Universal has filed suit against companies that create mixtapes for prison care packages in the states.
The music giant says its copyright has been infringed by the mixtapes, and is now seeking damages.
According to Universal, it’s now owed compensation to the tune of $150,000 per song – that’s £99, 207 in pound sterling.
Music compilations that featured artists like Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown.
The mixtapes are then bundled into care packages, along with food and toiletries, which are given to prisoners.
The firms that sell the packages claim they’re trying to ‘eliminate contraband’ in the US prison system, as reported by the BBC.
Universal unsurprisingly disagrees, and explained its stance in the case details, which read as follows: “Defendants boast on their website that their business ‘was developed to eliminate contraband,’ yet infringing copies of plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions, in which defendants unlawfully transact and from which they unjustly profit, are contraband personified.’
The complaint goes on to describe what a mixtape actually is, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter.
“Mixtapes are a form of recorded music in which DJs combine tracks, often recorded by different artists onto a single CD, sometimes creating overlaps and fades between songs, and/or reflecting a common theme or mood.”
It continues: “Such so-called ‘mixtapes’, unless authorised by the copyright owner or owner of corresponding state law rights, are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyright or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and coprighted musical composition.”
Universal then described how mixtapes are ‘frequently a cover for piracy’, and now hopes to recoup any perceived losses through the US court system.