Re: [rumori] Wow! My first cease & desist!

Don Joyce (
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:52:39 -0800

Thanks, and you're entirely welcome. You have one of the most potentially
high profile cases I've heard of recently and you should not give up, at
least on the publicity front, because the general press will eat this stuff
up eagerly!

>At 05:52 AM 1/23/00 -0800, you wrote:
>>Dear Mark,
>>The ECC situation is ridiculous. I wrote the following reply of support if
>>you care to forward it to him. (I have not.)
> I just wanted to drop you a line to give you a specific thanks for
>your writings... I did forward your complete message along with my own to
>Atty. Kryle with, predictably, no relevant response. I also excerpted parts
>of it to use in our press release (below) and had it originally credited to
>you, though Mark H. suggested I just credit it to Negativland in general to
>avoid confusion. I've updated the web site with info about the whole thing;
>the general web traveller gets to see:
> ...but feel free to look through the press-only site too:
> Eerie Materials has gotten written threat of legal action now (not
>just in email), though I haven't, so I'm going to continue selling and
>promoting the song until they tell me to stop...which probably won't be too
>long from now, since people have already started writing to CBS in support
>of us.
> Thanks again... be seeing you...
>- Mark G.
>The Evolution Control Committee (Contact: Mark Gunderson)
>voice: 614-268-6859 / 614-262-0654
>fax: 614-268-6859
>Eerie Materials (Contact: Mark Seilhamer)
>voice: 415-441-2438
>fax: 415-673-2522
>January 27th, 2000
>San Francisco-based music label Eerie Materials and Columbus, Ohio-based
>musical group The Evolution Control Committee have received a threat of
>legal action by CBS
>Corporation over "Rocked By Rape", a musical critique and parody of
>violence in network
>television news, featuring samples of CBS Evening News anchorman Dan Rather.
>The song "Rocked By Rape" was formerly available only as a 7" single vinyl
>record. The lyrics
>(including the title) are an audio collage of violent words and phrases
>spoken by Dan Rather on
>the CBS Evening News. This collage is mixed with a bed of music samples
>from AC/DC's song
>"Back In Black".
>Eerie Materials and The Evolution Control Committee must cease all
>distribution of the record or
>face "appropriate action", according to Sanford I. Kryle, Associate General
>Counsel for CBS. In a
>January 19th 2000 communication to Eerie Materials Kryle warned, "Your use
>of (Dan Rather's
>voice) significantly infringes upon the copyrights owned by CBS."
>"Frankly, I am outraged," wrote ECC's Mark Gunderson in a strongly worded
>reaction. "The
>copyright law itself allows for people to make "fair use" of copyrighted
>materials for purposes of
>parody. `Rocked By Rape' is nothing if not parody."
>"The title itself, `Rocked By Rape', is not the result of some clever
>editing trick on our part but was
>actually spoken by Rather during one broadcast," Gunderson explains. "While
>the context of that
>phrase and others we included in our piece may differ from the original, we
>feel that these `shock
>phrases' are often all that remain in a viewer's mind after each broadcast.
>Our critique -- our
>parody -- makes this point plainly."
>Although Eerie Materials and The ECC would like to defend their rights in
>court, both admit they
>haven't the resources to pursue it. Larger corporations frequently escape
>potential court losses
>and the resulting negative publicity by prolonging pre-trial preparations.
>The battle then becomes
>a war of attrition, fought with mounting legal fees -- a burden which
>cash-strapped smaller
>organizations cannot bear.
>"I was under the impression that the mainstream media considered vinyl to
>be a dead format,"
>states Eerie Materials' Mark Seilhamer. "When a corporate giant such as
>CBS goes to the trouble
>to have their legal flunkies make threats of litigation over a 7" vinyl
>single pressed in miniscule
>quantities, you know it's simply bullying for bullying's sake."
>Although The ECC sampled Dan Rather's voice and the theme music to the CBS
>Evening News,
>doing so is legal for use in a parody. In a 1993 US Supreme Court case the
>rap group 2 Live Crew
>successfully defended their right to sample Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman"
>without permission for
>their parody of his song. However, Kryle claims that "to copy, record,
>perform, exhibit, exploit, or
>otherwise use (Rather's words) constitutes a serious infringement of CBS's
>exclusive rights in
>such material."
>Commenting on the legal threat against The Evolution Control Committee,
>Negativland, a musical
>group who appeared in court multiple times to defend their legal rights as
>musicians, writes, "Such a usage as is found in `Rocked By Rape' is clearly
>an example of Fair
>Use as allowed by copyright law. This is art as parody, and as social
>`commentary and criticism,'
>and is precisely why copyright ownership is not an `exclusive' right."
>"The most surprising phrase in all of copyright law is where it says that
>the laws are intended to
>encourage new work to be created," Negativland writes. "Nowhere does it say
>that they can or
>should be used to censor and inhibit new work."
>What can you do to help? A polite email, phone call, or letter to CBS in
>support of The ECC and
>Eerie Materials can make a difference. Tell CBS to drop their legal
>threats. Concerned readers
>are encouraged to express their opinions to:
> Mr. Sanford Kryle
> CBS Legal Department
> phone: 212-975-4601
> email:
> Dan Rather
> CBS Evening News
> phone: 212-975-3691
> Kim Akhtar
> CBS Public Relations
> phone: 212-975-4296
> CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
> 524 West 57th Street
> New York, NY 10019
> phone: 212-975-3247
> CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System)
> 51 W. 52 St.
> New York, NY 10019
> phone: 212-975-4321
> email:
>The Evolution Control Committee is an experimental multimedia band with a
>13 year history of
>audio collage and sonic exploration. Previous releases have received
>positive reviews in Spin,
>The CMJ (College Music Journal), Magnet, and other national press. The ECC
>recently launched
>their own label, Evolution Controlled Creations, with a CD compilation
>entitled "Party Like It's Only
>Eerie Materials is an independent San Francisco based record label
>specializing in music that
>defies categorization in the industry's prescribed genres. Since 1991
>Eerie Materials has released
>records for a diverse array of bands including The Evolution Control
>Committee, Man or
>Astroman?, Kingdom Scum, Negativland, and Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milkqueen.
>The Evolution Control Committee
>P.O. Box 10391
>Columbus, OH 43201
>voice: 614-268-6859 / 614-262-0654
>fax: 614-268-6859
>web: ("Rocked By Rape" can be heard at
>this web site)
>Press web page:
>Eerie Materials
>P.O. Box 420816
>San Francisco, CA 94142-0816
>voice: 415-441-2438
>fax: 415-673-2522
> The Evolution Control
> >>> WWWeb: (newly redecorated!) <<<
> _____________________________________________________________________
> |
> | "Rocked By Rape" in danger of extinction! Check our web site for more!
> |
> | Brand new comp CD!! Hear samples from PARTY LIKE IT'S ONLY $19.99:
> |
> |
> | Leave a STRANGE SOUND for The ECC to use! Just call toll-free and
> | put it on our voicemail: Dial 1-UP-RAGE-REPAY (aka 1-877-243-7372)
> |
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