N e g a t i o n !

press release from mystery lab

For immediate release: February 9, 1990

A recording and distribution project intended to set an example for the legitimacy of electronic sampling in music has been stopped dead by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

CRIA will destroy all undistributed copies of a CD entitled Plunderphonic. The CDs will be crushed. Plunderphonic producer John Oswald has surrendered the CDs following a threat of litigation from CRIA, who cited that the CD infringed the copyrights of their clients CBS Records and Michael Jackson, among others.

Since its release in November, Plunderphonic has been a hit on national radio in Canada and it has reached #1 on the playlists of several alternative radio stations throughout North America. It was listed on several reviewers' top-albums-of-1989-lists, including a best-album-of-the-year listing in the San Francisco Bay Area Express. Critics have almost universally acclaimed the music as "brilliant."

The CD Plunderphonic was never sold or intended for sale. The packaging included detailed credits of the sampled sources which constitute nearly 100% of the sounds from which Plunderphonic was made. Copies were distributed to radio stations, libraries and reviewers. A shareright notice in an accompanying booklet permitted listeners to make a free copy of the disc (shareright is borrowed from the not-for-profit distribution of computer software).

"I wasn't selling the disc in the stores, so I let listeners tape it off the radio for free," explains Oswald, who paid for the production and manufacture of the CD out of his own pocket. He receives no royalties or financial compensation for airplay. Brian Robertson, president of CRIA says, "What this demonstrates is the vulnerability of the recording industry to new technology... All we see is just another example of theft." 1

Oswald received notice from CRIA's lawyers demanding that he cease distributing Plunderphonic as of Xmas eve '89. "They insisted I quit playing Santa Claus," Oswald observes.

inquiries: John Oswald 416-xxx-xxxx
CRIA 416-967-7272

1 CBC radio, January 7th, 1990.

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