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Editorial: Mixtape Providers Sued By Universal Music Group For Mixtapes Sent To Prison Inmates

Universal Music Group is going after companies that sell care packages for incarcerated individuals. The world’s largest music corporation claims service providers like Centric Group are engaging in copyright infringement by including mixtapes with UMG artists’ music in the packages.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit states, “defendants boast on their website that their business ‘was developed to eliminate contraband,’ yet the infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions, in which Defendants unlawfully transact and from which they unjustly profit, are contraband personified.”

Centric affiliates such as Access Securepak and Keefe Group allow family and friends to purchase the tapes as part of bundles and then send those packages to inmates in prison. Eminem, LL Cool J, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder have been named as some of the acts allegedly affected by the companies including their music on the offered mixtapes.

While UMG does recognize there are authorized distributors of mixtapes, the lawsuit claims the assorted music projects provided by websites like Ari’s Mixtapes are “nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition.”

Universal is seeking $150,000 for each copyrighted work that has been infringed, illegal earnings, punitive damages, and more.

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