Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




The Electric DMCA Slide Into The Ridiculous Zone

from the a-world-gone-mad dept

Rajesh writes in to point out that the guy who claims he owns the copyright on the infamous wedding line dance, "the Electric Slide" is now issuing DMCA takedown notices to people who have put up personal videos of themselves, friends and family doing the dance (usually at weddings). He seems, in part, to be upset that they're doing it wrong, but generally just seems to be upset that he's not getting credit for it. The story is made even more ridiculous when you discover he only recently registered the copyright on the dance and there's a fair bit of controversy over the question of whether or not he really created the dance. While the article does quote Jason Schultz explaining that choreography moves are, in fact, free to be copyrighted, there's a ton of gray area here concerning derivative works and fair use. The idea that someone performing (usually badly) a boring line dance at their wedding and posting it to YouTube should be considered copyright violation seems to go against everything that copyright law is supposed to stand for. The only reason this dance is so damn annoyingly popular in the first place is that it's performed so often. If this guy cracks down on everyone performing it, then he kills off whatever value the dance had.

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  • identicon
    a, 5 Feb 2007 @ 11:11am

    Come on Now

    Tell the truth, is there anything that is wrong with something that eliminates "The Electric Slide" from public view?

    Sometimes the ends do justify the means.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), 5 Feb 2007 @ 11:20am

    He's read the RIAA manual.

    Expecially the chapter titled: "How to Shoot Yourself In the Foot With A Fully Automatic Weapon."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ....hummm..., 5 Feb 2007 @ 11:49am

    If this is the case..
    why hasn't Michael Jackson sued all people who preform his music?

    countless dances/orginizations use thriller for halloween bits. i've seen billy jean and smooth criminal on video sites being preformed at weddings.

    i mean, in the 06 college football season, the PSU mascot, The Nittany Lion, preformed thriller (along with members of the marching band) AND the Napoleon Dynamite dance. to my knowldege he hasn't been charged.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Araemo, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      "If this is the case..
      why hasn't Michael Jackson sued all people who preform his music?"

      If you're referring to cover bands and the like.. There is a Fee schedule in place, paid to the RIAA and distributed to the artists. Anyone who performs someone else's song can do so without permission, assuming they A: Credit them, and B: file the proper forms(Many benjamins) with the RIAA. ;)

      I believe that the legal term is Compulsory Licensing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bumbling old fool, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      If this is the case..
      why hasn't Michael Jackson sued all people who preform his music?


      Although maybe a pedophile and/or just plain nutcase, Michael does not appear to be stupid. That is why.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nobody Special, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:16pm

    if it works....

    I don't believe this is really about the DMCA. I think we have found yet one more person taking the DMCA onto their takedown notices. And there is no penalty for sending bad letters, so it will only continue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:42pm

    Just one tinnnnnnnny point, though...

    If they're doing the dance wrong then they can't be infringing on the copyright of his choreography.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:43pm

    Whack job!

    Maybe next we can get someone to do something about that freakin Chicken Dance....who holds the copyright to that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    grady, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:43pm

    let see

    im going to find some electric slide videos and then post them all over the place, lets see if this guy will really sue me...i cant wait...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jasmine, 5 Feb 2007 @ 12:51pm

    Loser Loser Loser!

    My brother used to have a PC computer game, and when the game was over, a snively voice would tell you that you were a 'loser, loser, looo-ser!' If I had that sound file right now, I would email it to this moron. He could have had so much fun with this dance thing, maybe offering to show up for free at wedding rehearsals to show everyone how to do his stupid dance 'the right way.' That might have attracted positive media attention. Instead, he looks like a whiny loser.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Witty Nickname, 5 Feb 2007 @ 1:19pm

    Now I know this guy is full of hot air! My uncle invented the electric slide back in 1974!

    My parents always wondered why I canme back from his house and all my hair was sticking up....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    You never know, 5 Feb 2007 @ 1:23pm

    I think I am going to patent breathing. That way I can issue a cease and desist letter every time some one is being stupid about patents. Problem solved!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    chris (profile), 5 Feb 2007 @ 2:16pm

    from the article

    The idea that someone performing (usually badly) a boring line dance at their wedding and posting it to YouTube should be considered copyright violation seems to go against everything that copyright law is supposed to stand for.

    the concept of copyright is to encourage others to produce.

    the reality of copyright is money.

    this idiot thinks he can get money from people, which is really what copyright is all about... making people pay you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 5 Feb 2007 @ 9:05pm

    Yeah right!

    Good luck trying to sue everyone that's done that dance even if you just count since when he filed for this bogus copyright.

    Here is my question: What band/group did the original song?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ScytheNoire, 6 Feb 2007 @ 2:12am

    AMERICA HAS GONE INSANE!!!!!!!!

    There should be a "Darwin Law". People should be put on trial for being too stupid and a danger to society. Such as this person. They should be sent off to some far away island. And then we can put camera's all over the island and it will be a 24-hour a day reality show, with multiple channel streams, online or on air. Then they can have traps and animals and such and see how long they can survive for. It will be awesome. And every once in a while we'll get lucky and have some celebrities on there, it will be like a weekend special. Just imagine the ratings once Paris & Nicky Hilton are sent there. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, K-Fed. I'm telling you, huge ratings here, and we get rid of stupid people who are ruining society.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward's Mother, 6 Feb 2007 @ 7:14am

    Note for Anonymous Coward

    "Pedophile" is not a foot-fancier, just as a "pediatrician" is not a foot doctor. A foot doctor is a "podiatrist", so if there were a way to mash that into a philia, then I suppose it would have to be "podiaphile" or something similar.

    "Car" is spelled "Auto" in many languages ... that does not make one any less the exact same thing.

    Go nazi somewhere else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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