Is Sony No Better Than Pirates It Goes After?
By Kevin Parrish, published on September 8, 2009 at 11:00 AM
" Sony compiled a new album without establishing a new contract. Artist calls in raid.
Is Sony Music no better than the music pirates it seeks to demolish? According to a report from The Guardian, Sony Music's offices in Mexico City were raided by the local police based on reports that the company was selling or planning to sell an "illegal" album. The police broke in and seized 6,397 CDs, master recordings of unpublished music, and cover art for two-time Latin Grammy winner Alejandro Fernández.
Fernández, now signed on with Universal Music as of last year, originally had a contract with Sony Music from 1998 to 2008 that only spanned seven albums. However, Sony decided to compile a new album without his permission and without a new contract, using previously unreleased material. Jose Luis Caballero, Fernández's attorney, said that he issued a case and desist order to the label two weeks ago, but did not receive a response.
"Sony assumed that they could take tracks that weren't part of previous albums and release them as an eighth album, as if it were new material, over which they had rights," Caballero said. "It's perfectly clear that the company's contract is limited to seven albums."
Naturally, Sony denies any illegal activities, and even said that it was "surprised and disappointed" by the raid. The company also said that it's authorized to use the recordings, and hopes that the Mexican courts will quickly confirm its rights. Based on Caballero's comment, the rights to the material are not in question, but rather selling a complete, eighth album without consent or a new contract with the artist. "