A Very Merry Unbirthday to Warner Music Group

Ever wondered why restaurants insist on doing weird clapping cheers instead of just singing Happy Birthday To You? It’s because, for the past eighty years or so, various copyright owners have jealously protected the song, demanding licensing fees for its commercial use. In 1988, Warner/Chappell (Warner) acquired the copyright and makes about $2 million annually in royalties from it. Or at least they used to. Continue reading

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Graffiti Counts Too: Why Katy Perry’s MET Gala Dress is Less High Fashion and More High Crime

She’s done it again. Katy Perry has found herself in the middle of yet another scandal. Ignoring the suggested theme of “Chinese exhibition,” Perry attended the 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala in an Italian high-fashion Moschino gown featuring a graffiti design. Etiquette and possible fashion faux pas aside, there was one other glaring problem with the couture – the graffiti designs were blatantly stolen from a well-known artist, Rime. Continue reading

This Is How She Do: Katy Perry Threatens Copyright Suit Over “Left Shark”

The Super Bowl halftime show is nearly as big an event as the Super Bowl itself. Millions of people – many who are less than enthusiastic about football – tune in every year, so it is no surprise that the Left Shark during Perry’s “California Gurls” number received much recognition.

Perry had two dancing sharks behind her while she sang, and unfortunately, the Left Shark, found on “stage right,” seemed to have no idea what was going on, dancing off-tempo and making up its own moves in the background. Left Shark became an instant internet sensation, dancing into jokes, memes, and .gifs. And because the internet is a wonderful medium for the entrepreneurial spirit, Left Shark merchandise began appearing almost immediately afterward. Continue reading