Perhaps The Real Bubble Is In Overly Aggressive Intellectual Property Claims

from the this-again? dept

Last week, Kara Swisher posted a video to the AllthingsD site, with a parody song, based on Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” called “Here Comes Another Bubble.” It was a bit silly, but self-referential enough that lots of folks couldn’t resist highlighting it, so it quickly got passed around and linked on various sites. The video kicked off with a video clip that Kara herself had filmed and posted and then included a bunch of other photos and videos and the parody song. However, someone took exception to it and sent a takedown notice, forcing it offline. The first thought many people had was that it was the record labels, protesting the use of the Billy Joel song without credit, but Valleywag has another, perhaps more plausible, theory: a photograph of Valleywag bigshot Owen Thomas was used briefly in the video, and the photographer who took it got seriously pissed off about it. Thomas thinks the photographer may have sent the takedown notice that got the video pulled offline. If true, that would be unfortunate, and most likely an excessive use of a takedown. An extremely brief clip in a video that doesn’t hurt the commercial value of the work is unlikely to be seen as infringing on the copyright. There’s a reason fair use exists. If anything, this may be yet another example of copyright being used to prevent creative works, rather than encourage them. Of course, the performer of the song probably isn’t too upset. This will just provide a second round of publicity for the song — and, besides, he apparently just raised $3 million for his (unrelated to the video) startup anyway.

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Comments on “Perhaps The Real Bubble Is In Overly Aggressive Intellectual Property Claims”

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Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


“Last week, Kara Swisher …”
“This will just provide a second round of publicity for the song — and, besides, he apparently just raised $3 million for his (unrelated to the video) startup anyway.”

Kara is a guy?
I hope that is a typo since I cannot verify any of that stuff from work here.
Either that or his parents had a cruel sense of humor.

Gunnar says:

Re: Re:

It’s not some “I wonder if” theory of Mike’s. He reported on someone else’s theory, which is really the only theory that makes sense here. And he links to all relevant articles that would let you think for yourself and find a place to disagree with him from. Well, if you were inclined to do more make general, unsupported claims.

Tom Shields (user link) says:

Setting the record straight

Since this post is mainly about credit, let’s make sure it goes where it’s due. First, the video is performed by the Richter Scales: The main vocals are sung by Matt Hempey. In a totally unrelated news item, a different guy in the group (me) helped raise some money for a startup.

Too bad somebody who obviously disagrees that this “is unlikely to be seen as infringing on the copyright” has the power to take down a popular video. We all have real jobs, we do the singing thing for fun. Bummer that one person can ruin it for everyone.


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