The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which fights for “civil rights” on the Internet, struck a blow for all parents who want to videotape their toddlers dancing to inappropriate songs when it got a judge to agree a woman was owed money after having a 29-second clip yanked from YouTube. The decision is believed to be the first to turn the tables and determine punishment for copyright owners who abuse their intimidating “takedown” rights. The decision came after a woman posted a YouTube clip of her child dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. The clip was removed after Universal sent a takedown notice to YouTube, but was restored when the soundtrack was deemed to fall under “fair use” rules. The woman must still prove her case before being compensated, but the hope is that the legal wrangling will stop rights owners from issuing takedown notices before actually investigating whether a violation has occurred. Universal is expected to argue that the woman had plenty of time to turn the Prince tune off and write and record an equally hilarious accompanying song, enabling the child to take dance lessons and Dad to get the lighting right.
ONE IN 10 BILLION
Apple probably hoped that its muchhyped contest rewarding its 10 billionth song downloader with $10,000 in iTunes purchases would be won by someone in a good “market group” — preferably someone between 16-25. Preferably someone attractive. Preferably someone who will be alive long enough to actually spend that much money on downloads. Alas, 71-year-old Louie Sulcer became the hero of the AARP crowd by downloading a Johnny Cash song and winning the big prize. Oddly enough, Sulcer thought he was ordering a pizza.
"VAIN" MYSTERY DEAD?
Last week, many mainstream news outlets ran with the story that the target of Carly Simon’s hit “You’re So Vain” was none other than music mogul David Geffen. One of the most boring, benign mysteries in Rock & Roll, finally solved. Or is it? The journalistic sleuthing reached an apex recently when Simon revealed that the answer to the riddle was featured on her new re-recording of “Vain,” which included the name of the subject backwards. Investigators heard, “David,” immediately surmising that it was Geffen and that the song was written because Simon was pissed that Joni Mitchell was getting more attention from Elektra (which Geffen was running). But others have pointed out that any potential Simon/Mitchell problems would have come long after “Vain” was originally released. Conducting our own experiment, we dusted off our official “backwards music player” from our “Rock & Roll is the devil!” church days and have determined that Simon is actually saying, “It’s been almost 40 years since that song came out — get a life, loser!” Or “Hail Satan” … it’s really hard to make out.