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Music Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music 137

An anonymous reader writes After Disney objected to musician Joel Zimmerman [aka Deadmau5]'s trademark application in the U.S. (his logo is already properly trademarked in many other countries), a battle of trademarks and copyrights ensued. Apparently, Disney was (URL has since been disabled, as per DMCA law requires) hosting a video containing a remix of music which Zimmerman claims ownership of. Not only that, but the Deadmau5 logo was prominently displayed next to said video. The mouse fight was on and a few hours ago Deadmau5 retaliated with a rather surprising counter attack. As it turns out, Disney is hosting a Deadmau5 video on their website, without permission. "Disney prominently features the deadmau5 Mark next to the Infringing Video. implying a non-existent endorsement by Zimmerman," the letter reads. "Again. we are unaware of any license allowing you the right to reproduce, distribute or otherwise exploit the deadmau5 Mark or to exploit Zimmerman's name and likeness in connection with same." At the time of writing Disney hasn't complied with the request, but it seems that they have no other option than to comply. Whether it will change anything in their stance towards the DJ's mouse ear trademark application is doubtful though.
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Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music

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  • hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @03:19PM (#47842261) Homepage
    on the one hand, we have a guy who wears a mouse head, dances, and hits "play" and gets paid major for using other peoples music

    than, there is disney

    what side am I supposed to be on here???
  • by david.given ( 6740 ) <dg@cowl a r k . c om> on Saturday September 06, 2014 @03:21PM (#47842271) Homepage Journal
    ...I now finally understand what the roof-top party scene in Goat Simulator is all about.

    Thanks, Disney!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    typical jobs/disney attitude.
    I can screw you but you can't.

    • Re:Apple effect (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sillybilly ( 668960 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @03:58PM (#47842459)

      And Disney is screwing everyone alright by lobbying for the copyright extension from 2000 to 2020, new stuff entering into public domain frozen and suspended for 20 years, and the last automatically public domain material is stuck at 1923, for 20 years, and I can sit here twirl my thumbs waiting for that. Because of Mickey Mouse, I can't freely read scientific stuff published in 1924, like organic chemistry things, or even vacuum tube things. Fuck Disney. If it were up to Disney and the bloodsuckers like them, intellectual property management firms, they'd modify copyright law to have perpetual copyright, or practically perpetual. But the fact is, that the principle still stands, that copyright is only temporary, and eventually everything enters the public domain, even if Disney has succeeded in lobbying to pervert the laws to make copyright last practically forever, or almost forever. The original copyright term in the US was 14 years, renewable to 28 years total. Eventually we'll have copyright that lasts "only" 1325 years, and then I will really need a lot of patient thumb twirling before something finally enters public domain. As long as we keep the principle, that intellectual property is ultimately public domain, and private only temporarily, it's all good.

      • Re:Apple effect (Score:4, Insightful)

        by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @08:17PM (#47843451)

        Question is, how do we win round 2 .. which is coming soon. Works start falling out of copyright in 2019, Disney will and other corps will move to protect their monopolies. How can we stop that? Public action stopped things like SOPA.

        The term "intellectual property" is I believe a misnomer. There is first of all no innate right to intellectual property. The right to own a copyright is no different than the right to drive on the roads, you have to be given the right by the government on the basis of meeting certain requirements. This is very different from a fundamental or innate right. You have an innate right to free speech, it is not something the government gives you's something you are born with. For example, if you own a physical object, you have the innate right not to have that object taken from you. But the US founding fathers saw that a person had no such innate right when it comes to inventions and art. Ideas are not your property once you describe them. That is why the constitution says that such monopolies on ideas should be granted by Congress *ONLY* IF IT SPURS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE USEFUL ARTS. It is very different from freedom of speech, which you have regardless of the effect on society, a person has no such innate right to monopolize their own inventions and art.

        According to the constitution Congress has the right .. "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

        According to that text, it's clear the current Supreme Court is shirking its responsibility by allowing excessive copyright and patent terms. Excessive copyright terms don't meet the fundamental constitutional requirement of advancing the useful arts and sciences. Disney made a lot of money by taking advantage of the expired copyrights of traditional stories such as sleeping beauty, beauty and the beast etc. I mean even The Lion King is a retelling of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Did Disney compensate Shakespeare for stealing his story??? If Shakespeare's estate still owned the copyright of Hamlet, Disney would not have been able to make Hamlet. This is clearly proof that the useful arts and sciences are being hindered by excessive copyright terms. The first US copyright laws had only a few years in length .. and that was in a time where it was much harder to market one's work throughout the country and make enough money in a short time.

        • Why do I have an innate right to own property? Is it only because it is a cultural norm? If I lived in a culture where, say, land is so plentiful, it doesn't make sense for any one person to own it. Would I still have an innate right to own that land?

          • You own the food you swallowed unless they force you to regurgitate it, and then you don't own that either. Usually, in a society you have your own underwear, unless your girlfriend steals it from you, in which case you don't really own that either, but you have your coat, your knife, that are personal property, then also your house or your tent, even under a nomadic way of life. Nomads don't have land as property because they have vast amounts of it, and usually none of it is very fertile, or agriculture i

          • You don't have an innate right to anything, however you have innate desires for rights like control over your property up to and including your own body. Society has organised such that we have set aside a portion of our resources to defend these "rights" collectively and make them a notional fact of life in that society.

            We pay taxes to defend our "rights" from our neighbours. In your erstwhile sharing economies, it was still collective contributions to the good of the whole and people that didn't want to c

      • by Anonymous Coward

        One wonders why Congress doesn't drop the pretense, take the suitcases full of money, and vote a law extending copyright exclusively for Disney-related properties. Other works would drop in the public domain after a few decades as they should, and everyone would be happier.

  • Working Disney link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    the link

  • by jcochran ( 309950 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @03:28PM (#47842299) []

    Although it may be soon slashdotted.

    • Different link. Remicks vs re-micks... In other words, they had it in more than one place. A little harder to fight wilful infringement when you have not really taken it down. :)
  • Apparently, Disney was [...] hosting a video containing a remix of music which Zimmerman claims ownership of. Not only that, but the Deadmau5 logo was prominently displayed next to said video. [...] As it turns out, Disney is hosting a Deadmau5 video on their website, without permission.

    So is there one video, or two?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2014 @06:33PM (#47843083)

      I was the one that submitted the article. Looks like the editor really worked it over pretty good (as they are wont to do). I don't mind him rewording what I wrote, but I don't much agree with the way he moved things around, messed with the formatting, and merged my own writing with the quotes of the original piece.

      What you're seeing is a result of that.

  • Normally I would side with anyone but Disney. From criminal copyright extension acts, to aggressive MPAA, RIAA support, to supporting trash like DMCA and even bribing the US police state to craft up illegal monopolistic oligarchical collectivist trash like the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension act which crafted an illegal unconstitutional law (by equal protection of laws) to extend the copyright of Mickey Mouse and Disney related trash which incidentally was initially STOLEN by Walt from Ub Iwerks.

    I've been l

    • When I first saw Deadmau5 the first thing I thought of was a comedy show starring Johnny Vegas in which one (silent)character called Cartoon Head wears a mouse head throughout. Then I thought of Mickey only because he's a cartoon mouse as well.

    • So corporations can rip people off all they want, as long as those people suck? Man, no wonder there's no good music these days.
  • Wait until California's Congressmen hear about this outrage. I predict that in 2 days, we'll see a bill in front of Obama which puts all copyrights and trademarks owned by non-corporations directly into the public domain.

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @05:32PM (#47842849)
    My uncle move to Orlando in the 80s, Still lives there. He is a professional musician, and submitted many songs to the Disny megalith (a few were purchased, I think for the Gummy Bears show).

    At any rate, he rarely goes TOO the parks, but was taking family visiting one time and what does he hear playing in Epcot, but one of his -unpurchased- songs. To my knowledge he is still fighting them. While not as big as Deadmau5, it makes it blatantly obvious that as a corporation Disney wants copyright control and DRM to protect itself but cares nothing for anyone else they drop a mouse turd on.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2014 @11:49PM (#47844205)

      Yep, that's typical behavior for Disney. A friend of mine does contract work for Disney. One of his projects was specifically for a mural on one of their theme park rides, and the contract limited Disney's rights to use it to only that ride. Some time later, my friend went to see Disney on Ice... and there's his mural being used as a backdrop. His agent sends them a letter informing them of their infringement. First they claim the artwork is not the one my friend did. Agent sends photographic evidence. They then claim the contract gave them the rights to use it for Disney on Ice. Agent sends contract with appropriate sections highlighted. They then ignore the agent's communications until legal action is threatened. They then finally send a huge check and a contract amendment. This process takes months. It's happened more than once, too. He basically has to periodically visit all Disney's parks and view all their output to keep an eye out for infringement. He gets to write it off, but still, he shouldn't have to. Standard operating procedure for Disney, wilfully misusing the work of others and stonewalling their inquiries. Like they say, you don't get rich writing checks.

  • The usurpator, revisionist, extremist (hey!).

  • by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @05:53PM (#47842927)

    My advice to Zimmermann: call your uncle Bob, and threaten some serious protest songs.


    • Where are the mod points when I need them. Sad day when nobody even at /. knows who Robert Zimmermann is.

  • Deadmau5 is clearly taking very strong inspiration from Disney and Takashi Murakami.
  • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Saturday September 06, 2014 @07:13PM (#47843225)

    While I understand the similarity to the Mickey ears, people are highly unlikely to confuse this guy with Mickey Mouse or with Disney.

    That being said, Mickey Mouse should be in the public domain by now. Disney keeps "donating" to enough politicians that every time their copyright is about to expire they extend it. Copyright law was originally designed to give a company the opportunity to earn a profit on their creation but the tradeoff was that the works would become public. It was balanced such that companies were forced to innovate. Now we have lifetime monopolies that can last several generations....

    • by tibit ( 1762298 )

      Copyright and trademark aren't the same thing. Don't mix them up. It makes the argument sound silly.

  • A quick google search reveals I'm not the first to note the similarity [].
    (The 1981 release of Heavy Metal, lest there be confusion)
  • []

    Mickey Mouse was stolen to begin with. Fuck em.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann