Seized Hip-Hop Site Lashes Out At Feds, RIAA

By , WIRED

The hip-hop music site the authorities shuttered for more than a year without explanation has lashed out at the recording industry and the federal government, likening the taking of the site to a “digital Guantanamo.”

“Seizing a blog for linking to four songs, even allegedly infringing ones, is equivalent to seizing the printing press of The New York Times because the newspaper, in its concert calendar, refers readers to four concerts where the promoters of those concerts have failed to pay ASCAP for the performance licenses,” Andre Nasib, the site’s owner, wrote in a blog post Monday on the popular dajaz1.com site.

Nasib had originally declined comment when Wired disclosed the backstory of the seizure on Thursday.

According to court records obtained by Wired, federal authorities seized the dajaz1.com site based on assertions from the Recording Industry Association of America that it was linking to four “pre-release” music tracks in November, 2010. The authorities gave it back nearly 13 months later without filing civil or criminal charges because of apparent recording industry delays in confirming infringement, according to the court records, which were unsealed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the First Amendment Coalition and Wired.

The records illustrated a secret government process in which a judge granted the government repeated time extensions to build a civil or criminal case against dajaz1.com, one of about 750 domains the government has seized in the last two years in a program known as Operation in Our Sites.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, has the power to seize web domains engaged in infringing activity under the same forfeiture laws used to seize property like houses, cars and boats allegedly tied to illegal activity such as drug running or gambling.

The authorities seized the site in November 2010 on the word of the RIAA that four songs linked to on the site were unauthorized, the records show. Yet nearly a year later, in September 2011, the government was secretly seeking its third time extension to build its case, largely because it was still waiting for the recording industry to produce evidence, the records show.

All the while, the site’s owner and his attorney were left out of the loop, as the court record was sealed from them and the public. The Dajaz1 site was redirected to a government landing page saying it was seized by customs officials.

The site claims the four songs by Jamie Foxx, Chris Brown, Nelly and Reek Da Villian at the center of the dispute were provided to it by the recording industry.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles where the case was handled have declined comment. The Recording Industry Association of America initially declined comment. In an e-mail to Wired late Sunday, however, the RIAA said it “made every attempt” to to assist the investigation “in a complete and prompt manner.”

The RIAA has repeatedly attacked the site for allegedly facilitating wanton copyright infringement of pre-release music, saying dajaz1.com has released “thousands” of unauthorized songs.

Dajaz1 blasted back Monday, saying the “RIAA’s grand and sweeping attacks on dajaz1.com suggest that the RIAA’s powers of demonization far exceed its ability to substantiate its malicious statements with specific, credible facts.”

New at Mutiny Radio: Zambri “House of Baasa” (Kanine Records)

Review by DJ Kristal

Zambri is the ethereal duo of Cristi Jo and Jessica, sisters whom have been making music together since they were kids. Their debut full-length album comes after a very successful EP, “Glossolalia,” that was released last November. “House of Baasa” is fabulous mixture of pop, indie, and electronica. The songs on the album explore the joy and torment of matters of the head and the heart, against a backdrop of drums, synths, and ethereal vocal stylings that you might recognize (the sisters are the background vocals for Hooray for Earth).

 

File near: Kate Bush, Vacationer, Young Empires

Genre: Indie Electronica

Favorite tracks:

2. Icbys

3. Carry

4. Hundred Hearts

9. From the Starts

10. You’ll Never Beat Dogs

Adam Yauch, MCA of Beastie Boys (1964-2012)

BY  ON MAY 4, 2012

Adam Yauch

Sad news, Rolling Stone is reporting that Adam Yauch (MCA) of Beastie Boys has died today at age 47. Nearly four years ago he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his parotid gland.

UPDATE: The Beastie Boys website has released this official statement:

It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam “MCA” Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Yauch taught himself to play bass in high school, forming a band for his 17th birthday party that would later become known the world over as Beastie Boys.

With fellow members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, release four #1 albums–including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band’s 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill–win three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Last month Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Diamond and Horovitz reading an acceptance speech on behalf of Yauch, who was unable to attend.

In addition to his hand in creating such historic Beastie Boys albums as Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty and more, Yauch was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding the injustices perpetrated on native Tibetans by Chinese occupational government and military forces. In 1996, Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985′s Live Aid. The Tibetan Freedom Concert series would continue to stage some of the most significant benefit shows in the world for nearly a decade following in New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Taipei and other cities.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against Violence, a benefit headlined by Beastie Boys at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, with net proceeds disbursed to the New York Women’s Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) September 11th Fund for New Americans–each chosen for their efforts on behalf of 9/11 victims least likely to receive help from other sources.

Under the alias of Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch directed iconic Beastie Boys videos including “So Whatcha Want,” “Intergalactic,” “Body Movin” and “Ch-Check It Out.” Under his own name, Yauch directed last year’s Fight For Your Right Revisited, an extended video for “Make Some Noise” from Beastie Boys’ Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, starring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen as the 1986 Beastie Boys, making their way through a half hour of cameo-studded misadventures before squaring off against Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Beastie Boys of the future.

Yauch’s passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot and has since become a major force in independent video distribution, amassing a catalogue of such acclaimed titles as Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze’s Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, and many more.

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.

image via The Boombox via Getty Images

March 2012 Charts

Mutiny Radio: Station Top 5!

  1. Various “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”
  2. The 13th Floor Elevators “The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators”
  3. The Shotgun Wedding Quintet “Tales from the Barbary Coast”
  4. Aretha Franklin “Lady Soul”
  5. Fairfield Parlour “From Home to Home”

INTERNATIONAL|WORLD

  1. Wilson Gil & The Willful Sinners “Self-Titled”
  2. Various “Rembeitka”
  3. Apodimi Compania “The Diaspora”
  4. Ansia “Fight for the Innocents”
  5. TNS “Roda Tsanta Kai Kopana”

ROCK|ALTERNATIVE|INDIE|POP

  1. Various “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”
  2. The 13th Floor Elevators “The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators”
  3. Fairfield Parlour “From Home to Home”
  4. Todd Rundgren “Something/Anything?”
  5. Jimi Hendrix “Valleys of Neptune”

RAP|R&B

  1. The Shotgun Wedding Quintet “Tales from the Barbary Coast”
  2. Aretha Franklin “Lady Soul”
  3. Amon Tobin “Permutation”
  4. Various “Boogaloo Babes”
  5. K. Flay “Eyes Shut EP”

OTHER GENRES (FOLK, RPM, PUNK|SKA, METAL, BLUES|JAZZ|ROOTS)

  1. The Opus “Praying Mantis”
  2. Duke Ellington “Here…Put This One”
  3. Miles Davis “Miles from India”
  4. Freedom Call “The Circle of Life”
  5. Caroline Chocolate Drops & Luminescent Orchestrii “Carolina Chocolate Drops / Luminescent Orchestrii – EP”