Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" Acapella by Yeo Inhyeok
This video of Yeo Inhyeok (a student from Seoul, South Korea currently attending Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan) performing an acapella version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" was first published to YouTube on Feb. 27th, 2013.
Although the performance is original, the composition "I Wish" is still under copyright (© 1976 renewed 2004).
Stevie Wonder's publishing company (BlackBull Music) along with the founder of Motown, Berry Gordy's, company (Jobete Music Company) apparently still co-own rights to Stevie Wonder's original words and music (although Mr. Gordy sold "a stake in [his Jobete] publishing catalogue" to a huge multinational in 1997, so the right to make and distribute derivative works based on "I Wish" are apparently now co-owned and administered through EMI April Music Inc.).
Questions for my Intellectual Property Rights students:
Is this a "Fair Use?"
Do you think Yeo Inhyeok purchased a license?
How are Stevie Wonder and Mr. Gordy getting paid?
[Hint: In May 2007 YouTube and EMI signed a "licensing pact" (just 7 months after Google acquired YouTube) "enabling people to legitimately incorporate videos and performances from EMI artists into their user-generated content on YouTube. [At that time, the record label told CNET] it will rely on YouTube's content management tools to track EMI content and compensate its artists, or in some cases, request the removal of copyrighted work."]
Because Yeo Inhyeok's video has not been taken down and it is getting a lot of views, I'm assuming that EMI is being paid ad revenue (money that YouTube is collecting from sponsors whose ads appear during the video).
Do Mr. Wonder and Mr. Berry deserve to get paid for this use?
Who should pay?
Assume, for sake of argument, that EMI and YouTube had not been able to conclude a deal: And, also for sake of argument, assume that Mr. Gordy, Mr. Wonder and EMI were very greedy and together they decided that they would settle for nothing less than $20 million for this use, does the copyright law - which currently gives them that right - really "promote the progress of science and useful arts?"
Final question, how much does Prof. Finch love the internet and the way talented outsiders (like the remarkable Yeo Inhyeok) can become well-known around the globe overnight?
Posted by Randy Finch on Saturday, March 09, 2013
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Randy Finch's Film Blog:
Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.
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