Don Henley Hates YouTube; Complains That The Gov't Needs To Do Something

from the ah,-entitlement dept

We hadn't covered the Chuck DeVore/Don Henley legal battle, because it was just yet another in a long line of "musician suing politician for using song" lawsuit that we've seen so much of lately. DeVore tried to convince the world that his use of Henley tunes (with different words) to make fun of his political opponent, Barbara Boxer, were covered as parody. But, the court pointed out that it wasn't parodying Henley's works, so it was infringing. Either way, the two have now reached a settlement, which gave Henley an opportunity to start acting like an angry old man upset at the kids on his lawn when an interview about the legal victory turned to Henley's views on YouTube and mashups and such:
Henley blasted all unauthorized uses of his music, whether by politicians or just amateurs making remixes, mash-ups, and similar unlicensed uses on sites like YouTube. "I don't condone it," he said of such practices. "I'm vehemently opposed to it. Not because I don't like parodies or satires of my work. But it's simply a violation of U.S. copyright law."
Hmm. Copyright is supposed to be the means, not the end. You shouldn't be upset at something just because it's copyright infringement. Often, that copyright infringement can be tremendously valuable to the original creator. Saying that you're upset just because it's infringement makes little sense. It's an emotional response, rather than a rational response. Besides, copyright law's stated purpose is to "promote progress," and if something is infringing, but in the process promotes progress, is Henley still against it because it "violates US copyright law?" That's silly.
He added, "People in my age group generally don't like it. Songs are difficult to write; some of them take years to write. To have them used as toys or playthings is frustrating." Henley noted that he does not license his songs for commercials and only rarely does so for uses in films and television.
Here's the thing (and it's an important thing that so many content creators have trouble grasping): Once your work is out there, how people react to it is their decision. I'm not talking about copyright infringement here. I'm talking about just the basic consumption part. Many, many people hear Henley's songs and think of them as "playthings," because they're pop hits. That's their right. Whether or not people think of Henley's music as being a "plaything" is not for Henley to decide -- nor does it harm Henley. Some people really love his music, and others don't. But it doesn't harm or devalue Henley's work that some people find his tunes bubblegum. Yet, he gets upset when people who actually do like his music, and want to do new and creative things with it (and even introduce new audiences to it), and actually go through with it? That makes no sense. Why would you get upset with people inspired to do more with your music, while not being upset at all the people who really view the music as a toy or a plaything?
And Henley reserved particular ire for YouTube, which he described as a "fence" for stolen intellectual property. "YouTube is one of the biggest violators or copyright laws in the world," he said. "A tremendous amount of the content on YouTube is a copyright violation.... I'm not a fan of YouTube at all for their part in aiding and abetting copyright violations." YouTube, which hosted the videos at issue in the DeVore case, took them down in response to DMCA notices, but DeVore filed counter-notices, and YouTube would have re-posted them but for the filing of the lawsuit.
What can you say? The guy is very confused about copyright law. Does he get mad at the companies that make mp3 players too for supposedly "aiding and abetting copyright violations"? How about everyone who makes computers? Or broadband companies? Or, the record labels themselves who released the music in a way that could be copied? At some age, people are supposed to learn to actually put the blame on people who do stuff, not the tools they use.
And Henley lamented what he views as the lack of response in Washington to rampant infringement on the Internet: "The politicians are not supporting creators on these issues, and it's extremely disappointing." He blamed what he views as the lack of action on the political power of Internet companies. "The people who create and run these sites like YouTube have a lot of clout," he said.
Yeah, I did a doubletake. Are we talking about the same Washington here? The one that is practically overrun by recording industry and Hollywood lobbyists, but where the constant lament is that Silicon Valley has very little presence? The same Washington that has only expanded copyright law in one direction -- in favor of the record labels? The same Washington that keeps updating copyright law at the behest of the recording industry? Because what Henley sees is not reality. The Washington he sees does not exist.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Thomas (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 11:58am

    ... and the horse he rode in on.

    Boy, talk about entitlement. Henley should be happy anyone is paying any kind of attention to his music, let alone his inane blathering.

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

    • identicon
      MrWilson, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:15pm

      Re: ... and the horse he rode in on.

      This is one of the saddest parts of the whole b.s. position that the music industry takes in regards to copyright law.

      Instead of the artists, who historically have been screwed over by record companies since pretty much the beginning of the industry, fighting against the abusive business practices of the music industry, the industry turns artists against their biggest fans by saying that it's the fans who are keeping them from getting their fair share of payment instead of the one-sided record contracts.

      So artists get pissed at fans for loving their work (hello, artist formally known as having an internet presence...) and the music industry just gains more voices for their strategy of shouting down anyone who points out that their claims of losses are based on made up numbers and obsolete business models.

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

      • identicon
        Easy Rider, 20 Feb 2011 @ 7:10pm

        Re: ... and the horse he rode in on.

        Nothin' personal, since I know a little about horses...
        but didn't that horse ride out to pasture appx. 4 mins.
        in a post prior to yours???

        Shouldn't copywrights for musician's lyrics be deemed
        with the same respect as licensures of designed buildings and works of art? Frank Lloyd Wright or Picasso did not become history because people copied their works; they
        were 'pr'ofoundly respected because of their uniqueness
        and sensuality of design. I think the matter was 'respect'.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2010 @ 1:10am

      Re: ... and the horse he rode in on.

      did you hear about the lady who killed someone with a hammer? Now the hammer is on trial for murder.

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

  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:11pm

    As Dennis Leary said...

    I've got two words for Don Henley: Joe Fucking Walsh.

    And as The Dude said: I hate the fucking Eagles, man....

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:16pm

    http://blogs.alternet.org/oleoleolson/2010/08/05/massive-censorship-of-digg-uncovered/

    He should join the DIGGPatriot brigade LoL

    And Henley lamented what he views as the lack of response in Washington to rampant infringement on the Internet: "The politicians are not supporting creators on these issues, and it's extremely disappointing." He blamed what he views as the lack of action on the political power of Internet companies. "The people who create and run these sites like YouTube have a lot of clout," he said.


    About that, well I do believe the politicians are in the clear on this one, they did everything they could and are trying hard to do more, the thing is that there is no stopping or even slowing down "piracy", he can cry all he wants and get blue it won't make a difference.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Reality

    Because what Henley sees is not reality.

    Since when did reality matter to IP supporters?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:38pm

    The guy is from Texas now I understand.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:39pm

    > Because what Henley sees is not reality. The Washington he sees does not exist.

    People notice the most what is different from what they want.

    They notice the part of Washington that is influenced by the technology people.

    We notice the part of Washington that is influenced by the anti-technology people.

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

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      "People notice the most what is different from what they want."

      That must be why it seems like I hear The Eagles music everywhere I go....

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

      • icon
        Sneeje (profile), 7 Aug 2010 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Re:

        Thank god there are other sane human beings that feel this way. I could listen to just about anything from the Meatmen to Cecilia Bartoli, but Eagles? Blech.

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

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:23pm

      Reality Distortion Fields

      I dunno. The record labels and movie studios have simply been around longer. They are also owned by large multi-national corporations now. Those have "been around". The idea that Silicon Valley wields more influence is silly on it's face.

      Then you add in the DMCA and the many extensions to copyright terms and it all seems downright absurd.

      If Congress were really on Silicon Valley's side there would be a lot of Henley's works that would just be plain public domain by now.

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

      • icon
        Jay (profile), 7 Aug 2010 @ 2:13pm

        Re: Reality Distortion Fields

        What's truly ironic is if you look at the history of Hollywood, they wanted to avoid the very same legislation that they are currently getting passed in Congress.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Dear Don,
    Just you wait and see all the awful things we do to your songs once the copyrights expire!

    Love,
    Your Fans

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:18pm

    I'm with him on this one; the government should do something to remove any trace of that complete crap he released during his solo career.

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

  • identicon
    Dave Burns, 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:20pm

    and he said all that while drumming poorly.

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

  • icon
    interval (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Henley's Paradise

    I think Henley envisions a world where the Gov. functions as proxy enforcer, bashing down the doors of teenagers who are accused of file sharing and defaults judgments against infringers for hundreds of thousands of dollars... oh, wait, we already have that world...

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

  • identicon
    bob, 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Other Than

    His irrelevance in this issue, Don Henley does not matter.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Does he also think the use of music in these instances are bad?

    - Rock and Roll blasted inside a police station to mask the screaming of some dude receiving the VIP treatment.

    - American tanks bulldozing houses in a war zone while blasting loud music.

    - The use of music to mask people screaming inside a prison.

    - Music being used to punish some dude inside a prison a.k.a. sleep deprivation.

    Have any musician ever sued authorities for using their music in that way? did ASCAP tried to charge them?

    I just crossed my mind the image of an ASCAP agent entering an police station and interrupting some cops beating the shit of some guy to hand them a bill.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Don

    He's a really nice guy, but he's a moron. I have met him on several occassions because I have family in the tiny little town that he's from (Linden, TX) and grew up less than half an hour from where he was born (Gilmer, TX). He's just a bit curmudgeonly.

    The fact is he's in his 60s. He'll die soon enough and we won't have to watch him shake his cane if those darn kids don't get off his lawn.

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

    • identicon
      Any Mouse, 6 Aug 2010 @ 9:24pm

      Re: Don

      No, it will just pass on to whomever inherits his IP portfolio, and often they're worse because they didn't have anything to do with the music in the first place.

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

  • icon
    Tom Landry (profile), 6 Aug 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Time to listen to Loons up on that New Hampshire pond, Don. Either that or jump on the bus to the dog track. Your done.

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

  • identicon
    Brigid, 6 Aug 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Mr. Henley

    I agree with Don Henley--no one should ever publicly broadcast anything remotely like his music anywhere. My friend and I developed a theory in college (about 20 years ago) that Don Henley was the root of all evil in the world, based on our entirely scientific experience of having something really horrible happen every time we were accidentally exposed to an Eagles song--especially that unmentionable one that starts with an "H". So, I'm perfectly happy to have any traces of his crappy music eradicated from anywhere. I'm not surprised he's a moron when it comes to copyright. Oh, BTW, Your Evilness Mr. Henley--parodies and satire are protected under copyright law.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous of course, 6 Aug 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Isn't it true...

    Don said "...Not because I don't like parodies or satires of my work. But it's simply a violation of U.S. copyright law."

    Isn't it true that parody and satire are two examples of derivative work not protected by copyright?

    So is he ignorant of the law, which would be odd when it is important to his craft, or a liar?

    Then again I may be mistaken.

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

  • identicon
    Dave, 6 Aug 2010 @ 3:46pm

    control freak

    Don is well-known as a total control freak, so this is no surprise at all. Hopefully, people will recognize that he's completely full of it.

    btw, awesome post about Don essentially being the Anti-Christ. I wouldn't go that far. I'd say he's just Beelzebub, maybe no worse that that.

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

  • identicon
    thornintheside, 6 Aug 2010 @ 9:33pm

    Stupid people shouldn't be allowed opinions

    Maybe its time to get dipshits like Don Henley to get an IQ test and licensed to have an opinion. I'd burn my Don Henley albums but all he put out was shit. Boys of Summer? Go back and put out another crappy Eagles album. too bad hell froze over.

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

  • identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, 6 Aug 2010 @ 11:36pm

    And Henley lamented what he views as the lack of response in Washington to rampant infringement on the Internet: "The politicians are not supporting creators on these issues, and it's extremely disappointing."

    well im disappointed that
    the public domain which was 14 years or later is now 150 years practically so mister henley
    QUIT STEALING FROM THE PUBLIC and im erasing my eagles music
    yup you wont even be able to give it to me freely now you asshole

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2010 @ 2:36pm

    I think it's normal that someone can ask that a politician/corporation *not* be allowed to use/pervert their art. Private mash-ups/remixes should be off limits but I'm glad the politician lost.

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

  • icon
    EdB (profile), 7 Aug 2010 @ 7:23pm

    wait a minute...

    "The politicians are not supporting creators on these issues, and it's extremely disappointing." ... "The people who create and run these sites like YouTube have a lot of clout"
    So which is it? Either the creators are not supported or the creators have a lot of clout. doh dee dum dum doh dee do do.

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

  • icon
    Dave (profile), 8 Aug 2010 @ 11:28am

    Just sayin'

    Didn't Mojo Nixon write a song about guys like this?

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

  • identicon
    Woadan, 9 Aug 2010 @ 7:27am

    Don henley is probably just lamenting the days when people bought and listened to his music, and waited impatiently for something new to come from him, solo, or with the Eagles.

    Unfortunately, those days are gone.

    It isn't surprising that he doesn't remember things right. Once upon a time, if the rumors were true, it was debatable as to whether he had blood running in his cocaine, or cocaine running in his blood.

    Neither Don Henley nor Glenn Frey can be said to have good memories, at least if you go by Don Felder's account of things in "Heaven and Hell". he was one third of what remained of the partnership of the Eagels. (Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner had also been part of that until their departures.)

    Don and Glenn (and their business manager) seemed to want to forget that, and they all paid good money to Don Felder when they settled out of court.

    Meh. The Eagles, Don Henley, Glenn Frey--they're all so yesterday.

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

  • icon
    soda (profile), 9 Aug 2010 @ 10:13pm

    Don't be a hater

    I think it's more constructive to counter Don Henley's opinions with logic than to disparage him or his music. Nasty comments about how much you hate him or his music take away your credibility and make you look rather childish. Do you want to be taken seriously or do you want to be viewed with contempt, even by people who agree with your stance about YouTube?

    To "Anonymous of Course":
    "Don said '...Not because I don't like parodies or satires of my work. But it's simply a violation of U.S. copyright law.'
    Isn't it true that parody and satire are two examples of derivative work not protected by copyright?"


    Only parody is an exception to copyright law; that's why Henley won his case against Chuck DeVore, the politician he sued. DeVore's defense was that his videos were parody and therefore "Fair Use," but the court classified the videos as satire and therefore subject to copyright law. Since I'm sure Henley's lawyers briefed him on the distinction between the two which was so crucial to his case, I speculate that his inclusion of "parodies" in that statement was intended to show he could take criticism, not that he considered parody a violation of copyright law (that part of the statement was referring to satires, mash-ups, and remixes, presumably).

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.