Time, Music and Space (or How To Audition a Drummer) – Part 1

The subject of time is fascinating and central to the act of creating, performing and experiencing music.  Time, to me, is the most important element that separates music from many of the visual arts.  For example, we can experience a painting as quickly as we wish.  We can see the entire painting in a second or less.  If we spend 10 seconds, 30 seconds or 2 minutes looking at the painting, we can comprehend even more about the subject, scope or meaning of the painting.  (I’ll go no further with the discussion of the “painting” now because those last three nouns of the last sentence – subject, scope and meaning – mean too much and delving into them could lead this post off the tracks).

But, visual art can be perceived quickly.  The initial one second we spend looking at a painting can reveal much.

On the other hand, the initial one second of a music recording usually reveals very little.  Listening to the opening of my 40 minute orchestral composition will leave one knowing nothing about the music, its style(s), textures, drama, delight, anger, abstractness, associations, tone colors, etc.  And LOUDNESS.  That too is an artistic element that is often not important in visual art.


All of this brings me to a small part of experiencing time.  One of the aspects of time that we rarely consider is the space between sounds.  In most popular music, we are hearing chords, melody and rhythm at virtually in almost every second of a recording.

What fascinates me and what I often investigate are the spaces where we are NOT hearing melodies and/or chords.  Where these sounds have stopped and silence has been inserted.  (Of course there is no such thing as “silence,” but let’s dissect the presence or lack of presence with respect to almost-silence, the intended lack of musical attacks.)

For example, there are great places in a few recordings where the sound and pulse come to an end.  Usually this is only a second or a few seconds but the lack of drums / lack of drummer / lack of percussion can be suspenseful – why is there this unusual space in this musical context?  In most popular music, this space – this quiet, empty space – is infrequent and often undesirable to many.

To me, this quiet, space is usually just the opposite – something intriguing and exciting for my consciousness.  I long to hear what will come after the  but really enjoy the sudden silence of the space.  I get to play a guessing game as to what will come next – a repeat of something earlier, something different, much different, or is this sudden sadness, i.e. the unexpected and unwanted end of the music?

I value a drummer who can maintain a solid tempo – the tempo is consistent and solidly underpass the rest of the instruments and music.

To cut to the chase and refer back to the title of this post – this is one way in which I want to audition a drummer – play the music that leads up to this break (in sound, hear the almost silence of the break in sound, and then hear if the drummer (and others) can reenter

1.  at the precise time point and

2.  at the precise tempo

Did the drummer “rush” the silence and come in too soon?  Too late?

Did the drummer stay in the same tempo as the tempo that had preceded the silence?

Was the tempo after the break the same?  Slightly faster?  Slightly slower?

The examples below demonstrate these sudden silences followed by a reentry of musicians, with the drummer being perhaps the most important of the musicians:

The Beach Boys  –  The Little Girl I Once Knew   at 0.31 – 0.36 and again at 1.08 – 1.13.

Weather Report  –  Port Of Entry  The music at 2.23 – 2.28 foreshadows what will happen at 4.30 – 4.39 with the fabulous end at 4.57.

Dire Straits  –  Why Worry  (1.04 – 1.08;   2.44 – 2.48;  4.23 – 4.27)  Note that the reentry of musicians at the end of these breaks is on an upbeat and not the more normal and expected downbeat.

The Beatles  –  Martha My Dear  (no drum set until 1.00 – can the drummer come in in the right tempo when s/he joins at 1.00)  (There seems to no longer be a link to “Martha My Dear.”)

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 2

It’s time to get to the 2nd Pinterest post finished.  This post was nearly complete the day I delivered my presentation but I let things get in the way and fell for every distraction I could.

I began this Pinterest presentation (at SAE Nashville, Friday, July 18, 2014) by outlining my social media activity.  As of this morning, my social media numbers:

My website http://www.emichaelmusic.com   (112 blog posts)

Facebook (2,926 friends)  https://www.facebook.com/emh2625 

Twitter (2,339 followers, 22,100+ tweets)  https://twitter.com/emh2625

Pinterest (2,253 pins on my 28 boards) http://pinterest.com/emh2625/

LinkedIn (2,555 contacts)  http://www.linkedin.com/in/emichaelharrington 

Google+  google.com/+EMichaelHarrington

YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/user/emh2625 

Re.vu   http://re.vu/emichaelharrington.  

WordPress     http://www.emichaelmusic.com  

Tumblr   http://www.tumblr.com/blog/emichaelharrington 

Vimeo   http://vimeo.com/11749071 

Foursquare  (6,551+ check-ins, 63 badges)  https://foursquare.com/emh2625

So.cl    http://www.so.cl/#/profile/Michael-Harrington

(I’ve also been only moderately active on Reddit, Digg and StumbledUpon and not enough to mention.)

I showed the above social media so as to preach to young minds (an audience of mostly students) that they MUST be active in social media in order to learn about events, creations, creators, ideas and expressions of ideas, the dissemination of the expression of ideas, the proximity of a tornado when inclement weather is present and much more.  Social media, especially Twitter, is my newspaper / updater / life leader.

(My new social media playgrounds are Ello and Super.  On Super, I will be “emh” and not my usual, “emh2625.”)

Some Advantages to Using Pinterest

1.  It is always online and available unless you are a Comcast customer.  In that case, Internet access is always a concern.

2.  Memory for the number of pins and boards seems to be limitless.  I don’t expect to see a negative number, such as -8, come up as they do when a tweet exceeds 140 characters.  Pinterest still does not tell you you’ve exceeded length, space, time or width (except for text characters under a pin).

3.  Graphic/Pictorial Nature is extremely appealing.  For those of us who live in the invisible world, i.e. “music,” it is so important to incorporate visual and become far more visual.  One of my preaching points pertaining to helping unknown musicians become known is that for musicians to be heard, they need to be seen.  An intelligent and widespread online presence is essential for developing many careers.

4.  There is room for text underneath every photo (pin) and the quality of the text will improve the quality of the pin.

5.  Many Links can be added to each pin – the restrictions only come with respect to the 500-character limit of the text of each pin.  Occasionally Pinterest will block the link to a video within the pin to work.   One can, however, copy and paste the link.  I’ve found it a good practice to add such a warning before or after a link I have inserted into a pin.  (It is unfortunate that Pinterest simply sees a link and thinks “this could take you to porn!”)

6.  Pinterest is an open-source sharing community.  Pins can be re-pinned to other boards.  Therefore, one pin with text and links, can be easily re-purposed for another board, i.e., course material can be transferred to other courses.

7.  It is very easy to become friends with those of similar interest.  I need to make the time to look at whats others do and connect with those who share similar passions.

8.  It is very easy to develop your brand this way.  (Twitter has an advantage on Pinterest re recognition for one’s expertise in a subject because more people seem to tweet more often than pin and Pinterest is still not considered a place to display’s one’s intellectual heft.)

9.  A course can be modified as quickly as one can pin, type and re-pin.  My Intellectual Property class will have some overlap with other classes of mine – Publishing, Licensing, Survey of the Music & Entertainment Industry, Advertising, Music & Social Media, etc.

10.  A pin can be many things at once – for my purposes, a pin can be appropriate in many different boards simultaneously.   For example, pins from one lecture or class can work very well in another.  Advertising to IP, Comedy to IP, IP to Comedy, etc.

11.  My Pinterest boards, collectively, serve as a sort of easy-to-view resume although a more traditional untraditional resume already occupies cyberspace at Re.vu.  My resume – where I’ve spoken including geography & photo – occupies some of my Pinterest boards.

12.  Like the majority of Pinterest users, my personal/non-professional interests – bicycling, where I’ve lived, comedy, food/recipes, etc. – can be shared as well.

13.  All classes, subjects, special lectures, links to video, music, readings, etc. all belong on Pinterest.  I am surprised that at least 3 years after I first knew Pinterest (20111), Pinterest is not used more creatively and educationally.

14.  Pinterest has helped musicians and those not inclined to think visually.   If, to quote the Faber College (Animal House) motto, “Knowledge is Good,” then Good Looks Are Good Too.

15.  A fun opportunity/challenge is which side will win – will photographs, the visually stunning, always be more attractive than un-stunning text?  Is the posted photograph much more important the text that surrounds the photograph?  For me one of the fun challenges is to make the surrounding text as or more important than the photograph.  As a composer who composed a lot of music using traditional centuries old black and white notation, I find some musical scores to be nearly as great as the invisible music and sounds the black and white notation symbols describe or prescribe.  Pinterest though can change the paradigm.

More Pinterest in a future post….

Adding Resources to EMichaelMusic.com – My Digital Hoarding On Display

Adding Resources to EMichaelMusic.com – My Digital Hoarding On Display

I am a collector, compiler and curator and have always been even from the time when I didn’t know the meaning of words such as “collector,” “compiler” and “curator.”  Growing up in Massachusetts and New England, I heard this type of behavior referred to as “hoarding” or being a “pack rat.”

As a college professor, the act (art?) of collecting/curating can be quite positive and in digital times, even essential.  In the recent past, I would compile lists of my favorite recordings, films, books, CD stores, stores, restaurants and bars (as well as a few places to avoid – in the pre-Twitter era, I found list of places to avoid very helpful) and provide them to my students usually in a long list found at the end of a syllabus.

That has led to where I am in 2014.  This list of needs to be much more of websites that I love/like and use.  And even better if the access to information is free, as in “does not cost” – one only needs Internet access, hopefully not the degraded 3rd world kind of Internet access provided by the Evil Comcast.  [I should have known Comcast was the worst company ever when I first saw this Comcast commercial a few years ago.]


I have finally created the first version of this bibliography/collection of thousands of my favorite and/or essential resources, entitled it

Music, Entertainment, Technology & Legal Resources

and placed it as a link in between “Calendar” and “Blog” on the first page of my website.  My definitions/stretches of meanings and category-creating allow me to squeeze “Business” and “Communication,” significant and stand-alone-worthy fields, into “Technology,” and perform other lexicographic contortions to my heart’s desire.  To paraphrase – “all the sites that fit.”

That there are nineteen (19) categories surprised me – my broad and sometimes narrow definitions resulted in these 19.  There are sites that reside in two or more categories because of some natural overlaps.  (This time around I have eliminated restaurants, bars, movies and record albums – the present nineteen categories are large and unwieldy enough!)

A few words on the first four (4) of nineteen (19) categories:

Broadcast  –  By “Broadcast,” I mean a site where one can hear and/or see audio & video, or sites involved in audio & video in some manner.  Portals for audio & video lie ahead.  Bloomberg – Brink to Tiny Desk Concerts – NPR Music to Hypster and more.

Concerts & Festivals  –  important festivals ranging from straight ahead music with broad appeal, to music with select appeal (intentional reference to This Is Spinal Tap with that “select” adjective) to academic/deep thinker to simple & perceptible conferences.  The Governor’s Ball Music Festival to Pop Montreal to Electric Daisy Carnival and more.

Education & Non Profit  –  Non profits, educators & educational sites I love/like and use.  Artists House Music to Electronic Frontier Foundation Deeplinks to Volunteer Lawyers For The Arts.  There is one exception, however – Better Call Saul – a site that also clearly belongs in Legal and which some might not consider “educational.”

Lawsuits  –  In “Lawsuits,” I vacillate between linking to a lawsuit as found in one of my Pinterest boards (containing three more links pertaining to CCNV v. Reid), to a government link (WNET v. Aereo) to a Google Scholar link (Campbell et al v. Acuff-Rose Music).  (I will greatly expand “Lawsuits” in the near future.)

I will elaborate on the other fifteen (15) categories –


Lifestyle Brands

Live Music & Culture


Music Labels

Music Marketing Platforms

Music Recording Stores


Performing Rights Organizations



Social Media


Trade Associations


–  in future posts.  As always, I welcome your input.

Twitter In The Classes I Am Creating

The Almost-100, Arnold Schoenberg, and the not-so-sad omission of business, communications and the arts

One of my pursuits these days (August 2014) is creating, designing, reconfiguring, ratcheting up a few new courses in intellectual property, a survey of the music & entertainment industry, social media & marketing in music/video/IP, and business and legal issues helping and hindering music get created, disseminated and experienced.

All of these classes will deal significantly with technology, business, law and music (how could they not?).  I could add words like “communication” and “arts” too but I often use words like “technology” to subsume “business” and “communication,” and “entertainment” to subsume “art” and “arts.”  (With my classical music pedigree, I should NEVER associate “art” or “arts” with “entertainment.”  One of my heroes, Arnold Schoenberg, in his past writings set me straight on that (but I veered off the ranch twenty + years ago):

“If it is art it is not for all and if it is for all it is not art”

or something similar but identical in sentiment.)  (One of my favorite Schoenberg compositions is “Summer Morning By A Lake,” the third of his “Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16” from 1909.


In my Twitter account, I have created eleven (11) lists that cover all of my interests.  Since 2008 I have required students to read what certain Twitter users post.  I provide a list of these Twitterers in each syllabus.  What I want to do now is create a shortened master list of Twitterers from which I can extract subsets that would work in any one, two, three or more of seven or eight classes.

The “rules” and “preconditions that must be met” in order to fall into this list of less-than-100-favorite Twitter authors include:

1.  It intrigues me.

2.  I find it compelling (out of Spinal Tap context, “compelling” can have positive associations).

3.  I’m inspired to act and think (refined people “think ” and then “act”).

4.  I might disagree with what is expressed but it is original and/or important.

5.  It came to mind first when I thought to compile a list of less-than-100.  (Spontaneity, impulse and fast matter when it comes to action, wonderment and ponder-ment.)

(However:  A few of these Twitterers are not at all inspiring (and perhaps pompous and verbose) but most people of a field seem to read these and it is OK sometimes to have some things in common with most people – these form a sort of vernacular canon.)

Here are The Almost-100:


































































































And with extra-special secret code placed to the right, The Almost-100 looks like this:

twitter.com/adage Tech
twitter.com/Adweek Tech
twitter.com/alisternburg IP
twitter.com/allsongs MusEnt
twitter.com/AppStore Tech
twitter.com/arslaw IP
twitter.com/arstechnica Tech
twitter.com/bbosker Tech
twitter.com/beatallica MusEnt
twitter.com/berkmancenter A 3
twitter.com/BigChampagne Tech
twitter.com/BIInsights Tech
twitter.com/billboard MusEnt
twitter.com/Billboardbiz MusEnt
twitter.com/Billboardglenn MusEnt
twitter.com/BoingBoing Tech
twitter.com/BradPaisley MusEnt
twitter.com/BrightTALK A 3
twitter.com/CenCom Tech
twitter.com/CopyrightLaw IP
twitter.com/davekusek MusEnt
twitter.com/deborahfgoldman IP
twitter.com/Digg A MT
twitter.com/Digitalmusicnws MusEnt
twitter.com/disco_project A 3
twitter.com/EdFelten Tech
twitter.com/eff IP
twitter.com/emh2625 A 3
twitter.com/Entlawupdate MusEnt
twitter.com/FCC Tech
twitter.com/future_of_music MusEnt
twitter.com/Gizmodo Tech
twitter.com/Gleonhard Tech
twitter.com/Grooveshark MusEnt
twitter.com/GuyKawasaki Tech
twitter.com/Harvard_Law IP
twitter.com/HarvardBiz Tech
twitter.com/HowardKnopf IP
twitter.com/Hypebot A MT
twitter.com/IndustryEars MusEnt
twitter.com/InternetLaw IP
twitter.com/IPHandbook IP
twitter.com/IPLawAlerts IP
twitter.com/ipwatch IP
twitter.com/Jasonkincaid Tech
twitter.com/kisbell IP
twitter.com/KristNovoselic MusEnt
twitter.com/Larrymagid Tech
twitter.com/Lefsetz MusEnt
twitter.com/lessig A 3
twitter.com/ManagementTip Tech
twitter.com/mashable Tech
twitter.com/mgeist IP
twitter.com/mollywood Tech
twitter.com/MosesAvalon MusEnt
twitter.com/MrChuckD MusEnt
twitter.com/MusicRow MusEnt
twitter.com/NME MusEnt
twitter.com/nprmusic MusEnt
twitter.com/Nytimesarts MusEnt
twitter.com/Nytimesbits Tech
twitter.com/nytimestech Tech
twitter.com/Pitchforkmedia MusEnt
twitter.com/Pogue Tech
twitter.com/redbull MusEnt
twitter.com/ResourceMusic MusEnt
twitter.com/ReverbNation MusEnt
twitter.com/RollingStone MusEnt
twitter.com/rosannecash MusEnt
twitter.com/SAI Tech
twitter.com/shadesofsolveig Tech
twitter.com/sivers A MT
twitter.com/Slashdot Tech
twitter.com/SonyLegacyRecs MusEnt
twitter.com/spotify MusEnt
twitter.com/sree A MT
twitter.com/StitcherRadio A 3
twitter.com/Taylorswift13 MusEnt
twitter.com/Taylortrask A MT
twitter.com/tbquirk A MT
twitter.com/TechCrunch Tech
twitter.com/Tedtalks A 3
twitter.com/Terrymcbride MusEnt
twitter.com/ThatEricAlper MusEnt
twitter.com/theonion MusEnt
twitter.com/THR MusEnt
twitter.com/THREsq A 3
twitter.com/Timwestergren MusEnt
twitter.com/tmbg MusEnt
twitter.com/torrentfreak A 3
twitter.com/variety MusEnt
twitter.com/verge A MT
twitter.com/waltmossberg Tech
twitter.com/wired Tech
twitter.com/WSJD Tech
twitter.com/ZDNet Tech
twitter.com/zittrain A 3

Perhaps the above should be annotated so as to make for more clarity.  In fact, I began but never finished or published an annotated post about great Twitterers to follow more than a year ago.  I think I will save those thoughts for class and spend that writing-annotating time better.

I can imagine negative reactions to a few of The Almost-100 above:

Just why should anyone read Taylor Swift?

Doesn’t Bob Lefsetz assault us enough every day?

Why read a young lawyer who has not even passed the bar?

Read Torrentfreak?  Are you pushing crime or somethin’?


Wishing everyone everywhere a happy Sunday.  Annuit Coeptis.

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

How I Fell In Love With Pinterest (and Why You Should Too)

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

(I am giving a talk about my use of Pinterest today – 2 PM Friday, July 18, 2014 at SAE Institute Nashville, 7 Music Circle N.)

In early January 2012, while teaching my Music & Social Media II class, I stumbled upon a new social media company/site/service called, “Pinterest.”  Because, like Kip Dynamite, I love technology (and social media) and always jump into all things iPad, iPhone, iPod, and SM (social media).

I decided, as usual, that the best thing to do would be to discover and delve into this new social media company quickly, recklessly and this time in front of my students.  I would visit the site, register at the site, explore, react, learn Pinterest’s features, organization, layout, capabilities, limits, make decisions and more in front of my students.  We would be learning it at the same time – bring on the unexpected and unplanned – raise the entropy!  A truly I’m gonna wave my entropy freak flag high, high (to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix) series of moments.

It is worth noting that the class consisted of 17 students – 15 males and 2 females – because what we encountered on Pinterest that afternoon were items heavily geared towards women.  It was as if we had left the classroom and been transported to the most upscale women’s fashion retail store on 5th Avenue.  The 15 males and I did not belong in this cyber uber upscale Pinterest Parlor.

We learned that Pinterest consists of “boards” – electronic rectangles that were filled with “pins” of photographs “pinned” by users.  Below each pinned photo is space for text and in order to post a pin, one must add text.

I was shocked that for the first time I was confronted by a technology that screamed, “FEMALE.”   I saw Boards named, “Things For My Wedding,”  “It’s Wedding Season,” “Shoes,” “My Style,” “Things I’ve Crocheted,” “Yummy Delicious,” “For The Home,” “Hair/Beauty,” “Heavenly Heels,” “Bikini Season Inspiration,” “My Future Hunk Husband” and more.  I always thought of technology as gender-neutral until the Dawn of My Age of Pinterest.

Yikes, I thought.  Failing some unexpected trauma, falling in love with Pinterest will likely not happen anytime soon.

And for my class of 15 males and 2 females, the immediate challenge was to see if the 15 guys could transition from…

being appalled and horrified at shoes and weddings


a neutral acceptance of Pinterest


creating a board or two


becoming passionate pinners.


I think our efforts were successful – the women in the class were already there (way beyond acceptance as they were already at Level Giddy) and the guys went from mild acceptance to “Let’s Find Pictures of BACON!

As for me….

I went at it with different thoughts in mind.

I knew that I didn’t want to see anymore handbags, lovely women’s legs (like at the top of this post), shoes with or without legs, chocolate, recipes, dream dates or furniture for the baby’s room.  So I was left with these thoughts –

I do not normally approach creativity by envisioning a visual image or photograph but now I would be forced to do that.  My instinct and bias was to find a photo that served my thoughts which is mostly the opposite of how Pinterest seemed to have been designed and/or evolved – I wanted to have ideas to express which would be followed by a photograph which would be followed by text.

Here is how I did Pinterest for the first time.  For me, visual would come SECOND and AFTER the idea):

1.  Learn to create a “Pinterest Board.”

2.  Name the Pinterest board.  The first board I created was, not surprisingly, “Music.”

3.  Select the overall category of the Pinterest board from a menu of thirty-two (32) options that begins with  “Animals,” “Architecture,” “Art” and includes “DIY,” “Education,” “Film, Music & Books,” and concludes with “Weddings,” Women’s Fashion” and “Other.”  (I’ve forgotten about this “Category” section – perhaps I’ll revisit how I have categorized my boards soon.  I am certain that I won’t use “Celebrities,” Cars & Motorcycles,” “Men’s Fashion” or “Tattoos” categories anytime soon.)

4.  Learn how to “pin” onto a Pinterest board.

5.  Determine/choose what I am thinking and want to express.  Can it be expressed in words?  Will I be able to find a photo that  –

relates perfectly


not at all

is at odds with or parodies and/or satirizes

with/to my thoughts to express?

6.  Find a photo.

7.  “Pin” the photo to the board.

8.  Write text under the pin, i.e., the photo that was just pinned.

9.  Repeat steps 5 through 8 to add to the board.  When the NEXT BIG IDEA comes along, create and name a new Board and repeat steps 3 and 5 through 8.

10.  Another option is the reverse of the above – find a photo, categorize the board destination of the photo, pin that photo and add text.  Surprisingly, Pinterest has had a strong influence on me in this way.  I see therefore I am inspired.  Many times the visual will trigger my next thoughts.


As I recall, the class and I left our modest, maiden little Pinterest adventure after a few minutes and covered the course material scheduled for that day.  We decided that we should do Pinterest over the weekend and then see where this new technology had lead us by the following week, as well as throughout the semester.

My first idea was to start with stuff I love that had had important meaning in my life.  What were the most influential and inspirational ideas?  MUSIC and several styles of music.  My first board would therefore unsurprisingly be called –


and my first pins would include the most important and most important musical influences in my life:

J. S. Bach

Igor Stravinsky

Edgard Varese

Weather Report

a thick E Major 13 chord (although many other thick chords on “E” or other pitches would have worked too, I like big chords and I cannot lie…)

Iannis Xenakis

The Doors

The Band

The Flying Burrito Brothers

Thomas Mapfumo

and than many more (as of this minute, there are 131 pins on my Music board).  (Pinterest boards are built from the bottom up.  As of July 2014, that seems to still be the case.  One can rearrange boards but one cannot rearrange the pins within a board – they maintain their order of origin.)

In my next post, I will delve further into Pinterest and Pinterest as a brand for the user, Pinterest as a cloud and pinning as Cloud Branding.


(Music of Kip Dynamite and Jimi Hendrix.)


New Compulsory License & The USPTO Green Paper Roundtable at Vanderbilt Law School – May 21, 2014



A friend suggested I write a short account of the events at the Copyright Green Paper Roundtable Workshop sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force held at the Vanderbilt University Law School on May 21, 2014.  It was my privilege to serve on the three (3) roundtables that day:

Statutory Damages

The First Sale Doctrine in the Digital Environment

The Legal Framework for the Creation of Remixes

Each of the panels was followed by contribution from observers at the event and online.

Many of the panelists seemed to agree that the statutory damages for copyright infringement are too high.  The $150,000 per willful infringement screams of excess.  When penalties for copyright infringement are higher and more severe than what seem to be more serious crimes – domestic violence, abandoning a family, abuse and cruelty to animals to name a few – the public loses support and respect for copyright law.

Many of us agree that a small claims copyright court could be an improvement over the present expensive and time-protracted federal court situation.  If copyright infringement actions didn’t take so long, they wouldn’t cost so much and those who wish relief from the court would be more likely to pursue actions if the cost and time period was not as extensive.  (I’ve been in several cases that took more than 6 years – I am in Year 9 of one now.)

One songwriter expressed a strong desire to sue individuals who have downloaded his songs.  That, rather than the plight of those who are accused of infringing the copyright of an individual song by means of a new composition, was of more concern to one person on one panel.


 Compulsory License to

Sample Master Recordings

An idea I brought up seemed to get a lot of attention.  It’s an idea I developed back in 2001 and first spoke about in 2002 at the first-ever Pop Conference at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.  I thought that a Compulsory License to Sample Master Recordings was a very good idea.  And because back in those quaint antiquated early days of the 21st century it was becoming obvious that the public was technologically empowered to become more than simple, passive consumers of music and could with great ease, modify any music, video or work of authorship that was floating around the Internet.  And it seemed that nearly all music and video from everywhere and anytime was becoming available.

A Compulsory License to Sample Master Recordings is a long overdue and obvious idea.  A fair, respectful and business-happy aspect of this license would be that a recording MUST be at least ten (10) years old.  That way, the original recording has had ample time to be sold in its original form, followed by the inevitable decline/stop sales of the original recording.  A new version will draw attention to the original version, the public benefits from having more art (or more recordings if we do not want to be complimentary) and options, and money will be generated from the rebirth of a 10 year old recording.

Why is this particular compulsory license a good idea?

1.  People are going to re-author/mess with existing music anyway.  Sometimes for fun, sometimes for ridicule (parody), sometimes to make fun of something else (satire), sometimes to escape boredom, something to do while the flight is on its final approach to landing, sometimes to do something that will keep them off the streets and out of gangs, etc.

2.  It is impossible in a free society to stop people from expressing themselves by re-expressing ideas as well as specific expression that surrounds us.  Computers, one of the most ubiquitous and simple-to-use instruments of expression, come in all sizes and shapes, but regardless their speed and size are designed to copy.  Computers make copying expression – whether it is one’s own or someone else’s expression – perfectly simple.

3.  Sampling is an old and venerable practice that dates back centuries and is common in many cultures, styles and genres of music from many locations globally.  Of course I am using the term “sampling” to include non-electronic/non-silicon based means to use preexisting expression that one did not author but wishes to re-alter and include in new expression. If Palestrina, Josquin, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz and others had had electricity, I believe they would have used it and associated technologies much as they used the best technologies of their times to compose.  If they could have sampled, they would have sampled.  Instead they simply copied, stole, ripped off, borrowed, quoted, paraphrased, paid respect and reverence to and venerated other composers who were their antecedents as well as contemporaries.  And always without consultation of preeminent forensic musicologists and attorneys.

4.  If this kind of creative or unauthorized behavior in the 21st century cannot be stopped, it could be monetized and legalized.  The creators of the new work could be required/mandated to pay for each version of the new work that is sold, just as the enormous BIG U. S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT law mandates that when a songwriter has had her song recorded, anyone is free to record that same song provided the songwriter is paid.  If FAMOUS SONGWRITER’s EGO is so large that s/he only wants her/his version to exist, then s/he better have been born outside the United States in a country that shows more respect for the songwriter and will not anyone else record her/his song, if s/he so desires.  The United States of America would rather offend the songwriter and modify one of the exclusive rights given than deprive the American public of numerous (dozens/hundreds/thousands) versions of her song.  (Actually, there is an already hard-to-believe-and-rarely-used provision in the Copyright Law of the United States that is meant to assure that any re-recording of  an author’s work is to be done nicely and not change the “fundamental character” of the original work.)

Taking away a right from creators, like I am proposing above, is nothing new.  Our Big Federal Government takes away our rights as authors/creators.  It even does so in the Copyright Law of The United States.   Section 106 gives 6 exclusive rights but then Sections 107 and others modify some of those rights so as to benefit society.


I’ve heard complaints from smart, well-intentioned songwriters and lawyers who bemoan the fact that this recorded music needs to be PROTECTED.  That the artist did not intend for this kind of expression.  But….

We do not have control of ideas and expression once they are released.  Editorial writers get slammed, authors get lampooned, musicians, actors, politicians, sports stars and celebrities get parodied, slammed and lampooned, etc.  This is what happens and fortunately in a free society, this can’t be stopped.  Far more often, however, writers get praised, elevated and worshipped as they are hailed as gifted, fearless, passionate, a singular voice for their generation,  etc.

A very good thing for these artists who are being parodied, slammed, belitted, etc. is that they already have the right to have their best version of their song/film published to the world (or where they want) with the support and backing of the very large United States federal government.  The artist has already released her/his best version and that version will live on no mater what subsequent versions are released.  Original artists are even free to re-record their song so as to acquire another copyright and/or re-imagine their new version.  Igor Stravinsky did this to take advantage of publishing and financial benefits that would stem from such actions.  And so too did The Beatles, The Beach Boys and all of those who re-release new versions of songs/compositions/works of authorship, greatest hits compilations and more.

I will delve into the specifics of my proposal for a Compulsory License to Sample Master Recording in another post but for now the appeal of hiking at Radnor Lake in Nashville, Tennessee (3 or 4 miles from my home) beckons.  Loudly.

Happy Sunday, June 1, 2014


Is There More Copyright Infringement In Pinterest Or Led Zeppelin II? My DMCA Takedown


A Kinder, Gentler DMCA or…

What’s more criminal – Pinterest or Led Zeppelin II?  

Someday I will write a love letter to and about Pinterest.  But for now, I’ll write about an unusual thing that happened to me Monday.

As of this week, I think I am the only American with a DMCA takedown (over Pinterest) who has never had a speeding ticket.  Or both of those who was also an ice cream man for 3 years and a manager at a fish & chips restaurant for 3 months.  (I hope I’m “only” at something.)

I received two (2) identical emails this week from Pinterest.  They were very professional, respectful and kindly.  Because the emails were in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, one shouldn’t expect adjectives such as professional, respectful and kindly but they were.  I guess that’s just how Pinterest is – the kinder, gentler hub for copyright infringement.  The softer side of federal law enforcement.

We “pinners,” those who chug, those who swallow and those who merely sip from the Pinterest Kool-Aid, understand that we toil in the world of photographs.  We find photos that someone else took, or “authored” in the words of the Copyright Law, and then copy them by means of a “Pin It” tool created and provided by Pinterest.  There is one more step – we have to provide a written character or a few, many or hundreds of characters that all be displayed bekiw the photo we pinned.  Our work as Pinterest pinners, therefore, is four-fold:

1.  we find a photo

2.  we copy it

3.  we decide which of our boards should house this photo

4.  we provide text underneath the photo

There are other options as well, options which I often delve into:

5.  I add a link that will enhance the meaning of my pin and/or board.  Often this can be a performance on YouTube.

6.  I publicize this new pin on my board by posting bit.ly links to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr and So.cl.

I know that millions of other Pinners and I are guilty of copyright infringement and the penalty for this significant busting of federal law can be enormous – anywhere from $750 to $150,000 per offense.  With two (2) infringements brought to my attention (because I reposted Gary Larson Far Side dog/cat cartoons I stumbled upon on the Internets), I could have been fined as much as $300,000.00.  Fortunately, Gary Larson and Pinterest seem to want me to survive. Pinterest even goes so far as to encourage me to keep battering the Copyright Law of the United States and any copyrighted photograph in my way with their sincere, “Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest.” I’m thrilled that they didn’t word this as they could have:

“You have twice violated Title 17 of The United States Code.  You will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Even your friends won’t know recognize you are when we are done with you.  And it won’t be cinematic.”  Fortunately, I am in the presence of more charitable, benevolent souls.


Here is the email I received from Pinterest.  The only heavily legalese word is “per.”  They didn’t mean “percent.”  And I would venture to guess that very few legal DMCA takedown notices use the word, HAPPY.  Pinterest even utters the sweetest and most insincere thing one can say in a romantic breakup.  It wasn’t “…you or your pin.”  It’s me, not you.

Hi E. Michael Harrington (emh2625),

We’re getting in touch to let you know we received a copyright complaint and have removed one (or more) of your Pins. The complaint wasn’t directed against you or your Pin; it was directed against another user’s Pin of the same content from:


While many copyright owners are happy to have their content on Pinterest, we recognize that some do not want their content to appear on Pinterest, or did not receive attribution for the content. When a copyright owner sends us a complete notice per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it’s our policy to remove the Pin(s).

Again, this complaint was not directed at you, or anything you did: we just thought you’d like to know why we removed your Pin.

Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest.

The Pinterest Team

Pinterest DMCA #ID 99753122


I will miss this Gary Larson Far Side pin of a dog on trial, with this dog defense attorney pleading to a jury not of his peers but of cats.  The dog defense attorney pleads,

“A cat killer?  Is that the face of a cat killer?  Cat chaser maybe.  But hey—– who isn’t?”

In my sadness at the Far Side eradication, I softly but resolutely sing this empowering message to my deleted pins (adapted from the tragic heartbreaking ending of Titanic):

“You’re here, there’s nothing I fear

And I know that my pins will go on

We’ll stay forever this way

You are safe in my heart

And my pins will go on and on”


Oh yeah.  To answer the question posed in the title – Is there more copyright infringement in Pinterest or Led Zeppelin II?

The answer is simple – Pinterest.  Virtually every pin on every board is a copy of a copyrighted photograph.  On Led Zeppelin II, not every song references (or copies) Chess Records’ recordings but at least three (3) of the eight (8) do:

Compare Led Zeppelin “Whole Lotta Love” to Muddy Waters “You Need Love.”

Compare Led Zeppelin “Lemon Song” to Howlin’ Wolf “Killing Floor.”

Compare Led Zeppelin “Bring It On Home” to Sonny Boy Williamson “Bring It On Home.”

Led Zeppelin is a wonderful subject for many other posts and I can provide links to those songs.  For now, I ponder the fates of those black and white dogs, cats and jurors memorialized in those pins I willfully copied and repurposed.

As always I look forward to your comment and questions.

Annuit coeptis.



Why 10 Ft Ganja Plant, Gibson Brothers, Booth Brothers & James Ingram Should Sue Rick Ross For Copyright Infringement


Today we turn the tables and illustrate a few recordings released prior to Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) which also feature the lyric, “Everyday I”m.”  Using the soft and breezy music of The Gibson Brothers, gospel music of The Booth Brothers, the cannabis reggae-tinged music of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and the sexy love stylings of James Ingram we will turn the tables on Rick Ross and illustrate why Rick Ross can be sued for copyright infringement.

I want to get back to the foolish and unwise copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Rick Ross and his attorneys.  I have no doubt that Rick Ross’ lawyers (had they not been Rick Ross’ lawyers but lawyers for someone else), with their musical knowledge and legal reasoning, could find many reasons to sue Rick Ross for his “theft” of “everyday I’m” from a few earlier artists.  “Everyday I’m,” which they’ve turned against LMFAO, could just as easily be turned against them.

For another post or two I’ll continue discussing the stupidity of the Rick Ross v. LMFAO copyright infringement lawsuit that’s appeared in past posts – March 26, 2014 and April 1, 2014.  Even though I posted that on April 1, it was not originally intended as an April Fools’ Day joke/prank/punk unless it was Freudian.

To summarize – Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) sued LMFAO alleging that Party Rock Anthem (2011) infringed Hustlin’ (2006).  Factually, the most prominent similarity between the two songs are the two (2) common and uncopyrightable words, “everyday” and “I’m.”  Rick Ross, however, cannot claim copyright in these two (2) words.  But he sued anyway.  In my April 1, 2014  post, I sarcastically (and disrespectfully) made the claim that there are even more artists for Rick Ross to sue for “stealing” Rick Ross’ words, “Everyday I’m:”

Maysa, in her song, Grateful (2008) sings “everyday I’m” at 3.04 – 3.07.

Jeremy Fisher, in his song, Come Fly Away (2010) sings “everyday I’m” at 0.25 – 0.29.

Little Big, in their song,  Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) sing “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times.

A few recordings released prior to Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) also feature the lyric, “Everyday I”m.”  These copyright owners, using the Rick Ross standard of originality (at odds with the Copyright Law of the United States), could just as illogically sue Rick Ross for infringing their “Everyday I’m” two (2) words without permission.  To paraphrase from Rick Ross’ lawsuit against LMFAO, these artists could sue Rick Ross and claim that Rick Ross

“…copied, interpolated the lyrics, underlying music and beat of …”  (fill in the blank with each new plaintiff’s song title.

We will now illustrate why The Gibson Brothers (2005), The Booth Brothers (2001), 10 Ft Ganja Plant (1999) and James Ingram (1999)  can sue Rick Ross for stealing “everyday I”m.”

I was recently interviewed about music copyright issues at Berklee on Boylston in Boston (BOBIB) and the foolishness of the Rick Ross lawsuit against LMFAO came up.   The 45-minute Faculty Open House Clinic interview can be viewed here.


Let’s Sue Rick Ross


1.  The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers’ island-y escape to sunshine anthem, Sunshine, was released in 2005.  One of my favorite aspects of the song is its shifting keys.  It is in C minor until the second half of each chorus when the surprising modulation (or tonicization or temporary key change) to the very unlikey key of A minor happens. The duration of the seven (7) sections of  Sunshine (2005) are below:

Key of C minor:  0.00    Key of A minor:  1.00    Key of C minor:  1.16    Key of A minor:  2.09

Key of C minor:  2.25    Key of A minor:  3.18    Key of C minor:  3.34

But back to the “everyday I’m” issue at hand – Listen for the lyric, “everyday I’m,” which is heard prominently at the opening of the second verse of Sunshine (2005):

1.25 – 1.29  Everyday I’m (dreaming)

That’s it!  Just one (1) statement of “everyday I’m” by The Gibson Brothers but their single statement of “everyday I’m” was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

2.  The Booth Brothers

This performance of The Booth Brothers’ gospel song, Still Feeling Fine from 2001, contains six (6) statements of “everyday I’m.”  (There are also, from an ethnomusicological point of view, fascinating approaches to rhythm displayed by many in the audience who seem to want to clap and articulate different rhythmic points within each measure, most often not on downbeats.  Perhaps there is a predilection for beats 1 and 3).

The Booth Brothers’ “Everyday I’m (climbing)” statements are prominent and heard at least six (6) times:

0.42 – 0.44  Everyday I’m (climbing)

1.32 – 1.34  Everyday I’m (climbing)

1.52 – 1.54  Everyday I’m (climbing)

2.12 – 2.14  Everyday I’m (climbing)

2.59 – 3.01  Everyday I’m (climbing)

3.19 – 3.21  Everyday I’m (climbing)

The Booth Brothers’ Still Feeling Fine  (2001) was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

3.  10 Ft. Ganja Plant

10 Ft. Ganja Plant released their Top Down (1999) and it too is another of these “Everyday I’m” songs.  10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s Top Down (1999) features “Everyday I’m (working).” And, yes, Rick Ross may have copied from 10 Ft. Ganja Plant as well as The Gibson Brothers and The Booth Brothers.

1.54 – 1.57  “everyday I’m working”

10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s Top Down (1999) was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”

4.  James Ingram

Sexy love songs.  James Ingram.  There must be hundreds of concatenations of words, “sexy love songs” and “James Ingram.”

Everyday I’m (in love)  –  James Ingram (1999)

James Ingram  –  I Believe In Those Love Songs  (1999)

1.35 – 1.39  everyday I’m (in love)

James Ingram’s I Believe In Those Love Songs (1999)was released before Rick Ross recorded and released his “everyday I’m.”


In a future post, I might also show that The Supremes & The Temptations (as a duet), as well as The Beatles could also sue Rick Ross.  Or I might finally get to writing about bassoons, english horns and future record labels named, “Google” “Samsung,” “Nokia” and “iTunes Records.”


Will Rick Ross Sue Other Artists For Copyright Infringement?


Everyday I’m Verbing (i.e., using a verb)

Three More (potential) Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Over The 2 Words That Rick Ross Thinks He Owns – “Everyday I’m.”

Music of Jeremy Fisher, Little Big, Maysa and Rick Ross.


In my post from Wednesday, March 26, 2014, I discussed the music copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Rick Ross against LMFAO reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

I mentioned the COMPLAINT filed by Rick Ross’ attorneys and especially the first sentence in the COMPLAINT that mentioned “music” or “lyrics:”

‘Party Rock Anthem’ copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

I analyzed Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (2011) and took issue with the allegations in Rick Ross’ complaint, specifically that sentence from The Complaint.  My conclusions about that loaded sentence included:

1. Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

2.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

3.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

4.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

5.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

6.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT interpolate the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

7.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

8.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

9.  Party Rock Anthem did NOT copy, interpolate the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”


I mentioned that I had a few suggestions for Rick Ross’ attorneys, suggestions are based on the following:

1.  The infamous Rick Ross sentence –

‘Party Rock Anthem’ copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

– from the COMPLAINT is  inaccurate.  In the nine (9) points above, I refute the allegations by Rick Ross.  The best but farfetched scenario for Rick Ross would be that LMFAO copied two uncopyrightable words – “everyday I’m.”

2.  Rick Ross sang “everyday I’m” in 2006.

3.  LMFAO sang “everyday I’m” in 2011 and were sued by Rick Ross because of their use of “everyday I’m.”

4.  The artist, Maysa, sang “everyday I’m” in 2008, AFTER Rick Ross.

5.  The artist, Jeremy Fisher, sang “everyday I’m” in 2010, AFTER Rick Ross.

6.  The band, “Little Big,” sang “everyday I’m” in 2013, AFTER Rick Ross.

7.  Using a minuscule degree of perspicacity similar to that used to sue LMFAO, it would follow that Rick Ross could initiate three (3) more copyright infringement lawsuits against the artists above.  As with the case against LMFAO, suspension of credibility and rationality would be an important consideration before filing these lawsuits as well.


Let’s identify the new lawsuits that could be filed against Maysa, Jeremy Fisher and Little Big for using the two (2) Rick Ross copyrighted words,

“everyday I’m.”


1.  Maysa

Maysa released Grateful in 2008.  Maysa clearly sings “everyday I’m” at 3.04 – 3.07.

In my opinion, Maysa does NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect him to sue others, such as Maysa, who have used the same non-copyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Maysa has not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


2.  Jeremy Fisher

Jeremy Fisher released Come Fly Away in 2010.  Jeremy Fisher clearly sings “everyday I’m” at 0.25 – 0.29.  In context, “everyday I’m” is heard within:

“Like a sparrow on a wire, singing the same song everyday, I’m feeling restless but I’m tired…”

In my opinion, Jeremy Fisher does NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect Rick Ross and his attorneys to sue Jeremy Fisher and others who have used the same uncopyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Jeremy Fisher has not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


Now Comes Big & Blatant Copyright Infringement (by Rick Ross standards)


3.  Little Big

When Rick Ross and his imaginative lawyers hear Little Big with their loud and multiple “everyday I’m” statements, they’ll know that they are in Plaintiff Heaven as Little Big have so boldly gone where LMFAO so daintily tread.

Little Big released  Everyday I’m Drinking in 2013.  Little Big clearly sing “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times!  Or, as Rick Ross’ attorneys might state it,

“Little Big’s Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006)…”

Listen to Little Big’s Everyday I’m Drinking (2013) and one clearly hears “everyday I’m” eighteen (18) times.  If Rick Ross owns copyright in “everyday I’m” as his lawyers have alleged in their COMPLAINT, then this is the quintessential copyright infringement goldmine (“We struck gold!“) for them.

0.39  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.40  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.42  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

0.45  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.46  everyday I’m (drinking)

0.48  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

1.06  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.07  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.09  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

1.13  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.14  everyday I’m (drinking)

1.16  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

2.15  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.16  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.18  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

2.21  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.22  everyday I’m (drinking)

2.24  everyday I’m (drinking) (I’m drinking) everyday

In my opinion, Little Big do NOT copy, interpolate the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’.”  But if Rick Ross can sue LMFAO who have also not copied or interpolated ‘Hustlin’,” I would expect him to sue others, such as Little Big, who have used the same not copyrightable words, “everyday I’m.”

To the best of my knowledge, Little Big have not yet been sued by Rick Ross.


What do you think about these potential lawsuits for potential plaintiff (again) Rick Ross?  It cannot be denied that Rick Ross sang/expressed “everyday I’m” before LMFAO, Maysa, Jeremy Fisher and Little Big.

Rick Ross has not yet sued Maysa or Jeremy Fisher.  Maysa and Jeremy Fisher, like LMFAO, barely use the words, “everyday I’m” in their songs.

But Little Big….  In Facebook-ese expression:  Wow.  Oh.  Wow.  Little Big have intentionally, forcefully and boisterously sung the Rick Ross words, “Everyday I’m,” six times in every one of their choruses throughout their song, Everyday I’m Drinking (2013).  Based on Rick Ross’ lawyers’ logic I’m surprised that Little Big have gone unsued and unscathed for this long.

As I hinted in my previous post (Wednesday, March 26, 2014), Rick Ross may, however, be sued for his original expression in Hustlin’ (2006).

The points of these posts are simply to examine expression from the viewpoints of originality, creativity and law, and critique musical/textual/legal arguments espoused by others.  (I am not a party to this lawsuit or affiliated with any party in this lawsuit.  Therefore, I feel it is appropriate to weigh in on the matters presented above.)

A Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over 2 Words – “Everyday I’m”


A Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over 2 Words – Everyday I’m Ridiculing

Several friends contacted me via Facebook and email to ask my opinion on this Hollywood Reporter article about Rick Ross’ copyright infringement lawsuit against LMFAO.  That was nice of them as I was unaware of this lawsuit but am interested in intellectual property (IP), creativity, originality, how we evaluate expression via law, how law is used to get relief, and other subjects that interpose music and law.

I read the HR article, got the music and listened.  My first impression was that I might have the wrong music as there seemed to be not only NO copyright infringement but NO SIMILARITY.


I then read the COMPLAINT filed by Rick Ross’ attorneys.  The first sentence in the COMPLAINT that mentions “music” or “lyrics” states the following:

‘Party Rock Anthem’ copies, interpolates the lyrics, underlying music and beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

I have analyzed Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ (2006) and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (2011).  I strongly disagree with the allegations in Rick Ross’ complaint, specifically that sentence, and  have drawn a few conclusions to the contrary:

Party Rock Anthem  has NOT copied the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT copied the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT copied the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT interpolated the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT interpolated the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT interpolated the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

Even though I do not understand the lawyers’ use of English in the sentence above, with respect to the music contained in these two recordings (I don’t understand “copies, interpolates” as back-to-back action verbs), I have made an earnest attempt to understand what the lawyers might have meant and that has led me to arrive at these three (3) additional points:

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT copied, interpolated the lyrics of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT copied, interpolated the underlying music of ‘Hustlin’…”

Party Rock Anthem’ has NOT copied, interpolated the beat of ‘Hustlin’…”

There is one (1) similarity I notice between the two (2) songs, however.  Both songs/recordings share two (2) identical words.  Those words are:

1.  Everyday

2.  I’m

Despite the contention from Rick Ross’ attorneys that the songs ALMOST have three (3) words in common, there are two (2), not three (3) words in common as I will demonstrate below:

Rick Ross sings, “Everyday I’m hustling.”

LMFAO sing, “Everyday I’m shuffling.”

Perhaps Rick Ross’ attorneys think that LMFAO have copied three (3) and not two (2) words.  Perhaps they are  thinking, “Everyday I’m hustling” is the same as “Everyday I’m shuffling.”  But, to my eyes, those final words of each phrase are different words with different meanings and different spellings:

HUSTLING is spelled



SHUFFLING is spelled


“Hustling” and “Shuffling” also have different meanings – here are links to the definitions from Dictionary.com:

Hustling  (the verb used by Rick Ross in 2006) means “push or force one’s way.”

Shuffling  (the verb used by LMFAO in 2011) means “moving in a dragging or clumsy manner.”

“Pushing or forcing one’s way” (“hustling”) seems to me to be the opposite of “moving in a dragging or clumsy manner” (shuffling”).  If one person hustles and another person shuffles, are they engaged in the same kind of action?  No, they are not.

The U. S. Copyright Law was created, in part, to protect “original works of authorship.”  In my opinion, the word, “everyday” is not original.  In my opinion, the word, “I’m,” is not original.  When the words are joined to form a two-word phrase – “Everyday I’m” – they still do not form original expression.


To “go all factual on you” for a moment – LMFAO sing “everyday I’m shuffling” (not “everyday I’m hustling”) only twice in “Party Rock Anthem.”  This three-word phrase occurs at the following two places in “Party Rock Anthem:”

2.15 – 2.16  “everyday I’m shuffling'”

3.47 – 3.49  “everyday I’m shuffling'”  (“shuffling” with a slight elongation/added syllable)

A reasonable person could conclude that:

1.  “Everyday I’m shuffling” occurs only twice in Party Rock Anthem.

2.  “Everyday I’m shuffling” is not very important to Party Rock Anthem.

3.  One had an opinion about Party Rock Anthem well before one heard “Everyday I’m shuffling” at 2.15 into the song.

4.  “Everyday I’m shuffling” is not the same phrase as “everyday I’m hustling.”

I toyed with these other titles for this post:

There’s Stupid & Then There’s Rick Ross Stupid

Rick Ross v. LMFAO – So This Is How (these) Florida Attorneys Sue

Why hasn’t Rick Ross sued Maysa, Jeremy Fisher or Little Big?

I’m glad I settled on A Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over 2 Words.

In my next post or two on this subject, I will discuss some suggestions I have for Rick Ross and his attorneys regarding the music of Maysa, Jeremy Fisher and Little Big.  If money matters to Rick Ross and his attorneys, I imagine they’ll be thrilled at what I’ll be able to show them.  This new knowledge could lead them to new copyright infringement lawsuits and procure more billable hours for themselves and/or their law firm(s).

But the hand (silly mind) that giveth might taketh away as well as I have potentially bad news for Rick Ross.  Using the same or similar reasoning and quality of evidence, in future posts I will describe scenarios and analyze and discuss music that could negate any happy gains Rick Ross might enjoy in his lawsuit against LMFAO.  Perhaps Rick Ross himself could even be sued for copyright infringement.

The next post though should be happy happy for Rick Ross.

The points of these posts are simply to examine expression from the viewpoints of originality, creativity and law, and critique musical/textual/legal arguments espoused by others.  (I am not a party to this lawsuit or affiliated with any party in this lawsuit.  Therefore, I feel it is appropriate to weigh in on the matters presented in this case.)