Friday, May 30, 2008

An Interesting Copyright Case

Prince ordered YouTube to take down clips of him performing a song by the band Radiohead. Prince claimed copyright infringement, yet he doesn't hold the copyright to the song. YouTube acquiesced nonetheless.

In a recent interview, Thom Yorke said he heard about Prince's performance from a text message and thought it was "hilarious." Yorke laughed when his bandmate, guitarist Ed O'Brien, said the blocking had prevented him from seeing Prince's version of their song.

"Really? He's blocked it?" asked Yorke, who figured it was their song to block or not. "Surely we should block it. Hang on a moment."

Yorke added: "Well, tell him to unblock it. It's our ... song."

Prince, a pioneer in Internet distribution of music, has taken down all of his web properties. Perhaps free turns out to be expensive for the artist.

Read the entire story and weigh-in on the controversy for yourself.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Seize the Teachable Moment!

Have you discussed the issues surrounding the current Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike with your students? If not, why not?

This is a great opportunity to discuss:

• new media
• intellectual property
• labor history
• human rights
• the American middle class
• unions
• contracts
• negotiation
• the nature of work
• creativity
• royalties/residuals
• economics
• point of view/perspective

and a host of other issues that will capture the imagination of your students and engage them in matters of critical importance to their future.

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