Intellectual Property Rights (regarding music; from Wikipedia):
Intellectual property rights are a bundle of exclusive rights over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial. The former is covered by copyright laws, which protect creative works such as books, movies, music, paintings, photographs, and software and gives the copyright holder exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time.
I studied Intellectual Property Rights (also known as "IPR") back in grad school because it was a big deal regarding my field of study, which was communication and media. We talked constantly about IPR, copyright, trademarks, copylefts (yes, that's a real term), and what constituted a violation of each of these.
Basically, what we learned is that when someone else tries to use an artist's IPR for personal gain or to deny said artist from their right to gain material wealth through illegal acquisition or distribution of material, the artist has the right to recoup losses (read "sue your pants off").
And now, knowing what I do, I have to ask... why is Prince being such a prick?
Yes, I'm referring to the artist formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and TAFKAP. The guy who sings classics like "Little Red Corvette," "1999," and "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Now, Prince is claiming all kinds of IPR and copyright infringement is happening to his property over on YouTube (I apologize if this is old news to many of you. I only recently realized this is affecting someone I know).
At this year's Coachella festival, Prince performed the song "Creep." Some fans, who had never heard him play the song before, captured it using the video modes of their cellphones and/or digital cameras and posted it to YouTube. Prince, in an effort to protect himself and his performance, claimed copyright/IPR infringement and had YouTube pull the video.
The catch here? The reason that nobody had ever heard him perform the song before and why they were so excited and wanted to capture it is because IT'S NOT HIS SONG! The song "Creep" was written by and rights to it owned by the band Radiohead. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, found out that Prince had performed the song and, when guitarist Ed O'Brien tried to watch the video on YouTube, he was denied access to it. Yorke was none too happy claiming that rights to the song belong to the band and not to Prince and, therefore, TAFKAP has no right to block the song.
I'm not entirely sure how this one panned out as yet.
In another case, mother, blogger, two-time GBBMC participant, and all-around LOLcat lover Stephanie Lenz, also known as Edenza of So Anyway..., is going to court this Friday to defend herself and her toddler son, Holden, against charges of copyright infringement being brought by, as p2pnet is calling him, "his Purpleness" and Vivendi Universal.
Wanna know what she did? She took a 29-second video of her son bopping along in the family kitchen to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." 29 FRIGGING SECONDS of which the audio quality is so bad, you cannot even tell it's the Prince song for the first five to eight seconds. Now she has to defend her "illegal" actions, with the help of the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) thankfully, in court.
If anybody were making money off that rightfully belonged to Prince in either case, then I might be able to see Prince's side of the argument. However, he is neither the copyright holder of Radiohead's song, nor is Edenza trying to make money off the video she posted. She thought it was funny. It is. I've seen the video. P2Pnet has it on the linked page above.
If it was the full version of the song at an audio level such that people could capture it and save it to their computers or iPods in lieu of buying the real song themselves, Prince would have a case. Here he does not. Why not sue me for using three or four words of lyrics from his songs in the title of this post? That's about all the validity this case has.
I want to know what crawled up Prince's ass sideways and is now permanently roosting there. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller (please don't sue me, Matthew Broderick), "If you were to shove a lump of coal up Prince's ass, in two weeks you'd have diamonds (and pearls)."
HA! See what I did there? Oh never mind.
Good luck, Edenza. We're pulling for you.
[Correction thanks to Avitable...
This Friday, Edenza, along with help from the EFF, is taking
Universal Vivendi to court saying that they violated her legally
protected fair use of the song with claims of copyright infringement.]
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): This was supposed to be part of yesterday's Snippet Wednesday, but I forgot. Now I've found an article to go with it.
Nestle's Spinach Artichoke Chicken Lean Pockets are being recalled because something went wonky at the processing plant and some of them wound up with bits of plastic in them. Oh yay!
Somewhere, a falsetto'd Jim Gaffigan is chiming in, "Recalled Pockets."