« Fueled | Main | Anticipation Without Obviousness »

October 9, 2008

No Respect

The old fart known as John McCain apparently has no respect for intellectual property rights, merchandising his faltering campaign by appropriating songs by Jackson Brown ("Running on Empty") and Foo Fighters ("My Hero") without permission. McCain's vacuous running mate, Sarah Palin, a self-proclaimed pit-bull in lipstick, snatched the Heart song "Barracuda," to Heart's dismay. Jackson Browne sued, while the others groaned at loss of control over their own material.

The Foo Fighters hit the nail on the head of the hypocrites: "It's frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property."

Roger Fisher, co-writer of "Barracuda," said he will give a portion of his royalty income to the Democrats to fight the scourge of rampant Republicanism. Rock on.

Posted by Patent Hawk at October 9, 2008 10:05 AM |


Patent Hawk, stick to patents. You've fully distorted the issues here.


3. What Does the ASCAP License Do?

ASCAP gives you a license to entertain your customers, guests and employees with the world's largest musical repertory. One of the greatest advantages of the ASCAP license is that it give you the right to perform ANY or ALL of the millions of the musical works in our repertory. Whether your music is live, broadcast, transmitted or played via CD's or videos, your ASCAP license covers your performances. And with one license fee, ASCAP saves you the time, expense, and burden of contacting thousands of copyright owners.

Posted by: NIPRA anonymous at October 9, 2008 11:19 AM

What NIPRA said. Your ignorance is showing, Patent Hawk.

P.S. Usually the venue (like XCEL Center where the GOP convention was held) carries the ASCAP/BMI license.

Posted by: pikkumatti at October 9, 2008 11:55 AM

NIPRA anonymous:

Thanks for the comment.

From the ASCAP license terms -

"[T]he song... still legally belongs to the songwriter who created it, and the music publisher who markets it. When you use other people's property, you need to ask permission."

While the parameters of the ASCAP license as told by the web page are unclear, if the song writers had no legal basis to squawk, this wouldn't be news.

The blog entry was based on content from Reuters and Associated Press.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at October 9, 2008 12:25 PM

It's news only because the musicians squawked, but it's clear that there is no copyright issue because I have no reason to doubt that McPalin have their performance license.

Check out:

In any case, vote Obama!

Posted by: MadEsq at October 9, 2008 1:11 PM

PatentHawk, when you are in a hole, stop digging. (You're not quoting the license terms, you're quoting FAQ #1 from the ASCAP website.) Once the songwriter gives ASCAP the right to license the song, ASCAP has the right to license the song -- regardless of ultimate ownership.

And just because someone complains, even about copyright and even if it "makes the news", it doesn't mean they are right. Ask Yoko Ono.

Posted by: pikkumatti at October 9, 2008 2:20 PM

Just guessing... The ASCAP license covers normal kinds of uses, like playing music over the radio or in a restaurant.

Here, the songs were adapted as campaign themes. This strikes me as qualitativey different and therefore likely outside of the ASCAP license. Part of the qualitative difference lies not in the copyright/performance rights but in the trademark/sponsorship rights. Both Jackson Brown and Foo Fighters have strong liberal views. I suspect their complaints, therefore, lie not in unauthorized performances, but in the false impression of sponsorship that McCain and Palin are giving by associating the music of these artists with their political campaigns.

Stepping back, I think Patent Hawk deserves our gratitude and respect for his hard work on this blog. Personal attacks are wrong, wrong, wrong.
To make matters worse, NIPRA anonymous hid behind an anonymous moniker. Do the right thing. Unmask yourself. And apologize.

Posted by: Steve Sereboff at October 9, 2008 2:49 PM

Apparently not an entirely accurate posting. Sorry.

"Lawsuits" should have read "lawsuit." According the New York Times, the only lawsuit was by Jackson Browne, who filed a complaint in August over a television commercial sponsored by the Republican party.

Other uproar has simply been demands to stop playing their tunes (Heart, John Mellencamp, Foo Fighters), because they apparently have no legal recourse under licensing contract. Whining, bleeding-heart liberals hellbent on ruining the country after eight years of prosperity by that war-mongering, deregulating, don't-tax-but-spend George Bush, God bless him.

Sam Moore asked the Obama campaign to stop using “Soul Man.” It is an outrage that a virtual white guy with two left feet named Barack Obama would ever consider such a song. (To those who take umbrage to the obvious tongue-in-cheek remark, my only answer is: “Yo! Homey got no sly.”)

Wired Blog Network reports: "The McCain-Palin campaign respects copyright," explained McCain-Palin spokesman Brian Rogers. "This campaign has obtained and paid for licenses from performing rights organizations, giving us permission to play millions of different songs, including 'My Hero.'"

pikkumatti, I'm not asking Yoko Ono anything. That lady is peculiar. (Is that the pot calling the kettle black?!)

For me, the tempest-in-a-teapot was worth it just to post a picture of that sex kitten Sarah Palin poser Tina Fey, in full strum, a cat's meow of comedy.

Thanks for the comments, and keeping me on my toes. Oh, how I love to dance...

Serious coda. I have not taken what has been written in comments so far as a personal attack. I did not think NIPRA anonymous was out of line. And it appears he was right. Hard to argue with that.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at October 9, 2008 3:54 PM

"To make matters worse, NIPRA anonymous hid behind an anonymous moniker. Do the right thing. Unmask yourself. And apologize."

Sorry, Steve I was working today.

Dave Testardi

Posted by: NIPRA anonymous at October 9, 2008 7:10 PM

... and I will add that Patent Prospector is my favorite patent blog... and it was not my intent at all to make a "personal attack" - so I'm glad Patent Hawk didn't take it that way - he is often what appears to me as the clearest sounding voice in the patent field.

Thank you, Patent Hawk, you deserve (and have) our gratitude and respect for your hard work on this blog.

Posted by: NIPRA anonymous at October 9, 2008 7:21 PM

I second NIPRA about our gratitude and respect for your work on this blog.

Sorry that I had to use the nuclear option of Yoko. I was just trying to end the battle before
it became a war.

P.S. We pseudononymous (not "anonymous", thank you very much -- "NIPRA anonymous" is pseudononymous even though "anonymous" is part of the pseudonym - Ha!) commenters need to stick together.

Posted by: pikkumatti at October 13, 2008 9:35 AM