Autotune The News Becomes A Billboard Hit

from the who-gets-publishing-rights? dept

Hopefully by now, you've come across the "Autotune the News" phenomenon, where various news clips are turned into sometimes brilliant music numbers thanks to the magic of autotune and some very creative individuals. However, it seems that they're now taking it to the next level. Their incredibly popular "Bed Intruder" song taking the statements of Antoine Dodson on a newscast about his sister getting raped, hasn't just gone "viral," but it's actually hit the Billboard Hot 100 and is selling really well on iTunes:
Apparently some of the proceeds from the song are going to the Dodson family, as well as the makers of Autotune the News -- which perhaps answers some of the questions I had about who gets the songwriting "credit" and copyrights in such situations. I wonder if anyone used in a clip (or a news organization) would ever sue for infringement.

In the meantime, however, it looks like the "Gregory Brothers," the team behind Autotune the News, have figured out plenty of ways to turn their success into something more. They're already working on a pilot for Comedy Central, among other projects...

From a cultural perspective, though, this whole story again shows how culture is changing in very interesting and powerful ways. When we talk about things like "remixing" and "mashups," we tend to hear from a chorus of folks who brush off such things as mere copying and not worthy of being considered art in itself. But there's a lot more to it than that. What makes culture culture is the shared experiences around that work. This song is not only musically interesting, but also calls attention to a horrible incident that happened as well. And, again, some will brush it off as being meaningless, but the power with which it has interested so many people is not something that should be ignored.

Filed Under: autotune, autotune the news, culture, remix


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  1. identicon
    Joe, 20 Aug 2010 @ 9:17am

    i'm reminded of a great conversation I had with a rather brilliant if otherwise screwed up friend years ago. I was discussing astronomy and how a star in it's death cycles goes to extremes, inflating many many times it's size before shrinking down to a tiny percentage of it's former state to live out it's days as a brown dwarf. My friend compared that to music and the end of originality. Case in point, in the 90's we saw people looking for original ideas in music go to the extremes in ultra ambient and speed-core/grind-core music. Now much of the originality is found not in new ideas but in recombinations of other ideas to form new ones. In truth, I think it's been a while since i saw something in music that struck me as truly original so perhaps there's something to that idea.

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