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Update part 2! Please see Bclassic " Classical Comeback" booty shaking ladies still dancing to Dvorak, RIAA update. After a productive call with UMG we got all the confusion sorted out and now have an updated version of the ad on Adland. Please read the update.
Update: This morning, we heard from the agency in question, DDB Belgium, regarding their spot and the song in question. They did indeed clear the rights from Universal, and we have proof. Apparently though descendants of the conductor objected to the use of the song with hot dancers or something.
But guess what? The rights were cleared anyway so I'm guessing objection after the fact is a wee bit late. DDB believes they are in the right, but regardless are waiting for legal clarification. Because they're classy like that.
The dumbest of the dumb part in all of this, which the descendants of the composer fail to grok, is that ad was designed specifically to introduce the music to a wider audience.
To paraphrase Lou Reed and John Cale" That's the trouble with classicists.
If you know much about us here Adland, you know we’re staunch defenders of copyright. And hate piracy. We fully believe the right to retain ownership of your own work (and the right to give it away but only if you choose to do so) is tantamount to ensuring creative expression lives.
That’s why we had a great big laugh at the irony that the RIAA has issued us a takedown notice. For violating copyright. Seriously?
The ad in question is Bclassic "Classical Comeback"
Fun fact: Adland is based in Sweden. Does American copyright law apply in Sweden?
Fun fact two: The ad agency is question is based in Belgium. Again, does U.S. copyright law apply there?
But the great of ironies is that last year we reached out to members of the RIAA in the hopes of working with them to create ads discouraging piracy. And by the way, we would have done it for little to nothing.
So yeah, thanks a lot, RIAA.
Here's the email below. I've withheld names and addresses because I'm polite but it's more than they deserve I'll say that much.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am contacting you on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) and its member record companies. The RIAA is a trade association whose member companies create, manufacture and distribute approximately eighty-five (85) percent of all legitimate sound recordings sold in the United States. Under penalty of perjury, we submit that the RIAA is authorized to act on behalf of its member companies on matters involving the infringement of their sound recordings, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet.
We believe your service is offering a direct link, referenced below, to a file containing a sound recording in an interactive streaming format. We have a good faith belief that this activity is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. We assert that the information in this notification is accurate, based upon the data available to us.
We are asking for your immediate assistance in stopping this unauthorized activity. Specifically, we request that you remove the infringing file from the system, or that you disable access to the infringing file, and that you inform the site operator of the illegality of his or her conduct.
You should understand that this letter constitutes notice to you that this site operator may be liable for the infringing activity occurring on your service. In addition, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, if you ignore this notice, you and/or your company may also be liable for any resulting infringement. This letter does not constitute a waiver of any right to recover damages incurred by virtue of any such unauthorized activities, and such rights as well as claims for other relief are expressly retained.
You may contact me at (address and email withheld) to discuss this notice. We await your response.