Another lawsuit has hit the California Courthouse: Universal accuses companies of copyright infringement and distribution within prisons.
Mixtapes have long since been included within care packages sent to prisoners that include toiletries and food. Part of the reason the distribution of mixtapes began was to help “eliminate contraband” within the prisons. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs define a mixtape as “a form of recorded music in which DJS combine (or mix) tracks, often recorded by different artists, on to a single CD”. Long time “leading supplier of food, personal care products, electronics and clothing to the correctional commissary market”, the Keefe Group, from Centric Group, are among the accused. Universal is seeking $150,000 per song in damages for the companies inclusion of mixtapes with named artists which hold the Universal record label.
The claim is that the defendants, the Keefe Group “sell their infringing products substantially below market value, in order to promote, market, and profit from their sales of other goods and services”, as quoted by BBC.
Universal has stated that it was only this year that they discovered that their music was being infringed and distributed within the prisons.