Techno Slap Chop Informercial Remix... Infringement Or Brilliant?

from the welcome-to-the-world-today dept

Xanthir writes in to point to this Guardian article about viral videos that highlights the "Rap Chop" video that's currently got over a million views on YouTube. If you haven't seen it (and I hadn't), it's basically taking a silly infomercial for an "as seen on TV" chopping device, which you can see here:
... and remixed it into a techno tune, with some music, cuts and (of course) Autotune to turn the guy's voice into music, and you get this:
As both Xanthir and the writer at the Guardian note, after watching the remix, they felt like buying the device. Either way, once again, we're seeing the convergence of a few different topics we tend to talk about here, including the creativity of remixed content and the benefits of making advertising into really good and desirable content, so it doesn't even feel like advertising. And, of course, there are copyright questions. The video is almost certainly infringing on the original, but it's yet another example where it would be a bad idea to try to enforce the copyright (and it doesn't look like the company has even tried to do so, which is good).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    AdamR1, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    First time I have seen the rap chop video and its pretty cool and funny. I still would not buy one.

    " The video is almost certainly infringing on the original, but it's yet another example where it would be a bad idea to try to enforce the copyright (and it doesn't look like the company has even tried to do so, which is good)."

    It would be a stupid PR move on theier part. They need all the good PR since Vince had the blow up with his 3,000.00 call girl in a hotel lobby.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    "It would be a stupid PR move on theier part. They need all the good PR since Vince had the blow up with his 3,000.00 call girl in a hotel lobby."

    not to derail the thread but yeah, in a $700 dollar a night hotel room . . . could he possibly be making that kinda bank shillen for sham-wows?

     

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  3.  
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    Lucretious, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    from reading Vince's Wikipedia entry it seems he's a frivolous lawsuit litigating fool.

    slap chop, my ass.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    You're gunna love my nuts...

     

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  5.  
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    Nicholas Overstreet (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    I think it's a form of art and no where close to infringement.
    If someone took a brand new Chevy Malibu, disassembled it, hacked it up, and made some crazy sculpture out of it's parts, it wouldn't be an infringement on Chevy. Sure you can tell it was once a Chevy Malibu, but it is not any more. Just like Rap Chop used to be a Slap Chop infomercial, but it is not any more. The artist has created something new from the parts of the original product.

     

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  6.  
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    Sean Garrett, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Techno?

    Mike: That is certainly not techno. Much more classic electro/breaks.

     

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  7.  
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    Brent, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    is it really infringement? even when its a parody?

     

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  8.  
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    Thomo, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Assigning value to infringement

    This post is a remix of techdirt's oft-told theories that non-enforcement of IP rights provides value, that is, free IP is just altogether GOOD!!
    Guess that logic also favors copying the Slap Chop device and using the 'creativity of remixed content' to advertise it.

     

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  9.  
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    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Techno?

    Mike: That is certainly not techno. Much more classic electro/breaks.

    Heh. My bad. Shows what I know.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "he possibly be making that kinda bank shillen for sham-wows"

    Actually his fortune was derived from ever failing to get a haircut that didn't look like he got it from a retarded monkey. Is it me, or is that guy Christopher Titus' evil jizz mopping twin?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Is it me, or is that guy Christopher Titus' evil jizz mopping twin?"

    that got a real, middle of the office, LOL outta me . . . thanks!

     

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  12.  
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    Tony Mali, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Techno?

    Sean Garrett: "That is certainly not techno. Much more classic electro/breaks."

    Mike had it correct;

    Electro/breaks is a form of Techno which can also be referred to as Ghetto-Techno. Just like Darkwave is a form of New-wave & Post-Punk. Synthpop is also a form of New-wave.

    The same could be said about all the various versions of Country, Soul, Classical and even Industrial -- EBM anyone?

     

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  13.  
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    Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I do what I can.

     

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  14.  
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    Esahc (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Assigning value to infringement

    Huh?

     

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  15.  
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    Jake, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    He looks like Steve Buscemi.

    I predict any legal issue will come from him claiming monetary damages for using his likeness, not from the company selling the product.

     

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  16.  
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    Luís Carvalho, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    I wouldn't bother to EVEN see the full "original", but, I did watch quite closely the Remixed.

    If only advertisment could be this good. But, then, it would be "norm" and we would be as tired of it as we are with the other.

    About the infringment, if they sued, that would only make them look even worse, and would actualy give the Remix MUCH more attention. Not good PR, at all.

     

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  17.  
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    PhilD, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    If I were the slap chop guys,

    If I were the slap chop guys, I would be thanking the guys that did the remix and doing a media buy to put it on TV.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Damn, after watching the remix, I want to buy one :)

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Remixed Winston Churchill

    This is closer to techno, and fully based on public domain works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW6jW9y59JY

    Pretty cool. But the more I think about it, big content is screwed. It's becoming more apparent daily just how little creativity is applied in commercial music. And now the entire Antares tool set is well within reach of the general hobbiest. It seems players in music are attempting to bottle up creativity, but instead of playing ball, the creative element is continually moving to the public domain. Good.

    The lyrics that the artist deliberately chose may be something of a long coming warning:

    Lift up your hearts, all will come right. Out of depths of sorrow and of sacrifice, we'll be born again (to) the glory of mankind.

    This is the message to all states and nations, bound or free. We can not get free. Our Deliverance will come. When it will come, but nothing is more certain that every trace of Hitler's footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted (Oh Yeah!) from the surface of the Earth (Surface of the Earth)!

    This this, My lords and Gentlemen, is the message which we send forth today:

    Lift up your hearts, all will come right. Out of depths of sorrow and of sacrifice. We'll be born again (to) the glory of mankind.

    This is the message to all states and nations, bound or free: Lift up your hearts, all will come right. Out of depths of sorrow and of sacrifice. We'll be born again (to) the glory of mankind.

    This is the message to all states and nations, bound or free.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    @tomo
    "This post is a remix of techdirt's oft-told theories that non-enforcement of IP rights provides value, that is, free IP is just altogether GOOD!!
    Guess that logic also favors copying the Slap Chop device and using the 'creativity of remixed content' to advertise it."

    What value has Vince added since the Hooker incident? How much did he De-value it because of it? The video parody has bought new attention to a lame infomercial and his products.

     

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  21.  
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    Adam_v1, May 5th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Infomercial remixes are not a new thing, here is a Cillit Bang Techno Remix thats been around for a few years.

    Compare that to the actual commercial and tell me what one you would rather watch.

     

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  22.  
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    Adam_v1, May 5th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    Wow, html link fail. you have to mouse over them to see it for some reason.

    Techno Remix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGooQ8yYC0c

    Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwVaLFbLFOM

     

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  23.  
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    Slap Choppa, May 5th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    AWESOME! Great remix and loved the way it sounded like he was using pitch. Very cool.

     

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  24.  
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    aep528, May 5th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    His name is Vince? I thought it was john...

     

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  25.  
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    sean garrett, May 5th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Techno?

    of course, you are correct.

    however, given the specificity and exactness of this scholarly blog, I would expect that we could do better than to not confuse the layman's uber-genre with the enthusiasts sub-genres. it's a slippery slope to the lowest common denominator.

    and, Ghetto-tech is much different than your average electro. It includes hard Detroit techno, speeds it up and usually includes eye-raising lyrics. (see DJ Assault)

     

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  26.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Cillit Bang

    I believe that’s a “happy hardcore” beat...

     

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  27.  
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    Adam Singer, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Artist is Steve Porter by the way

    His stuff is all really good...

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 9:29pm

    Steve is a genius...

    I don't think this is really a true case of copyright "infringement" per say.

    Yes, he used a company's commercial to make a new "video" out of it, but really, what does Steve have to gain from this? He's not signing this track to a major record label. He's not using this video to promote his own product. He is not generating any income from what he has created...and to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if he is actually HELPING Slap Chop sales. The video is not demeaning, slanderous or libelous in any way towards the Slap Chop or to that Vince guy (he's done enough lately to diminish his own reputation).

    The only thing Steve has to gain from this is the number of hits he gets on YouTube, and perhaps a bit of exposure for his own musical production/DJ efforts (Steve is one of the most talented DJ/Producers in the world, if you ask me).

     

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  29.  
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    Mike (profile), May 6th, 2009 @ 12:33am

    Re: Steve is a genius...

    Yes, he used a company's commercial to make a new "video" out of it, but really, what does Steve have to gain from this? He's not signing this track to a major record label. He's not using this video to promote his own product. He is not generating any income from what he has created...and to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if he is actually HELPING Slap Chop sales.

    Indeed. But that doesn't matter. It's still infringement. It might help in a fair use defense, but the way copyright law works, none of what you mentioned above matters.

    Ridiculous, right?

    The video is not demeaning, slanderous or libelous in any way towards the Slap Chop or to that Vince guy (he's done enough lately to diminish his own reputation).

    That's useful for defamation. But that's got nothing to do with copyright law.

    The video is not demeaning, slanderous or libelous in any way towards the Slap Chop or to that Vince guy (he's done enough lately to diminish his own reputation).

    That doesn't matter to the question of copyright infringement.

     

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  30.  
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    nasch, May 6th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Techno?

    it's a slippery slope to the lowest common denominator.

    Yeah, before you know it, we'll be calling everything "music".

     

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  31.  
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    Mike B, May 6th, 2009 @ 8:39am

    I can't get this song out of my head now. It's crazy that an infomercial can be a catchy tune.

    Slappin' your troubles away with slap chop!

    ARGHHH, they totally need to pay the guy for this remix.

     

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  32.  
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    Xanthir, FCD, May 6th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    I can't get this song out of my head now. It's crazy that an infomercial can be a catchy tune.

    Slappin' your troubles away with slap chop!

    ARGHHH, they totally need to pay the guy for this remix.

    I'll let you in on a secret. The reason I sent this in was because I was already infected with its rhythm and lyrics, and wanted only to spread the agony.

    I've watched the video 20 times or more now. >_

     

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  33.  
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    Yeebok (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    Happy Hardcore

    It's more doof doof doof doof with the odd gap and the occasional double doof. On top of that there's a sequence of tsst or clap noises.
    Have a listen to one of the Bonkers discs - Happy Hardcore has its roots in the raver culture of happy things, lollies and dance parties.. :)

    But either way I liked the music in the remix. Neat .. kudos to the maker. I hope the copyright holder lets it stay.

     

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  34.  
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    Raybone, May 16th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    His other infomercial

     

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  35.  
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    deeznutzsaf, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 12:16am

    its not infringment cuz this shits on tv as an advertisement for the damn product

     

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  36.  
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    Matt, Jul 18th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    Re:

    I wonder if the remixer would be silly enough to ask for royalties if the advert remix gets picked up and used on national TV?
    Although, what would be a fair move in that situation?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    i saw this commercial last night on tv, and it tripped me out. i thought i was crazy for a sec cuz at the end they put it back to the regular "call this number, 2 for the price of one" crap like in all infomercials. but the one i saw on tv was a lil different, it had some girl dancing in it and it was longer. idk, i had never heard about this on the net before though, and i cant seem to find the same one that i saw on tv on the net.

     

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  38.  
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    Trevor Talbert, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 12:56pm

    I saw the remix in an infomercial today on SciFi.

     

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  39.  
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    ÜñdeaD, Jul 27th, 2009 @ 12:31am

    Rap chop

    I just saw this on fucking comedy central an edited remix! Kudos to the fucking DJ!

     

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  40.  
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    suckmyslapchop, Jul 27th, 2009 @ 3:28am

    hahahahahaha

    I had no idea this was around until I seen the actual commercial...complete with phone number for ordering a slap chop...if it comes with a mix tape of slap chop/sham wow commercials I may get one:)

     

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  41.  
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    Larry Lee Moniz, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Techno Slap Chop Informercial Remix... Infringement Or Brilliant?

    Infringement Or Brilliant?

    The question is now irrelevant as the Slap Chop folks have now fully endorsed Steve Porter's ingenious "Rap Chop" song and video and are using it as an actual commercial!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Neogamer, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    youtube poop raven gets plastic surgery

    back in the day we were gay

     

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  43.  
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    Neogamer, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    youtube poop

    go to youtube and type in youtube poop that 70s show

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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