Obama Drama Comes to Monday Night

UPDATE: video added…

No word yet on whether or not Hank III will reference Barack Obama on the Monday Night Football custom intro, but we do know that the current U.S. Senator who resides in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood will be opening ESPN’s coverage of the Chicago Bears – St. Louis Rams matchup with a special announcement:

…to talk about “a contest between two very different philosophies” that is also “a contest about the future.” And — hint, hint — acknowledges questions about “whether the new guy has enough experience.”

Then, he says, he’ll “put all the doubts to rest. After a lot of thought and a good deal of soul-searching, I’d like to announce to all of America that I’m ready … for the Chicago Bears to go all the way!”

He’s all but running, quite obviously, and the hype he received over the weekend when his book tour took him through New Hampshire for the first time is further evidence. See The Moderate Voice for a roundup of the B-Rock Lobster fest (or must I reserve lobster references for Maine)?

Also worth reading, John Dickerson of Slate‘s account of the N.H. trip and the Obama-tracking blog of the Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet. And Newsweek is reporting that Barack’s boss — Michelle Obama — is prepared to take the leap.

Also, click here for video of Obama’s stellar speech in NH over the weekend (h/t Ezra).

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Go Bears!

Acknowledged: Warner Music Head’s Kids are Pirates

And “they’ve suffered the consequences.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

At the Reuters’ Summit, Edgar Bronfman was asked if his kids steal music:

“I’m fairly certain that they have, and I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences.”

Other interesting tidbits from the Summit (full coverage here): Bronfman says WMG is diving head-first into online advertising deals in online video plays. They’ve been gettin’ with YouTube, I wonder if they’ve got it in for Revver and others as well.

Looking to invest in media stocks? The experts at the summit are looking towards News Corp, Apple and Disney.

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.”

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