Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Now that's what I call throwing your weight about

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing had been enjoying some success with their Now That's What I Call Steampunk album.

Enough success, indeed, to bring down the ire of EMI upon their behatted heads. As Steampunk Chronicle, erm, chronicles it:

It seems that EMI records have taken offense with Now That's What I Call Steampunk, Vol.1, the 2010 release by British steamrockers The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. EMI has copyright on the name "Now That's What I Call Music" and has also released other compilations under the "Now That's What I Call" moniker.
The album was yanked off iTunes, and the band have reluctantly renamed the record The Steampunk Album That Cannot Be Named For Legal Reasons.

But hold on a moment - how can EMI claim to own "Now That's What I Call..." in its entirety?

As Wikipedia (correctly, in this case) points out:
The series took its name from a 1920s advertising poster hanging in an office for Danish meat products which showed a pig listening to a whistling cockerel.
So EMI claim to own copyright on a phrase they pinched from an out-of-copyright work by someone else entirely.

I suspect they would insist their claim is based on trademarks rather than copyright, but it's still a bit rich to rip off soembody's advertising slogan and then say that nobody else can do the same.

[Thanks to Scary Boots for the tip]

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