If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you’re no doubt familiar with the method employed by other characters to soothe uptight scientist Sheldon when he gets upset: a lullaby about a soft, nice kitty that helps him settle down to sleep when he’s having trouble. That “Soft Kitty” song has also turned into big merchandising bucks, money the show doesn’t deserve according to a new lawsuit that claims the lyrics are a ripoff. [More]
You know how there are those people who, no matter what job they have, somehow retain a cheery outlook? And if you’re grumpy like me you wish they’d go away, but secretly you marvel at how they spread cheer to everyone around them and make the day more pleasant? Well, that’s one thing you’ll no longer find at a Burger King in a Concord, NH, mall. The district manager put a stop to it.
Terry Hoskins, the guy in Ohio who bulldozed his home earlier this month to prevent it from being taken back and auctioned off by his bank, is now the subject of a song. Someone else made t-shirts and caps–they feature a bright yellow bulldozer and the words, “Take ‘Er Down”–that are being sold to raise money for him. WLWT says Hoskins didn’t break any laws by dozing the home, but as he puts it, “I still have a mortgage of ($160,000). I still (have) to pay that.”
Do you marvel at the ridiculous products in the SkyMall catalog? Musician Nina Katchadourian does, and she has written a song about them, viewed through the lens of the cats featured within its pages. The SkyMall Kitties.
According to Rolling Stone, when M.I.A.’s new album comes out later this year, there will be a track on it called “I’m Down Like Your Internet Connection”–and it will feature “Filipino Verizon workers singing the hook.”
In March Daniel downloaded two tracks from iTunes that wouldn’t play. He re-downloaded them several times and complained to customer service, getting several free downloads as a result, but the problem persisted. It took nearly the entire year for iTunes pull the tracks offline, he says.
Since the Beatles are notorious for refusing to release their music online, the mere fact that BlueBeat.com was selling them was kind of strange, which probably explains why EMI just sued them for copyright infringement. But BlueBeat has come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation. The songs aren’t really Beatles songs, you see, but “psycho-acoustic simulations” and therefore original works.
The new music search capabilities that Google introduced today will make it easier to quickly find a song you can’t remember the name of, or sample some tracks from an artist you’re interested in. But it’s not so much a new service as a more efficient combination of a bunch of services already scattered around the web.
Musician Dave Carroll hit the jackpot with his first song, “United Breaks Guitars,” last month. The song, the video, and the subsequent media coverage formed a perfect anti-ad for United’s poor handling of customer property. Now he’s released the second of his planned three-song cycle and this one has more of a “we could have had something together” feel to it. Like any sequel, it’s about 600 times more elaborate. We’ll always love “United Breaks Guitars” most of all, but it’s great to see Carroll continue his one-man shaming of an airline for not doing the right thing when it had the chance.
We officially love Dave Carroll now. Not only is he cute and a good singer, but he’s classy (check out how he defends the United employee in this video response) and has principles. The best part is at the end he encourages us to stay tuned for song #2. United hoped it could pay for the guitar and put an end to the bad publicity—but it looks like you’re not getting off that easily, United. Check out the full video response below.
When United Airlines broke Dave Carroll’s $3500 Taylor guitar in the the spring of 2008, he contacted them to ask for compensation. After all, he and other passengers watched from the plane as United baggage handlers actually threw his guitar around on the tarmac. United said they wouldn’t pay for the damages, so Carroll wrote this catchy song about how much United sucks. We think it should go in United’s next ad campaign.
Not content to let the RIAA get all the recent publicity for stupid lawsuits, ASCAP has sued AT&T over sales of ringtones, saying each time a ringtone plays it’s a public performance and royalties should be paid. Luckily (?) for consumers, ASCAP wants AT&T, not individuals, to pay—although we wonder what they’ll say when you take a track from your own library and make a ringtone out of it.
Update: Mike writes back to say that after reading the comments below, he checked his purchase history and the album is indeed listed there. What’s confusing is Mike didn’t buy it through iTunes, but through Amazon, but he says that other people did have access to his account and may have purchased it without his knowledge.
Last week, Walmart sent out emails to its online music store customers letting them know that on October 9th, 2008, they will no longer be able to play any DRM-crippled tracks. Unlike Yahoo, which did the right thing by offering free replacement downloads of unprotected songs when they killed their DRM program, Walmart simply brags about its new unlicensed model and tells you to burn your protected tracks to CD if you really want to listen to them in the future. Good job, Walmart, there goes another betrayed consumer into the welcoming arms of digital piracy. And another. And another…
“Condom!” is a free ringtone for your phone. It’s being promoted in India as part of a campaign to normalize condom use, but there’s no reason you can’t put it on your own phone to impress and amaze fellow diners, bus riders, church goers, etc. It’s also catchy! [Crave]
Although it won’t affect other cases, the RIAA was handed a small smackdown this week when a U.S. district judge rejected their request for a summary judgement, and ruled that putting song files in a shared directory was not enough proof that infringement had occurred.