Thursday 19 October 2017

DVD reviews

Kanye West. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)...E
Kanye West. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)...E

Niall Byrne

When Yeezus, Kanye West's new album, was leaked ahead of its already rushed release on Tuesday, there was no holding back of first opinions on social media indicating how widespread and normalised downloading leaked albums can now be.

Kanye himself, who has operated ultra-secure methods of storing recordings in the past, claimed not to care this time around.

"I have this new strategy," he told the audience at his album playback in New York last week. "It's called no strategy. This album is all about giving. This whole process is all about giving no fucks at all."

But fans downloading it didn't know or care what Kanye thought at the time. As was pointed out by John Power on Twitter in reply to Sean Adams from Drowned In Sound (bit.ly/seanyeez), who also showed surprise at the openness with which people were downloading Yeezus. "I guess people think 'hey it's OK as I'll be listening to it for free on Spotify on Tuesday'."

While recorded music sales are certainly in danger, the music industry has been avaricious in other ways. Did you know, every time you sing Happy Birthday you technically owe Warner/Chappell a licencing fee?

The song, which has been first traced back to 1893, should definitely be in the public domain by now, which means that its copyright has expired and people are free to do what they like with it.

Yet, Warner/Chappell has been claiming copyright on the song since the registration of a piano arrangement in 1935, meaning that US copyright of the song expires in 2030, while under EU law it expires in 2016.

That claim is being challenged by a lawsuit taken out by a documentary film company Good Morning to You Productions. The lawsuit will aim to force Warner/Chappell to pay back the millions they've made from licencing fees from others for the song by detailing the history of it in order to void the current copyright. The lawsuit (bit.ly/hbfile) makes for fascinating reading as will the case's outcome.

Irish Independent

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