Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Welcome to the Jungle! Guns N’ Roses Accused of Stealing Songs for Pirated Album.

chinese-democracy-coverA caveat before we start: Musicians accuse other musicians of stealing their work all the time and I have no idea if this case has more or less merit than any other one. But I couldn’t resist relaying this story: Guns N’ Roses, which made a point of stringing up people who pirated its last album, is now being accused of pirating songs on its last album.

Via Reuters/Billboard:

Guns N’ Roses and Universal Music Group’s Interscope-Geffen A&M label were sued by British label Independiente and the U.S. arm of Domino Recording Company, who own the licensing rights to songs by German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss.

Singer Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses band members and album producers copied portions of two of Schnauss songs–”Wherever You Are” and “A Strangely Isolated Place”–for a song used on the band’s last album called “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday but made available on Monday, seeks $1 million in damages. A spokesperson for Interscope-Geffen A&M, owned by Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, was not available for comment.

You might have thought the labels suing the band and Universal Music would have done so last fall, when there was a biggish to-do about the album and when the band and Universal Music were siccing the federal government on bloggers who posted links to unauthorized MP3s from the album.

Anyway, it’s another good opportunity to remind the young people of today why the young people of 20 years ago were really into Guns N’ Roses: They used to be great!

Also, I am still trying to track down a recording of any of the songs from the Axl Rose-inspired “White Trash Wins Lotto,” the best musical I’ve ever seen (the version I saw featured a pre-“Ratatouille” Patton Oswalt, I think). Any help greatly appreciated…


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik