Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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IP is not a joke

An email I just received:
My name is Luke Mroz and I am a Ron Paul supporter in NYC and a fan of your work at Mises.org. I just wanted to share a brief story with you from an event I went to last night:
Last night I attended a Comedy Central taping for a live comedian special called "Comics Anonymous" at the Union Square Theater in New York City. It was a festive event with a fun crowd of about 500 people. One of the performers was one of my favorite comedians named Robert Kelly. He told a really good joke about how he rarely used the word love because it loses its strength if you use it to much. When his wife tells him she loves him, he shrugs it off. When his father told him he loved him, for the first time in his adult life when he graduated high school, he feigned breaking down into tears and acting like an emotional wreck. While doing this, he feigned being hugged and sang the phrase "We are the world". He then went on to his next joke.
After another comedian, the taping ended. We were informed that the crowd had to stay put because Bob Kelly had to come out and re-film a joke. It was the joke I just mentioned. They said it had to be re-taped because Comedy Central didn't have the rights to the song "We Are The World". (My guess is it probably wasn't worth it to them to obtain the rights, for 1 or 2 seconds of a joke). How ridiculous is this? FOUR WORDS! We then had to hear the same joke, slightly modified, again, and pretend and cheer for it like we never heard it before. I am interested in seeing the final edited product, whenever it eventually airs.



Well, thank *god* that people are looking out for the interests of the "We Are The World" creators.
Couldn't it be used under the fair use doctrine?

Absolutely. Parody and satire are protected under fair use. Mad Magazine (among many others) uses songs, movies, poems, and copyrighted characters (e.g., Harry Potter) in its parodies. All protected under fair use.

Several guesses:

(1) The person doing their clearances has no idea what they are doing.

(2) They decided to be ultra safe for some reason.

(3) The real reason had nothing to do with any rights, but rather than fess up that someone on staff dislikes the song or dislikes something associated with the song, they blamed it on "rights." This sort of scapegoating happens more than you can imagine.

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