Hip Hop Hypocrite
When the Napster maelstrom hit the recording industry, Dr. Dre, along with
Metallica, was one of the first to hurl accusations of copyright infringement
at the popular file sharing site.
Dr. Dre is furious that people are using Napster to download his song "Lolo"
without permission or license - an obvious "copyright infringement". The
irony is that the prominent feature of that song is a sound that Dr. Dre
appropriated without permission or license - an obvious "copyright
How deep is the note?
Empire Strikes Back
If you've been to a movie with THX sound, you've heard the "Deep Note"; the
heavily panned and faded sonic boom that accompanies the THX logo.
Allegedly, some time ago Dr. Dre requested permission from Lucasfilm, the
purveyor of the THX technology, to use the famous sound for incorporation into
one of his songs. According to Lucasfilm, they denied Dr. Dre's request to use
Despite the lack of permission or license to use the copyrighted material of
Lucasfilm, the "Deep Note" is prominently featured on Dr. Dre's best-selling
album, 2001. At the beginning of the first track, no less.
Consequently, Lucasfilm has filed suit against Dr. Dre (as well as the labels,
Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records) seeking unspecified damages for
Dr. Dre slaps Musicmaker
Besides slamming Napster, Dr. Dre also appeared in a related story by
demanding that Musicmaker.com immediately remove any of his songs from their
website. Musicmaker is a custom-compilation and download site, and it had
recently announced a licensing deal with Dr. Dre's former label, Death Row
Records. The Musicmaker website listed 27 of Dr. Dre's songs for use in
According to Andre Young's (Dr. Dre's real name) attorney, when Dr. Dre left
Death Row Records, his departure contract gave the label rights only to
material "in the same configuration as then had been previously publicly
released," and that masters "shall only be distributed in the manner
heretofore distributed." Presumably, this means that Death Row can
only reissue pre-existing CDs and cassettes.
Dre's attorney told Musicmaker that Death Row "has no right to distribute
individual tracks containing Mr. Young's performance, whether by digital
download or traditional compact disk distribution" and that "by
distributing this product to the public, you act as an aider and abetter of
this copyright violation..."
Musicmaker responded that "the documents that were made known to us show that
they [Death Row] have the rights to give us rights." Right.