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Dr. Dre Sued By Lucasfilm Dr. Dre

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by Tina Johnson
April 19, 2000

"George Lucas' Lucasfilm, Ltd. production company is suing Dre and charging the hip-hop impresario with various copyright and trademark wrongdoings.

Lucasfilm's suit... hinges on Dre's use of something called the "THX Deep Note." ... According to Lucasfilm, the sound is the first ever to be trademarked; it should be familiar to moviegoers as the sound that accompanies the THX logo before films screened in theaters with THX sound systems.

It should also be familiar... as the sound that opens Dre's album "Dr. Dre 2001," which is precisely the problem, according to Lucasfilm..."

Rock Stars Cry Thief Over Online Music

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by Neva Conin
May 7, 2000

Though Public Enemy's Chuck D, Cypress Hill and Limp Bizkit have voiced support for Napster, many other artists, including Lou Reed, Sean ``Puffy'' Combs, the Beastie Boys' Mike D, Deborah Harry and Elton John are condemning open-access music software. Among the more salient quotes:

``Napster is robbing me blind.'' -- Chris Robinson, Black Crowes, in a March 25 article.

``Napster is sneaking in the back door and robbing me blind.'' -- Scott Stapp, Creed, on the Recording Industry Association of America Web site .

Whew. There must be a lot of nearsighted rock stars out there. Such repetitious phrasing might have been avoided if Stapp and Robinson bothered to check their mail. According to an Oct. 8, 1998, article on, the RIAA sent out a form letter to artists asking that they speak out against ``online piracy.'' The request suggested quotes for those stars too busy writing music to generate their own. A sampling:

``Stealing music is wrong. Get real. Go legit.''

``Internet piracy is theft, which as far as I can remember is illegal.''

The two RIAA artist relations reps listed as contacts had nothing to say about the purported letter: Jennifer Betts no longer works for the RIAA and John Hankel says he doesn't recall the note. Considering the quality of the prose, who can blame him?

Metallica Press Release

Press Release

(Cick headline for Metallica's copy. My copy is much cleaner and easier to read, because I've taken the liberty to use Associated Press Style, which their PR person ought to be using, and correct grammar, which their PR person doesn't seem to know.)

April 13, 2000

Suit alleges that Defendants have violated the law by committing continuing copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Internationally renowned recording artists Metallica, E/M Ventures and Creeping Death Music have today filed suit in U.S District Court Central District of California against Napster, Inc., The University of
Southern California, and Indiana University.

Metallica, E/M Ventures and Creeping Death Music are the copyright owners of sound recordings and musical compositions created by Metallica and possess the exclusive right to commercially distribute these songs and sound recordings and derive income therefrom.

The suit alleges that Napster and the other defendants -- by encouraging and enabling visitors to its website to unlawfully exchange with others copyrighted songs and sound recordings without the knowledge or permission of Metallica -- have violated the law by committing continuing copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Says Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, "With each project, we go through a grueling creative process to achieve music that we feel is representative of Metallica at that very moment in our lives. We take our craft -- whether it be the music, the lyrics, or the photos and artwork -- very seriously, as do most artists. It is therefore sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is.

"From a business standpoint, this is about piracy -- AKA taking something that doesn't belong to you; and that is morally and legally wrong. The trading of such information -- whether it's music, videos, photos, or whatever -- is, in effect, trafficking in stolen goods."

Further the suit states that, "Napster has devised and distributed software whose sole purpose is to permit Napster to profit by abetting and encouraging the pirating of the creative efforts of the world's most admired and successful musical artists. Facilitating that effort are the hypocritical universities and colleges who could easily block this insidious and ongoing thievery scheme. The last link in the chain are the end users of the stolen musical works, students of these universities and others who exhibit the moral fiber of common looters loading up shopping carts because 'everybody else is doing it.'"

Metallica released their first album, Kill'em All, in 1983, and since that time have released nine albums, including two double albums. They have won five Grammy Awards and have sold more than 50 million albums through normal retail channels in the United States alone. Their 1991 album, Metallica, with sales of over 12 million copies, is the third greatest selling album since the inception of Soundscan (the company that provides accurate sales information for the music industry) and continues to sell close to a million copies a year.

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