The RIAA and the Atlanta Police don’t seem to understand the difference between promotional mixtapes which are sanctioned by the artists and actual counterfeit CDs.
You know that the RIAA, MPAA, et al. have gone much too far and have been granted much too much political clout when you see government sanctioned violence committed against a legitimate minority owned business and perpetrated on their behalf in the name of DRM and Copyright law.
POLICE WORKING WITH the RIAA have arrested a famous DJ for making rap mixes, which according to the recording industry makes him a pirate. The RIAA, … seems to be acting independently of the record labels. In fact it is working against its own PR spinning that its fight against pirates is helping to protect artists’ rights.
Tyree’s (DJ Drama’s) sister writes an editorial at allhiphop.com describing the Police raid and asks some hard questions. Here are some excerpts:
No one will ever be able to explain to me why the hell a SWAT Team of at least 30 strong went charging into the Aphilliates Music Group studio as if they were doing a major drug or an illegal arms bust? Why did they need to put my brother Tyree (DJ Drama) and his cohorts face down on the ground with guns to their heads? Did the agents need to ransack the studio, confiscate cd’s featuring artist sanctioned original music not bootlegs, disc drives, computers, cars, ultimately stripping the studio of everything with the exception of furniture
Based on the January 16, 2007 Fox Atlanta News edition (video link), when one of the agents said “Usually, we find other crimes during these types of busts.” Clearly the agents expected ( possibly wanted) to find drugs and/or illegal arms. K-9 dogs whose noses are trained to sniff and find drugs, were ultimately board with nothing to do.
So the question for me and the rest of the Portnoy-Simmons-Thwaites family is was a SWAT team needed? Was this solely about mixtapes? Would this have happened if this wasn’t a Black run company?
As Tyree’s (DJ Drama’s) sister … I am beyond outraged at how the RIAA handled/orchestrated the raid. If he or anyone in the Aphilliates camp didn’t follow the directions of the agents, asked the ‘wrong’ questions,’or made the ‘wrong’ move during the raid, he and/or his cohorts could’ve been murdered in a twinkling of an eye. And for what? Selling mixtapes, which feature artist sanctioned original music?
The RIAA should be held accountable for their actions. They need to know that their violent response to addressing their accusations of racketeering was unacceptable.
As these deejay collectives began to further organize, it was only a matter of time before you could see people moving in a direction where they could act totally independent of the Record industry. The fact that record labels CAN NOT break music without mixtape deejays is a problem for some in power.
UPDATE 3: “We have a partnership with a joint vice task force working pirated tapes in the country,” says Chief James Baker of the Morrow Police Department. “We found an outlet in Morrow for the criminal sale of recorded material, breaking the OCGA, Official Code of Georgia Annotated, no. 16-8-60, which specifies that CDs must list the true name and address of their office, which these CDs didn’t, nor did they [list] copyright permission. People were able to make purchases over the Internet and these guys sold the pirated discs for profit.”
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