Industrial Band Sues America for $666K
Figuring out issues of music ownership and copyright has reached an apex of messiness nowadays, what with sampling rearing its head in virtually every genre, the emergence of the streaming music industry, and of course the endless seepage of illegal downloading. Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy however is navigating a music legality issue entirely unprecedented: what do you do if the US Government is using your music without permission?
Well sue them, obviously. Hot on the heels of the major backlash against the government for their lack of transparency in the brutal torturing practices of the CIA, Skinny Puppy learned that their music was in fact being used to torture people. Detainees of military prison Guantanamo Bay were exposed to the rather loud and abrasive sonicscape of the band’s music for up to 12 hours on end as a means of inciting extreme physical and mental discomfort. But they did all this without asking the band’s permission first, so Skinny Puppy is invoicing the government for a grand total of $666,000 (yes, that’s probably a direct reference to the number of the beast).
After learning of the unorthodox usage of their music at one of the world’s most notorious prisons, Skinny Puppy initially planned to create a fake invoice to the government for use on their next album cover…that is until they learned they had every legal right to create a real one. Though some of us might be apprehensive about claiming a hefty sum of cash from our drone-wielding heads of state, Skinny Puppy has no qualms about standing up for both the rights of music ownership and basic human rights in interrogation settings. Plus they’re Canadian, so that might make them a little less fearful of a country where they’re not even citizens.