Ruby Isle's Guns N' Roses cover album pulled from iTunes

Categories: Local Music
voltage-rubyisle-ben.jpg
Photo by Ben Clark
Ruby Isle at Voltage 2010
When we first wrote about Ruby Isle's new Guns N' Roses cover album, Appetite for Destruction, and posted one of their mp3s back in November, we were musing over the possible legal ramifications of such a brazen appropriation of another band's work.

"They will probably get sued by Axl, but how cool would that be!" their publicist joked last fall.

But today, we got word that Ruby Isle's Appetite has been pulled from the internet, and the band won't be able to sell physical copies of the disc at their upcoming CD-release show.

"As we know right now, some legal action is in the works and they have made the band take the album off of iTunes," writes their publicist. "And funny thing is they most likely will not be able to sell the album at the CD-release show at the Triple Rock!"

This new development didn't seem to faze the band's publicity team, who were quick to mention that "AOL SPINNER will be hosting a stream of the record all next week so people can hear it for free."

More updates are expected soon from Ruby Isle's label, Kindercore, who posted the following announcement on its blog today:

Kindercore is confused to announce that Ruby Isle's song for song remake of Guns N' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" has been removed from online music outlets and record stores and will no longer be available for purchase online or anywhere. Just in time, Ruby Isle is scheduled to play a release show for Appetite at The Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, January 29th.



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10 comments
redshag
redshag

You can cover any song you want as long as you pay HFA (Harry Fox Agency) the mechanical royalties on your sales. Look it up

erikostrom
erikostrom

Everyone's reporting this as "Axl Rose (or some big corporation) must've stopped the release," but does anyone know on what grounds? US copyright law says songwriters can't stop people from covering their songs, as long as they pay a small license fee - and I can't believe Mallman et al. would try to skip the license.

Oh
Oh

If they can't be licensed as covers, just call the whole album a parody. Problem solved.

wow
wow

Look, covering a whole album is the legal equivalent of licensing 12 cover songs. There is nothing stopping Ruby Isle from securing these licenses and there is nothing Axl Rose or his publishing company can do to block or stop them.

Porkpiehat
Porkpiehat

You know, I didn't realize this was Mallman's project; admittedly, he's a dude of many ideas. However, I do still have to take issue with the idea of remaking a whole album. Yes, releasing cover songs is a time-honored tradition, but I still argue that releasing a song-for-song copy of a pre-existing album shows a lack of originality. I think that the idea would be better suited to a live-concert, where one doesn't have to secure copyright licensing in advance.As a matter of fact, I think that anyone who has experience in the music industry - such as Mallman - would have to KNOW that this album would never be allowed to be released (come on... who DOESN'T know that Axl Rose is a litigious control freak?) Given the fact that Mallman probably knew that the album wouldn't come out, I feel safe in assuming that the whole thing was contrived as a headline-grabbing move; Mallman is by no means a stranger to using performance gimmicks as a way to get attention. There's nothing wrong with that in showbiz, but let's not get fooled into thinking that the world is being deprived of some great masterpiece because this cover album won't legally see the light of day. It's doing its job RIGHT NOW simply by dint of the fact that we're talking about it.

Complex Measures
Complex Measures

To hip for copyright law? Ort too stupiud to write your own songs...I'll vote for both.

Porkpiehat
Porkpiehat

Well... you can't just re-release an album by another artist! I mean come on, hipsters - copyright law is a very real thing. Yes, you're terrifically cool and ironic to re-make an album by a hard-rock band but do it in a different style, but why not come up with your OWN songs and ideas? Or don't you have any?

DudeBro
DudeBro

What is hipster about this in any way? People like you are the reason the word hipster doesn't mean anything any more. The only thing that is more hipster than calling something hipster is assuming you aren't one. Get off your high horse, dude.

Jess
Jess

Believe me, Mallman is a man of many ideas. His music is inventive and interesting, and the live shows are incredible! Remaking another artist's music is a time-honored tradition - cover songs have been around as long as we've had popular music. There are plenty of ways to be creative while paying homage to another artist's music by covering it.

I don't know what sort of legal hoops one would have to go through to sell an album like this, though. I assume that in addition to paying fees and royalties for the use of someone else's intellectual property, one would have to get permission from the original artist to sell a song-for-song remake of their album. I assume that Mallman would pay the royalties/licensing fees without a second thought, but if Axl Rose doesn't want his work covered like this I suppose he has the legal ability (and plenty of money) to make it go away.

I'm glad I snagged the album when it was posted for download last week - it really is interesting to listen to!

Faderhat
Faderhat

This cd release show is awesome. Leave it to Mallman. Total Babe opening along with New Century Masters. They probably have some crazy shit up their sleeves.

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