun with. We have released LIVING THINGS acapellas and instrumentals for you.
Enjoy,
-Mike
No right or license, in copyright or otherwise, is granted or implied to create derivative works incorporating all or any part of the instrumentals or acapellas."
In plain English: You have no right to make a remix using these tracks.
Then what's the point in buying the tracks in the first place? What does Mike Shinoda mean when he says "we want to give you more tools to have fun with"? Is he giving remixers more rope to hang themselves with?
Possible scenario: Fan buys the acapella album. Fan makes a remix (using any software from Garage Band to Ableton Live). Fan uploads it to YouTube or SoundCloud. Fan gets a cease and desist letter from Linkin Park. Sounds like a PR disaster.
What they could have stated instead was:
"No right or license, in copyright or otherwise, is granted or implied to create COMMERCIAL derivative works incorporating all or any part of the instrumentals or acapellas." 
Ideally, they should just let fans make as many remixes of any kind that they like. It's not as if a remix would detract from their sales. And the model is proven by artists like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead.
While we're at it, enjoy this electronic remix of Linkin Park's The Catalyst by Cosmic Armchair - and this remix was done legally during the remix contest.
'via Blog this'

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