Universal Targets Mixtapes Being Sent To Prison Inmates In New Lawsuit
Universal Music Group takes aim at mixtape compilations being sent to prison inmates via care package websites.
While us average folk can easily and legally listen or download the latest music thanks to music platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play (and the list goes on), prison inmates don't have the same accessibility to these sites. Thus, often times, friends and family will send them care packages, that, according to a new lawsuit from Universal Music Group, contain pirated music.
Universal filed a new lawsuit on Tuesday with targets prisoner care package websites, including ones like the Centric Group and Keefe Group. Universal alleges that these sites send off mixtapes complete with illegal music to prisoners (some artists they name are Eminem, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder), and thus they are suing them for copyright infringement.
The lawsuit states, "Defendants boast on their website that their business 'was developed to eliminate contraband,' yet the infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions, in which Defendants unlawfully transact and from which they unjustly profit, are contraband personified."
Universal goes on to explain what exactly a 'mixtape' is in the suit, saying that more often than not they "are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition."
For "reproducing, distributing and preparing derivative works based on their compositions" Universal Music Group is seeking the maximum amount in statutory damages, namely, $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed upon.
More details can be found at the Hollywood Reporter.