Negativland in Trouble Again

Matt McGee ([email protected])
Mon, 10 Aug 1998 21:04:47 -0800

>From via @U2 news:20

Negativland In Hot Water With The R.I.A.A.

Negativland is under fire once again. According to a reliable source, San
Francisco's notorious sampling pirates are under attack from the Recording
Industry Association of America.

Apparently, the R.I.A.A., a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, has
seen fit to the cease of production of Negativland's latest installment in
the "Over the Edge" talk-show radio series. According to the source, the
trouble began when the band's label, Seeland Records were notified that the
manufacturing plant it uses refused to press the new Negativland disc
because it contained an unauthorized sample of a Pink Floyd song. The plant
owners claimed the R.I.A.A. imposes stiff regulations on manufacturers for
pressing material with illegal samples, which could result in a fine of up
to $100,000 per infraction. The R.I.A.A. is well known for its aggressive
"anti-piracy" stance. Now, it seems they are extending responsibility to
encompass manufacturing plants, along with artists and labels. The media
spokesperson for the R.I.A.A. was unavailable for comment.

More than likely, the members of Negativland will take the R.I.A.A.
head-on, as this is just the kind of thing that gets these socio-political
sample masters all fired up. Hopefully, this time, though, they'll be more
successful than in their much-publicized battle with U2 and DJ Casey Kasem
over their infamous U2 release in 1991. You may remember, that EP caused a
storm of controversy for the track that featured a kazoo-version of U2's "I
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" woven throughout Kasem's
profanity-strewn outtakes criticizing the Irish rockers. Although intended
as joke, Negativland were hit with legal costs, monetary fines and
ongoing hassles with former label SST Records. Eventually, the album was
recalled and the lawsuits were settled, but not until after years of

Now Negativland will either have to be re-edit their new disc or take it
elsewhere for pressing. Apparently, the group has yet to make a final
decision regarding the release, but we'll let you know what they intend to

-Jennifer Schwartz

Matt McGee / [email protected]
@U2 Web Page Curator

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