Universal Music Lawyers Realize That Taking Down Charlie Brown / Smiths Remix Not The Brightest Idea They've Had

from the about-time dept

We’ve already written about Universal Music issuing totally bogus takedowns to Lauren LoPrete for her amusing remix that takes Peanuts comic strips and replaces the text with lyrics from The Smiths. And we wrote about the counternotice she sent to Tumblr, done via awesome law firm Booth Sweet. Apparently, someone within the lawyerly ranks at Universal Music realized that this was an incredibly stupid thing to be doing, and told the LA Times that it is “dropping its pursuit” of LoPrete’s site. Why it even started in the first place is a question for another day. Of course, now we await the news that Iconix Brand Group, the owners of Peanuts Inc., decides that it, too, wants to be ridiculously overly lawyerly. After all, it’s done it before.

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Companies: universal music

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Comments on “Universal Music Lawyers Realize That Taking Down Charlie Brown / Smiths Remix Not The Brightest Idea They've Had”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Oh, maybe you've been manipulated yet again.

Bu congratulations on a victory, Mike! Break out the bubbly — by which I mean good old Coca-Cola (R), the real thing. You see, sometimes ad agencies stage battles sheerly because any press coverage is to the good. It’s even (things go) better (with Coke) than subliminal techniques.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Oh, maybe you've been manipulated yet again.

The website was already giving the Smiths great (and free) publicity that could last and grow and inspire others to do the same. It made people want to listen to the band. I know because that’s exactly what I did when I first saw the website.

Going legal might have gotten a headline or two, but it created a bad reputation for the Smiths (because most people equate the label’s actions with the band). It doesn’t make them want to listen to them. Not all publicity is good publicity, esp. in the arts.

But go ahead and believe it was all a scheme if that makes you feel superior.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, maybe you've been manipulated yet again.

But they are probably still charging annual promotion fees against any royalties that the band would be earning….

Bada bing, bada boom….

Now they can charge additional “Band Protection” services against the royalties as well… if this sounds like Mob protection … it is, you wouldn’t want anything “bad” to happen to your band now would you?

bigpicture says:

Re: Re: Conflict of Interest

Are you just noticing the “conflict of interest” now? With lawyers it is never about giving ethical legal advice, it is about giving actionable advice with the most billable hours. Same for Doctors, it is not about making you well, it is about temporarily masking the symptoms. In ancient China you only paid your doctor when you were well, not when you were ill.

PaulT (profile) says:

“After all, it’s done it before.”

The more optimistic among us would hope that the lack of any action in this case means that they learned their lesson and realise that legal action will do nothing to protect their material, and that there’s nothing negative to come from leaving it up. I try to be optimistic that these people will eventually learn, anyway.

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