Brandon McFarland on Wednesday, Jan. 26th
Today Rapper/Mogul 50 Cent claimed that he won his lawsuit against the popular website WorldStarHipHop.com for using his image/likeness without his permission. 50 had this to say on Twitter:
“I’m not to be f**ked with. Send your videos to firstname.lastname@example.org this is the new worldstar baby”
Though there are NO facts behind 50 Cents’ statement that he shut WSHH down (because I’m watching World Star at this very moment) AllDayPlay.FM DJ and hip hop journalist Davey D provides a complete breakdown of the recent fall of some other important hip hop websites:
“Over last year’s Thanksgiving Holiday, something very disturbing took place. Homeland Security along with ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) , the Department of Justice and the National Intellectual Property Rights Co-ordinating Center seized over 80 websites including popular Hip Hop websites RapGodfathers.com, dajaz1.com and Onsmash.com. These Hip Hop sites were accused of copyright violations, which is crazy, because their popularity rested in the fact that they mostly worked with artists to promote their work and help establish a buzz.
Was there anything on those sites in violation of copyright law? The nature of any music site as robust as the ones mentioned, is you will inevitably find material. It might come in the form of someone posting a song on a message board or a video clip from a concert. It might be a link to a third-party site where folks can download a song, which was the case with the aforementioned sites. My experience over the years has been oftentimes it’s the artists themselves coming to sites asking for their material to be posted while the labels which also own part of the copyright objects.
In most cases if a site wasn’t blowing things up too much, most industry folks didn’t trip. After talking with label heads, they note that in most cases if a song or material was being highlighted prematurely or jeopardizing upcoming promotions, contact would be made asking for the files or links to be removed. Most sites comply without too much fanfare. It’s the way things have been done for years. It’s the symbiotic relationship that has long existed with record labels and media.”
Davey contextualizes the FBI shakedown within the historical relationship between labels and DJs here.