] In 1991, the experimental sound collage band Negativland
] released a single called "U2"?, which extensively
] sampled both U2's hit single "I Still Haven't Found
] What I'm Looking For"? and colorful studio recordings
] of Top 40 disc jockey Casey Kasem. This offbeat recording
] would have languished in obscurity if weren't for
] Island Records, U2's record label, which decided to sue
] Negativland and their independent label SST Records for
] deceptive packaging and copyright infringement. After a
] protracted legal battle, Negativland's legal funds were
] exhausted and they settled out of court. Today, it is
] illegal to produce the "U2" single in the United
] States. (U2, on the other hand, would go on to use
] unauthorized samples of appropriated satellite video in
] their Zoo TV tour.)
] Now you can commemorate this ignoble episode in
] intellectual property history with iPod U2 vs.
] Negativland Special Edition. From its packaging to its
] pre-installed content, this unauthorized iPod
] modification is an artful mash-up of the forces of
] corporate megarock and obscure experimental music, and a
] provocative symbol of the ongoing struggle between those
] who would confine culture and those who would free it.
You and the numeral two versus unauthorized rebranding.