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Music Entertainment

NBC Erases SNL Sketch From Digital Archive For Fear of Copyright Lawsuit 128 128

M.Nunez writes with a tale of copyright woes. From the article: "The digital 'Saturday Night Live' archive does not feature a recent Bruno Mars sketch because it includes impersonations of pop singers and their chart-topping hits. Bruno Mars sings several songs that are not owned by NBC, so it can be presumed that the company refrained from uploading the sketch into its digital archive to avoid any legal issues. Convoluted music licensing laws have essentially erased the Bruno Mars sketch from the digital archives of SNL. In the short comedy sketch, Bruno Mars impersonates vocal performances by Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Louis Armstrong, and Michael Jackson. The sketch cannot be found on or Hulu, as a short clip or in either full editions of the episode."
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NBC Erases SNL Sketch From Digital Archive For Fear of Copyright Lawsuit

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  • This is not new (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:53PM (#41753833)

    SNL regularly doesn't post sketches that involve music in some way. Even if they can defend themselves with fair use, a lawyer probably decided it's simply not worth the hassle for the ad revenue it generates.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:02PM (#41753989)

    Music has always been a very sticky item in the motion pictures (TV and movies).

    A lot of the time, you can get permissions to do X, but you can't do Y (e.g., you can tape a production for broadcast, but you can't put it on a DVD). Especially with older things - many TV shows have to be re-cut with licensed music (this can include the opening sequence and credits too) as the original contracts for licensing never included home video or anything else. And some material can't be licensed anymore as their creators are dead and all that (and their estates refuse to grant licenses or permission).

    It's just another aspect of the convoluted nature of copyright and licensing.

    Top Gun was probably one of the first movies to use a LOT of licensed music during the movie (music composed specifically for a movie (soundtrack scores and such) usually are licensed fully to the movie for further uses as part of the movie, but external music often has commercial value that makes it impractical to grant it).

    It's a horrendous mess and something lawyers spend a lot of client money on in trying to obtain releases.

    Heck, I know one concert was recorded for Blu-Ray/DVD and PBS. PBS was allowed to include some extra tracks (as a non-profit) that were not allowed to be put on the Blu-Ray or DVD (because those were commercial ventures). Of course, the entire concert couldn't be put in since some didn't include recording and rebroadcast rights...

  • Re:Let Me Say (Score:5, Informative)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:06PM (#41754049) Homepage []

    It happened.

    It was pretty good I guess. I think the point of this article is to highlight how ridiculous this has all become. Parody is ALWAYS protected and he mixed up the words [ostensibly] as a form of parody expression. But rather than fight about it, they [too] would rather give up and give in.

    They can't even be civil among themselves, so what hope to we, the little people, have in dealing with this bastards?

  • Re:This is not new (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:16PM (#41754183)
    Parody. In the sketch, a bunch of songs are sung with the wrong words, but the station manager says it's ok because nobody knows those words anyway.
  • Re:This is not new (Score:4, Informative)

    by Genda (560240) <mariet&got,net> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @03:21PM (#41755783) Journal

    No Lawyers are the enemy of humor. Corporations out to dominate the world and the people in it are the enemy of comedy. Fact is, these people are a threat to human expression, thought, and artistic self expression everywhere. We need to yank these clowns up short so hard their grandkids will feel the choke. Its time to dispense with these structures because their misuse and abuse by greedy scum sucking pigs has become a detriment to society at large. Or at least a MAJOR overhaul is called for. For certain we need to make nuisance suits expensive to those suing so they think twice.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel