The Grey Album

The Grey Album was created by Danger Mouse and was released in 2004, it was a mix of Jay-Z’s Black album and The Beatles White Album. This was a very controversial album because although Danger Mouse never directly asked permission to recreate The Beatles music, Jay-Z and Paul McCartney both approved approved the use of the album. EMI who was the copyright holder of The Beatles music, did not approve the distribution of the Grey Album. EMI quickly ordered Danger Mouse as well as any stores selling the album to discontinue the album; the album was not taken off the shelves due to its high popularity.

In my opinion, both parties are wrong in this situation. When Danger Mouse decided to create The Grey album, they should have contacted EMI and asked for permission to recreate The Beatles music. If Danger Mouse had just gone to EMI and asked for permission, the controversy that surrounded this album would have never happened.

As for EMI, yes they are the copyright holders of The Beatles music however, Paul McCartney had approved the album. In my opinion, if Paul McCartney approved the album then EMI should have created a different argument. EMI should have had Danger Mouse stop distribution of the Grey Album until they were granted permission to have recreated The Beatles music.

I feel that Danger Mouse was very lucky in this situation. Copyright’s are a big part of the music business, if EMI had wanted to they could have sued Danger Mouse for copyright infringement. This whole controversy could have been avoided had Danger Mouse just asked for permission to recreate The Beatles music.


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