On my way home from work I heard about the decision of a German court on the radio. It’s one of the kind where you can only think “Wow dude… you are ABSOLUTELY f***ed, as f***ed as you can be”. Some might remember news about some German “gangster rapper” called Bushido (pictured to the left), who ripped off parts of a Dimmu Bogir song for one of his own. It was not the first nor the last time the rapper was accused of using parts of songs by other artsist without giving credit, but usually this ended with a settlement outside of court. In other words: getting away with a bruised eye, if you want to call it that way. Well, not this time, as the court in Hamburg owned Bushido, his label, as well as other labels REAL hard on tuesday.
The French Gothic band Dark Sanctuary took action against Bushido, when they got the feeling he was ripping off songs of the band. That is, ripping of thirteen songs by Dark Sanctuary. Here just one example, first the song “Janine” by Bushido:
And here’s the original song by Dark Sanctuary, “Les Memmoires Blessees”:
Everyone with ears can probably spot the obvious rip off, it’s so obvious that it’s (almost) not even funny anymore. And it’s not really that different with the other twelve songs in question, from all that one could gather. Add to this that all the songs were promoted and noted as very own and new creations by Bushido, and one can understand why some French Goths get quite pissed about the matter and go to court. And the judges in Hamburg ruled in favor of Dark Sanctuary, and this is where – at least for Bushido and his label Universal – this story goes beyond bad:
Bushido has to pay Dark Sancturay compensation for their loss by the copyright infringement, based on the money earned by all record sales where parts of their songs appeared on. It is said that this is the case with eleven (!!!) CDs on which songs of the rapper appeared on. In addition, Universal as label behind Bushido, has to pull ALL copies of said CDs currently in stores and destroy them. This is quite a bummer especially for Universal, with Bushido being one of the most successful and best selling hip-hop artists in Germany today. But wait, there’s more. Labels like Sonymusic are hit by this ruling as well, as songs like ‘Janine’ appeared on quite succesful German compilations as well. Copys of those CDs are to be pulled and destroyed as well.
All in all that’s probably a hard pill to swallow, which might be the reason why neither Bushido, Universal, laywers or anyone else from the “loser side” are available for comment on this verdict so far. I wonder why… =)