Rob H was the first of a few of you to send in the story of how a music publishing company, Bourne Music Publishers, threatened 10 year-old actress Bethany Hare, for creating a short video of her acting as Charlie Chaplin
accompanied by her singing the song Smile
, which was the theme for Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times
. Hale had created the video and posted it to the charity site JustGiving
as part of a campaign to raise money for a hospice. Modern times indeed. Of course, when Chaplin wrote the song, he was given a government-granted monopoly that he knew
would put his work in the public domain by now. Until the government and lobbyists extended copyright again and again and again.
Either way, Bourne Music Publishers apparently doesn't care much for charity. It demanded $2,000, plus another $200 every time she performed the song. That certainly would take away from the hospice that she was trying to raise money for, so now her Chaplin appreciation film is a Chaplin-style silent film instead.