Instead of author Charles Schulz ‘s words, the dialogue bubbles contained snippets from songs by the English pop band The Smiths . It was an inspired pairing. The Smiths’ melodramatic lyrics (sample: “Now I know how Joan of Arc felt”) become even more hyperbolic and funny when delivered by Charlie Brown as he sits up in bed at night, or by Snoopy sitting on his doghouse. LoPrete’s Tumblr feed has essentially one joke, but for fans of The Smiths (myself included), it’s a good one. But the music publishing arm of Universal Music Group, one of the three major record companies, apparently doesn’t find that joke funny anymore. Or at least its lawyers don’t. Last week, LoPrete posted a note on her page saying that she was going to have to stop the simulated music in the face of a growing number of requests from Universal Music Group to remove the material from Tumblr. She’d received a total of six takedown notices for three separate posts, and said more were coming in every hour. She’s received an outpouring of support online, though, and is pushing back. On Monday, her lawyer filed a counter-notice with Tumblr asking that the three posts be restored. “These brief excerpts [from The Smiths’ lyrics] are used to transformative effect,” wrote attorney Dan Booth. “They also have no commercial purpose, and cannot have any negative effect on the market for the original works. As a result, the takedown notices are erroneous.” Booth’s note touches on all four of the criteria in federal copyright law for judging whether a use is fair or infringing. This Charming Charlie doesn’t copy entire songs, it puts the lyrics in a wholly new context (arguably as a parody of The Smiths, which provides yet more legal protection), it doesn’t sell its content, and if anything, the page stokes demand for The Smiths’ music.
Music Hall project ‘on track’ but price tag still a challenge
She trailed only Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry last week in downloads, with Royals selling 263,000 copies. The song recently hit No. 1 on iTunes and has been steadily climbing Billboard’s Hot 100, sitting currently at No. 3. She’s already gained the admiration of musicians industry-wide, ranging from Cyrus to Elton John. Her single Tennis Court “is one of the most touching, beautiful things on earth,” John recently told USA TODAY . “You just open your mouth in wonder.” Lena Dunham, Olivia Wilde and Carson Daly also count themselves as fans. The Auckland native has two theories about why listeners have connected with her music: “There’s not a lot of reality in pop music sometimes. It can feel quite detached from people’s lives, and so that was something people appreciate about my music maybe. But also, it’s super, super simple, which is kind of refreshing.” Royals was inspired by the lavish, over-the-top lifestyle of hip-hop and pop artists. “I realized that lots of the references (in their lyrics) didn’t really relate to anything in my life,” says Lorde, though she does count herself as a fan of Drake and Nicki Minaj.
He said he does not think a proposed cultural tax levy would impede fundraising for Music Hall. aIam confident we can raise $20 million to $30 million, but it will be very difficult (to bridge the gap) without some help,a he said. That help will come in the form of a promised $10 million from the city, historic tax credits, private fundraising and potentially state money in 2014, he said. Updated architectural renderings, he said, could be ready for public viewing in about three months. Recently, the revitalization group announced that it had partnered with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC), which is transforming Over-the-Rhine and will also undertake renovations of Memorial Hall. Along with GBBN and Messer Construction, 3CDC is currently in the avalue engineeringa phase a analyzing the design building features and systems for lowest cost and best performance and reliability. The next step will be to produce architectural drawings and begin the bidding process. Although the plans are revised a pared down from the original $165 million plan, some things remain unchanged, such as new and upgraded restrooms and reduced seating capacity in Springer Auditorium. The proposal has been to reduce the hall by at least 1,000 seats. aSeating will be reduced,a Budig said, citing the need to create demand for tickets. And not least, athe acoustics will be preserved and protected,a he said. The escalators will be upgraded, and additional high-speed elevators will be added. And the much-loved chandelier will stay. Budig cited steps achieved in the past year, which included negotiating a long-term lease agreement of 75 years with the city, which owns the building.