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January 14, 2010
Mashups Go Mainstream - Cartel Notices
It's easy to say that mash-ups have been around forever. For at least the last 15 years popular club dance music has featured DJs who use various technologies such as turntables, mixers, and effects boxes to produce sounds using two or more original recordings. Like many "underground" pop phenomena, the mash-up has escaped its original scene and been incorporated into everything from television shows to console games. Lately, even such staid journalistic entities as the Wall Street Journal have taken notice of mash-ups.
With popularity comes vindication
, and a sense that people finally get what you've been doing all along
. Then again, you also get the attention of the Cartel
Those three links go back to Bootie Blog, one of the past decade's biggest champions of the mash-up. Their dance parties have been hits in cities all over the world and they've joined the ranks of online music bloggers promoting the mash-up art form. Each year they produce a "Best of Bootie..." CD featuring their choices of the best mash-ups of the preceding year. (I don't always agree with their tastes, but that's beside the point.)
This year, their CD drew the attention of EMI Entertainment, which objected to the inclusion of "Nirgaga" a mash-up by DJ Lobsterdust of the recent pop hit "Poker Face" and Nirvana's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit." (By the way, the track is still available lots of places on the Web; do your own searching.) According to EFF, DJ Lobsterdust was also served with a DMCA takedown notice for this track.
As Bootie rightly point out, the Nirvana track has been mashed all over the place so it's particularly odd to see EMI going after just this one track. Perhaps this is the start of yet another misguided attempt by the Cartel to control the evolution of music. Or maybe they just don't like seeing themselves talked about that way in the WSJ.
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