DJs looking for acapellas is nothing new – they’ve been around for some four decades now, if not longer. For years, record labels tightly controlled who would be able to obtain these prestigious vocals – but bootleg vinyl with unauthorised acapellas were still rife back in the 90s, if you knew where to look.

That said, some of them were released legally – but the digital age reduced the number of new ones coming on the market. Record labels didn’t want unapproved remixes of their records appearing online and went to great lengths to stop them. Which is why websites such as Acapellas4U appeared – they collected studio quality acapellas and put them all in one place.

Back in February of this year, the site mysterious disappeared. Ears To The House didn’t report on this at the time – it happened during the transition period between ETTH being born and our predecessor going on a break. So had someone made a complaint and successfully had the site obliterated? Sort of – they spoke to Phil Morse at Digital DJ Tips and explained what had happened. Morse summed it up…

“Turned out that the site disappeared due to a ‘perfect storm’ of the hosting company asking them to leave after receiving a complaint (presumably from a record label), a struggle to find a new host, the lack of a developer to help with the technical side of things – and the site’s founder realising they needed a break after putting in countless hours maintaining it as a hobby for the past decade and a half.”

What was wrong with this anonymous record label simply sending the website an email telling them to take certain acapellas offline? Most of those with copyrighted material on their site such as this would have quickly complied – not least because they know it would happen anyway if things were escalated.

In any case, given we’re now in an age where software exists which can specifically extract acapellas from records, isn’t it time the industry stopped these fruitless arguments and just reached some reasonable licensing deals with sites such as Acapellas4U? It’s what they’ve had to do every single time this problem arose in the past, after all…