by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 12th 2007 3:17am
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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