What could possibly be bad about teenagers trying to convince others to get into reading? Well, everything, if you’re Sony-ATV and the kids are parodying Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and turning it into “Read It.” The company, along with Jackson’s estate, have blocked a group of teens at a Pennsylvania library from posting their video on YouTube.
Sony-ATV is claiming they have the rights to the song, along with Jackson’s estate and don’t want it used in such a manner. But what would MJ say? The kids think he would’ve approved wholeheartedly.
According to ABC News, the kids say the trouble started when they posted their version of the song on Nov. 19, and Sony-ATV blocked it just three days after it went up.
In response, the teens and library staff put up another video called “Just UN Ban-It” where the kids talked about how unfair it was of the publishing company to issue such a smackdown on their attempt to share the love of reading.
“If [Michael Jackson] would have seen this ‘Read It’ video, he would have blessed it, and I’m just ashamed at Sony,” the library’s director says in the video.
Sony told ABC that it would allow the video to stay up on the library site, but not YouTube.
“While it is not our common practice to do so, we made an exception for the [library] students, waiving all fees, because it is a well-intentioned effort by the students to motivate kids to read,” the statement said.
But you know that saying about tunes? They can change, as it seems Sony has relented. The video is now viewable on YouTube, as well as on the library site.