Crystal Castles is a band named after a pretty cool 80s video game. Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass are from Toronto, Canada. I’m going to tell you right now I like their music. I’m also going to point out two important things. First, people are having strong reactions to their music. They love it or hate it and usually that means the music is somewhat good. If there is no reaction to music or it’s “ok” that usually means it sucks. It’s easy to make filler right?. Second, the fact that they got caught means they got noticed and in today’s blur of a million bands thats also a good thing. All press is good press.
They suck….and they’re thieves. – Cycom, Harmony Central Forums
So what did they do that was so bad? Allegedly they took some 8-bit “chip tunes” music by artist Lo-bat that had a Creative Commons license attached but used the song in the wrong manner. The license stated the music could not be used commercially and also stated one had to give attribution to the original producer. Crystal Castles apparently did neither. Here is the article on the Create Digital Music blog discussing the details including audio samples of the original and new song. Be sure to also read the interesting comments: click here
But thats not all they did. UK visual artist Trevor Brown makes paintings of injured woman and children. He has a painting of Maddonna with a black eye. Crystal Castles saw the painting and used it as one of there album covers. They did so without any permission. When contacted by Trevor they made promises they didn’t fulfill and in the end insulted the guy. You can read Trevor’s blog post titled “crystal [expletive deleted] castles”: click here
As an artist you draw ideas and concepts from the world around you. You do have a few completely original thoughts in your life but they are truly few. I am sure Crystal Castles could have easily avoided this situation with a few emails asking for permission. I have no doubt Lo-bat and Trevor Brown would have read said emails with joy and gave an official “go ahead”. Instead Crystal Castles are being trashed and calls are even being made to have them knocked off the NIN tour.
Do you like Crystal Castles music?