Negativland
"U2"
12-inch/CD cover, 1991

In 1991 Negativland released the single "U2," which contains two unauthorized "found sound" parodies of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The single features a 35-second sample of U2's recording, outtakes from Top 40 d.j. Casey Kasem's radio show, and a cover design that, at first glance, appears to be a new U2 release. Island Records, U2's label, immediately sued the single out of existence for trademark and copyright infringement. In 1992, Negativland's magazine-plus-CD The Letter U and the Numeral 2, was also sued out of existence for relating the story of the first lawsuit. The band had better luck in 1995, when it released Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2, a 270-page book-plus-CD that tells the story of both lawsuits and the fight to make new art out of corporate-"owned" culture. In 2001, on the tenth anniversary of the first lawsuit, Negativland issued an expanded illegal bootleg CD called "These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit." It has not (yet) been sued out of existence. For more information, see www.negativland.com.