large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Universal files lawsuit over dodgy prison mixtapes

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.’

Related: CES 2015: What’s happened at the Las Vegas tech expo so far?

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.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.