Humans Acting Out In Business, My Favorite Twitter Accounts – the letter “A”


Awhile ago I published a list of Resources that I intend to update, i.e., a living, breathing document.  It is what could be called a “Bibliography,” and I used to call it that until I received the very good advice to change the name, “Bibliography,” to “Resources.”  Those Resources are a list of websites that relate in some way to the music and entertainment industry  –  they are connected to the music and entertainment industry in my mind.  It is my belief that every musician and person in the world of music and entertainment must know more than music.  Law, technology, business, film, video, television, advertising and communication, especially 21st century style communication by means of social media, are some of what should go into/be shot into/forced down the throat of/taught to a musician or person living in these post-Mayan times.  We need to confront and try to master what is represented by those social media proper nouns –  those companies and services –  and verbs formed by speaking nouns as if they were verbs.  For example:

We Facebook


We Tweet

We Google Plus

We G Plus

We G +

We G+  (with “G+” rather than “G space +” we assume that long distance is not as good as close distance)

We Pinterest

We Pin

We Social (spelled, “we” – any Microsoft-inclined people reading this?)

We Tumblr (4 ya)

We WordPress

We Blog

We Microblog (this is not the same as calling a physician because a blog lasts more than 4 hours)

 *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

My Resources will include new categories and lists beginning with “these are a few of my favorite Twitter accounts,” whether “the dog bites” or “the bee stings.”  These are meant to make you not “feel so bad.”  For now, they are websites.

Here is a glimpse (not “Glympse,” the app) of one of the future coming attractions  –  my long list of Favorite Twitter accounts.  For now, this post will be an annotated list of my favorite Twitter accounts that begin with the letter, “A.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Dr. E. Michael Harrington



My Favorite Twitter Accounts:   The letter “A”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


Al Jazeera English is a great resource for news of the world (oops – not that “News of The World.”  Al-Jazeera is not a terrorist organization.  Did I need a paragraph for separation between News Of The World and “terrorist organization?”)  Al Jazeera:  Good.


Want to find out what’s happening in the world of computers/computing/digital this and that?  There’s AlleyInsider.


National Public Radio does so many things well.  This is a great place to hear music of many styles, places and genres.  “NPR’s online and on air music show. Dedicated to finding music you’ll fall in love with.”  Yes, this is an exceptional statement and one which “can get away with” ending a sentence with a preposition.  


The American Management Association, not the American Medical Association.  Good straightforward articles about the world of “humans acting out in business.”  I will take credit/blame for that “humans acting out in business” phrase.  Catchy, eh?  Says the Canadian.


Anil Dash has a good brain and sense of humor.


Ann is a “writer, a-mama, poptimist trying to eat right and live present in a high-fructose world.”  Very insightful and smart talk about music and life.


Something to do with Apple and applications?  Promotional but some of the promoted material is worthwhile.


Fun times in the world of technology, law and policy.


Described on their Twitter profile as, “original news and reviews, analysis of tech trends, and expert advice on the most fundamental aspects of tech and the many ways it’s helping us enjoy our world.”   I agree.  I love that they love to “enjoy our world.”  It’s also good that they used “it’s” to mean “it is.”


Very good stuff from an attorney/thinker/Internet advocate and blogger for Public Knowledge.


“Helping Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs Create Sustainable Careers.”  That is a damn good calling as musicians are often lambs led to 1. wolves, 2. slaughter, 3. cruel biological experiments, 4.  numbers 1, 2 and 3 at once.  The Artists House Music site is the best resource for musicians who strive to know more than potted plants, and AHM is in desperate need of funding.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

In future blog posts:

1.  My Favorite Twitter accounts – the letters “A” and “B”

2.  More about the foolish lawsuit against Alicia Keys.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


Is Alicia Keys guilty of copyright infringement? A lawyer quotes a feebly written blog and files a foolish lawsuit



I was told about an article from AcesShowBiz entitled, “Alicia Keys Gets Sued for ‘Girl On Fire,’ Debuts ‘Brand New Me’ Video.”  The article refers to a “write-up by Roger Friedman“, a blogger for Showbiz411.  Roger Friedman seems to proudly state that “Alicia Keys is a Girl in Trouble today,” because she has been sued for copyright infringement and that Friedman is partially to blame/credit for the lawsuit  –  “some of the suit is based on my reporting.”

The songs in question are:

Plaintiff’s song  –  Eddie Holman recording of  “Hey There Lonely Girl”

Defendant’s song  –  Alicia Keys recording of  “Girl On Fire”

I was startled to read that “some of the suit is based on my reporting” as I had never heard of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed because of the “reporting” of a blogger, and especially a blogger who demonstrates his incontrovertible ignorance of copyright law.

Friedman states, “Hopefully musicologists will be called in, etc. experts who can testify about Keys’s use of two lines from the chorus of ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’ in ‘Girl on Fire.'”

This is such a poorly conceived and written sentence.  First, is Friedman stating his hopes that musicologists “will be called in, etc.?”   As a musicologist who has testified in copyright infringement cases in U. S. federal courts for 20 years, I am extremely curious as to what Friedman means by “etc….”  As I try to understand, I think he might mean that we are called in and then comes other actions – the etcetra part.  Just what does the “etc.” of his sentence mean, and have I been “etc.-ing” these past 20 years or should I start “etc.-ing” now to make up for the times in which I did not etcetera?

Also, the normal practice is for both sides to employ at least one (1) expert.  Experts are not “called in” as if to investigate a crime scene.  Experts, optimally, are hired BEFORE the initiation of a federal copyright infringement lawsuit.  In this instance of Alicia Keys’ alleged infringement, if experts are hired, they might not agree with Blogger Friedman’s position that Alicia Keys “use[d] two lines” from the chorus of ‘Hey There Lonely Girl.”

Also from that same rich sentence, it seems that Blogger Friedman may not have learned that

the possessive of   —   Keys   —   is Keys’   —   not Keys’s

unless Blogger Friedman writes “Keys’s” because he pronounces “Keys’s” as KEE – ZIHZ, and not KEEZ.

But things soon get more feeble in his writing.  Blogger Friedman states that…

“Anyway, anyone who listens to “Girl on Fire” can hear Alicia sing “she’s a lonely girl/in a lonely world” about her burning subject. Why Keys or someone with her didn’t just clear this sample is beyond me. Keys is a sampling queen, with loads of history in this department.”

“…beyond me.”  What I claim is “beyond” Friedman is this particular subject matter – sampling and copyright law.  At this point, Friedman proves that he does not understand copyright with respect to music, or practices in the contemporary music industry.

Factually, Alicia Keys did NOT “sample” any part of the “Hey There Lonely Girl” sound recording.  Blogger Friedman does not know enough about copyright law to form, possess or articulate an opinion on the subject.  Yet he uses the word, “sampling” and falsely accuses Alicia Keys of “sampling.”

To reiterate  –  Friedman is factually incorrect.  Alicia Keys DID NOT sample the sound recording of “Hey There Lonely Girl.”

I will return to this shoddy journalism and the new lawsuit,

Earl Shuman v. Sony Music Entertainment et al

filed in the United States District Court Central District of California, December 10, 2012.  I have much more to write about Friedman’s writing and Shuman v. Sony.  But I want to pique the interest of anyone who might be reading this at this point today with a final thought.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I’ve known of “ambulance chasers,” (I’m not asserting Lowell is an ambulance chaser but “size matters” and Lowell’s video was at the top of my “ambulance chasers” search) with respect to music copyright infringement lawsuits  –  people who hear similarities between songs, and then contact interested parties with the hope that lawsuits will be filed and that they will receive money and/or acclaim.  If someone wanted to sue Alicia Keys for her recording, “Girl Of Fire,” there is a song by a potential plaintiff with much stronger similarities than, “Hey There Lonely Girl.”  It was a very big hit song that appeared in a very big 1980’s hit film.  Do you know of the song to which I refer?  Want to take a guess?  I’ll come back to that, and all of this Blogger Friedman/Shuman v. Sony stupidity, soon.

Happy 12 12 12, Twelve Twelve Twelve, Zwölf Zwölf Zwölf, Dodici Dodici Dodici, Doce Doce Doce, Douze Douze Douze

Wayne Shorter, Bo Diddley, George Strait

What day is it?  December 12, 2012?  December 12, 2012 can be abbreviated as 12-12-12 or 12/12/12 or 12.12.12 or spoken Twelve Twelve Twelve, Doce Doce Doce, Douze Douze Douze, Dodici Dodici Dodici, Zwölf Zwölf Zwölf or hundreds of other ways.  If you’ve been near social media, you also know that this will be the last repetitive date ever.  (That’s true only if a 13th month is never added to our calendar.  There could be a 13th month because like copyright terms, Viagra and Cialis, there’s always someone who wants to lengthen something.)

12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12

In keeping with the number 12, I’d like to offer favorite songs of mine that have something to do with the number 12.  The easy and predicatable thing would have been 12-tone (twelve tone) music.  But I’ll resist the easy and go for something more eclectic  – songs about “12” and tweets about “12.”

I posted a riddle last night –  what do Wayne Shorter, Bo Diddley and George Strait have in common?  As far as I know, the answer is that each recorded a song whose title contains the word, “Twelve.”  These three (3) songs have little else in common except for the number twelve (12) in the titles.  That’s it.  Riddle solved.

12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12

Wayne Shorter  –  Twelve More Bars To Go 

In an instrumental, do you know if Wayne Shorter is referring to 12 bars of living, 12 bars of playing or 12 bars on my way home?

Bo Diddley  –  The Clock Strikes Twelve

This is one of Bo Diddley’s more unusual songs – an instrumental.  Yes, that is Bo Diddley playing violin.  This is not the braggadocio Bo – no “cobra snake for a necktie” kind of thing.

George Strait  –  Four Down And Twelve Across 

“awkward puzzle, fill in the blanks…”  One can easily make that phrase deep or leave it as something pertaining to a board game.

12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12

This started out to be twelve (12) tweets about 12 12 12, and then I found a few more I wanted to copy.  If 12 is good, more than 12 is better.  Here are more than 12 tweets about 12 12 12.

The Daily Yomiuri ‏@DailyYomiuri

The time in Japan is now 12:12 p.m. on December 12, 2012…that’s12:12, 12/12/12.

01/01/01✔ 02/02/02✔ 03/03/03✔ 04/04/04✔ 05/05/05✔ 06/06/06✔ 07/07/07✔ 08/08/08✔ 09/09/09✔ 10/10/10✔ 11/11/11 ✔and today 12/12/12.

ぴょんまこ ‏@yugurenofuku

12/12/12 12:12 \(^o^)/

David Pogue, Technology writer for The New York Times, repeated what some of my recording engineer friends had already said last night:

David Pogue ‏@Pogue

Hey, tomorrow is National Sound Check Day! 12/12/12… (What will you be doing at 12:12:12?)

Two (2) 12-12-12 sports tweets:

Randy Cruz ‏@cruzr83

The Lakers may not be thrilled with 12/12/12 tomorrow since they’re 12th in the Western Conference.

Happy 12.12.12 — NFL QBs wearing #12 have won 15 Super Bowls. That’s more than double the next-best mark (#16 has won 7)
These are not happy happy joy joy tweets.
Tomorrow is 12-12-12 which means I’ll have to blood sacrifice twice as many goats as I did for 6-6-6. 🙁
The Mayan Calendar predicted that on 12-12-12 there would be some really bad tweets about 12-12-12. Like this one.
Pretty cool how on 12/12/12 in 1912 no one said anything at all because we’re idiots now.
Happy 12.12.12., YouScoopers! What are the 12 Philippine issues that are most important to you? #SabihinMo
12/12/12 & 12/21/12 will be the most annoying days in Twitter history.
A designed tweet.  Too bad the 12 12 12 thing looks more like 10 10 10.

┊┊┊┊#HAPPY12─12─12┊┊┊ ┊┓╭╮┊┊╱┓╭╮┊┊╱┓╭╮┊ ┊┃╭╯┊╱┊┃╭╯┊╱┊┃╭╯┊ ┊┻┗┛╱┊┊┻┗┛╱┊┊┻┗┛┊

 Final tweets.

Путин обратится к Федеральному Собранию 12.12.12: Буддийские астрологи считают эту дату…

Twelve~Twelve~Twelve~make it memorable in a positive way. Be especially nice to ~Twelve~ people, complete ~Twelve~random acts of kindness ☺


12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12    12

I got my Vizify account yesterday.  My life, thankfully, can be reduced to a few pages.  I hope talk about social media and metrics tomorrow.  No more twelves!

Harvard Law School Lecture – December 5, 2012


I will be speaking at The Harvard University Law School today between noon and 1:15 PM in Wasserstein Hall 3036.  The subject will be my work in, and take on, music copyright, intellectual property, tech and entertainment issues.  This is a great honor and I am very happy to have been invited.

(If you haven’t been to campus, there is a magnificent statue of John Harvard.  It has always looked like this, except for a few hours in 1996 when MIT students dressed him up to look like the Unabomber.)

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

This blog post will also double as my notes or at least a guide to the order of subjects.  I’ll be able to see this post on a monitor or my iPhone while my iPad plays the music.  I’ll also bring a DVD or two, unless I choose to access the same material on the Very Wide World Spider Web.

Videos I will use:

Excerpt from film, “BASEketball”  –  Joe Cooper says the name, “Steve Perry, Steve Perry!”  He then sings the opening line  –  “And I should’ve been gone”  –  from Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie.”  Did this need to be licensed?

And Woody Guthrie’sThis Land Is Your Land.”  In 2004, Greg & Evan Spiridellis created a video parody of Jib Jab – Woody Guthrie.  Their docile, innocent not-for-profit two-minute video went viral becoming the first Internet mega-hit and drew the wrath of a publisher.  I was involved in the defense of this.  I might talk about it  –  maybe give my take on whether this is a parody, satire, parodic satire, satiric parody, or some of more of those words, as well as other issues that arose.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

As of now, my first Harvard Law set list will cover:

Tracks 1 – 7   Infringement?  Not Infringement?

Tracks 8  –  16   Parody?  Not a Parody?

Tracks 17  –  27   Mashups

Tracks 28  –  36   Sampling

Tracks 37  –  48   Advertising, Right of Publicity, Copyright

Tracks 49  –  74   Evidence/Exhibits I will use

Tracks 75  –  78   Licensing issues

Tracks 79  –  80   Co-Writing/Joint Works

Tracks 81  –  96   Originality, Copyright Myths

Tracks 97  –  118   Big Publishing Mistake

This is not firm and these examples vary in length from 2 seconds to 120 seconds.  I might jump around (I’ll resist the urge for a Jump Around link as it is too predictable).

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Most significantly and solemnly to me, my Dad, Edward F. Harrington, died on December 5, 1991.  This day is always very important to me.  I was the luckiest person to be his son.



I’ve Had The Time Of My Life & Do I Owe It All To Ripping Off The Beatles?

Yesterday (November 26, 2012) I posted about the Beatles, specifically, intros to Beatles songs.  I ended yesterday’s post with this:

The Beatles amped up the strong, loud and cutting intro with the song, “Getting Better” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The intro to The Beatles’ Getting Better features strong sforzando guitar and keyboard again but this time, in addition, the strings of the piano are struck with mallets to make it an even more brittle, piercing sound.  Because “Getting Better” has such a distinctive and unique intro, it could be used or imitated for special effect.

I heard (and saw) a commercial a few years ago that I knew immediately was a strong reference to the opening of The Beatles’ Getting Better.  This commercial is still running and can be heard frequently on U. S. television stations, and as of last week, I have finally been able to find it on YouTube.  Do you know the commercial to which I refer?

I’ll discuss it tomorrow.  To me, this commercial is the essence of “reference” and “referencing” music, an important practice in contemporary advertising.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Now it’s tomorrow (almost a Ringo-ism).  

The television commercial to which I have been referring is for  In the commercial, young good-looking people are taking vacations in tropical locations.  (For nanosecond subliminal flashes, one also sees an elderly but healthy looking retired couple who might have escaped from their assisted living penitentiary and are also dancing on the beach.  But they don’t count as we are lead to believe that these Sandals paradises are inhabited only by the young and beautiful.)

A famous song, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life,” recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, that was featured in the finale of the 1987 film, “Dirty Dancing,” serves as the essential song of the commercial.  If one didn’t know better, however, one might assume that the commercial is for a song entitled, “Do It All Again,” or

perhaps a medley/mashup of three (3) songs  –

“Getting Better”

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”

“Do It All Again”

Listen to the introduction of both songs  –  The Beatles’ “Getting Better,” and the arrangement of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”  The forceful, repeated staccato chords.  Do you think they sound the same?  Similar?  Not similar ?  Not even remotely similar?

[PLEASE NOTE:  Today, August 17, 2013, I discovered that the Sandals link below had been removed – it was suddenly “Private.”  As of 11:30 AM Central, I found this new link of the same commercial.]

Sandals – Do It All Again    

Listen especially to the opening fifteen (15) chords.  Here it is again,

or to better fit into this context:

“Do it all again, do it all again.  Do it, do it!”

Sandals – Do It All Again

Listen to the opening eight (8) chords of  The Beatles – Getting Better.   Here it is again:

 The Beatles – Getting Better


Sandals – Do It All Again

 The Beatles – Getting Better

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Q U E S T I O N S 

Does Sandals sound like The Beatles?

Does Sandals rip off The Beatles?

Does Sandals infringe The Beatles?

Does Sandals sound too much like The Beatles?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue a copyright problem?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue a right of publicity problem?

Is the Sandals/Beatles issue an unfair competition problem?

Would a listener/viewer think that The Beatles are associated in any way with Sandals?

Is there a Sandals/Beatles problem?

Should Sandals have to pay The Beatles?

Should the Sandals commercial be no longer broadcast (in order to remedy The Beatles)?

Should Sandals pay The Beatles and stop broadcasting the commercial?

*  *  *  M O R E      Q U E S T I O N S *  *  *

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs common?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials common?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs problematic?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials problematic?

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs the same as “copying?”

Is this practice of sounding like/referencing well-known songs in commercials the same as “copying?”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Instead of The Beatles and/or a famous song, substitute an unknown band signed to a small record label, and an unknown song, in all of the questions above.

Would this change any of the answers?

I have many more questions but this is enough.  As always, I look forward to your response.

Talk Amongst Yourselves, Turn Me On, Beatles One Louder, the Buttocks Bowl

This week is beginning perfectly.  It is sunny up here on Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester.  Thanksgiving was a great one in Massachusetts as we New England Patriots fans owe gratitude to the New York Jets for their comic ineptness on Thanksgiving evening  –  I’m calling it the Butt Bowl  –  and projects of mine are getting completed.  And I’ve been invited to speak about my work in copyright and intellectual property at the Harvard Law School again.  All good things.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

How can you get one’s attention?  Play a Beatles recording.  Play something loud and very noticeable. Maybe the intro to a Beatles song.  If one wants to hear a loud, striking, very original opening of a Beatles song, one that will really hit the ear, there is one song that WILL not do it.  It would be the WORST BEATLES SONG, worst only in terms of making a listener notice.  What is the Beatles song LEAST likely to get one’s attention?  “Eight Days A Week.”  Remember how Eight Days A Week by The Beatles opens?  It can be heard here Eight Days A Week by The Beatles or back in the last sentence.

It……………….f  a  d  e  s…..i n……..

shhhhhhh….shh….sh… and now you HEAR IT!

That was an amazing stunt way back in 1964.  It was the first time I had heard a recording that faded in.  Songs fading out were common but this fade-in was really fun and another innovation (of many) by the Beatles.

But the subject of this post is getting someone’s attention loudly and at the opening, and a Beatles song that does both.  I want a song that is LOUD and NOTICEABLE and unlike any other Beatles song and I want the LOUD and NOTICEABLE and UNIQUE to happen immediately.  Right at the opening.

The Beatles’ She’s A Woman is a song that is loud, distinctive and original at the opening.  The song is notable for a few other reasons too.  Structurally it is often a 12-bar blues (0.10-0.42;  0.43-1.14;  1.20-1.52), with an instrumental 6-bar blues (1.53-2.09), and two (2) 2-bar bridges –  the first at 1.15-1.20, the second at 2.09-2.14.  A 2-bar bridge, you say?  And the 2-bar bridge contains the words, “she’s a woman.” !?!  If the 2-bar bridge contains the title, “She’s A Woman,” wouldn’t it be a chorus and not a 2-bar bridge?  In the words of Linda Richman… Talk amongst yourselves.

The opening of “She’s A Woman” features loud piano and guitar in unison playing the same staccato chords.  When the bass and drums enter, it becomes clear that what the guitar and piano had been playing, what seemed like downbeats, were really upbeats!  A very cool deceptive trick.  A deception as to where you count 1, 2, 3 and 4.  If you were dancing at the opening of the song, your dancing had to change a bit as your perception of the beat changed.

The opening chord  –  what one thought was the “tonic” chord, the most important, central chord, hierarchically, to all of the other chords – the “I chord” (pronounced, “One” chord)  –  was really the “V chord” (pronounced, “Five” chord), another fun deception.

I think that “She’s A Woman” was the first time the Beatles hinted at drug use.  Three times in “She’s A Woman”  Paul sings, “turn me on when I get lonely” –  at 0.32, at 1.42 and finally at 2.36.  It was not obvious in 1964-65 that “turn me on” referred to drug use, however.  Some people knew this but “turn me on” was not yet in the public lexicon.

She’s A Woman also contains the worst lyric the Beatles may have ever written –

“My love don’t give me presents.  I know that she’s no peasant.”  

Huh?  “Peasant?”  I wish Paul hadn’t pursued the giving “presents” line as then he wouldn’t need a rhyme, and wouldn’t have to relate that he knows his woman is not a “peasant.”  Of all the things I’ve ever heard ascribed to any woman, “peasant” has never  been one!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The Beatles amped up the strong, loud and cutting intro with the song, “Getting Better” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The intro to The Beatles’ Getting Better features strong sforzando guitar and keyboard again but this time, in addition, the strings of the piano are struck with mallets to make it an even more brittle, piercing sound.  Because “Getting Better” has such a distinctive and unique intro, it could be used or imitated for special effect.

I heard (and saw) a commercial a few years ago that I knew immediately was a strong reference to the opening of The Beatles’ Getting Better.  This commercial is still running and can be heard frequently on U. S. television stations, and as of last week, I have finally been able to find it on YouTube.  Do you know the commercial to which I refer?

I’ll discuss it tomorrow.  To me, this commercial is the essence of “reference” and “referencing” music, an important practice in contemporary advertising.


Do The Macarena (On A Fishing Boat In The North Atlantic With An HP Printer)


Do you like this HP Office Jet Pro commercial?  I think it is very effective.  The people are of all ages, attractive (including adorable little kids in commercials, TV shows, video and film is usually a no-brainer) and very happy.  The colors are beautiful.  Everyone seems to be having fun in the upcoming celebration of AnnaBel’s birthday.  The fishermen look like good wholesome hard working Scandinavians or Scandinavian-types, and the ocean is a sapphire blue – it must be the North Atlantic.  The wood of the ships is good wood (that sounded like something Mitt Romney would have said  –   “the trees are the right height, the wood is good wood”) .  Everything that needs to be good is good.  Everything that needs to have color has color.  And so on.

But what first caught my attention is the music of this HP Office Jet Pro commercial.  Because I am always multitasking, I am always hearing television before I am watching television  For me, the trick is – if the music and/or sound is interesting enough or familiar enough, I look up.  If not, I keep writing/goofing off at my iMac while I am also looking at my iMac, not a television screen.

While working on a project, I heard this HP Office Jet Pro commercial and looked up.  What distracted me and attracted me to the commercial was the manner in which it referenced the way-too-big hit song from the mid 1990’s, “Macarena.”  (When I just wrote, M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A, WordPress thought perhaps I meant, “Macaroni,” or “Macaroon.”  No, I meant M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A.  It might take a few more years to convince the world of words that Macarena is Macarena, just as it took a long time to make “Beatles” not be “Beetles.”

“Macarena” features its hook at these eleven (11) places in Macarena:












The hook in the “HP Office Jet Pro commercial” is heard once in HP Office Jet Pro commercial:


Do you think the hooks between these two songs are similar?

Which of the following do you think is/are true?

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  copies  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  infringes the copyright of  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  references  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  does not reference  Macarena

Please post your thoughts.  Maybe I’ll post mine.

One final thought re these videos:

“I like, uh, I like seeing the, uh, I like seeing the videos.  I love the videos.  There’s something very special here.  The great videos but also all the little inland videos that dot the, uh, the, uh, parts of Michigan. Um…” 


Did Taylor Swift Steal A Lyric From Matt Nathanson? Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Andy Williams & Tony Bennett

We’re in Day Two of 30-70 mph winds only now rain has come as well.  There are two equidistant paths to the ocean here.  One is flat, just barely higher than sea level, and slopes down to the beach.  That path results in really strong sand blasts to the face.  The other is down a hill, in between huge rocks, and sand-less.  Well, no sand in the face.  That’s usually my preferred route.

I love the power of the ocean and winds.  It feels great to go outside and weather it for awhile.  Coming back into my house, at least on a day like this, feels even better.  After I finish this post and  French Roast (“post” and French “Roast”, an AA rhyme scheme) , I’ll go outside to see and possibly film the ferociousness of Winter Storm Athena.

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My friend, Sarah Hasu, posted this AOL Music Blog report on my Facebook site.  Sarah wanted my opinion, so here is my opinion.  First, I need to write some qualifying statements – here come the qualifying statements.

These will be my preliminary and cursory thoughts.  I’ll throw in some more cautionary and qualifying words so that I can stress that these are my quick and almost-preliminary thoughts.  If I were more serious and studied this fully, I might refer to my thoughts as “findings,” but I’ll stick with almost-preliminary thoughts.

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From the AOL Music Blog:

“Even though Taylor Swift’s new CD Red has sold a recording-breaking 1.2 million copies, one person in particular isn’t thrilled with Tay’s lyric choices. Singer Matt Nathanson is accusing Taylor from stealing a lyric from his 2003 song “I Saw” and using it in her song “All Too Well.”

The lyric in question? Nathanson sings in his song: “and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.” And Taylor’s song lyric is: “and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to.”

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So, the issue seems to be – is Taylor Swift’s “and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to,” an unauthorized copy of Matt Nathanson’s “and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.”

“and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to”

and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to”

My first impression is that I would side with Taylor Swift as I think two (or more) authors could come up with those very similar words independently, i.e., without copying.  And if one did not copy the other, it is not copyright infringement.

These two short lyric excerpts from larger songs are of a style of lyric writing I have seen before, one in which a clever literary device is at play.  Songs with these literary devices are fairly common in Nashville, country and pop.  It reminds me of songs and song titles like these:

“I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone,”   (Elvis Presley recording) and

“I Forgot To Remember To Forget,”   (Johnny Cash recording) and

Everybody Has The Right To Be Wrong,”    (performance by Andy Williams and Tony Bennett)

Even if Taylor Swift were to admit that she took this or it could be shown that she likely copied this line, there still are reasons why this might not be copyright infringement, or SERIOUS copyright infringement.

1.  it is only one line.

2.  it is short (almost the same as “it is only one line”).

3.  it could be considered an example of de minimis copying (that could include reasons 1 & 2).

4.  it could be considered “fair use” for a few reasons.  Fair use would cover reasons 1, 2 & 3 but at least one more reason.  This copying would have no negative financial effect on the original, i.e., her borrowing would not hurt the market for the original song.

5.  Swift’s melody did not copy Nathanson’s melody.

6.  Swift’s harmony did not copy Nathanson’s harmony.

7.  Swift’s rhythm did not copy Nathanson’s rhythm.

8.  Swift’s tempo did not copy Nathanson’s tempo.

All of these points can be spelled out in more detail and more reasons along these lines can be added.  Also, not all of these points are created equal.

There are also these considerations:

1.  Would this ever get remedied through legal action?  (That’s a big one to consider as what does “remedied” really mean, and how do you know when you’ve been “remedied?”  — smile smile.)

2.  Would Nathanson want the bad press/ill will that could come from suing Taylor Swift?  He already has made some very public decisions that are not wise.  For example, he should NEVER have tweeted that Taylor Swift is “a thief.”

3.  Can Nathanson afford better lawyers than Swift’s lawyers?

4.  How much time would Nathanson want to spend on this issue –

1 year?

2 years?

3 years?

4 years?

5 years?

6 years?

7 years?

8 years?

9 years?

10 years or more on this?

I was involved as expert witness in a copyright infringement case over three (3) words, that lasted three (3) years.  I’ve spent up to seven (7) years in a case, and I know cases that lasted longer.  Time, and the money it takes to fund the time, will cost money.

5.  Does Nathanson believe he could/would win via legal motions?

6.  If he won (or lost) at trial, would be able to afford an appeal?

7.  Does Nathanson have the money to pay all of the defendant’s expenses in this matter?   Some courts have ruled that plaintiffs have to pay defendants’ court costs.

8.  These reasons can be rearranged – the order above might not be optimal.  That is why I referred to all of this rambling as almost-preliminary thoughts.


So, what are your thoughts on these issues?

Unfair Competition, Election Night 2012, Swimming at 57 F / 41 F

I’ve had a fantastic election night.  Things went my way all throughout MASSACHUSETTS, especially with the election of Elizabeth Warren as our new U. S. Senator, and our first female senator (in such a progressive state, it’s odd that it took this long!).  I wanted President Obama to be reelected as well as Sen. Brown in Ohio, Sen. Klobuchar in Minnesota, Sen McCaskill in Missouri and a few others.  Yes, election night was a lot of fun.

But the day had been perfect in terms of weather here – 41 F, sunny and no wind – so I expected a continuation this evening.  The sunny and no wind part got me to actually swim in the Atlantic Ocean – the water temp was 57 F.  It was very cold and I didn’t stay in long!  I’ve got this foolish idea that I will swim at least one day every month.  September and October were very easy.  November was chilly and challenging and December is coming!

I wanted to write about “unfair competition.”  It’s a subject that can pertain to music and it’s come up many times in my professional and musical activities.  So, a few words:

U N F A I R      C O M P E T I T I O N

“Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are declared unlawful.”   The Federal Trade Commission Act (Title 15 United States Code, Section 45. 1.)

In both unfair competition and trademark it is important that the consumer should not be confused as to the origin of goods and services.

An example of unfair competition would occur if an unknown musician, or any non-Beatle, released an album of 13 supposedly original songs, whose titles, in order, were:

  1. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
  2. “With A Little Help From My Friends”
  3. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
  4. “Getting Better”
  5. “Fixing A Hole”
  6. “She’s Leaving Home”
  7. “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite”
  8. “Within You Without You”
  9. “When I’m Sixty-Four”
  10. “Lovely Rita”
  11. “Good Morning Good Morning”
  12. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”
  13. “A Day In The Life”

In the example above, it is obvious that someone is trying to confuse the consumer by naming all of the songs the same as all 13 songs, and in the same order, as the 13 songs on the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.   Obviously, a consumer in a store could glance at an album with these 13 song titles and conclude that this is a Beatles’ cover album, or possibly a re-issue of “Sgt. Pepper,” or even a Beatles-sanctioned or affiliated project.  Factor in the additional problems this could cause if this counterfeit album was sold on the Internet, where search engines could turn up this album in any Beatles’ search, and it becomes clear that this musician is unethically riding on the Beatles’ coattails and confusing consumers.  Thusly, this would be an example of unfair competition.

The title, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” like most titles, is not protected under copyright.  Stringing together thirteen (13) titles, in the above example, might be protected under copyright as these thirteen titles written consecutively in order could be copyrightable expression.  (I could argue that these specific thirteen (13) titles in consecutive order would be copy protected – I’ll be happy to do that in another post.)

It is likely that most of these 13 song titles could be used by other authors as titles for their independently created copyrighted songs.  For example, the title, “Getting Better,” consists of two (2) unprotectable words:

 Getting, Better

Obviously these common words did not originate with the Beatles, and the title, “Getting Better,” in its entirety, or subsumed within a larger title, likely was used prior to this Beatles’ song.  “Getting Better” or “It’s Getting Better” are titles that anyone could use.

Minotaur Shock, Band Of The Day App


M I N O T A U R     S H O C K 


This morning I was listening to the podcast (from Stitcher) of This Week In Tech: Episode 378 from TWIT.TV – it’s a good, fun episode – when I found out that I had some apps to update on my iPhone 5.  Of course this little iPhone 5 machine can update away while I’m listing to Stitcher, so I proceeded to give my blessings so the updates could update.

Next, “Genius,” the Apple app Recommender-In-Chief that I’ve wisely enabled, suggested a few apps I just had to have.  Check.  Got them.

Next came another Genius app recommendation – BAND OF THE DAY.  Band Of The Day, according to its own statement of honest hype, “unearths the best new music by delivering one new artist a day, every single day.  Through expert curation, free music (commercial-free and uninterrupted), a stunning user interface, videos, photographs, biographies, and more, we help you discover your new favorite band.”  And wouldn’t you know, I loved today’s recommendation – Minotaur Shock.  Even if I was always a bit scared of Newton the Minotaur – maybe he was a centaur and not a minotaur? –  from The Mighty Hercules animated series that was aired when I was a little kid.  (I kept expecting to run into a minotaur one day in the woods near my house. I never did.)

I love the song and video that is being pushed  –  Saundersfoot.  The opening wind chimes sounds work perfectly and the composition unfolds really nicely.  I heard “Saundersfoot” first and then came to the video after hearing about 5 other songs by MInotaur Shock.  I hear elements of acid jazz, ambient and Aaron Copland (his pandiatonicism) in this composition.

The brief description of Minotaur Shock, from the record label, contains a word that will likely scare off some young audiences.  The description:  “Gorgeously warm and tranquil electronic music from a Bristol, UK producer.”  Of course that frightening word is… T R A N Q U I L.”  If tranquil is “not your cup of tea” (to keep up the British theme of these sentences), just tell yourself that the music is warmongering, threatening, inked and bad ass, force yourself to concentrate and listen for 30 minutes, and you’ll be fine, improved and even glad you did.

I wrote that last sentence after taking my own advice and listening to song after song by Dave Edwards aka Minotaur Shock for about 30 minutes (there’s that 30 minute theme again).

This is a rarer moment than in old days – I’ve just found some new music I like.  Often I like people more than their music (I am usually surrounded by music of friends and especially new friends I don’t yet know well).  Orchard, this new Minotaur Shock album, is really good stuff  as is the Band Of The Day app.  I highly recommend both.

Have a great November 6, 2012, Election Day in the United States.