News

Wilco pays for spycasts

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2004

Wired has a bizarre story of music and sampling royalties involving found sound recordings by one person sold as CDs which the band Wilco sampled from. What is unusual about the case is the company claiming copyright on the sounds, Irdial Discs, didn’t perform or write the shortwave broadcasts of what is reportedly hours of spy messages. Irdial simply recorded (and obtained recordings from others) four discs full of it and released it as a compilation. While they embrace free downloading and sharing of the tracks, they do prohibit commercial use, which Wilco looped on a successful 2002 album.
As the article states, many legal experts are unsure if Irdial had the rights to demand royalties and point out that future musicians may be wary of using found sounds such as these.

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