Copyright, Culture, Sharing, Remix... And A Congresswoman Dancing As A College Student

from the copyright-fun dept

So... this post is going to discuss something involving freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For a variety of reasons -- some good, some bad, some truly awful -- Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC, as people call her) seems to elicit quite a strong reaction from people, both pro and con. This post is not about her, or her views, or whatever you happen to think about any of it. If you want to argue about her in the comments, feel free, just know that you'll be off-topic and will look silly. Rather, this post is about copyright -- a topic that we talk about frequently, and one on which AOC, in her new job, may at some point be asked to weigh in on as a legislator.

The latest "controversy" (if you can even call it that) began as one of the various attempts by some of her critics to dig into her past to try to prove... something(?!?), in this case by unearthing a video of her in college dancing. I remain unclear of what awful thing her critics thought this proved, but apparently it was something about how people can't possibly have been poor if they once had fun dancing. At least that was the suggestion I saw passed around, and it's about as nonsensical as copyright term extension, but alas...

There's actually a much more interesting copyright story underneath all of this, much of the history of which we've covered in detail on Techdirt in the past, but which Parker Higgins did a great job recounting on Twitter on Thursday afternoon:

Wired later turned much of Parker's thread into an article as well. The short version is that almost exactly 10 years ago, Sarah Newhouse put together a video taking scenes from various 1980s "brat pack" movies (mainly, and most prominently, Breakfast Club, but a few others as well) and put clips of the actors dancing to a (then) new song by the band Phoenix, called Lisztomania:

Notably, that is not the original video. Despite the band being super happy with that video (and everything that later came from it), somewhere along the way, Newhouse got dinged for it and other videos and had her entire YouTube account taken down over copyright infringements. Gotta love that DMCA requirement for a "repeat infringer" policy.

Soon after that video, a guy named Ian Parker, inspired by Newhouse's video, recreated it with his friends on a rooftop in Brooklyn:

That version is still online. It then inspired a ton of other people and social groups to build on that work and create their own, starting with a group in San Francisco. Except... that version is no longer online due to a claim by IFPI that the use of the song is infringing (remember, the band itself was thrilled about the attention this gave them...). But, of course, another version has popped up:

And there are lots and lots of others... including one from Boston University, which has a (just slightly) younger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez having fun with some friends and recreating a localized BU version of the same video. That one's been online since 2010, just months after this whole craze started:

It is not entirely clear why the sudden spreading of clips from this video were seen as "new" since that original video has been up for nearly a decade, and it's also not at all clear why the "new" video changed the music, though if it was an attempt to hide where it originated from, that failed. I saw the initial tweet that was promoting the video, and it was obvious from the clips that this was one of the many Lisztomania videos, and it would be obvious to anyone who watched a bunch of them back then.

Earlier in 2010, Julian Sanchez had done a fun explainer video on the Evolution of Remix Culture, which we talked about a few times over the years:

Sanchez makes a few points in that video, but the key one is that the complaints that traditional copyright folks have about remix culture totally misses the point. These videos and the sharing of our unique versions of such memes is not about "freely" using someone else's stuff, but about social interactions with our own friends and communities, and putting our own stamp on things. Sanchez doesn't make this point, but it's actually a very similar situation to the way culture used to happen: storytellers would take the ideas of others and build on them and make their own versions and spread them.

Of course, Sanchez's own video was taken down (multiple times) with various bogus copyright claims. While one might argue that the fair use claims on the original videos were less strong (I'd disagree, but there are better arguments there), the idea that Julian's video was not fair use was... crazy. He was clearly commenting on the use of this music and videos for remix purposes, and it would meet all four criteria for fair use easily. Eventually, after Sanchez complained publicly about the takedowns, the demands were removed and the video lives on.

Soon after Sanchez's presentation, Larry Lessig himself used this example of remix culture -- highlighting Sanchez's video... and a whole bunch of these videos.

However, a few years later, as we covered here at Techdirt, the label with control of the copyright, Liberation Music, issued a takedown on one of Lessig's lectures about this. This was, exceedingly bizarre. Remember: Lessig was using the video clips from Julian's video, which is an explainer about the social situation and copyright policy questions raised by all of the other videos... and Liberation claimed it was infringing. Even worse, when Lessig counternoticed, Liberation told him if he didn't remove the counternotice, it would sue him. Lessig and EFF then sued Liberation seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and (importantly) seeking fees for violating 512(f) of the DMCA -- which is the almost entirely toothless clause for pushing back against bogus DMCA takedowns. This was one case where it might actually have teeth. Realizing it was sunk, the following year Liberation ended up settling the case and paying an "undisclosed sum," while promising to adopt new fair use-respecting policies.

And that was, more or less, the end of that meme, until it suddenly came rushing back due to some people's infatuation with a particular Congresswoman. But there are a lot of really important copyright points embedded in this story -- starting with all of the lessons both Sanchez and Lessig highlighted in each of their videos (seriously, watch them both). But it's even more punctuated by the fact that so many of the videos that I discuss above were at one time or another taken down by copyright claims -- many of which seem entirely bogus -- and where the band has made it clear it was thrilled with these videos (as it should have been, as it gave that song a huge boost in attention). Indeed, Phoenix issued a statement (miraculously still available on Tumblr) stating: "We support fair use of our music" and also (apologies for the all caps screaming, but that's how they wrote it):

NOT ONLY DO WE WELCOME THE ILLUSTRATIVE USE OF OUR MUSIC FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, BUT, MORE BROADLY, WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE GETTING INSPIRED AND MAKING THEIR OWN VERSIONS OF OUR SONGS AND VIDEOS AND POSTING THE RESULT ONLINE.

ONE OF THE GREAT BEAUTIES OF THE DIGITAL ERA IS TO LIBERATE SPONTANEOUS CREATIVITY - IT MIGHT BE A CHAOTIC SPACE OF FREE ASSOCIATION SOMETIMES BUT THE CONTEMPORARY EXPERIENCE OF DIGITAL RE-MEDIATION IS ENORMOUSLY LIBERATING.

WE DON’T FEEL THE LEAST ALIENATED BY THIS; APPROPRIATION AND RECONTEXTUALIZATION IS A LONG-STANDING BEHAVIOR THAT HAS JUST BEEN MADE EASIER AND MORE VISIBLE BY THE UBIQUITY OF INTERNET.

IN A FEW WORDS:

WE ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT FAIR USE OF OUR MUSIC,

AND WE CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE A NEW COPYRIGHT POLICY THAT PROTECTS FAIR USE AS MUCH AS EVERY CREATORS’ LEGITIMATE INTERESTS.

So, we have a copyright policy that pissed off the actual artists -- and only served to stifle or silence many people who were building off of it in truly creative ways that enabled a community endeavor. As Julian noted in his talk (and Lessig specifically called out), a big part of the question here is "what level of control copyright has over our social realities" and how copyright policy that is too locked down serves to limit our ability to express and share our social realities.

In his big thread, almost as an aside, Parker made a key point in this discussion that is worth repeating (over and over and over again):

Indeed, this is the entire point that the Article 13 debate in the EU is about. The supporters of Article 13 are demanding -- literally -- that the entire internet "be licensed." But think about how the above story plays out in such a world. In short, it doesn't. And while that might mean one less way for some internet morons to self-own themselves in trying to make fun of a new Congresswoman, I'm not exactly sure that's what we should be optimizing for.

Indeed, this whole story is a lesson in the power of culture and communities to actually rise above the ridiculousness of today's copyright laws (mostly) to actually showcase their communities and personalities, and that's something we should be championing. And one hopes that when copyright policy is up for discussion in Congress, that AOC gets that, now having some firsthand experience with it.

Oh, and I should note that the nature of remix and copyright and culture has continued to expand. Following from this whole mess with AOC, someone has set up a Twitter account called AOC Dances To Every Song, and it delivers exactly what it claims to. Here are just a few examples:

There are a lot more... though it would not surprise me at all to find that account is eventually shut down for... claims of copyright infringement. Because this is the insane world we live in.

For what it's worth, AOC herself has now evolved this even further by dancing in a new video, and making fun of the "controversy."

I wonder if copyright maximalists will demand that she also "license" that clip as well?


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  • icon
    hij (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 3:06pm

    But those dance moves

    Perhaps the movie studios who produced The Breakfast Club will sue everyone based on their copyright of the dance moves.

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    identicon
    Cal Culator, 4 Jan 2019 @ 3:54pm

    "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

    Okay, challenge accepted. I see you wrap up the whole controversy on copyright in what I break into three aspects:

    not about "freely" using someone else's stuff,

    But it's THEIR stuff. Don't you agree? They made it with their notions in mind, using their own time and money, likely intending to gain money from it, and have (beyond copyright) some vague "right" to not have it mis-appropriated to entirely opposite of their views, while you put in no time or money and will likely only harm them by "sharing". (Let's skip the "mechanical rights" part of politicians using songs and artists protesting it: that's settled by the term.)

    but about social interactions with our own friends and communities

    This is the shaky bridge between "theirs" and "ours". The legal limits have already been worked out. I dont entirely agree with the "Blurred Lines" decision, BUT when you use other people's work -- and deliberately imitate them -- then you infringe on their personality, which drives them crazy.

    For instance familiar here: all I do here is type into the inviting plain HTML comments box that Techdirt provides with NO visible restrictions stated, and the regulars go berserk that I'm intruding into THEIR space.

    and putting our own stamp on things.

    Appropriating it as already mentioned, because this is all of one piece -- and if you didn't originate that piece, then you ought to respect the wishes of the creator, and only use their work as indirect inspiration. Again, Frank Sinatra was not joyed by lousy covers of his signature tunes. Nor is Marvin Gaye's estate.

    So, comes down to that pesky "yours / mine" distinction which so often vexes those who want to live large and let others do the grinding labor.

    The US Constitution directs Congress to "secure" to those creators "the exclusive Right". Perhaps you'd do better if read that and really tried to understand it, because it's bedrock law.


    I deliberately made subject line so non-contentious as possible. That in no way relates to the astonishing fact that at least some of my comments today have not (yet) been censored; there's no quid pro quo for you changing your behind-the-scenes practice, it may be just random for all I know.

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    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:11pm

      Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

      I had thought about responding to many of your points one by one, but I think there's just a single key point that is the crux of it all. You say:

      The legal limits have already been worked out.

      The legal limits are in a constant state of flux. There have been several pieces of major copyright legislation, and international copyright treaties, making major changes to the "legal limits" just in my lifetime - and many more than that in the copyright's very short (in the grand scheme of things) history. Legislative changes continued to be proposed and pushed all over the world, including Europe's current massive overhaul.

      Beyond that, one of the key elements of the "legal limits" - fair use - is not and has never been and does not even pretend to be clear or firm. It is in an even greater state of flux, potentially drastically altered by every even-slightly-significant court ruling related to it. Several other aspects of copyright are similarly still open to significant legal debate, and could be changed by a ruling - things like contributory infringement or inducement to infringement. There are also aspects of the "legal limits" that are regularly re-evaluated bureaucratically, by the Copyright Office.

      And, moreover, copyright law - which came to prominence at the behest of publishers in the age of movable type - has always been heavily shaped by technology. Every new major form of media distribution - records, movies, VHS tapes, DVRs - has resulted in years and years of legal and legislative grappling over how copyright applies and how it must be adapted. The same was true with the DMCA in response to the internet, and we are now very much in the midst of an extension of that battle for an internet that functions in ways barely envisioned in 1998.

      So no, the legal limits have not been "worked out" - they are in a constant state of being worked on. And you know perfectly well that the constitution only grants congress the power to secure exclusive rights for creators, it does not "direct" them to do so.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:16pm

      Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

      But it's THEIR stuff. Don't you agree? They made it with their notions in mind, using their own time and money, likely intending to gain money from it, and have (beyond copyright) some vague "right" to not have it mis-appropriated to entirely opposite of their views, while you put in no time or money and will likely only harm them by "sharing". (Let's skip the "mechanical rights" part of politicians using songs and artists protesting it: that's settled by the term.)

      Who is "they" in this sentence? The band? As noted in the article (you did read it, didn't you?), the band is thrilled with all of this as it helped gain their song and the band itself a lot more attention (for free, mind you). Secondly, the way art and culture works is not that it is a thing in and of itself, but what makes it art and culture is how people react to it. I heard someone say recently that there are two components to art -- how it is put into the world and how it is received in the world, and there is no art without both of those factors.

      Your view of copyright suggests all that matters is the first part. But an over oppressive copyright makes it much harder for the 2nd part to do its job, and that can do serious harm to culture. When you put something out into the world, you don't have control over lots of things -- including how other people experience that work.

      The rest of your paragraph appears to refer to what is commonly known as "moral rights," which US copyright law mostly ignores (and totally rejects regarding music). So, while some may want a moral rights regime for music, in the US it does not exist, so it is bizarre for you to suggest it does.

      This is the shaky bridge between "theirs" and "ours". The legal limits have already been worked out. I dont entirely agree with the "Blurred Lines" decision, BUT when you use other people's work -- and deliberately imitate them -- then you infringe on their personality, which drives them crazy.

      Once again, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. "Infringe on their personality"? That's not, actually, a thing. Drive them crazy? First of all, the band has already made it clear that this made them very very happy (you did read the article, didn't you?). Furthermore, there is nothing against the law in driving people crazy if that is what happened here (it's not).

      Appropriating it as already mentioned, because this is all of one piece -- and if you didn't originate that piece, then you ought to respect the wishes of the creator, and only use their work as indirect inspiration.

      Again, the band loves it. The entire premise of your argument makes no sense.

      But, more importantly, that's NOT HOW CULTURE WORKS.

      The US Constitution directs Congress to "secure" to those creators "the exclusive Right". Perhaps you'd do better if read that and really tried to understand it, because it's bedrock law.

      This has been explained to you many times, but I'll try again. The Constitution in no way "directs" Congress to do that. It gives Congress the right to do so for the promotion of the progress of science. That is all. It neither orders Congress to do so, nor compels them to do so in any way. So, no, it is not "bedrock" law. Congress would be equally enabled to take away all copyright law as well, and it would be within the "bedrock law" of the Constitution (taking away existing copyrights, probably not, but it could ban new copyrights).

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:33pm

      But it's THEIR stuff. Don't you agree?

      You are using Shiva’s rhetorical trick. It will not work here.

      They made it with their notions in mind, using their own time and money, likely intending to gain money from it, and have (beyond copyright) some vague "right" to not have it mis-appropriated to entirely opposite of their views

      Plenty of artists have had their work remixed/parodied by people who believed something other than the artist’s views for the purpose of commenting on those views/the artist. How far would you go to outlaw such “appropriation”—and potentially censor legally-protected speech—in the name of copyright?

      while you … will likely only harm them by "sharing"

      Please prove such harm exists in ways that are tangible and not merely conceptual (e.g., how it robs artists of actual income instead of “potential” income).

      when you use other people's work -- and deliberately imitate them -- then you infringe on their personality

      “Personality” is not covered by copyright.

      all I do here is type into the inviting plain HTML comments box that Techdirt provides with NO visible restrictions stated, and the regulars go berserk that I'm intruding into THEIR space.

      No, we go “berserk” because you type multi-paragraph screeds full of factual inaccuracies, blatant misinformation, outright lies, personal attacks, and baseless insults. You do this in an attempt to paint Techdirt as The Most Evilest and Powerful Evil What Ever Existed while simultaneously going on about “zombie” accounts as if the comments section here is only one or two people. (Which is it: Is Techdirt all-powerful, or is it just two guys in an oversized horse fursuit?)

      if you didn't originate that piece, then you ought to respect the wishes of the creator

      If everyone showed that level of absolute deference to artists in every conceivable situation, we would never have modern remixes of the works of Shakespeare (e.g., 10 Things I Hate About You, The Lion King, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet), a whole host of zombie-centric media that owe their existence to Night of the Living Dead, and God knows how many pieces of music that were created from remixing and sampling older songs. Your “respect” would rob us of untold amounts of culture—some of which I am sure you have experienced, unless you are a hermit with a laptop that can only access Techdirt—and I fail to see how that is a good thing.

      comes down to that pesky "yours / mine" distinction which so often vexes those who want to live large and let others do the grinding labor

      So…corporations like Disney?

      As for the “yours/mine” distinction: Culture “belongs” to everyone in the sense that we can all experience it, have our own opinions of it, and turned into a shared experience from which we grow our culture anew. (See also: memes.) “Bohemian Rhapsody” may “belong” to Queen in the sense that Queen recorded the song and all, but it “belongs” to the world in the sense that it is a cultural experience shared by millions of people.

      The US Constitution directs Congress to "secure" to those creators "the exclusive Right".

      The Copyright Clause in Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to “secure” copyright. It does not direct, nor does it outright require, Congress to even enact copyright law of any kind. (The outright literal text: “The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries[.]”)

      at least some of my comments today have not (yet) been censored

      Not everyone obsessively browses Techdirt all day like you, honey.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 5:04pm

      Re:

      Did you pay DC comics for the usage of their villain name, The Calculator?

      That wasn't your intended use? You'll have to come to court to prove it.

      But we can make this all go away for several thousand dollars.

      Fair use? What's that? The thing you don't believe in?

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    • identicon
      cpt kangarooski, 4 Jan 2019 @ 5:09pm

      Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

      But it's THEIR stuff. Don't you agree?

      No to both.

      That’s the original sin of copyright maximalists, I think. They feel that merely creating something gives or should give the creator rights in it. But that’s wrong. Every work that’s created naturally belongs to everyone in common. Maximalists mistake the enlightened self-interest of the rest of the world for a natural right, but they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

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      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 8 Jan 2019 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own s

        Creating something does give you total rights over it. The right to publish or not to publish.

        Once you publish it, it becomes a matter of copyright law, and you do not have total control over it. You are submitting the work to fair use, and any rights you retain are specifically outlined in the law and are limited.

        If you want total control, don't publish.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 6:24pm

      Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

      But it's THEIR stuff. Don't you agree?

      No, because they have taken from culture to make their work. Their reuse of earlier works may be more subtle than the remixs under discussion, but are of themselves a remix of tunes and expressions that have influenced their musical tastes.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 8:21pm

      Re:I can smell your fear from here

      I love how absolutely petrified you guys are of her.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2019 @ 6:00am

        Re: Re:I can smell your fear from here

        It is rather amazing how one person dancing can cause such an uproar. They used to burn you at the stake for dancing.

        Footloose redux will be the block buster summer release.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 7 Jan 2019 @ 10:43am

      Re: "someone else's stuff" is not your "own stamp on things"

      You speak as if all culture is created out of a vacuum. Are you paying your copyrights to the ones that invented written language? No?

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  • identicon
    Redux Ad Absurdum, 4 Jan 2019 @ 3:57pm

    Martial arts moves copyrighted?

    I'm waiting for someone to sue based on violation of "copyrighted martial-arts movements" used by someone when engaging in self-defence.

    "Ha. You may have successfully defended yourself against those two muggers, but you used MY movements to do it without seeking prior authorisation. See you in court!"

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 3:58pm

    At this point, I am shocked that the GOP has not tried to outlaw public displays of joy.

    …yet.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2019 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      I recall stories about local school admins who would send students to detention for holding hands. And then there was that story about the students getting in trouble for not smiling, so I imagine that could be a bit confusing for the adolescents.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:00pm

    "in this case by unearthing a video of her in college dancing. I remain unclear of what awful thing her critics thought this proved,"

    It is truly amazing the level of ignorance of the people in California have of US history, culture, and politics.

    In more than half the states in rural areas dancing is considered sinful making one unfit for public office.

    In at least one state it is illegal to any two of the following in the same room - dance, drink alcoholic, or eat. In some states, including this one, in over half of the counties possession of drinking alcoholic is illegal. (You can possess rubbing alcoholic.)

    If she did as most do today and post her transgressions on line it would prove to over 50% of American that she is totally unfit for office and is a national disgrace and left tart joke. Something she apparently needs little help in her doing herself.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      I presume you're ESL?

      Drinking an alcoholic would be a felony.

      Possession of a drinking alcoholic is sadly fairly common. It tends to result in domestic disturbance calls to the police.

      I do wonder which half of the American will think she's totally unfit for office. I also wonder which American this would be; even most conservative Americans have no issues with dancing these days.

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      • icon
        stderric (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re:

        I presume you're ESL?

        That assumes that the AC has a native language, which implies a living, breathing human being behind the comment. Given its tone, I'm putting my money on a weirdly clever attempt to pass the Turing test.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:15pm

      Re:

      "I dunno how you fancy folk do things out there in Callyforny, but here in flyover country we burn witches."

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:38pm

      If she did as most do today and post her transgressions on line it would prove to over 50% of American that she is totally unfit for office

      …why? All she did was dance like a goofball with her friends. That does not make her some horrible monster—it makes her human.

      You have literally done the same thing that now-defunct QAnon account on Twitter did: You are trying to make this video seem like some huge scandal that proves AOC is somehow “unfit for office”, yet you are both failing to do that and making her look like a better person than you in comparison to your attitudes toward (of all things!) dancing.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 8:27pm

      Re: A Sober Russian IS the joke.

      Hey Ivan do you get paid by the sentence or by the poorly worded insult?

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 7 Jan 2019 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      "In more than half the states in rural areas dancing is considered sinful making one unfit for public office. "

      Other than the "citation needed" part, who cares? Her voters certainly don't.

      "In at least one state it is illegal to any two of the following in the same room"

      Yes, you seriously need to rethink some legislation. No wonder your jail population is the highest in the world. You criminalize stupid things. Good thing she is there and maybe she has the chance to help fix it.

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  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:06pm

    C'mon....

    "I wonder if copyright maximalists will demand that she also "license" that clip as well?"

    It won't be online long enough to file for - if it's even still up now, as it's not that hard to lodge a few thousand DMCA claims that it's using "your" content...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 4:47pm

    I'm waiting for someone in classical music to get sued...

    Seriously, everyone is playing the exact same pieces, but of course they are always totally different, some so drastically so I wonder if the labels would consider copyright.

    I play the cello, so an example:
    Michael Bach using a Bach curved cello bow:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPnvHYMzVBI

    Yo Yo Ma using a traditional bow:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgG-0lOJjk

    Pieces sound totally different because style and equipment, but mostly style, listen to Pablo Casals version as well if you like Cello. Obvisiously Bach is Public Domain, but the piece is still written and no one knows really what the exact music was supposed to sound like, so it's like remix heaven.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 7:54pm

      Re: I'm waiting for someone in classical music to get sued...

      People have literally had their performances taken down by youtube's contentID system over this. Because the system cannot differentiate between one artist's arrangement of a well known piece and another's performance they decided to upload.

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  • icon
    Rico R. (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 8:02pm

    “Lock her up... for copyright infringement”?

    If the media didn’t have a slightly liberal bias (another topic, I know, but keep in mind that, despite my subject line, I’m about as progressive as Bernie Sanders), I wouldn’t be surprised if the copyright maximalists that are the media conglomerates would cry for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s impeachment. But then again, is copyright infringement an impeachable offense? Maybe, considering the GOP impeached (but didn’t convict) Bill Clinton on something about as trivial as any DMCA notice issued to Twitter against AOC’s account!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2019 @ 6:06am

      Re: “Lock her up... for copyright infringement”?

      iirc, Bill was "impeached" for lying to congress but that no longer seems like such a bad thing as many have lied to congress and congress does not seem care when it is their guys doing it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2019 @ 7:49am

        Re: Re: “Lock her up... for copyright infringement”?

        He lied in a legal proceeding, aka perjury. For that he was also disbarred as a lawyer.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2019 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re: “Lock her up... for copyright infringement

          Like many have since .. no biggie if it's our guy

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

          • icon
            Thad (profile), 6 Jan 2019 @ 8:42am

            Re: tl;dr

            I think context matters.

            I think Clinton should have resigned. But I also think impeachment for lying about an extramarital affair in a civil deposition in a real estate investigation was absurd.

            The Republicans, both in the House and on Starr's team, were clearly looking for absolutely any possible dirt they could find on Clinton. The only thing they found that was illegal was, again, lying about an extramarital affair in a civil deposition.

            For further context, it bears noting that the House leadership that pushed articles of impeachment included Newt Gingrich (himself indulging in an extramarital affair at the time), Bob Livingston (ditto), and Dennis Hastert (who we now now was paying off men who he had sexually abused when they were teenagers).

            There is some partisan hypocrisy among people who defended Clinton but now condemn Trump -- and vice-versa -- but it is entirely possible to simultaneously believe that (1) Clinton is a creep and should have resigned and (2) the specific articles of impeachment against him were opportunistic and politically-motivated.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 9:38pm

    Part of copyright protection is the ability to control who has the right to use it.

    Say a search engine enables fascism and someone doesn't want their work accessed through them, but would approve of another, more socially conscious engine, of being their gateway.

    Videos like this seem to fall more on the side of fair use but apparently not everyone agrees.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 5 Jan 2019 @ 5:44am

    Those who try to use copyright as a weapon only see copyright as "copywrong" (has someone already copyrighted that term?). If only they could see it as free advertising, then I'm sure they'd have a lot fewer ulcers. (Sadly for them, though, there's no cure for stupid.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2019 @ 6:46am

    I Think its well established in us law that
    showing short clips of movies or tv shows for the purpose of commentary is fair use .of Course when
    article 13 in the eu goes into law ,most websites
    will simply choose to block user uploads that feature music or film clips simply to avoid being sued by some
    idiot or large corporation .
    The whole point of fair use is you do not have to
    ask permission to use short video clips or other media for the purpose of commentary or as part of remix culture .
    Even large corporations that broadcast tv programs in america use short video clips they do not own in news programs for the purpose of commentary and discussion .
    Its unlikely anyone in the eu will be able to
    show videos like the ones shown above without
    the risk of being sued
    if article 13 is passed into law .

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2019 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      This is an interesting illustration of how indefinable the losses to culture could be due to overreaching copyright. Nobody would have considered that the video when originally posted might have a life of its own, let alone one that reached into the first day of the 2019 congress, but here we are.

      But, the questions nags at me - what more did we lose because record labels are capable of understanding human behaviour over and above the immediate profits they think they see in front of them? I suspect that culture is poorer, because other videos got killed before they had a chance to go viral, young artists put off from pursing their work or deprive from important inspirations.

      The art and politics are both relatively minor in direct relation to this video, but it's worth thinking - if Newhouse's video was taken down earlier, we may not be reading this thread. What else, perhaps of far greater input - has been robbed? Sadly, we will never know.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2019 @ 5:39am

        Yeah, Paul. A bit wistful, but I get it.

        The flip-side is to love what you get, and this case could not be better. Hats off to Parker for digging this up.

        Can you imagine a (presumably conservative) misogynist trying to ridicule the youngest ever female member of congress for dancing (?) and in doing so raise the issue of copyright's influence on culture? I mean, WFT? But, its brilliant.

        And, to top it off AOC's response is a short vid of her dancing to Edwin Star's "War" sending a very clever message (I can think of at least four obvious interpretations), and using re-mix to boot.

        Sometimes you've gotta just be grateful.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2019 @ 12:36am

          Re:

          This probably would not have happened had IP fanatics not tried to tie their scam into everything.

          Remember when Whatever insisted grocery stores would cease to exist if IP was abolished?

          Now every time copyright looks bad all these idiots can do is scream "Anomaly!" because they have to lie in the bed they took a dump in.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Jan 2019 @ 12:46am

          Re:

          Yeah, this is the best situation given the current context, but I can't help wondering what damage this has all done that we will never realise.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 7 Jan 2019 @ 10:53am

    When shove comes to push all this mess (the copyright part of it) could be avoided if there were clearer rules and proper punishment for bogus takedown requests.

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


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