Universal Music Strikes Again: Threatens Bank Of America Over Ridiculous Parody Song
from the you-can't-be-serious dept
Yikes. Last week when we pointed to Universal Music's bad decision to sue MySpace we noted how aggressive the company has been recently in demanding that everyone pay them for using their music in any form whatsoever. However, we never expected it to go this far. Last week, one of the popular viral videos that got passed around was the incredibly earnest, but squirm-inducing, Bank of America employee singing a parody of U2's One to celebrate the bank's merger with MBNA. It's both hilarious and painful at the same time. It's really no wonder it got passed around. In the past, such corporate parody covers have been quite popular (somewhere I actually have an old CD of SGI employees singing about their new machines). At some point someone had even set up an amusing "chart" that would track the popularity of corporate songs. However, far be it from Universal Music (who supposedly owns the rights to the U2 song) to recognize parody as fair use. They've apparently been sending cease and desist letters to sites hosting or embedding the video -- and they apparently have threatened Bank of America as well. Of course, it's possible these aren't really the actions of Universal Music. While the NY Times is the one reporting it, so far, the only evidence they have is the cease & desist showing up in the comments and a "no comment" (and an immediate hang up) from the lawyer who supposedly sent the cease & desist. Still, given the company's recent activities in the space, it wouldn't be at all surprising to discover that there's some truth to this story.