Blex's Page of Good Mp3 - The Infamous BLACK FEBRUARY "Take-Down" Email from Geffen Records Received 2/7/1998

While digging through my archives today I found I had SAVED a copy of the email I received from Jim Griffin. This email marked the beginning of the end of the great page. On February 7th, 1998, (Damn! as I write this, it's been over 15 years since this happened!!) the site-ops who ran the FTP sites were being contacted with cease-and decist letters threatning the action described below. Thus, I had to take all the links to the Mp3 sites off the page making me a (self-proclaimed) MARTYR for the ability of us all to leech Mp3s RATIO FREE on the internet. A legacy that lasts to this day as nothing ever will break the will of the people to have a society free of greed, intolerance, and hate !!

This is word for word from Geffen about Mp3s...

The MP3 world is an exciting opportunity to welcome the future of digital audio, and we embrace its potential. We at Geffen were the first to use digital audio to release a full-length song (Aerosmith's Head First in 1994) and the first to install its own web server (also 1994), so we look forward to the day that we can use digital distribution on behalf of our artists.

However, because we oppose censorship in all its forms, Geffen, together with the rest of the recording industry, intends to stop those who take the work of our artists and redistribute it without permission. If you decide to substitute your judgment for that of our artists and distribute their full-length songs without so much as asking, we will take appropriate steps to stop you. Universities and Internet Service Providers everywhere share our desire to ensure respect for intellectual property rights, and we will work closely with them, along with law enforcement authorities where necessary, to achieve respect for our artists' rights.

Taking an artist's work over their objection and using it for your own purposes is as wrong or worse than silencing an artist; both are illegal, immoral and repugnant to any free society, and the recent strengthening of copyright laws reflects these basic principles.

Please don't assume we can't or won't take the time to identify you (traceroute and whois are wonderful tools) and enforce the law -- it insults us and only serves to ensure that if you are a student you will face severe sanctions from your school, or that if you operate a site it will be shut down by an angry internet service provider, or worse (if the problem persists, we will see the law enforced). Please don't assume we are ignorant to the possibilities of digital audio -- we have the same profit motive we've always had, and we want and need exposure for our artists and can imagine as well as you can the possibilities for selling and marketing music on-line.

Clearly there will be a transition, but it will happen only when artists' rights are respected and there is some order to digital commerce in intellectual property. Any other expectation is unrealistic and prolongs the delay as we wait for a future that promises a renaissance of creative expression fostered by an unlimited lifespan for art, and a world where new art can come to life that might not otherwise have seen the light of day.


I'm not gonna put a link to go back here, you all should be well aware by now as to how the "back" button works in your web browser!