My Awesome LawyerSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 03/21/2011 - 18:15
Here is a video of my homey, fellow Masshole (transplant like me) and all star defense counsel in the Daily Paul's Righthaven case, Dan Booth of Booth Sweet. In this video, shot in February at the 2011 Experience Music Project Pop Conference at UCLA, Dan talks about the raw deal George Clinton got from copyright trolls.
How to Rip Off George Clinton and Ruin Hip Hop for Fun and Profit
Who is the most hated person in the music business? One strong contender is Armen Boladian, the world's most litigious sampling opponent. His lawyers have persuaded courts to suggest that samples, no matter how short or altered, can never be a fair use of copyright, thereby clouding the future of one of hip hop's foundations. Boladian's publishing company Bridgeport Music claimed control of thousands of songs, including everything George Clinton and P-Funk created between 1976 and 1983 (such as "Flash Light," "Atomic Dog," and "One Nation Under A Groove"), just as those songs became some of hip hop's most prized source materials. Clinton, who went into bankruptcy while fighting Bridgeport, says Boladian owns none of it and simply forged his name on key documents. That hasn't stopped him: in 2001 Boladian sued 800 different defendants in one fell swoop, virtually everyone who had sampled Clinton by that point.
Welcome to the world of the copyright troll – non-creators who use copyrights (no matter how dubiously claimed) to wring exorbitant settlements or judgments against downstream users. Copyright, the creator's greatest economic asset, has gotten a bad reputation from such over-enforcement.