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 links to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr and

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.”