After reading about DJ Drama’s arrest this morning, an Idolator reader sent us an e-mail:
What makes this situation so completely ridiculous is that every significant “urban” release when I worked at a major label featured a line in the marketing budget for “mixtape promotion”. I personally authorized checks to be written to the big mixtape dj’s, and I’m sure DJ Drama kept some check stubs that would incriminate the same labels that make up the RIAA that raided his studio.
Obviously, some majors are participating in the mixtape market; given the cycle of promotion on hip-hop records, it would be foolish for them not to. But even with that cooperation, there’s always the sample-clearance nightmare that so many records have to go through. We’re not lawyers, and we’re curious about the actual legal principles surrounding the mixtape market, particularly if, as this tipster alleges, some RIAA-member labels are in on the whole game. How shady is it? And what about places that sell the tapes–can they expect SWAT teams at their doors soon? If you can offer any insights, send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org; we guarantee anonymity with all tips we receive.
Earlier: DJ Drama Gets Raided By The Feds