Military to pay royalties for songs used in torture?

    This may be the most depressing post I’ve ever posted on Prefix. In February, the Guardian reported on songs used to induce sleep deprivation, prolong capture shock, disorient detainees during interrogations – and also drown out screams" in Guantánamo Bay. The frequent playlist included Eminem, Metallica, and the Barney theme song. If that wasn’t depressing enough hear this latest devlopment: those bands may have the right to royalties from the military. This is even worse than those 3 Doors Down National Guard ads.


    After folk singer David Gray fumed about the prolific use of his song "Babylon" in tortuere Guantánamo detainees, property lawyer Howard Knopf wondered whether the band was owed royalties or if the military needed the right to license the song (yeah right). Under law, licenses much be purchased if music is to be played in a "public space." A detainee center of already dubious legality may not seem like a public space, but prisons, hospitals, and nursing homes have all faced licensing fights before, so there is something of a precedent.


    Of course, whether the music industry has any leverage with the Pentagon whatsoever is another matter. Considering that Metallica has never stayed clear of fighting a royalties fight, this could get interesting.