|Press Statement from April 1, 2007 by Manuel Göttsching's management:|
For the cover of his album "45:33" LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has imitated the artwork of E2-E4 and thus inappropriately exploits the reputation of the famous original!
Manuel Goettsching's E2-E4 (recorded on the 12th of December 1981 and first released in spring 1984) is considered to be one of the "most influential compositions" of the last 30 years and according to US surveys also one of the most frequently sampled tracks. But 80% of the samples and remixes are illegal... and on top of all that comes this plagiarism of the cover artwork:
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has used the artwork of the cover of "E2-E4", and unappropriately claims for himself the prestige of the famous original, not missing a chance to tell the press that with "45:33" he wanted to create a work similar to Goettsching's "E2-E4":
"45:33" is a song by LCD Soundsystem. Commissioned by Nike, 45:33: Nike Original Run is an original and exclusive composition only available at Nike Music Store on iTunes.The publicity for the song described it as being designed to accompany jogging workouts. James Murphy later said this was a complete lie on his part, that he doesn't even jog, and that he had simply used the opportunity to make a record like E2-E4 by Manuel Goettsching." (Quoted from an interview with THE GUARDIAN, published on February 10, 2007.)
Manuel Goettsching was caught off guard by this "artifice" of a fellow musician when journalists and fans asked him how he felt about the astounding similarity of the covers - the only difference in the design being NIKE's logo on "45:33", as well as of course the titles and artist's names. Even the fonts used are identical. 23 years after its first release, the famous "E2-E4" design exists not only on CD and LP covers, but is sold worldwide on all kinds of merchandising such as bags, jackets, shirts, towels and coffee mugs - in several color variations, but always with light and dark squares just like on a chessboard (the title of Manuel Goettsching's album "E2-E4" is a reference to one of the most popular opening moves in chess).
When Manuel Goettsching's management contacted Murphy about the unapproved and (in the context of competition laws) illegal usage, Murphy's manager Keith Wood answered cynically in an email "Anyone who knows Manuel's cover art will know that the cover art of "45:33" is clearly not the same..." Murphy obviously shows no regret for his inappropriate behavior, and conveys that he is "upset", because he really values Goettsching's work very highly, but sees no chance to arrange for a talk to clarify. But still Murphy does not miss any chance to keep on advertising his "45:33" with the reference to the legendary "E2-E4" so that more and more fans on numerous internet music blogs associate Murphy's recording with the famous "E2-E4" - incidentially just after the very successful recent release of its 25th Anniversary Edition and right before the unknown "45:33" will be available in stores.
Even though Manuel Goettsching was upset by Murphy's cavalier attitude, he offered to discuss the matter with Murphy but until now has received no reply. LCD Soundsystem is currently touring Europe, North America and, recently played in Berlin where Goettsching lives.
In the meantime, NIKE's lawyers gave a statement which said that neither Murphy nor his management informed NIKE about the reference of "45:33" to the E2-E4 cover and album, and that the company plans to part with Murphy - they have to, anyway, because their contract runs out in a couple of weeks. Then, according to Murphy in interviews, the album will also be released in record stores, and not only on iPods that sell with Nike's sneakers or on iTunes, but also as a regular CD. Of course this time without NIKE's logos in pink, which makes the similarity to E2-E4 even more obvious. All this seems well planned by Murphy, and he even accepts the trouble with Goettsching as a part of the deal.
This clearly doesn't qualify his album as a tribute to the great role model. He's just jumped on someone else's gravy train without buying a ticket. What Murphy is doing is exploiting the album's reputation for his own purposes illegally in the context of German Competition Regulations and also according to legislation of other countries, too.
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