Sorry for the overdramatized title… who can resist the opportunity to play on Amoeba’s unusual name? Don’t get us wrong, Amoeba has been a major supporter of Numero Group’s many releases, and the Numero Group itself. As it’s been well established with numerous Numero promotions and appearances at Amoeba over the years, Amoeba is one of our favorite stores (when the New York Times interviewed Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley about why they are aloof concerning their Grammy prospects, Amoeba let them hang out in their back room to do it.) It’s sort of Numero’s home away from home in Los Angeles, and not a visit to that fair city goes by without a pop-in. We love going to the store, we can’t deny it, and it pained us to have to be somewhat critical when asked for a response to their recent Vinyl Vault project which seems, on scratch paper, to be a great idea… however, the “due diligence” (in making sure that copyrights are truly orphaned) has been less than exemplary (a handful of titles we have a stake in, or manage completely, appeared on the site for sale… and have pretty much all been taken down.) Our position on the matter is pretty simple, and we hope it comes across in the article: we, at Numero, ask for permission because it’s the legal, moral, and the smart thing to do (for a company planning to stick around along time). It makes our job harder when someone skips that step, whether with ill will in mind, or best interests at heart. Many of the artists we’ve dealt with have become cagey from all the bootlegging they’ve experienced and the prospect of a legitimate release that hopes to lavish attention on their music (what we intend to provide) is greeted with suspicion. That’s just one of many, many concerns that selling music digitally without the owners permission brings up, but it’s the part most meaningful to us.
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