Writers Of 'Back Pockets On The Floor' Claim 'Pants On The Ground' Ripped Them Off...

from the copyright-gone-mad dept

Just start shaking your head now, because your level of disbelief should only increase as this post goes on. We recently wrote about how "General" Larry Platt, the latest YouTube viral sensation for his American Idol appearance with the song "Pants On The Ground" was lawyering up, as he felt that he wasn't getting money he deserved from everyone talking about and "covering" his song. Of course, he failed to register the copyright, so his remedies were pretty limited. We suggested that he focus on actually releasing the song himself and looking to capitalize on it in other ways... and it looks like he's doing just that. But even that is mired in claims of copyright infringement. And... then there's an argument making the rounds that Platt himself "ripped off" the song that made him famous from someone else, but we'll get to that at the end.

First, Rose M. Welch points us to the news that after recording an official version in the studio, Platt was angry to find out that his ex-manager was distributing the recording without Platt's permission. The ex-manager says he doesn't need Larry's permission because "it's 'promotional' and not for profit." That's an interesting interpretation of copyright law.

But, much more amusing is that at the bottom of that article, it supposedly links to the "official version" of the video, but if you click on it to play, it pops up a message saying: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by FD Entertainment LLC." Wait, but I thought it was the "official" version. Yay for dueling copyright claims:
Oh, but that's not all... You see, Rose also points us to the news that a group called The Green Brothers from Highland Michigan are claiming that Larry Platt ripped off their own song called "Back Pockets On The Floor," which was recorded (and copyrighted) in 1996. You can see the video for that song here:
And compare it to the original "Pants On The Ground" performance on American Idol:
Stylistically, they're equally ridiculously awful, and hit on similar themes... but there doesn't seem to be any actual copyright infringement. But.... wow. There are two songs like that? Yikes.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    sometimes I start thinking that maybe I'll go back to watching TV again......then I see something like this.

     

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    identicon
    copycense, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    And the video is ... where?

    Seems like the first video already has been deleted due to a DMCA claim.

     

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    kevjohn (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    oops

    Is it too late to point out my controversial, and nonexistent, hit song from 1978 entitled "Britches On The Terrain"? I knew I should have copyrighted that!

     

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      Comboman (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

      Re: oops

      As the composer of the 1968 hit "Dungarees in the Dirt", I'll see you in court.

       

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        kevjohn (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

        Re: Re: oops

        I've never even heard of that! But to be honest, I did base my song off of my father's 1965 minor hit song "Slacks on the Tile".

         

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          AC, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: oops

          you'll have to speak to the people that hold the copyright to the Victorian classic "Pantaloons on the Cobblestones"

           

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            chris (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: oops

            which, as you all know, was based on the first song ever invented, which dates back to stone age: "mammoth skin on floor of cave".

             

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              Steven (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: oops

              I think you forgot to include an attribution to the slightly older, but strikingly similar 'rhythm' known at the time as "Ugh Oooh" which roughly translates to 'Bare Hide in the Brush'.

              (please tell me I ended that).

               

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              identicon
              :), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: oops

              I wonder how much infringing there would be if I applied an FFT to find patterns of 3 notes in musics that are common.

              Why 3?

              Because according to some very nasty rullings that is all it takes to be considered infringement.

              Well at least there is some hope for some sanity as BT won a case and is going to collect money for the attorney's fees.

              http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6343

               

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              identicon
              :), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 6:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: oops

              I wonder how much infringing there would be if I applied an FFT to find patterns of 3 notes in musics that are common.

              Why 3?

              Because according to some very nasty rullings that is all it takes to be considered infringement.

              Well at least there is some hope for some sanity as BT won a case and is going to collect money for the attorney's fees.

              http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/case/vargas-v-bt

               

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    JB, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Screen cap...

    Interesting image left of center at the bottom of that screen grab for the "official version." Thinking about the title of the song, I could only imagine the content of that video.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    @JB Here is the link to the vid you are referencing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7n8GqewJ2M

     

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    lavi d (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Curses

    This does not bode well for my new tune - "Belts on Ankles"

     

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    Rob, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Not too simliar on the ground

    I don't see it - Back pockets on the floor and Pants on the ground aren't near close enough for a copyright claim. ( um, musically )

    if ...you can say ... musically.

    Comments on the page...

     

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    hax, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Reminds me

    This is all sounding very south park-ish and remarkeably close to "Stinky Britches".

     

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    IronMask (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    Well after watching the first minute of both of those (that's seriously all I could bare) I can see that the General quite possibly did rip it off. He just couldn't remember all the original words I guess. Too much Agent Orange I suspect.

     

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    Benjamin Parks, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    Green Brothers

    Evidently nobody here is aware that one of the Green Brothers, Gerald (Jerry), is a former Contour. Yeah, THE Contours, of Motown fame. I believe Jerry was in the 2nd or 3rd incarnation of the group, during the Fist I Look At The Purse days. Just thought I'd add that for those who think they're some old unknown poop butts trying to horn in on some poor guy in LA. It's Fox they're after if anyone. They are more than familiar with The Business.

     

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