A few days ago m16eib wrote a diary about the Minutemen American Defense organization, and how some of the fascist/racist members of that fascist/racist group had turned to cold-blooded murder. Like, I'm sure, many others did, I went to their website to check them out. But along with all the slimy stuff on that site, I noticed they had a Led Zeppelin song playing on their front page.
Being a fan since the early 70s, I had to take action...
I have NEVER before reported anyone for copyright infringement. And I'll admit that I've been guilty of it a few times myself. But as I wrote in my email to Atlantic Records, I felt this was different.
I looked for email addresses for any of the guys in the group, but as I'm sure you know that's pretty hard to find. So I'm writing to you, assuming you know how to get hold of them, or take care of this yourself. I normally don't like to do anything that smells of "narcing" on someone, but this is different:
There's an organization called "Minutemen American Defense", and on the front page of their website they're playing "Since I've Been Loving You." Not a remake, and not just a sample... the whole thing. I know you can't track down every one of these copyright violations, and I'm sure not all of them are necessarilly harmful to the Led Zep brand. But I have a feeling you may agree with me that THIS case is not normal.
Anyway, back to the "MAD" organization; here's their Mission Statement:
"To secure the U.S. Borders, Coastal boundaries and constitution against unlawful and unauthorized entry by all individuals, contraband and foreign military. To also increase the awareness of the devastation caused by illegal immigration to our state and country."
I'm sure you're aware that pretty much all of these kinds of organizations are founded largely on racism toward Hispanics (by the way, I'm white). But this particular org. is worse than most. Their executive director is a woman named Shawna Forde. Until today, I knew nothing much about her, other than what you can read on the site. But here's a news story today out of Tucson, Arizona:
TUCSON, AZ - Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" according to their website - http://minutemenamericandefense..org/
Jason Eugene Bush, 38, Shawna Forde, 42 and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 43, were all taken into custody and charged in connection with the murders of 29-year-old Raul Flores and 8-year-old Brisenia Flores. Both were killed during an alleged home invasion.
According to authorities, Bush, Forde, and Gaxiola broke into the home of the Flores family just after midnight on May 30th. At the time, the mother, father and daughter were home. The invaders reportedly shot the three members of the Flores family, killing the father, Raul, and the daughter, Brisenia. The invaders then left the scene.
The mother survived the shooting, called police, and found a gun. Sheriff Dupnik says the three returned moments later to make sure everyone was dead. At that point, the mother shot and injured Bush, and the three fled the scene.
The trio has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of First Degree Burglary, and one count of Aggravated Assault.
According to the M.A.D. website registered in the name of Shawna Forde (linked above) she is listed as the National Executive Director of the the Minuteman American Defense. Investigators believe Bush and Gaxiola are associates of Forde. Their website lists Bush as the Operations Director, but that information has not yet been confirmed by authorities.
That's right. The head person in this group literally murdered a father and his kid!! Just wanted to let you know what was going on, so you can get these scumbags to take down the song before anyone gets the idea that you and the guys in the band have ANY connection to these scumbags.
I hadn't heard anything since then, so I kinda figured Atlantic was just gonna ignore it, or even if not, that they wouldn't let me know what was up. But just tonight I got a reply.
Thanks for letting us know about this. It's a very sad and tragic story. I went to their site and it looks like they took the whole thing down. We wouldn't license our material for an organization like this. I'll dig around myself, but please forward me any link to a site associated with this group that plays any Led Zeppelin master recording.
I hadn't realized the "MAD" site had been totally reworked till I got this email. Looks like some people involved with that site are more than a little scared right now. Or maybe they've just seen the light and they're gonna be nice, upstanding citizens from now on... HAAAA!!!
As for the reaction from the Atlantic rep., I think it's great. I didn't ask him if it's OK to post his email, but I can't imagine that he'd mind seeing that this can't be anything but good P.R.
And I would LOVE to see what the idiots at "MAD" would think about this. They obviously are fans of Led Zeppelin, seeing they used one of their more little-known songs on their page. So I can only imagine how they'll feel if they wind up getting some kind of cease and desist order. And the line in the email -- "We wouldn't license our material for an organization like this." -- is perfect. Imagine you were a fan of a certain group, and got a slapdown like this. The only thing better is if one of the guys in the group could PERSONALLY say, "Don't smear our names by claiming to be fans of ours... you are scum!"