Hey guys, we know the music industry isn't doing as well as it once did, but really? Universal have just recently filed a complaint in California against companies selling "care packages" for families to send to prisoners, which include mixtapes compiled from the music of James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Mary J Blige, LL Cool J, Nas and Eminem.
The lawsuit states that the, "Defendants have unlawfully, and without authority from Plaintiffs, reproduced, distributed and prepared derivative works based on Plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions. Defendants sell pirate copies of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted and otherwise protected works through physical catalogs and a website." And while this may be true, maybe just maybe, Universal could think about letting this one go? There's surely bigger fish to fry, right? And at the very least, it's not exactly great PR.
There are countless, if reams of studies which underline the benefits of music in prison. From reducing re-offending rates, to you know, that old thing about treating prisoners like humans (as is strongly the case in progressive penal systems found in countries like Norway), its importance is undeniable.
It's become almost accepted logic. In the UK, the little-known National Prison Radio allows prisoners to make radio shows for other prisoners, and it also allows families to make song requests for loved ones, whilst prominent campaigner and musician Billy Bragg has launched Jail Guitar Doors, a charity that specifically allows for rehabilitation through music.