Universal Sues for Selling Mixtapes in Prison

“I left a half a hundred in your commissary” said Nas in 1994, but could inmates with money to spend be denied music now? Universal Sues Companies Selling Mixtapes in Prison and reportedly wants $150,000 per song allegedly-illegally distributed across 40 states in the US. (Yikes!)

Universal Sues Companies Selling Mixtapes in Prison as the industry giant strikes back about music they say has been unlawfully distributed through prison vendor services. The defendants, companies like Centric Group, Keefe Group, and the website “Access Securepack,” also sell things like food and deodorant to correctional facilities nation-wide.

Universal claims not only are the sales illegal, but they’ve been selling the music at lower prices on purpose, to cut in on legit business (insert mob movie quote here).

“The lawsuit claimed that the defendants were “fully aware” that the sale of these recordings was unlawful and that they chose to sell them anyway without regard for the label’s rights. Additionally, it said that the sale of these mixtapes caused substantial and irreparable harm to Universal, which has invested millions of dollars and enormous amounts of time into creating and marketing the music.”

Universal Sues Companies Selling Mixtapes in Prison also for boasting through websites and physical magazines that they’re the go–to for music by “your FAVORITE artists.” Lawyers and statements in the lawsuit go on to generally question the business practices of these companies. (Sidebar: this is definitely not the first time their business practices have been called into question). Universal argues no matter what the defendants claim, these companies are literally in the business of selling contraband.

“Universal is suing on counts of sound recording copyright infringement, compositional copyright infringement and other business-related complaints. The label is seeking additional damages for the non-copyright-related counts.

Funny to hear the conglomerate speak so protective of the music when we constantly hear label horror stories and wonder where support for certain artists are. But legally-rogue companies know what they’re doing too. Many incarcerated peoples look to stay up on music and culture from behind the wall, in fact certain artists get a lot of buzz and gain strongholds from that exposure.

Consider Universal Sues Companies Selling Mixtapes in Prison a reminder that the major–machine is nothing to f*ck with. Furthermore that justice for Universal will most likely NOT trickle down to the injustices done at commissary every day for overpriced food etc. As far as these mixtapes tho???…

“It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop.”

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