Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hell's Bells

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  • Rik,

    Ever noticed that The Feelers "Venus" is a complete rip-off of Men at Work's "Overkill"?

    Maybe MaW should do a little sueing of their own...

    Since Jun 2007 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    The Down Under case is especially galling because the Larrikins did not create the copied work, they bought the rights to it. Had Doug and Dinsdale Larrikin sat down and composed their ode to the Kookaburra, one might have some sympathy. But no, they bought the rights, that is all.

    I do not see why copyright should be transferable. The rights should belong to the creator and to the creator's heirs, for a reasonable time. They should not be a commodity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But no, they bought the rights, that is all.

    And they did so somewhat unusual circumstances, via the posthumous Public Trust tender.

    It's a shame that the news media didn't notice and oblige them to promise not to abuse the rights they had acquired.

    But mostly, it's the risible claim to be an "underdog" that riles me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Well Sofie - at least I'm not channeling Stella!
    (tho' maybe...)

    As I understand it, Paul L, copyright is a property right and is so transferable. I can sell my property rights to whomsoever I choose. Or, bequeath them.

    I am really astonished here, however, that a property right that was bequeathed to a section of the Australian Girl Guides' Association wound up being sold-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah -- and here's the number: Larrikin paid $A6100 for the rights to the song -- from the Public Trust, which presumably had little idea of what it was selling..

    The company has since collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from from people who had assumed it was a folk standard, and is now looking for tens of millions of dollars as a result of the judge's sympathy.

    None of this, needless to say, will go to any creator.

    And they complain about music piracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, we know who the real pirates arrrr. Sure you're not trying to turn this into another copywrong thread? :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I don't see what difference it makes whether Larrakin created the work or acquired the rights to it by other means. Copyright is a commodity that can be bought and sold. I don't see why that is a bad thing.

    BTW I'm not justifying the Larrakin decision to sue - I could attempt to, but I'm not really prepared to fight a 100 page copyright flamewar. I'm just saying that the fact they weren't the creators doesn't trouble me.

    Of course, given my day job, I may have a certain bias...

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Well Sofie - at least I'm not channeling Stella!
    (tho' maybe...)

    Nah, Stella had news today that her boyfriend is dying and she is having alone time in her basket.Another friend with cancer,so she wont have her barking partner for long. :(
    Seeing as it's Friday....On a brighter note,
    Does anyone know a great Tattooist in Dunedin? The only one my friend has found has a year long waiting list and seems slightly arrogant albeit with that much popularity, seems to have proven himself. I have promised to ask PA and she awaits your answers.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Gosh, gee thanks Scott. I'll pass that along. You are so helpful. Got any more? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I do not see why copyright should be transferable. The rights should belong to the creator and to the creator's heirs, for a reasonable time. They should not be a commodity.

    And with one sweep, for better or worse, you've just wiped out entertainment industry as such....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Which, ScottY, I'll be attending.
    There aint any great ta-moko people south- and I've been interested for years in the possibility: We now have the carvers, but our ta-moko people have always been - different-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    And with one sweep, for better or worse, you've just wiped out entertainment industry as such....

    And I am the one who believes in copyright; funny old world, isn't it? It is just that copyright exists to reward and protect creators. The Larrikins did not create the work and they did not suffer any loss by its use. They didn't so much as hear it; somebody else told them. They have no grievance. They are worse than tax farmers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    BTW I'm not justifying the Larrakin decision to sue - I could attempt to, but I'm not really prepared to fight a 100 page copyright flamewar. I'm just saying that the fact they weren't the creators doesn't trouble me.

    I'm revolted by it, yet in general I'm untroubled by the idea that copyrights are tradeable rights.

    It's the way the rights were picked up for a fraction of their value from the estate of their elderly author -- which might have been fine, had the US-based corporation that got them not then set about extracting hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who had used the song in good faith. And all the while portrayed itself as the "underdog".

    Larrikin's latest court win exploits a cultural reference in a song that's all about cultural references. No one can do that any more, unless they can pay.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    It is just that copyright exists to reward and protect creators.

    And mostly copyright, even when transferred to a 3rd party as a commodity continues to do just that in the form of royalties.

    So while I find myself loosely agreeing with you that this runs counter to the broad intent of copyright, at least outside the US, the dividing line is at best a wobbly one.

    In the US the stripping of copyright away from the creator, without benefit, is a cornerstone of the entertainment industry going back forever, or at least back to the mid 19th century.

    Ironically, under founder Warren Fahey, Larrikin and his Folkways shop played a crucial role in preserving Australia's pre-rock musical heritage. He's a legendary figure in the Australian scene, still performs the role of an archivist, and seems pretty uncomfortable about this. His statement, on his site, is:

    Now that the court has ruled in favour of Larrikin Music I need to point out that although I founded Larrikin Music in 1975 I sold it to Music Sales in 1988 - before they bought the rights to the children's ditty. Seems to me that the only one's getting rich off this bunfight are lawyers. My main concern is that people really believed this to be a traditional work and its use and popularity will fade. I hope this doesn't mean our kids will be forced to sing more of those Disney and Lloyd Webber songs!

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    exploits a cultural reference in a song that's all about cultural references. No one can do that any more, unless they can pay.

    Who owns shared culture? It's obscenes of privatisation like this one that offend me, but we need good IP to make creative enterprise profitable. The current mickey mouse system just does not work.

    I'm off to rewind the Sevens. Wonder who 'owns' what makes that event valuable?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Who owns shared culture?

    Culture, by definition, is shared; some of it also is owned.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Does anyone know a great Tattooist in Dunedin? The only one my friend has found has a year long waiting list and seems slightly arrogant albeit with that much popularity, seems to have proven himself.

    Not familiar with tattooists in Dunedin, sorry, but I can think of a couple of options.

    First, if your friend has a potentially flexible schedule, she can ask to go onto his cancellation list. Most tattooists have a book of people they can ring up if a space suddenly comes free. You don't usually get much warning, but it can be a good way to squeeze a session in. Worth asking about, anyway. One of the things about booking people up a year in advance is, things can happen; you'd be surprised how many cancellations there are.

    Alternatively, has your friend considered travelling? Tattoos are pretty expensive as is; the additional cost to travel up to Christchurch might be worth it if it'll get you results faster. I believe Emma has a good recommendation for a tattooist in Chch; in Wellington, I can recommend Tattoo Hades or Manu Tattoo out in Petone as excellent generalists, or Tim at Pacific Tattoo out in Paekakariki; in Auckland, Sacred Tattoo have a very good international reputation (but book up quickly).

    Hope your friend gets some good ink!

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    mickey mouse system

    Kaching! Surely that is nowadays "Mickey Mouse© system" all users of Disney© characters must pay while they have their specially extended copyright period...

    Popeye is public domain now though...

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Hope your friend gets some good ink!

    Thanks Jack, I will pass it on but am pretty sure she has spoken with this guy and is hoping her sister will cancel in March.He has agreed to reassess when her idea is more concrete than just "I want a tattoo", not knowing what it will be. I offered to shout her one on her last BDO visit as she was holding my hand for the one I booked, but we couldn't decide on what "it" would be, and, I knew how spoilt for choice we are in Auckland. To really rub it in , I have been sending progress shots of my sleeve I have begun and now she is bummed out that she didn't take up my offer in January. The importance really is on knowing what you want. The last couple of weeks I have met people who have had lasers and cover ups but it reaffirms, mistakes can be fixed, and I am happy to say, my arm will look fantastic. Young guys love putting girls names up their arms,only to have to change them later.
    Because I photograph all my exotic plants in flower, I have a nice choice of what will make up my sleeve. Trouble is it is addictive when there is minimal feeling on my left side. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    @Laneways. Yeah, I kind of blew a little piston when, having waited 30mins to get in to the beer crush, I was told I had to leave the queue and go line up for coupons (Ok, I don't read signs, or manuals), and then was told I need to buy $30 minimum. The two people I was with weren't drinking, and while I'm a generous person usually, having paid for the tickets, my generosity ran out. After I climbed over my indignation, and found a coupon buddy, we then lost an hour of our lives waiting for two beers.

    They were saved by the bands, but this should really have been better.

    On the 'sampling' front, this was too obvious to be ignored.

    Took me 30minutes of digging in the recesses of my Alfies 1986 brain, but I got there in the end. The source song...

    They credit Bronski Beat as an influence on their website, but do they have to pay royalties to use the riff live? Who knows...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I wanna see Octobriana liberate Cinderalla.

    [Edit: Zoe Bell as Octobriana & Joslyn James as Cinderalla - unknown golfer as the Prince ]

    http://wikibin.org/articles/list-of-public-domain-characters.html

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Kaching! Surely that is nowadays "Mickey Mouse© system" all users of Disney© characters must pay while they have their specially extended copyright period...

    A little while ago, the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University had a list of works that would have entered the public domain at the start of 2010 had copyright protection not been extended in 1976 and again in 1988. Among them: Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the movie From Here to Eternity, the first Marilyn Monroe Playboy cover, Disney's Peter Pan movie, CS Lewis' The Silver Chair ....

    http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/pre1976

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    On the 'sampling' front

    I'm hearing echoes of this too - maybe it's just the guitar tuning:

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    do they have to pay royalties to use the riff live?

    Only if it's flute :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

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