I’ve been spending a bit of time lately on line checking out music released under creative commons licenses.  From time to time I come across DJ mixes of material that’s clearly copyrighted.  Tonight I came across Mixupload.com, which is a pretty good example of this.  Over 4000 house music mixes, with perhaps another 3000 mixes in other styles, much of it including clearly copyrighted material.

Got me wondering – surely this is illegal?  So I had a look around.

Tim Lee’s commentary – More on DJs, Mix Tapes, and Copyright Law provides a pretty good discussion on the matter.

In a nutshell, the situation seems to be that although mixtapes are illegal, many people believe they act as promotion for the artists, and therefore free advertising.  In general creators of mixtapes are not prosecuted presumably for this reason, but in some cases they may be.

What I wonder is in this time of digital technology why would anyone bother actually buying the original?  I’ve downloaded mixes before (assuming that because it was coming from a reputable source that it would be kosher), and have found it not very difficult at all to strip out the individual tracks that I like and throw away the rest thanks to Audacity.  I’m personally not sure the free advertising argument stacks up.

I think I’ll stick to music from the creative commons.  Leigh Blackall just put me onto CCMixter.  That’ll do me.