What do you think of this? I think sony should at least be ok with it, its such a good cause/welfare.
Teens' 'Beat It' Parody Sparks Feud
Teens at a Pennsylvania library had hoped to inspire kids to read when they transformed the lyrics of Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Beat It" into "Read It" and posted it on the Internet.
Instead, they have a fight on their hands with Sony-ATV Records, which owns the rights to Jackson's song with his estate and refused to grant them permission to post it on the Internet.
The teens at the Lansdowne Public Library say their David vs. Goliath tale began Nov. 19 when and Sony-ATV Records blocked the video from being viewed on YouTube three days after they originally posted it.
In protest, the teens and the library staff uploaded another video on YouTube titled, "Just UN Ban-It," where students who worked on the film expressed their outrage at Sony.
"If [Michael Jackson] would have seen this 'Read It' video, he would have blessed it, and I'm just ashamed at Sony," Lansdowne Public Library Director Sandra Giannella said in the video.
Sony told ABC News overnight that the record label agreed to let the video stay on the library's website but not on YouTube.
"While it is not our common practice to do so, we made an exception for the Lansdowne students, waiving all fees, because it is a well-intentioned effort by the students to motivate kids to read," the statement said.
Abbe Klebanoff, head of public services for the library, told The Mercury, "You can't put it on YouTube? What's the point? If it's online, it's online."
But Klebanoff told the newspaper she was happy that the kids' hard work can still be viewed by friends and family on the library's website.
You can see the video here, i think, its not available in my country (asia) Teens' 'Beat It' Parody Sparks Feud | ABC News Blogs - Yahoo!
Actually, it went on for over a week. They had quite the battle to get it restored.
Copyright issue resolved, Lansdowne Library's ‘Read It’ back on YouTube (With Video)
Mariama Mansaray got the payoff she was looking for Wednesday when she finally saw on YouTube “Read It,” a video parody of Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit single “Beat It,” that she helped produce and was lead dancer in for Lansdowne Public Library.
“I was happy. I was really, really glad. We didn’t work for nothing,” said the 17-year-old Lansdowne resident.
A senior at Penn Wood High School, Mansaray was one of about 16 middle and high school students who spent nearly two months producing the video to help promote reading. She had missed its premiere at the dedication of the library’s Ronnie Hawkins Resource Room on Nov. 16. Three days later, “Read It” was blocked from YouTube because of copyright issues with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
It was restored to YouTube on Tuesday after the video’s editor, Abbe Klebanoff, head of public services for the library, lobbied Sony executives and the Michael Jackson estate for a week to allow the video’s return to the Internet because of its educational value.
Klebanoff received an email from YouTube at 2:42 p.m. Tuesday that stated: “Warner Chappell has released its copyright claim on your video, ‘Read It.’”
It was signed, “The YouTube Team.”
Warner Chappell executives who had administered the Michael Jackson music catalogue until August, referred Klebanoff to Sony/ATV Music, which now administers the copyright. Since Nov. 20, Klebanoff had been communicating with Sony officials and was initially told by a Sony licensing representative in Nashville, Tenn., that the library could not utilize the work in any way.
“A request was made to change the lyrics. That request was denied,” said Sony spokesman Jimmy Asci on Monday.
But Monday evening, after requesting more information about “Read It,” a Sony licensing representative told Klebanoff the video could be used on the library’s website, lansdownepubliclibrary.com, but not on YouTube, Facebook or any other site.
“A request was made to post the parody video ‘Read It’ on the Internet. While it is not our common practice to do so, we made an exception for the Lansdowne student, waiving all fees, because it is a well-intentioned effort by students to motivate kids to read. Their video can now be viewed by anyone with Internet access,” Asci said in a statement released Wednesday.
Asci said that statement refers to usage of “Read It” on the library’s website, not YouTube. He explained that YouTube polices itself for potential copyright infringement and has the power to block or unblock videos. Representatives for Google, owner of YouTube, did not respond to requests for clarification of its policies for monitoring potential copyright infringement, blocking and unblocking videos, by press time Wednesday.
However, the staff at Lansdowne Public Library is optimistic.
“It’s on YouTube and we believe it will stay on YouTube,” said Lansdowne Public Library Director Sandra Samuel Giannella.
Klebanoff sees the restoration of “Read It” to YouTube as a victory for Lansdowne Public Library and for the teens who produced the 3-minute, 9-second video.
“The kids have said, if you don’t see it on YouTube, it doesn’t exist for them,” said Giannella.
The YouTube posting will enable a broader audience to view “Read It,” including those who access web feeds from the Delaware County Library System and the Pennsylvania Library Association.
“I am appreciating that the kids are going to be able to see it. It is showing enthusiasm for reading by kids, for other kids,” said Klebanoff.
By 9 p.m. Wednesday, “Read It” had nearly 500 views. “Just UN Ban-It,” the 1-minute, 33-second video the teens and library staffers produced in an effort to get “Read It” restored to YouTube had 473 hits.
“I think it is a great message to stand up for what you believe,” said Klebanoff.
Penn Wood High School junior Taylor Shaw, who performed in and helped choreograph the parody that shows teens emerging from the library’s night drop box and battling with books, bookmarks and iPads, was frustrated when she learned last week that “Read It” had been blocked from YouTube because of copyright issues.
“We changed the words. It was nowhere relevant to the scenes from the (‘Beat It’) video. The only thing similar was the melody and we even remixed the song,” said the 17-year-old Yeadon resident.
“Big Daddy Snakeoiler" mixed and recorded the music for the video.
Penn Wood High School sophomore Armani Brown, who danced and sang in “Read It,” and has been a regular at Lansdowne Public Library’s after-school programs for about three years, was gratified by the video’s return to YouTube.
“Whenever I watch it, I just feel good, I feel good about myself. Me and my friends put hard work into it. The video looks good. I feel proud,” said the 15-year-old Darby resident.
Mansaray said when she learned “Read It” has been blocked on YouTube, “I felt disappointed and betrayed because the video, it was good. It wasn’t a bad thing. We worked so hard and were so dedicated to it. We were just trying to get the message around that reading on books or iPads, in the end, both are good things.”
Now that “Read It” is back on YouTube, said Shaw, it is going to enable “everybody to see it.”
“Just type in ‘Michael Jackson parody’ and it’ll come up,” said the teenager. “It’s going to get around.”
Sony, Jackson estate out of sync with singer’s spirit
There are at least seven entries in the Guinness Book of World Records for pop icon Michael Jackson, who died of a sedative overdose June 25, 2009, two months shy of his 51st birthday.
Among them are “Most Successful Concert Series” for selling out seven nights at Wembley Stadium in London in summer 1988 and “Biggest Selling Album of All Time” for “Thriller,” which sold 50 million copies worldwide, 25 million of them in the USA.
Jackson also counted among his world records “Largest Contract” for his $890 million deal with Sony Music with prospective earnings of $1 billion.
Sony is still in the picture for the estate of Jackson that is overseen by Hollywood attorney John Branca. In 1985 he helped Jackson purchase ATV Music Publishing, keeper of copyrights for such musical artists as The Beatles and Little Richards, and later assisted in the merger of ATV with Sony. Today Sony/ATV Music Publishing administers the copyright for Jackson’s music.
So on Nov. 19, when an apparent Sony spy scrutinizing YouTube spotted a parody of the video for Jackson’s 1983 hit “Beat It,” Sony officials blocked it. Titled “Read It,” it happened to be the work of teens who frequent Lansdowne Public Library after school and who wanted to promote reading. They spent almost two months rewriting lyrics and choreographing scenes for the three-minute take-off of the Jackson video. On Nov. 16, at the dedication of a library resource room to honor the late youth program advocate Ronnie Hawkins, the teens proudly debuted their video. Their exuberance was short-lived. Three days later Sony lowered the boom.
The editor of “Read It,” Abbe Klebanoff, head of public services for Lansdowne Public Library, immediately went to bat for her young charges, first pleading their case via e-mail and telephone with a Sony licensing representative who told her in no uncertain terms that the parody could not air on the Internet. In fact, she told Klebanoff that “Read It” didn’t even qualify as a parody despite its similarity in spirit to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1984 Jackson parody called “Eat It.”
Undaunted, Klebanoff made a call to Branca’s law office in Los Angeles and was instructed to plead her case via e-mail with no guarantee of a quick response. Klebanoff even traveled to Sony’s Madison Avenue headquarters in New York City where, she said, she was “roundly kicked to the curb.” However, Monday evening, after an inquiry from the press, a Sony licensing rep gave the library permission to post “Read It” on its web site at lansdownepubliclibrary.com until June 30, 2013. Sony still is banning it from YouTube, Facebook or any other Internet site.
For Lansdowne Public Library Director Sandra Samuel Giannella, it’s a hollow victory. Preventing Lansdowne library from exposing “Read It” beyond the immediate community means the video will not be accessible to the broader audience the librarian hoped to reach via web feeds to the Delaware County Library System and the Pennsylvania Library Association. Giannella, who as a youngster saw Michael Jackson in concert around 1972, believes the singer would applaud the altruistic intention of the pro-reading video.
We agree. An avid reader himself, Jackson once noted, “I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books.”
On July 15, 1976, when Jackson and his brothers visited the home of Toni and Leslie Nash in Radnor while on a break from recording in Philadelphia, daughter Suzi Nash discovered the 17-year-old Michael alone in the living room, investigating the family’s antique books. She later presented him with a 1902 copy of “As a Man Thinketh” which Jackson told her was his favorite book.
While we understand Sony/ATV executives’ zeal in protecting the intellectual property of the Jackson estate, it seems Lansdowne Public Library is arbitrarily being penalized when most likely other parodies without such a noble cause are flying under the radar.
In fact, by giving its blessing to efforts like “Read It,” the estate of Michael Jackson could feasibly qualify the King of Pop for one more listing in Guinness – “Celebrity to Most Promote a Worthwhile Cause, Even in Death.”
What I find strange is this is a school, so how the person in charge did not know they needed permission to use a copyright song? Everyone knows songs are taken off utube all the time. Further, schools have so much red tape about what you can and cannot do on their property & websites without prior permission, that I am surprised that no one thought similar red tape would apply to something like this. I am sure that if they sent an outline of their project and what their aim was to the officials before taking this step, they would have been given permission.
They also need to track this to see if it works to motivate children to read, then they could judge the value of it. In other words, are kids looking at this only to dance/curiosity or to get the message?