Music thefts lurk in the Internet

Underground computer hobbyists defend their their own and
one thief gets his fingers burned.

Published 16.02.2000. Last edited 18.02.2000.
Written by Grendel/Byterapers, Inc.
You are allowed to use this material in non commercial demoscene publications.

Want to comment? Guestbook by GuestWorld View comments


NEWS UPDATE, 18.02.2000:

Planet X homepage at http://www.planet-xx.net/ has gone OFFLINE. This announcement is all that remains.

This little irresponsible guy who "wrote the article, took quotes out of context and mispresented everyone" wishes to thank you all the numerous peole who helped me uncovering Jay. Jay has tried to cover his back, removed evidence and used the standard excuse "I didn't do it". With this latest act Jay finally escaped to his hole.

But Jay still tries to struggle and deny everything. Therefore I have updated the article. I added link after every quote with GIF picture of the original email or message. Some witnesses are censored to protect their identity. You, dear reader, are again allowed to make your mind. Did I lie? Did I twist the truth? Is Jay an innocent little musician that was stampeded by horrible foreigners? Read, think, decide. Please write your comments to the guestbook.

Interest on Jay was larger than I could imagine. In 24 hours the site got over 500 hits. The feedback has been just great! I would appreciate if you sign the guestbook by clicking here. Thank you!


American musician Jay Newingham, from Montgomery, Alabama, thought he had found easy way to enhance the reputation of his band. Also, he could get lots of good new songs absolutely free. He found something called "demoscene", young computer hobbyists who seem to live in another continent programming, drawing, composing and generally having fun in their own underground hobby. Jay's probably was very surprised hearing how good music many of those hobbyists made.

Planet X homepage, picture copyright Planet X homepage Unknown underground composers who make music for fun, living in another continent plus a artist who lacks honesty. It makes very attractive possibilities. Jay not only ended up stealing music from those artists, he also stole their names. So what purpose could he hope to get with that? Jay claims he has been in the music business for over than 12 years and he has used several different aliases during that time. By claiming those names he is able to also claim all the songs produced by those persons were made by him. Also he can then claim he has been "Number one artist in Mod Central 1997-1998", since many songs by the real composers have been very popular among the demoscene hobbyists. However, those persons he claims to have been are actually existing, living European musicians. Jay attempted to gain fame and credibility stealing their name, their music and their achievements.

Planet X homepage, picture copyright Planet X homepage Unfortunately Jay did not know the the demoscene hobby has thousands of fans all arond the world, from continent to continent. And in January 2000 they moved together to defend their own.

So how did they find it out? Music composed by the demoscene hobbyists falls usually into the "electronic" genre. Since Jay's band, Planet X, fits into the electronic genre it was only matter of time when somebody would find it out. Strange band, unknown song names combined to familiar artist names were most likely too strange combination to some Internet surfer, who recognized something was wrong.

What Jay tried to achieve would be quite similar if somebody claimed he has created music using several different names like Rolling Stones and Beatles. Jay's big mistake was to steal names and music from too famous demoscene musicians. His two masterpieces, Highway Sixty Nine and Fountain of Sighs caused great amusement and anger in the community. The effect would be similar if someone would first copy Smoke on the Water track by track and publish the song with different name, and then publish for example Beatles' song Yellow Submarine using the same name and claim it is his song and he was known as Beatles four years ago.

Jay's greatest mistake was to steal probably the most famour song ever made in the demoscene: a soundtrack called "Unreal2" from demo Second Reality. The demo was released in demoscene fair Assembly 1993 in Kerava, Finland in 1993, winning the first prize of "pc demo competition." The song was written by Purple Motion, real name Jonne Valtonen. Jay's own version states copyright 1999, which puts it six years behind the release of Purple Motion's masterpiece.

Notice: a demo is kind of programmed product of art combining highly skilled coding, graphics, computer effects and music into a entertaining show. They are made by usually 15-30 years old computer hobbyists, who form this underground computer hobby called "demoscene." See PC demos explained and PC demo fan club for more information. The demoscene originated in early 1980s at Apple II computers, then spread into C-64, Spectrum, Amiga and PC computers.

The song Fountain of Sighs is even more amazing case. It was originally published by a Polish musician Wojtek Podgorski, living in Wroclaw, better known as "Unreal of Pulse" in 1995. Jay calmly claimed he IS Unreal and released the song without even changing its name. Witness tells: "that is one song that Jay goes on and on about. How he composed it and everything else. He said that he wrote the song in memory of his younger brother that was killed in an accident." Original message here.

Hardly. The real Unreal is very well known demoscene artist who has participated in numerous demoscene activities. This song was actually written by his mate in Pulse, Scorpik , but published using Unreal's name. It participated in music competition at demoscene meeting "The Party V", Denmark 1995 - and won. Was Jay Newingham in Denmark in december 1995? Was it this hard trying American musician and his band who walked up to the stage in the prize ceremony, front of 4000 people, or was it a young Pole? Unreal is also credited with at least following achievements: 12th place in music competition and shared 3rd and 6th places in graphics competition at Mekka & Symposium'97, spring 1997 Germany; 41st place in graphics and 7th place in programming competition at The Party VII, december 1997 Denmark. If Jay was earlier known as Unreal he must have been spending a lot of time in Europe, visiting all these happenings. The real Unreal himself actually visited the Planet X site and commented the situation rather dryly. The comment was naturally deleted ASAP by the webmaster.

Jay aka Planet X failed to show any kind of intelligence or originality when stealing these two songs. He copied songs track by track, note by note, effect by effect, word by word. The songs are exactly identical, most likely played directly into a WAV file, then placed for sale as his own music. Jay's self-satisfaction must have reigned when he got two new great songs with minimal fuss. So far two of Plane X's songs have been definitely identified as stolen. There are suspicions of other musical thefts. Songs others have heard before, musical styles that sound very much like some demoscene musicians. But so far no clear proof exists. But as Jay claims he has used also names Scorpik/Pulse and (the original) Basehead/FM it is very likely he has stolen music from at least those artists.

Another suspicious aspect in Jay/Planet X's desparate attempt in gaining fame and a Name can be found from his "Music" page. He claims having made music for example in following movies/tv-series: Starship Troopers, Blade, Godzilla, Matrix, Deep Blue Sea, Simpsons and Outer Limits. Unfortunately, a witness reports that the piece in Deep Blue Sea that Jay claims as his, was done by completely different people. Jay's attempt to impress people with his background in movie/tv entertainment business seems another weak attempt to ride on other people's hard work. Original message here.

picture copyright Planet X homepage

But after the Internet community found out Jay Newingham and his band Planet X/Endless Rain things changed drastically. Fans of the true artists rallied to support them and protect their hobby from exploiters.
During early January 2000 the word spread. First through Internet's discussion groups, then mouth to mouth through the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) online chat rooms. The demoscene activists were outraged. After one week the campaign to defend their own artists and demoscene products from thieves was in full swing. During just one month the traffic on Planet X's Internet web site boomed. Page hits grew elevenfold, pageviews increased nine times and users downloaded almost 15.000 files instead the monthly average of 1400. Jay's problem was, those were no fans of him. See netsite traffic statistics.

Jay's unfortunate discovery was that the distant underground hobby was actually worldwide, active community. After initial discovery the reaction was violent - during first week Jay was the main subject in IRC's demoscene discussions and hobbyists flooded to his website. Jay's guestbook filled up with complaints, accusations and comments. His webmaster was just as active deleting all negative messages, until the flood simply grew up too great. After over 100 new guestbook entries in ONE day the guestbook disappeared from Planet X website, though it still could be accessed if you knew the address. With the pressure Jay was forced to delete claims of having used several demoscene artists' identities. Also he was forced to delete downloadable mp3 musics that hobbyists had recognized as stolen. But it didn't end here. The well known Internet music site, mp3.com, first deleted many of his songs because the copyright violation, then deleted every reference to the whole band. At same time Jay's band broke up and the man himself fled the town to escape the accusations.

The deleted Planet X page from MP3.com 1/2 The deleted Planet X page from MP3.com 1/2

A witness comments: "Doesn't that seem peculiar that when someone raises a question about his truthfulness, he flees? Something is not right here." Jay Newingham seems to be an interesting case. Only a complete fool and idiot would attempt such straight musical robbery. Stealing music, names, awards and publishing music with their original names? Mercy, mercy! And not only that. The witness continues: " And to top it off, he has some sort of criminal record for not only rape, but fraud." Original message here.

Jay and his supporters were walking on very thin ice. Seems they took a (very poorly) calculated risk - and lost the gamble. They were found out. The Internet community of demoscene hobbyists showed they can cooperate and defend their own. Jay might have lost more than he gained by his foolish attempt. And if nothing else, he has lost his face.

No surprise, Jay with his supporters deny everything.
One said " those Finnish jerks are the ones who stole Jay's music." Well, just the other was Finnish.
Another angry email was also recieved. The original sender was a Finnish musician who dared to question Planet X's actions. Here is the reply: "I guess since you're a composer, you've never offered any of your music for sale, motion picture studios are continually buying music from virtual unknows and paying them quite well at that. When music is sold in such a fashion, most if not all rights, including 'credit' are given up. This music is included in tv and film scores, so if someone said they CONTRIBUTED TO, it doesn't mean they did the whole thing. The music scene online is pretty cute, but there's a real world out there, and real musicians tend to find other ways to expose their music, and while my friend 'may' have borrowed a couple of tracks from online... that's about as far as it's went. If online musicians are still relying on tracks done back in '94 and '95 to hold as their sole claim to fame, sounds like they may have done some ripping of their own... small world, huh? My friend writes his own music, sells some from time to time, and lives quite comfortably off of it. He's got plenty of legal reps, don't worry about that. You're just another name caller, that makes you more like a 10 yr old all around in my book.... Have a nice day!". Original message here.

You see everything on this reply. Offensive action, name calling, defensive moves and downplaying of the artists from whom Jay stole. And actually a confession. Make your own conclusions.

One note can be made. The replier does not have a clue about the artists Jay stole from. What does it matter if the original songs were made years ago? Does anybody think you are free to steal for example Smoke on the Water and claim it as yours only because it is old song? The original artists have since proceeded in their careers, into profession or continuing their studies, but if you steal their songs - only you are to blame. Unfortunately this is not the only case of musical thefts in the Internet. Many other demoscene hobby musicians, as well as professionals, find their material stolen and published by other bands. Sad thing is that your music needs to be quite well known with large fan base so someone can recognize it. Most likely only few of these music crimes are found out.

So far only one reply from Jay, or the FountainOfSighs@aol.com email account holder signing the email as Jay, has been recieved.
I will be happy to let our staff or attorneys talk with you concerning misprints that were on our web sight and several songs that were used with artist permission (email from said artist concerning this as well).
And more! "I have been out of the loop for several years but it seems I am drawn back in because of some slander and some folks who do not know who I am or was." Original message here.

Notice "misprints." The stolen identities of the scene personalities are put as errors as his webmaster. After asking about the stolen songs no replies have been recieved. By the way, I did not mention any specific songs or artists in the first inquiry, but he immediately answers with "said artist". Also, queries about the "Number one artist in Mod Central 1997-1998" and "Online music awards - 1998 New Artist - Techno/rave" were not answered. He was asked to provide proof about the awards, what songs he had released, how many downloads the musics in Mod Central had, URLs to the songs and the Online music awards... And no reply was recieved.

Updated:
Now, let's be very specific here. Jay clearly says he has artist permissions to use the songs. How come the artists themselves deny it? Very specifically asked, both Wojtek and Jonne denied it. They also said following things:
See Wojtek Podgorski's (aka Unreal) comments: Unreal speaks.
Jonne Valtonen (aka Purple Motion) steps also out: Purple Motion speaks.
In another message Jonne tells how he had heard that Jay had stolen his music, but was not aware that Jay had stolen a whole song, not just some riffs.

Also, his supporter says Jay is in music business, selling music time to time and so on. Jay claims he has been "out of loop" for several years. Jay's stolen songs were dated at 1999.

You are allowed to make your own conclusions.

After reading everything, does this sound like irresponsible journalism? Quoting out of context? Misrepresenting everyone? Maybe there is only one person in the world who thinks so. And there are hundreds, thousands of others who think Jay made big mistake stealing music. Maybe Jay should have continued selling music to tv, movies, whatever he claims. Instead stealing from people who do this as their hobby.

The group 3State has an opinion: See it


References:

Listen yourself. Decide yourself.

Original 2nd reality soundtrack by Purple Motion. Copyright 1993. Song plays directly in WinAmp.

Click HERE to download.

Jay Newingham / Planet X version of Purple Motion's song. "Copyright 1999." Song plays directly in WinAmp.
Click HERE to download.

Original Fountain of Sighs song by Unreal&Scorpik.; Copyright 1995. Song is in ZIPPED format and must be first unpacked, for example using WinZip. Then you need the WinAmp plug in, see below.
Click HERE to download.
Song here in .MOD format, no WinZip required,
scroll down until you see "fountain_of_sighs.mod" and press shift down, then click on the song to download it.

Jay Newingham / Planet X version of Fountain of Sighs. "Copyright 1999." Song plays directly in WinAmp.
Click HERE to download.

If any of the songs attempt to save as "exe" files, your browser has problem with the file. Try to download them pressing shift key while mouse clicking on them.


Needed software

To listen the musics you need a good music player. One is WinAmp. It is free software and can be downloaded from www.winamp.com. To listen Fountain of Sighs you need a plugin to it..


Jay Newingham / Planet X / Endless Rain

http://www.planet-xx.net/
Artist profile at ubl.com
Artist profile at garageband.com

The deleted guestbook
Click here to write on Planet X guestbook


Purple Motion

The stolen music was released by Planet X as "Highway 69".
Original song was part of the soundtrack of the winning demo "Second Reality", published in 1993 Assembly'93 demoscene meeting. See www.assembly.org/ and Assembly 1993 competition results.
Author information: Real name Jonne Valtonen. He is still in music business and for example made music for the game "Death Rally" published by Apogee in 1996. He also won the mp3 music competition in Assembly 1999 in Finland.

Artist information at modmusic.com
Artist information at planet-d.net

Original song and information. The song is available at all these download locations:
Song/info
Song/info
Song in S3M format
Song in zip format


Unreal of Pulse

Jay claimed having used the name "Unreal of Pulse" earlier in his career. He then proceeded to steal Unreal's song Fountain of Sighs and published it with the same songname. Original piece was actually composed by Scorpik/Pulse. It was released in The Party V music competition in Denmark december 1995.

Author information: Real name Wojtek Podgorski. Lives in Wroclaw, Poland.

Artist information at planet-d.net

Original song at The Party V music competition results

Original song and information about it:
Song/information
Song/information
Song/information
Song in MOD format
Song in LZH archive
Song in ZIP format at cdrom.com

And somebody actually tries to claim this song as his own... When it is available in such many locations with 1995/1996 timestamps. What idiot.

Other works by Unreal: The Party 7 graphics competition results and The Party 7 pc intro programming competition results.


Angry fan feedback

from Planet X's Internet guestbook. All these messages were deleted under 24hours.

Comments: asshole. people have been killed because of more minor reasons than trying to sell other peoples music. quit doing that you lamer.

Comments: I hope everybody can see how truly lame you are. Trying to sell music that isn`t yours, putting it online under your own name, even using other people`s artist names.. you really don`t have any sense of honour whatsoever do you. people like you are what makes this world such a mess. grow up and learn to be responsible instead of faking your hilarious image.. try to create awesome music YOURSELF, instead of tapping into a music server nice in a while.. but I guess you can`t and therefore you are a loser. appologize to the original artists ? yeh, try that.. it`s a start.. LOSER.

Comments: Hahaha. What kind of crackhead are you Jay??? I've just seen your "list of film music & tv productions credits" and I can only say : YOU ARE A FREAKING LOSER!!!!!!!!! First you steal music from populair demoscene composers, then you add some FAKE messages and quotes from mp3 band sites and you make up some nonsense list about films and tv productions you have worked on. This is called FRAUD! What should happen if we contact all movie production companies and tell them that you are making money by abusing their productions and legal trademarks! What kind of deathwish do you have? You will be sued if you do NOT stop this kind of fraud and illegal activity, it's just a matter of time!

Comments: You are a SICK person. Stealing and fraud are federal crimes! If you're looking for trouble, you found it buddy, because we will NOT rest before you have quit your illegal actions. Remove this homepage, your mp3.com page, and all other pages 'your' music is on. Else call your legal advisors because all music you have stolen was done by professional musicians, they don't like people who steal their productions. We do have your adress, so see you in court! Be smart and quit this idiot affair.

Comments: You're one of the most pathetic characters I've come across in my life. How can you claim that you were known as other artists and take their work. Did you really think you can get away with this? The music you ripped was made in the demoscene a scene consisting of thousands of people from all over the world and everyone in that scene knows the music from Scorpik, Purple Motion and Skaven. Either you are that stupid or you had some sick urge to actually get caught some day. My guess it's the first. The least you could do is make a full out apology on your main page. Until you do we'll be here, posting every day... growing in number as we spread the news of your sick acts among our friends throughout the whole demoscene...

Comments: Aha.. I see you admit you ripped the songs, because fountain of sighs and highway sixty nine are gone.. but.. fountain of sighs is by scorpik, highway sixty nine by purple motion.. that leaves at least a song from basehead still there somewhere.. Oh.. and you say you worked with Tangerine Dream.. i know that Mr. Franke doesn't like working with other people on his music, he composes alone, so it seems strange to me.. I could mail him though, and ask, but i'm pretty positive that he doesn't know anything about you, neither do the people who produced blade, godzilla, the matrix, the simpsons, or any other movie/tv series you mention.. Martijn

Comments: Hi you fuckin bastard ( part 2 ) well i listented to "your" song, highway sixty nine ... i already knew that song, but for almost 6 years it was known as the main song of the winner PC demo "2nd reality" written by Purple Motion ( Jonne Valtonen ).searh for him at mp3.com i suggested him to the same about you. Bye-bye you son of bitch, hope we'll meet at the court and i can laugh at you as you'll be taken to the jail for long time

Comments: I figured as much.. you can delete all the guestbook entries about you stealing music, we'll just be coming back, every day, every week, until you admit you're STEALING the music and not COMPOSING the music. Martijn.

Comments: Hi you fuckin bastard. i see, you deleted every note that has been added about your source of musics . well i dont care. i'll write them down again and again until you remove every flase thing from your fuckin low-designed homepage. What do i mean ? well, you've never been scorpik, unreal / pulse . nor basehead / fm . due to they ( pulse members ) are europeans. so stop crap and think about ethic (if you know what it is )