Guns N’ Roses’ Stance On That Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit: It’s Our Music, But If It Isn’t, Blame The Recording Engineer

noah | October 7, 2009 10:00 am

Guns N’ Roses are going to “vigorously contest” claims that they ripped off German electro-composer Ulrich Schnauss for the ambient intro to their song “Riad N’ The Bedouins,” a dispute that’s currently the source of a million-dollar lawsuit filed last week. (A million dollars may seem like a lot of cash for an album that had such a soft landing on the retail scene, but then again, the album’s production costs were probably way higher than that.) GNR manager Irving Azoff released a denial that’s both vehement and somewhat masterful:

“The band believed when the record came out and still believes that there are no unauthorized samples on the track. The snippets of ‘ambient noise’ in question were provided by a member of the album’s production team who has assured us that these few seconds of sound were obtained legitimately. Artists these days can’t read the minds of those they collaborate with and therefore are unfortunately vulnerable to claims like this one. While the band resents the implication that they would ever use another artist’s work improperly and are assessing possible counterclaims, they are confident this situation will be satisfactorily resolved.”

You have to admit that the sleight-of-hand in that statement is astonishing. “It’s really Guns N’ Roses’ music on the track—but if it isn’t, we blame one of the many people who had their hand in the making of the album! And there were a lot of them, don’t you know.” Well played, Mr. Azoff. The reasons for your death grip on the music business just became a lot clearer! Guns N’ Roses ‘Vigorously Contests’ Lawsuit [Billboard] Earlier: Every Joke You Can Wring From This “Guns N’ Roses Ripping Off Ulrich Schnauss” Story Is Way Too Easy