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Thread September 6, 2014 editorial: comments

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1 September 6, 2014 editorial: comments

Mickey Mouse Sues Deadmou5 Over His Ears

The Disney company is taking EDM star Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman) to court over his ears. Based on Disney's track record of aggressively suing anyone who it perceives as violating its trademarks, it's surprising it took this long. Deadmau5 somehow managed to fly under Disney's radar for ten years, while wearing a light-up mouse head onstage that some might say is reminiscent of Mickey. But when Zimmerman filed for a trademark for the design, the Disney legal department was suddenly all ears.

Deadmau5 tweeted the following response when he heard of the suit: “Lawyer up Mickey.” It should be an interesting fight.

While I think Disney is a bit over the top with this particular legal action, I do believe, as a rule, that intellectual property should be protected. For those of us who write music, it's crucial.

If I write a piece of music and post it online, I don’t want somebody to use it commercially without compensating me, whether they’re in Tibet, Tierra del Fuego or Tucson. I don’t mind sharing it, and I like the whole Creative Commons concept, but if somebody takes my music off the Internet, and uses it for a commercial project without my permission, and without paying for it, that’s a different story.

It’s difficult to police music piracy in the vastness of the World Wide Web, but without penalties for those who steal, such theft would be even more rampant. A songwriter or commercial composer’s chance of making a profit has already been seriously diminished, thanks in large part to the huge supply of available music online, which has devalued it as a commodity. Without the threat of consequences for intellectual property theft, the ability to earn money from writing music could dry up completely.

I know there are some who advocate that everything posted online should be fair game and free to use, but I don’t agree. What do you think?

Have a great week.

Mike Levine

U.S. Editor, Audiofanzine

2
I agree. The only way to make a living currently is playing live. Selling CDs or downloads, unless you have a big company backing you, is almost impossible.
3
even with a big company backing you, it's hard to make big money without a good live show, or in fact, cutting away the big company. Radiohead produced In Rainbows in-house, and even after offering it through their web site with a name-your-own-price system in place (I would have paid $0 as I was in college at the time, but I decided to pay $2 for their hard work :bravo:), they made much more than they ever did before with the big companies.

Since then, it's been even harder, and bands need to focus on a great live show (as Muse and many others have done) in order to really keep their 'brand' up-to-speed and well known enough to drive consistent sales.

By the way, I thought this whole deadmau5 vs disney feud started with Disney using a deadmau5 track (ghosts n stuff) on a cartoon of theirs without deadmau5's consent? Baaaaaad mouse, bad bad mouse!
4
I wounder how these people "who advocate that everything posted online should be fair game and free to use"
would feel about, or react to having anything or everything that they have posted online used in a way they don't agree with.
5
Good point. They probably wouldn't be too happy.