Oasis Sounds Off On Fan Website Crackdown

May 14 [7:55 EST] -- Oasis' management issued a statement on Tuesday to clarify the band's stand on fan websites, and to explain why they have moved to protect copyrighted Oasis content on the Net.

The release comes from the band's Ignition Management after the Official Oasis Home Page sent an e-mail to more than 100 unofficial Oasis websites claiming that Sony Music was moving to curb the amount of unauthorized Oasis content in cyberspace.

The cease and desist e-mail gives website operators until June 2 to remove all copyrighted Oasis sound files, pictures, lyrics, and video files from their sites, or face legal action. The statement from Ignition now notes that the e-mail "was not at the instigation of Sony," and places the decision to crackdown with Oasis and its management.

The release then goes on to explain why the band and its management decided to send out the mass electronic mailing to website producers.

"Oasis and the Official Oasis homepage have

always encouraged fan pages," the statement reads. "They make a fun and interesting contribution to Oasis on the net and some of the pages are extremely creative and have taken a lot of effort to put together. Oasis really appreciate this."

However, the release went on to say, "There are a number of sites out there who to be frank we feel have taken advantage of this situation. In particular a number of pages have been copying freely from the official homepage without bothering to ask permission or even give the homepage a credit... After all taking something without asking permission can be seen as theft and in this case the people concerned could be seen as stealing from the band they claim to support."

Still, the website operators behind fan websites say that they do not profit from their sites, and that the work they do actually helps the band's they idolize by providing free round-the-clock advertising.

While other group's have fought to protect their copyrighted

material in other media, Oasis is the first band to make such a move on such a large scale on the Internet.

Jack Martin, a University of Kansas freshman who produces an Oasis fan site, noted that the action by Oasis management could set a dangerous precedent for fan sites everywhere.

"It would diminish the quality of the Internet as a whole," Martin told MTV News.