Danish "Gangnam Style" mayors threatened with copyright lawsuit by Universal

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24 Responses to “Danish "Gangnam Style" mayors threatened with copyright lawsuit by Universal”

  1. toyg says:

    This is FANTASTIC NEWS, people! Legislators don’t care about laws victimising kids and nerds, but when they are themselves targeted? Why, these laws are clearly ridiculous and must be repealed, pronto!

    It’s just a shame these are lowly mayors and not members of parliament, but it’s better than nothing.

    • Rindan says:

      Politicians being little sociopaths that need to personally feel pain to understand the pain of others is a pretty common theme.  Just look at the Republicans in the US.  Of the Republican politicians who are openly for gay marriage, how many of them have a gay son or daughter?  I bet it is more than half.  They can’t conceive of the pain they are inflicting upon others with their government manded bigotry until it is personally inflicted upon them or someone very close to them.

      I have a nasty feeling that the democratic selection process selects for borderline sociopaths.  Think of democracy as a game.  If the game was throwing rocks, our politicians would be folks who are jacked.  If the game was running marathons, our politicians would be long legged runners.  The game is none of those.   The game we use to select our political class sure as shit isn’t a test of governance.  The game is campaigning, and I don’t think that the winners of that game make terribly fit governors.  I think the campaign game selects for sociopaths who are not terribly bright in terms of governance and have little empathy.  The only real savings grace to the democracy game is that losers are easily tossed.  You can’t keep them from getting power, but if they are grossly incompetent once they wield it, you can toss them easily enough.

      Personally, I wish we could come up with some better way of selecting leaders.  I know that someone like me would NEVER be able to be president.  I have far too much empathy to exist in the current system, and it isn’t like I am a terribly empathetic person.  If you gave me Obama’s job tomorrow, at an absolute bare minimum, I would have rescheduled pot and pardoned all non-violent drug offenders before my first day.  You have to be a bit fucked in the head to be able to justify being personally responsible for the utter destruction of hundreds of thousands of American lives for doing something that you yourself have personally done.  Yet, we have elected three such sociopaths in a row, and I wouldn’t be shocked to learn Ronny Reagan and Jimmy Carter make it four or five psychos in a row.

    • helloworld49 says:

      Having grown up in Denmark in one of these towns I can assure you that these Mayors don’t make the law. They administer it with varying degrees of luck but at least aim for general integrity – which also means they’re not about to be bought off by the music industry as suggested in another comment.
      Courts in Denmark give more leeway to parody than US courts, so I’m quite certain the mayors will try to fight Universal’s claim. To me, it smells as if Universal in the US sent an edict to their Danish employees to sue without considering local law – perhaps to prove a point in the US? (Wild guess, here).

      Now, if the Mayors could be jailed for making extreme fools of themselves, that’d be another thing…  

      • toyg says:

        I know mayors don’t write the law, but they usually belong to political parties and often are career politicians; at the very least, they go to party conferences and meetings and provide valued feedback on policies. They also move real money, something that political parties value dearly.

  2. aliktren says:

    Seriously what is wrong with people in the Music Business?, No I mean really? WTF is with them, are they a breed apart or something ?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It’s not people in the Music Business; it’s people in the Music Distribution and Control Business.

      • toyg says:

        “Music Protection business” sounds more… apt. 

        “It’d be a tragedy if something should happen to that electoral campaign of yours, Mayor. Denmark is a terrible neighbourhood. You clearly need somebody to protect you from your own… music taste.”

  3. miahjohnson says:

    What if somebody should.. destroy their political careers? They should pay Universal for some “insurance” to prevent their possible upcoming political demise.

  4. SpeedRacer says:

    Since the IP owners have been so busy teaching us that IP is really property, eminent domain must apply. Universal should consider their IP seized.

  5. thompson says:

    Great lesson in the utter stupidity of current copyright laws.

    Mistake not being a defense against infringement, combined with the rights holder not needing to show actual damages, pretty much guarantees bullshit like this.  As long as there’s no need for any kind of connection between the right violated, the harm done, and the damages owed — as is there is with, you know, just about every other cause of action in existence — this kind of story won’t go away.

    It’s as if your neighbor is automatically entitled to ten thousand dollars for trespass because you stepped on the corner of his front lawn for a moment to retrieve your morning newspaper.  There’s no sense to it, and there’s certainly no justice to it.

  6. Gilbert Wham says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake…

  7. incipientmadness says:

    You’d think that they’d like people doing something that created more of a buzz about their product. Why don’t they see parodies like this as guerrilla marketing that they didn’t have to pay for? 

  8. Alan Olsen says:

    Once you pay Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane…

  9. Boundegar says:

    The bad part is you just know $42,000 is just a skosh less than the cost of defending the suit. It’s the Prenda Law tactic, and it’s not even sneaky.

    The good part is knowing that the full amount will be going to the poor, oppressed artist whose work was so viciously stolen. Thank God somebody is looking out for the artists.

    • apenzott says:

       Bonus points if this can end up in front of Judge Otis D. Wright who dealt Prenda their extinction level(ing) event.  This one judge who isn’t for sale.

      • scav says:

        You know, that’s pretty unlikely. Since the guys being threatened are in Denmark.

        I’m going to guess Danish copyright law is less insane than US copyright law (because almost anything is).  It’ll be interesting to see whether the mayors get legal advice to pay up, negotiate a lower payment subject to conditions, or just tell Universal to fuck off.

  10. hi-endian says:

    What about just basic DMCA safe harbor rules? Or do those not apply since the people being sued aren’t American?

  11. timquinn says:

    This is not some teenager downloading for his own use. These are ignorant bozo campaign managers looking around and seeing a “meme” to climb aboard. Amateur, unscrupulous, narcissistic bozo gets caught stepping all over someone else’s rights. Not a grid snap situation.

  12. JhmL says:

    Psy, last years meme. I guess this is the only way Universal think they will see more money out of him. Reprehensible in any case.

  13. SamSam says:

    Parody is generally protected by fair use.

    To answer your question, yes, I think there are times when musical property should be protected. If I am an unknown musician and I record a song that few people hear, and a big-name singer steals it and pretends it’s his, I think that’s clearly wrong. In this case, he’s specifically deceiving the public about the origins of the song, and is taking money for it that might otherwise have gone to me.

    In what way are the Danish mayors taking money for this song that would otherwise have gone to Psy? In what way is Psy or his distributers harmed by this parody?

    • Mark Anderson says:

      Thank you for your sane response. I do think this case is closer to the line than most. Since it was before an election, the mayors used the video as a political ad and people who create political ads should get paid. In that case it’s not simply a parody, they are using the song to make money for themselves.

  14. Mostafa Alattar says:

    I’d say that the new version with generic latin music dubbed over what was originally Gangnam Style may be even better.

  15. TechCrazy says:

    Well that isn’t too bad. When I was walking down the street and humming a song, some universal employee heard me and charged me 4 million, saying it was “Public Exhibition”.

    I think governments need to reign in music companies.

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