Universal Goes After Bank of America for U2 “One” Parody

How broke-ass will UMG and their copyright hounds get? Maria Aspan @ The New York Times tackles this hilarity:

A video of two Bank of America employees singing a version of U2’s “One” to commemorate their company’s acquisition of MBNA recently made the rounds of the blogs, prompting amusement and some ridicule from online viewers.

But the intended comic effect of their performance and the retooled lyrics (“One spirit, we get to share it/Leading us all to higher standards”) seemed lost on lawyers on the lookout for copyright violations.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for the Universal Music Publishing Group, a catalog owner and administrator, posted the text of a cease-and-desist letter in the comments section of Stereogum.com, a Web site carrying the video. It contended that Bank of America had violated Universal’s copyright of the U2 song.

The two employees featured in the video were the guitarist, Jim Debois, a consumer market executive for Manhattan, and the singer, Ethan Chandler, a Manhattan banking center manager, who provoked much of the ridicule with his earnest interpretation and also for straying a bit far from U2’s lyrics with lines like “Integration has never had us feeling so good/and we’ll make lots of money.”

Mr. Chandler, who has independently released an album and is working on another, said he was asked to write and perform the song for an August meeting of credit card division executives at MBNA headquarters in Wilmington, Del.

He said he was surprised to learn about the cease-and-desist letter, stressing that his performance was meant for an internal audience. “There was an approved list of songs to use,” he said, “and as far I knew, that was an approved song.”

Universal said on Stereogum that it had sent the letter by fax and registered mail to Bank of America last Monday. On Friday, a bank spokeswoman, Betsy Weinberger, said the legal department had not yet received it.

The letter was signed by Raul R. Gonzalez, a lawyer for Universal Music. Reached at his office, Mr. Gonzalez said, “No comment” and hung up.

Online commentators accustomed to viral marketing said they suspected that the video was the latest corporate attempt to co-opt Internet video for promotional purposes. But Ms. Weinberger said it was “absolutely not” leaked by Bank of America as a marketing ploy.

Mr. Chandler also denied any involvement in leaking the video, although he admitted that, despite the cutting online criticism, the incident had an upside. “A lot of people thought it was fake, but I really do sing,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”

Continue reading “Universal Goes After Bank of America for U2 “One” Parody”

RIAApe Me… Again

IS the RIAA working hard behind the scenes to pass Audio Flag legislation to plug the analog hole during Congress’ lame duck session?

The *battle* is on and earlier this week, the RIAA’s Cary Sherman called BS on the Consumer Electronics Assn’s Digital Freedom docket in this op-ed published on CNET.

CEA President Gary Shapiro fired back almost immediately with this response.

I don’t trust either of these guys, quite frankly, and wonder what everybody else thinks about these association-types apparent attempt to duke it out, not to mention, Microsoft’s consent to sellout to labels for each Zune (despite fair use) sold and whether, in the end any of these efforts will lead us in any direction towards digital freedom for both consumers and creators.

Charles wrote in to Small Print Project:

…Seems like the RIAA is looking to make a push to pass the Audio Flag bill during the lame duck session. This will kill any hopes of having a digital radio recorder, much like Tivo, which companies like XM and Sirius are behind. Tonight the RIAA is sponsoring a tech demo/concert/open bar at the Russell Senate building. Special interests hard at work?

I can’t find anything at quick glance on this, but please — SOMEBODY crash it and report back!


Click to order RIAA toilet paper

More on the Sherman spin:
/. thread
Mistaken Goal posts of last week’s “revision of a white paper released in 2003 entitled ‘Background Discussion of Copyright Law and Potential Liability for Students Engaged in P2P File Sharing on University Networks.'”
Ars Technica

Originally posted November 16, 2006 at Set-Top Cop blog.

Win $50 — WOOZradio Logo Designing Contest

Dearest readers/listeners,

It’s been 7 full years of broadcasting WOOZradio online and I STILL haven’t come up with a logo I’m happy with.

So, I’m offering $50 (and my undying, unconditional love — provided musically of course) to whomever creates the most awesomest logo for the WOOZ site, stickers, cards and g-strings, etc.

Submit any and all entries to contests@woozradio.netzoo.net

(Please hook it up by Nov. 24 if possible).

Click here to see the last dozen or so songs played.

50th Anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie’s State Dept-Sponsored World Tour

“The music of Dizzy Gillespie spoke the language of freedom: the freedom to think; to innovate; and to speak in one’s own voice,” said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in video-recorded remarks to open the 50th anniversary commemoration of Dizzy Gillespie’s State Department-sponsored world tour at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Hall (watch video of Sec. Rice’s remarks here).

Special guests stars joined USC’s Thornton Jazz Band for a performance of Dizzy Gillespie classics as they were heard on the 1956 tour. On trumpet, Jon Faddis, who performed with Dizzy Gillespie since he was a teenager. His sound at USC was still powerful, lyrical, unpredictable and bright. Gillespie himself once said of his protege: “he’s the best ever, including me!”

Saxophonist James Moody performed in Dizzy Gillespie’s bands on and off since the 1940’s. His role in the 1956 world tour was indirect but significant, as Quincy Jones noted later in the night, when Jones called Moody up to thank him onstage.

‘Thanks, Brother’

Moody thanks Quincy“I’ve wanted to say this for 50 years. If it wasn’t for this man – I wouldn’t be up here today,” Jones in thanking James Moody with an emotional embrace. “That man is the bomb!” Jones said of Moody, who recommended the young arranger and musician to be the 1956 band’s music director (which entailed, among other things, arranging and rehearsing a the national anthems of dozens of countries).

The dialogue quickly shifted from prose and praise to jazz as the USC Thornton Jazz Band struck up the opening bass line of “A Night in Tunisia.” USC Thornton Jazz Band with Jon Faddis and James MoodyThe capacity audience at Bovard Hall was treated to an hour-long sampling of the music performed on the 1956 world tour, including compositions by Quincy Jones and Benny Golson, all featuring virtuosic solos from Moody and the visually inspired Faddis, evoking Dizzy in both sound and physical appearance, save for the signature bent-skyward trumpet used by Gillespie in the 50s and 60s.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was already internationally famous 1956, primarily due to his exposure on Voice of America. In 1955, VOA launched it’s “Jazz Hour,” hosted by Willis Conover, which quickly grew into the stations most popular program, enjoyed by tens of millions of listeners in eighty countries, six nights a week.

As Quincy Jones explained, it didn’t take long for the band to realize the impact of their music.

Continue reading “50th Anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie’s State Dept-Sponsored World Tour”

Bush’s Kampf: Don’t Know Much About…

The president is actually cracking jokes — and the WH corps is in stitches — over rhetorical questions declaring no less than war on practically all non-Texans. (video / text).

“The history of that region has yet to be written…” But apparently Bush has a thorough draft in the works, deferring all blame to his generals — and the lapdog press corps has not even mentioned the name of the great Don.

“If we pull out of Iraq the terrorists will follow us here…” This disgustingly bent statement can be seen as a direct insult to our troops and those Iraqis that truly believe this war is working towards any future that could be documented in the present progressive tense. These radical, extremist, ideological, instigating freedom-thwarting terrorists can laugh about our fears of attack-at-home as long as our troops and stated mission lay at their doormat.

On pardons: “We don’t have the criterion in front of us.” Is the decider saying that he doesn’t even know how or why the decision to pardon is made?

Bush’s prepared statement could not have been more disconcerting and insincere. While repeatedly blaming the war-enabling theoretical terrorist states within states within this Middle East of unwritten history, the president continues to insist — unprovoked — that the U.S. had nothing to do with Israel’s initial decision/strategy in engaging with Hezbollah for 33 days. In fact, it appears that the president is not even aware of the fact that Olmert and his dually unqualified defense minister Amir Peretz are in power primarily as a result of the Ariel Sharon’s incapacitating stroke over six months ago. But for some reason, Bush is moved to feel responsible for significantly funding the rebuilding of Lebanon.

“I’m staying out of Connecticut…. because there’s a better place and way to spend our resources.” What a way to give back to your birth-state. God forbid the children there should get an honest education — including facts and History. “Your mother brought you up well,” was heard from the plum-faced gaggle amid chuckles over Bush’s admission that he doesn’t want to shut up about never winning his own birth state…

These thoughts and interpretations of Bush’s speech (in progress) are meant to be questions rather than judgments. The quotes are closely paraphrased and believe it or not, left in the ridiculous context in which they were delivered. I am utterly dismayed and disgusted at the loose, giggly White house press corps’ (left to meet entirely under the president’s thumb in a makeshift trailer across from the White House) blind, swastikular salute to blatantly racist and highly disconcerting empty, incorrect and unsure statements made with a highly destructive determinism. The gaggle closes with the press corps literally revealing their utter serfdom at the end, asking, “will we ever be allowed back in the White House, sir?” Then, more giggles. I can’t imagine the level of hilarity when the press is begging for water as they ask if it really is necessary to exterminate all non-Texans, without, of course a follow-up question. The president is so sure that it would be foolish to leave Iraq before the mission is accomplished. But nobody bothered to ask exactly what that mission is. Maliki has had six months to pretend to lead some semblance of an organized government. How much more of a “chance” should he be allowed?

There will be highly satisfying musical interludes posted later for our health. Thoughts?