Adding Resources to – My Digital Hoarding On Display

Adding Resources to – 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: Tech Tech IP MusEnt Tech IP Tech Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech IP MusEnt IP A MT MusEnt A 3 Tech IP A 3 MusEnt Tech MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech IP Tech IP A MT MusEnt IP IP IP IP Tech IP MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech IP Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech A MT Tech MusEnt MusEnt A MT A 3 MusEnt A MT A MT Tech A 3 MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt A MT Tech Tech Tech Tech 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.

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 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.”


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

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.)



Making Music Make Sense; Making Music Make Evidence


I spoke to students and faculty at the Harvard University Law School on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.  I am always thrilled and humbled to be invited to come to that great campus and interact with these brilliant, insightful and original thinkers.  Fortunately, many of our ideas and concerns overlap and intersect and as fortunately, there are always surprises for me and them.

One constant issue with which I struggle is how to explain music – music as evidence – evidence that will sway a judge and/or jury to understand what I know about the music.  Many probing questions were addressed to me about this concern.  Explaining music as evidence to a judge and/or jury is similar to teaching whether in the forms of interaction with a student, small group of students, class, or large class in person or online.  Teaching music, something I have been paid to do since I was 12, has always been an extremely happy-engendering, inspiring activity that is similar to presenting evidence of a musical nature.  The end goals – will my intended audience understand how I perceive this music – are similar.  Is what I have selected and arranged for the particular audience pertinent, relevant, meaningful and/or convincing?

Teaching a judge and/or jury is analogous to teaching in the traditional offline and online manner.  (Online instruction has been around long enough – since the pre-Google, pre-Napster mid/late 1990’s – that I would claim online teaching is itself “traditional” and that there are traditional models of online education.)  At its core, there are perhaps four (4) components with respect to evidence –


Means of communication



which to me are tantamount to





The following possibilities are in play:

Have I gathered the right materials to get across my point(s)?

If so, have I used the right or good/good enough, means to get across my point(s)?

If I do not have the right materials, then even if the means to present the materials are very good, the end result could be failure.

If I have the best means to convey my message/materials but have gathered  material that is not optimal, the end result could be failure.


How does one make music make sense or make music make evidence?  Does music ever make sense?  What does it mean to “make sense?”  A lot of effort and ink has been spent on trying to understand the meaning of music and even more have labored to understand the meaning of life.  (Let’s leave life out of this!)  But the meaning of music, from a philosophical perspective, is irrelevant in most and perhaps every legal situation.

How does one explain music?  By explain music, I am suggesting that we can make someone hear something specific and special in music.  It could be a chord or chord pattern, an unusual sound or sounds, a specific melody or melodies, a lyric or lyrics, a combination of any or all of these, etc.


What will best convey the message, i.e., make the evidence most effective?  What is/are the most important factor(s) in making the message understandable and persuasive to listeners, jury, judge, students and audience?

A.   The messenger’s skills, credentials and background.

B.   The nature and quality of the technical and visual exhibits (charts, numbers, graphs, images, etc.).

C.   The musical examples (perhaps edited and/or enhanced).

D.   The musical examples along with technical exhibits and complex verbal expression.

E.   The musical examples along with technical exhibits and simple, understandable verbal expression.

F.   The musical examples along with non-technical exhibits and simple, understandable verbal expression.

G.   The musical examples along with non-technical exhibits and complex verbal expression. 


Musical evidence can be

1.  Technical

2.  Not Technical

3.  A Hybrid of Technical & Not Technical

Can one type of evidence work in one particular instance and another type of evidence work in another instance?

Would a musical style dictate or suggest a particular type of evidence?

Can the style and substance of evidence differ according to a musical style?


(This post reminds me of another post of mine – Which Words Work With Which Music? – in which the difficulties and frustrations of writing about music are played with.)

These and many more questions should be addressed and evaluated along the road to making music make sense and making music make evidence.  Until then the state of musical evidence and its presentation continues to be (as reflected in this short lyric) “something wild and unruly.”


Putting It My Way But Nicely – There Should Be No More Lawsuits…


Music of Bach, Badfinger, The Beatles, Toby Keith, Sebastian Mikael, Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Rolling Stones,  XTC

The 3-4-5-8 from Sebastian Bach to Sebastian Mikael.


Not the Michael Jackson film, THIS IS IT, but the 5th and final SHOULD Artist X Sue Artist Y over 3-4-5-8 post.

The final post about 3-4-5-8.  This could have gone much longer and it could have been massively expanded if 3-4-5-1, which to many is the same as 3-4-5-8 (“8” and “1” are the same letter – an octave above or below each other – the last letter name of the pitch is identical).  It’s been fun but now we’ll be

putting it my way, but nicely.

To repeat – this will end my discussion of potential lawsuits over four different notes – the nice four-note [-3-4-5-8-] melody with some variation.  (In addition to this being designated by Arabic numbers representing pitches, it could be designated as, “mi fa sol do,” but I chose numbers this time as I learned numbers before I learned solfège syllables, one of a musician’s favorite mnemonic devices.)

I’ve considered the following to be the same – they are roughly the same:


3-4-5-5-8-8-8  (as sung by Badfinger)

All of this came about because I heard “Last Night” by Sebastian Mikael for the first time as I was driving home from the airport in Nashville one Sunday night (February 23, 2014) and couldn’t help but notice the 3-4-5-8’s jumping out of the car radio.  That led to an investigation of the 3-4-5-8 melody as well as the music of Sebastian Mikael, Toby Keith, XTC, Badfinger,  The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and more.

The string of posts went in this order, from the most recently released music, back to The Rolling Stones.

Toby Keith – Red Solo Cup (2011)  v.  Sebastian Mikael – Last Night ft. Wale (2013)

XTC –  Then She Appeared (1992)  v.  Toby Keith – Red Solo Cup (2011)

Badfinger – Come And Get It  (1970)  v.  XTC – Then She Appeared  (1992)

The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man  (1968)  v.  Badfinger – Come And Get It (1970)


Today, I’ll add a few more and end my pursuit of the 3-4-5-8  melodic gesture. There are many other 3-4-5-8 melodic gestures in a lot of of music by artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, The Mavericks, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Bach, Beethoven and others.

Beatles – Little Child (1963)

0.09  little child won’t you dance (with me)  –  (“with me” is sung to 6-5)

0.22  little child won’t you dance (with me)

0.44  little child won’t you dance (with me)

1.26  little child won’t you dance (with me)

from “The King & I” – Getting To Know You  (1951) (by Rodgers & Hammerstein)

0.01  getting to know you

0.04  getting to know all (about you)

0.16  getting to know you

0.19  putting it my way (but nicely)

0.31  getting to know you

0.34  getting to feel free (and easy)

1.08  getting to know you

1.11  getting to know all (about you)

1.23  getting to know you

1.26  putting it my way (but nicely)

1.38  getting to know you

1.41  getting to feel free (and easy)

and frequently throughout

Bach – Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068 – Bourree I  (1730)

3-4-5-8 is played by oboes and violins in unison at the opening of the Bourree from Suite No. 3 for Orchestra .  It is heard at 0.00 and repeated soon at 0.08.  It also changes keys and is heard again later as well.

Bach used 3-4-5-8 as a nice little melodic snippet.  Bach’s version is faster than those sung by Sebastian Mikael, Toby Keith, Toby Keith, Andy Partridge (XTC), Tom Evans (Badfinger), Mick Jagger, John Lennon or Marni Nixon (King & I).


I’ve been asked for my opinion as to whether any of those infringe.  In my opinion, NONE of those I have posted  infringe on any copyright of which I am aware. 

3-4-5-8 is a snippet that dates back centuries – I have posted a few prominent uses of 3-4-5-8 from 1730 – 2013.  After having studied these recordings and the specific uses of 3-4-5-8, I am convinced that this melody/melodic excerpt is in the public domain.  Lawsuits should rarely if ever stem from the use of 3-4-5-8 although sadly there are copyright infringement lawsuits filed over much less in common than simply four (4) unoriginal pitches.

“Putting it my way but nicely”  –  none of these musical works featuring 3-4-5-8 infringe any of these other works featuring 3-4-5-8 and none should have caused or been the cause of a copyright infringement lawsuit._______________________________________________________________



Blind Lemon Jefferson – The Big Bang Of Blues


This is my 100th post, the actual transition from a 2-digit to 3-digit size collection of my musings onto the Inter-Tubes and towards a 4-digit size collection that will complete this part of my manifest destiny.

In a previous post (February 23, 2014), Albert King’s Searching For A Woman  (1961) was traced to Carl Perkins’ Matchbox  (1956) to Leadbelly’s Packin’ Trunk  (1935) to Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Match Box Blues  (1927).


Another famous blues song, That’s All Right (sometimes known as “That’s Alright, Mama” or “That’s All Right, Mama”) can also be traced back from its best known version to earlier versions of that song.

In 1954, Elvis Presley recorded Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right.”

Elvis Presley – That’s All Right (1954)

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup – That’s All Right (1946).

Elvis in That’s All Right sings Crudup’s lyric nearly exactly.  From 0.10 – 0.30:

Well that’s all right, mama, that’s all right for you, that’s all right mama, just any way you do that’s all right, that’s all right, that’s all right now mama any way you do…”

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup –  That’s All Right Mama (1946.)  From 0.16 – 0.37:

“Well now that’s all right mama, that’s all right for you, that’s all right now mama any way you do but that’s all right, that’s all right, that’s all right now mama any way you do..”

Big Bill Broonzy – It’s A Lowdown Dirty Shame (1942).  Big Bill Broonzy sings of his love for a no-good married woman.  From 1.30 – 1.53:

“My baby, baby that’s alright with you, ooh baby that’s alright with you, baby that’s alright baby I mean that what you do…”

Blind Lemon Jefferson – That Black Snake Moan (1926).  From 1.33 – 1.55:

“Mama, that’s all right, mama that’s all right for you, Mama, that’s all right, mama that’s all right for you, Say baby that’s all right, most any old way you do…”


A variant of the phrase, “that’s all right, mama, that’s all right for you, that’s all right mama, any way you do,” can be traced to Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Was sole authorship of the lyric “that’s all right, mama, that’s all right for you, that’s all right mama, any way you do,” important?

Is the determination of authorship of the lyric important now?

Is this lyric, or a particular version/variant of it, under copyright or in the public domain?

Can anyone use a particular portion/variant of it if the original is in the public domain?

Would use of the short, “that’s all right, mama,” be permissible under any circumstances?


Blind Lemon Jefferson might be the Big Bang of Blues.

Carl Perkins’ Matchbox (1956) can be traced to Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Match Box Blues  (1927).

Elvis Presley’s That’s All Right (1954) can be traced to Blind Lemon Jefferson – That Black Snake Moan (1926).

There are other songs that can be traced to Blind Lemon Jefferson who in turn learned many songs from his contemporaries and those who came before him.  Authorship, sole authorship and copyright were not relevant to many practitioners of many styles of music.