Easy Come, Easy Go: EMI Pulls Video Of Drunk Guy Singing Bohemian Rhapsody, Reinstates It After Backlash

from the can't-do-this-to-me-baby dept

You may have heard the story in the last few days about the really drunk guy, Robert Wilkinson, who was arrested and put in a police car up in Canada, and responded by breaking into song with a complete rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. If you haven't seen it yet, you're one of just a few people:

So what happened? You guessed it. EMI, in its ultimate ridiculousness, issued a takedown for violating its publishing copyright. The immediate outcry actually made EMI back down, with the company saying:
"It seems like a mistake has been made."
That's a fun way of indirectly saying "hey, we made a mistake." Suggesting "a mistake has been made" leaves open the possibility that someone else made that mistake. But, in this day and age where the major labels are so quick to shut down anything that doesn't involve them first getting a huge check, perhaps the "mistake" is with the way the law works.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Jay (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:10am

    All that singing...

    And he didn't break into dance.


    I like how right at the end he states "physical violence is the least of my priorities." Carry on with the protests good sir, carry on...

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:44am

    He did not seem especially intoxicated -- just an extremely untalented singer.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      You must be a lush if you think this guy "did not seem especially intoxicated". If I was this guy I would be pissed that the video went public can you imagine the backlash this will have on his job opportunities. Who is going to want to hire a drunk dumbass.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:46am

    I think he does a pretty good job. I'd jam with that guy.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Passive Tone

    A "mistake was made" in the exact same sense that "the homeowner was impacted by a bullet discharged from the firearm held by a SWAT team member".

    Why do videos get pulled? Why do homeowners get shot? It's a complete mystery!

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:54am

      Re: Passive Tone

      I here blaming science has come into vogue once again.

      Try this one on for size:
      "Why do homeowners get shot?"
      "Science!"

      Pretty good, eh?

       

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      Mike C. (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Passive Tone

      It's no mystery. It's God. Don't you listen to Bill O'Reilly? If you can't explain it, it must be God's hand at work!!

      Oh wait... Can I even mention his name? I mean, that might infringe on his publicity rights or something? And didn't he come up with the idea about explaining the unexplainable? Oh crap, now I probably have to pay a license fee as well...

      /some kind of mark goes here... or something

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:58am

    "perhaps the "mistake" is with the way the law works."

    Exactly, the law shouldn't leave it up to some random entity to determine if their own takedown request is valid, the law should require a neutral third party (ie: due process, via a judge) make that determination and it should severely punish those who make bogus takedown requests.

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 10:58am

    A mistake was made.

    "It seems like a mistake has been made." We did not want to take the video down we were just looking for criminals name and address so we can sue him for his public performance of our copyrighted work.

     

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    Noah Callaway, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Passive Voice

    Using the passive voice -- making the subject of the sentence the noun acted upon (rather than the actor) -- is a classic PR trick to minimize blame and/or fault.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:08am

    I am suspecting the video was taken down by name (it's a pretty exceptional name) without serious review, and when the yelling started, they actually reviewed it.

    The takedown is valid (not nice, but valid), but leaving it up is the right choice here.

     

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      I am suspecting the video was taken down by name

      Probably - and that's a violation of the DMCA takedown requirements. You can't make a sworn legal statement in "good faith" that a YouTube video is infringing without actually watching the video.

      The takedown may turn out to be valid, but issuing it based on the title of a video is not.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      Why are people signing statements swearing that they are the owners of content under threat of perjury if they are only looking at a title and not the content?

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 4:03pm

      Re:

      I am suspecting the video was taken down by name (it's a pretty exceptional name) without serious review, and when the yelling started, they actually reviewed it.

      The takedown is valid (not nice, but valid), but leaving it up is the right choice here.


      You appear not to be familiar with the DMCA. If the takedown was, as you say, by name, then it is not "valid." A valid takedown requires the party issuing the takedown to check out the content and swear -- upon penalty of perjury -- that the content itself is infringing.

      I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the DMCA before making statements about how "valid" this is.

       

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Since when does DMCA have a "Disrespectful" Element?

    From the linked article:

    “It seems like a mistake has been made,” said Dylan Jones, a spokesman with EMI in New York.

    He said the company often requests videos be pulled from the site if they are “disrespectful,” but it did not in this case.


    Er, huh? What? Let's hope that was just the writer's error, 'cause otherwise ...

     

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re: Since when does DMCA have a "Disrespectful" Element?

      Unfortunately it probably wasn't an error at all. A lot of people seem to think copyright is a moral right - and they turn it into one by selectively exercising their copyrights based on their moral preferences. Add that to the list of problems caused by lopsided copyright law.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:43am

    LOL. Now the video is down due to a copyright claim by Robert wilkinson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOKKWtJoDHg&feature=youtu.be

     

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      Ninja (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      Now that's some epic win for comedy. The guy should pursue this career lmao

       

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 2:31pm

      Re:

      I too look forward to more covers by Mr. Wilkinson. Perhaps he'll become the Canadian Justin Bieber, only more awesome because he's got that whole drunk thing going for him, and he's not a goofy-haired tweener. Hopefully his future releases will also be filmed in police-o-vision - it really adds impact to his vids.

       

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:44am

    I hope the squad car has paid the appropriate license fees.

     

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      Andrew (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Absolutely. In fact I'm sure he isn't the first person to sing in a police car like this. Arguably these performances take place in a "place open to the public" (car parks or the streets) and often, as here, at sufficient volume for those outside the car to enjoy the rendition too, so there's a reasonable case to be made that all police vehicles should have to purchase appropriate public performance licences.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.. For me... FOR MEEEEEEE!

    Replace "Beelzebub" with "The public" and "a devil" for "awareness" and keep singing the song...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    I cant help but wonder if this was their way of easing us in, regulate something THEY think is MINOR, so when they have something they trully want taking down, we've all already become 'accustomed' to it

     

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    grammar police, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    spelling mistake

    *cheque

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    pffffft.

    Everybody knows that bot scrapers have absolutely no sense of humor. Or satire. Or fair use.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Hmmmm

    "You may have heard the story in the last few days about the really drunk guy, Robert Wilkinson, who was arrested and put in a police car up in Canada, and responded by breaking into song with a complete rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody."

    I think it's a little unfair to change the person's name to Robert Wilkinson when we all know this was Marcus Carab after a night of too many appletinis and Twizzlers....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Why are that guys hands not cuffed? Do Canadian cops not cuff everyone who gets in their cars?

     

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    IKnowthisGuy, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Not just drunk

    I know this guy i don't know how drunk he was but i do know he is extremely schizophrenic that's why he can sing the whole song as no drunk guy has a memory that good. The cops know him(a small town 8000 people) probably why it was released as he is arrested all the time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Am I the only one who thinks a duet should have occurred?

    Police: We'll not let you go ):

     

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