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May 20, 2009

DJ releases blank CD-R

Posted: 09:32 AM ET

Music producer Danger Mouse wants you to download his album illegally. He is even going to sell you the blank CD-R to burn your ill-gotten tracks.

The "Dark Night of the Soul" book with blank CD-R ships May 29th, and the album again raises questions about how Internet technology can be used to distribute music - and what is or isn't ethical about the process.

DJ Danger Mouse, who is half of the pop group Gnarles Barkley, began stepping on record label EMI's toes in 2004 when he utilized internet outlets to distribute his self-published "Gray Album," which mixed songs from Jay-Z and The Beatles.

EMI, who owned rights to The Beatles' content, attempted to block the album, but people online responded by creating "Gray Tuesday," an organized protest where participating Web sites posted the unlicensed songs for public download. Now EMI is again attempting to prevent Danger Mouse from releasing "Dark Night of the Soul," but he's not one to let a legal dispute keep music from his fans.

A spokesperson for the DJ said: "Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of 'Dark Night of the Soul' and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is."

Danger Mouse is still releasing "Dark Night of the Soul," but instead of a 13-track album the case will include a 100-page book of David Lynch photographs and a blank CD-R that is labeled: 'For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'

Legally, fans can hear music from "Dark Night of the Soul" streamed on NPR Music. I listened to it last night and was impressed, but will anyone buy this new album when the music is already freely available?

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Filed under: file sharing • Music • piracy

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gumshoegardener   May 20th, 2009 12:36 pm ET

You didn't even mention that Sparklehorse, David Lynch and Danger Mouse worked together to create this collaborative effort featuring all original music and guest appearances by many vocalists. The music is the companion to the limited edition, hand numbered book featuring David Lynch's photographs. So, you're not really just buying a CD, you're getting a full color limited run book.

ElectEngr   May 21st, 2009 3:58 pm ET

Does Cosgrove-Hall Productions or Themes Television have grounds to sue this guy

Trollicus   May 21st, 2009 6:55 pm ET

DRM digital Rights Management part of the DMCA legislation that was created by the recording industry and media companies is one of the WORST examples of corruption and bribery in our governments history.

I'm really quite surprised than CNN posted any news at all that might link to the DMCA as if the public had any real knowledge or input in this legislation it would never have passed and any lawmaker who voted for it would lose the next election.

The DMCA has been used to
Prevent refilling of ink cartridges for printers.
Deny Blind people from access to ebooks
Prevent Auto repair shops from working on late model cars
Teenagers singing "Winter Wonderland" being censored off YouTube!
It was even invoked against the famous Obama "Hope" picture!

Apple owners, Apple uses DRM to:
lock iPhones to AT&T and Apple's iTunes App Store
prevent recent iPods from syncing with software other than iTunes
Apple requires iPod accessory vendors to use a licensed "authentication chip" in order to make accessories to access certain features on newer iPods and iPhones this means a third party cannot make accessories for Ipods without paying Apple for the chip(and guess who gets to pay for this?)

It's hard to find an area of our lives that the DMCA hasn't NEGATIVELY impacted, yet it passed through a bought and paid for congress with little attention from the media that paid for it.

BobR   May 21st, 2009 6:58 pm ET

Thanks Trollicus! I to am surprised that CNN had the guts to publish anything related to the negative impact of the DMCA!

A Big Thank you to CNN and Wes Finley-Price for having the guts to publish! I hope the people who did this don't lose their jobs!

oldguy75   May 21st, 2009 7:22 pm ET

It's nice to see that normal people will oppose the corruption of our government the DMCA represents and that someone will find a creative way to point out the absurd or EVIL nature of it.

Thanks Danger Mouse! For having the guts to put the DMCA on the spot! I have no idea what kind of music you play, but I'm willing to pay for it because I'm an American who believes in freedom and the constitution.

jumpinjoe   May 21st, 2009 8:29 pm ET

I really enjoyed the song Jaykob to bad about the stupid DMCA thing. It's surprising we don't hear more about the DMCA opposition in the news. Thanks DM! keep on rolling out the music sticking up for freedom and look forward to seeing you in concert.

Manuel   May 21st, 2009 10:49 pm ET

The release is not just about the music (created in collaboration between Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, plus many other artists). The project is an all encompassing audio/visual project wholly representative of the 3 main artists (Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and David Lynch). There's an art installation of the photos and music being hosted in LA at the end of the month. Plus, the photobook is limited to 5,000 copies. So, yes, people will buy this record even though it has (intentionally) leaked. I'm just sad it will not be released on vinyl because the album is tremendous.

franklin   May 22nd, 2009 1:08 am ET

I really enjoyed some of the tracks off this album. Nice going DM hope to see you in concert soon.

prfx   May 22nd, 2009 2:28 am ET


mahatma hotdish   May 23rd, 2009 6:48 am ET

in response to the word used in the article [ towards the end in blue font... ] the word " FREELY " – tell me, (anyone)...what is " free ? "
...because I am VERY confused ; O.

Ace in Chicago   May 23rd, 2009 6:00 pm ET

I don't get it. Imagine you are still in school and wrote a report on the civil war for history class. How would you feel if I 'borrowed' it, made a copy, turned it in first, and got an 'A'.

While I agree that DMCA is a really stupid approach, artists, authors, software writers, and engineers deserve credit (and cash) for their work.

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