Feb 19, 2016

Kanye West Money Troubles Not Helped By Piracy of New Album

You may have seen in the news recently that American rapper and record producer Kanye West claims to be in millions of dollars of debt and has even made a bizarre, but seemingly serious, request to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, to invest $1 billion dollars into 'Kanye West Ideas'. No doubt Kanye will have been hoping that his eagerly anticipated new album 'The Life of Pablo' would be a huge success and go some way to easing his money worries.


Two days following the release of the album exclusively on to Jay Z's 'Tidal' streaming service it has been estimated that the album had already been illegally downloaded approximately 500,000 times. Torrent Freaks, a website which tracks piracy, says that it has never before seen such a high level of piracy for a single piece of work.

It has been reported that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has already filed nearly 20 takedown notices to websites that are illegally hosting the material. The RIAA has reported that this approach is becoming increasingly ineffective in relation to sophisticated piracy operations whose links seem to reappear instantaneously once taken down. West will have suffered substantial lost revenue as a result of the illegal downloading of his album.

The RIAA has called for a review of US copyright law to reflect the challenges posed in the digital age. It will be interesting to see if the campaign for such a review of copyright law gathers pace and whether this could lead to a similar campaign in the UK.

Takedown notices

Proprietors of intellectual property rights, such as copyright or trade mark, can send take down notices which are in some cases a relatively short and cost-effective way of putting a halt to the infringement of their rights on websites.

Whilst take down notices are less effective against sophisticated piracy operations they can be very effective against smaller operators and established companies.

McDaniel and Co. often prepare takedown notices for clients whose rights are being infringed online. If you would like more information on take down notices or any of the other issues raised in this article please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel and Co. on 0191 281 4000 or by email at legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Copyright, Digital/Tech, News

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