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It's No Longer Friday
June 16, 2011 9:21 PM   Subscribe

The insanely [un]popular Rebecca Black song Friday has been pulled from YouTube following a copyright claim from Rebecca Black! TMZ reports that the takedown is apparently the latest step in a dispute between Black and Ark Music Factory about rights to the song.

Ark's move earlier in the week to make the video a $2.99 rental was probably the last straw for Black's family.

Also an interesting Rolling Stone article from April about the tensions between Black and Ark.
posted by sycophant (119 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, I know - a Rebecca Black story.... But still I think it's interesting that it's come to this, as it seemed amazing how much Ark was making from Friday, and how little Black was.

Also, I see I screwed up my bolding. Sorry.
posted by sycophant at 9:22 PM on June 16, 2011


Oops - the link under the text "Rolling Stone article" also goes back to techcrunch.
posted by Zephyrial at 9:23 PM on June 16, 2011


Wait... so multiple parties actually want to claim responsibility for this song?
posted by segfault at 9:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


Wow. I carefully avoided ever hearing the song (I gathered it was quite an earworm so I didn't want to get it stuck in my head), though I figured eventually I'd be exposed to it on accident... but now, maybe, I never will. And I'm OK with that, I think.
posted by The otter lady at 9:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I always wondered how the revenue split was going to work -- she signed with a cheesy "we'll make you a star!" outfit and things like that aren't known for artist-friendly contracts.

When the video hit 30 million hits I wondered if she got any $ from it and assumed the production company was keeping it since it was on their account.
posted by mathowie at 9:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Glorious, essential meditation on the delights/dangers of smoking a bowl at 7am on a school day. Stay perfect, Rebecca Black.
posted by acidic at 9:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm surprised. I really thought is was a 5 minute thing. Are people paying for it, even now? In internet/dog years it's getting really old, isn't it?
posted by cccorlew at 9:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The history of popular music is filled with terrible-but-briefly-popular performers ending up in legal morasses.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know man, there is something about that chorus that I laugh at every single time.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Friday thread pops up.

Gotta make my mind up.

Which one liner will I maaaaaaaake.
posted by idiopath at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [46 favorites]


I'm not interested in the song, but the degree to which this young girl was made a pawn of wanna-be pop producers interests me. It's like they assume that the way to do this sort of business is to make profits from making a child a laughingstock, and it doesn't occur to them to share those profits.

Rebecca Black took the brunt of the Internet's really inexcusable pile-on over this song. She should see a nice chunk of the profits.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [31 favorites]


Haters gotta hate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


She will rise again. After all, SUNDAY COMES AFTERWARDS.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank goodness we can still enjoy the Ice Cube version of Friday.
posted by vespabelle at 9:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It comes down to, was this work for hire? If so, Black owns the tapes.
posted by orthogonality at 9:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed she didn't wait just a couple of days- gotta take it down on Friday.
posted by hypersloth at 9:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Friday has been bigger than Rebecca Black for some time now.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:48 PM on June 16, 2011


The Rolling Stone link should go here...

Serves me right for trying post while I'm being attacked by a toddler.

Music industry contracts typically aren't very artist-friendly, but in this case where Black's parents basically paid to have a vanity video made I'd assume that Ark is in very murky waters in trying to claim ownership. As I understand the story, they basically created the song and video on a work-for-hire basis.
posted by sycophant at 9:51 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm not interested in the song, but the degree to which this young girl was made a pawn of wanna-be pop producers interests me.

Now's not the time for your tears. Nice sentiments, Astro, but entirely off-base.

Talentless kid and her stage mom paid money equals to a year's tuition at a state college for those pop producers to give talentless kid a boost up into what kid and stage mom hoped would be (unearned) fame and fortune.

I agree, kid and stage mom own or ought to own the works, but no, kid isn't morally entitled to profit from being a dumb-dumb who wanted ATTENTION!!!!!!

Let's save that for kids who have spent years getting up early and going to bed late, honing a talent like playing violin out of their sheer terror of their Asian Tiger Moms.

And let's save our tears for kids younger than Rebecca who are working in sweatshops instead of having mommy buy them "professional producers".
posted by orthogonality at 9:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


It would be hilarious if Rebecca Black caused YouTube's DMCA process to actually proceed to a legal ruling on the video for the first time ever. Anyone who ever wanted to respond to a DMCA would have to study up on Rebecca Black v. Exploitative Music Label. I want this to happen.
posted by shii at 9:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


I've got Friday on my mind


I don't mind the Rebecca Black song. It's slightly less irritating than most modern dance-pop.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:56 PM on June 16, 2011


She's 13? I've been picking on a 13 year old kid?

/feels bad man frog
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


Talentless kid and her stage mom paid money equals to a year's tuition at a state college

I could swear the first thread on this subject clearly stated she paid somewhere around $2000 total for the video to be done, but I could be wrong.
posted by Malice at 9:57 PM on June 16, 2011


I never understood the hate for the song - it's honestly no worse than a lot of what I hear on the radio - in either lyrics or performance.

Ark is in an interesting position - they were paid outright to make the thing, and then they have also been the receipients of all the profits. 167million views on YouTube (or whatever it got up to) has got to be worth a fair bit of money.
posted by sycophant at 9:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't like a song just pretend that every mention of it is a song you do like. So Rihanna's Umbrella, in my head, is actually The Hollies' Bus Stop
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Ark guys have staked their entire business enterprise on the idea that something like "Friday" could happen, and it's happened beyond their wildest imagination. Nine digits of views? Is it any wonder they would hang on to the rights like pitbulls? This is their golden ticket, their dream come true.

And besides which, as much as Ms. Black seems perfectly nice, and as much as she gets kudos for the whole Japan thing, and as much as I sympathize with her feelings of being exploited, the bottom line is: the Ark guys wrote the song. It's their song. If Ms. Black's mother had not come along on the day she did, brandishing $4500, then some other girl's family would be filing suit.

I hope she gets some money from it, but I'll bet whatever standard Ark contract she signed is not heavily balanced toward the singer.
posted by chaff at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"In November, the teenager's mum paid Ark $4,000 (£2,482) to produce Friday and its music video"

That's less than a year's in-state tuition at UNC Chapel Hill.
posted by orthogonality at 10:03 PM on June 16, 2011


Er, I mean, that's more.
posted by orthogonality at 10:05 PM on June 16, 2011


I agree, kid and stage mom own or ought to own the works, but no, kid isn't morally entitled to profit from being a dumb-dumb who wanted ATTENTION!!!!!!

You are a delight.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


fun.
posted by gcbv at 10:07 PM on June 16, 2011


I don't exactly get this strategy. If she doesn't have the attention, then what does she have to bargain with? Count the YouTube hits, then go back and start renegotiating, no?
posted by Gilbert at 10:07 PM on June 16, 2011


I hope she gets some money from it, but I'll bet whatever standard Ark contract she signed is not heavily balanced toward the singer.

I'm sure this is true. My symapthies are usually with the ones who were abused by a bad business practice, not those who benefit from it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


In other crazy viral video news, somebody at YouTube is using their 20% time right.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [28 favorites]


bbut tomorrow is friday
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:09 PM on June 16, 2011


At least you picked the right day to post this.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:09 PM on June 16, 2011


Not on the East Coast, it's not!
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:10 PM on June 16, 2011


The Ark guys have staked their entire business enterprise on the idea that something like "Friday" could happen, and it's happened beyond their wildest imagination.

I'm sure they staked their business enterprise on the ongoing willingness of wealthy parents to pay for vanity videos for their children, and the fact that one of the results became a bizarre cultural icon is purely good fortune.

A guy who reupholsters Craigslist sofas could find a diamond that fell in between the cushions, but that's not his business model.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


You are a delight.

Eat me with sprinkles on top.

By all accounts this girl's video sucks. Why do you think someone should be rewarded with cash money for producing something that sucks, that wastes viewers' time, just because she got ridiculed for her suckage?

I can't ride a skateboard. If I hired a camera crew to fake some skateboarding stunts, and put out a video on youtube calling myself the next Tony Hawk, and people unsurprisingly ridiculed me for my stupidity, my shitty video, and hubris, for that I should make bank?

That's a standard that perversely incentivises crap, crowding out art for a million shitty Gong Shows hoping for sympathy payouts.
posted by orthogonality at 10:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


There is a demand, even if just ironic, for the video and song. The YouTube views do earn money for the uploader, and then there's the matter of the ringtones, iTunes and other sales. Her image and performance is being exploited to earn that income and she is probably entitled to more than she has been received.

I can't ride a skateboard. If I hired a camera crew to fake some skateboarding stunts, and put out a video on youtube calling myself the next Tony Hawk, and people unsurprisingly ridiculed me for my stupidity, my shitty video, and hubris, for that I should make bank?

If you can get 170million people to watch the video then yes, absolutely. On the other hand how about if that camera crew you'd hired were the ones to post the video and get the money?
posted by sycophant at 10:21 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know, in every interview I've seen her give, Rebecca Black has never come across as anything other than levelheaded, gracious, and more than willing to laugh at herself and her situation, something that most people three times her age have a problem accomplishing under far less bizarre, high-profile circumstances. So her parents spent a stupid amount of money to indulge their daughter's vanity project, which, if irritating, really is perfectly harmless.

Also, anyone who says Friday is "no worse than any other top-40 single" or whatever clearly doesn't actually listen to top-40 pop music. It might not be sustaining in the long run, but big hits are almost always a miracles of engineering. The people who make them are, by and large, incredibly good at what they do: the Ark dudes are seriously, seriously not.

Also also, LEAVE REBECCA BLACK ALONE.
posted by wreckingball at 10:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [34 favorites]


I SAID I WAS SORRY OK

(Can I climb under there with you?)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:29 PM on June 16, 2011


"Crowding out art"? Orthogonality, have you ever looked at YouTube? Just as folk music ranges from the godawful to the sublime because it's just folks making music, YouTube is folk movies, and contains pretty much everything the human mind can imagine in a moving-picture format. Art isn't the half of it.

And the girl should be paid because she wrote a song that made a bunch of money, the lion's share of which should be hers under the contractual arrangements for distribution. Art and likeability don't come into it.
posted by gingerest at 10:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying the Ark dudes are princes or deserve a pat on the back, their whole deal is very sleazy and exploitative and they should probably get real jobs. However now we have "Friday".

somebody at YouTube is using their 20% time right.

YES. Has there been an all-nyan mega-fpp yet? The time may be drawing nigh.
posted by chaff at 10:34 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't ride a skateboard. If I hired a camera crew to fake some skateboarding stunts, and put out a video on youtube calling myself the next Tony Hawk, and people unsurprisingly ridiculed me for my stupidity, my shitty video, and hubris, for that I should make bank?

I will pay you fifty dollars if you do that.
posted by cortex at 10:34 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


Sixty for a legit faceplant.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


And the girl should be paid because she wrote a song that made a bunch of money

Just want to be totally clear here why I'm defending them, this is from wikipedia:

"Friday" is a song by American recording artist Rebecca Black, written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson.
posted by chaff at 10:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Rebecca Black is just a hired actress and Friday are all just a great big piece of ironic performance art by Yoko Ono. Or maybe Andy Kaufman is laughing his ass off pulling the strings from somewhere far far away.

Better get your name on the wait list for the Rebecca Black retrospective at MOMA in 25 years or so. It's going to be the hottest ticket in the art world.
posted by zachlipton at 10:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish some of the coverage included what the contract actually says. Doesn't seem much point in arguing about whether it's work-for-hire without that.
posted by Zed at 10:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will pay you fifty dollars if you do that.

How much for something authentic, like my cat eating a cardboard box?
posted by orthogonality at 10:49 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


They paid a couple grand for a "make your kid the star of a music video" deal. I can't imagine anyone was too concerned about precisely documenting ownership of all the intellectual property involved.
posted by zachlipton at 10:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree, kid and stage mom own or ought to own the works, but no, kid isn't morally entitled to profit from being a dumb-dumb who wanted ATTENTION!!!!!!

Woah, man. I don't disagree with the implication that 99.9% of the parties involved in this dispute are more or less functionally wrong just on sheer principle alone - but you're rapidly approaching YouTube grade outrage and exclamation point usage here.

Eat me with sprinkles on top.

...and here. You're probably more nuts, anyway...

By all accounts this girl's video sucks.

...wait, have you not actually even watched the video? You're not allowed to talk about how bad the song and video is unless you've actually suffered through the horror of experiencing it personally. This isn't 'Nam, man, there's rules...

Why do you think someone should be rewarded with cash money for producing something that sucks, that wastes viewers' time, just because she got ridiculed for her suckage?

...cue's up America's Funniest Home Videos, leaves the room.
posted by loquacious at 10:52 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


TGIF
posted by obloquy at 10:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, fuck apostrophes.
posted by loquacious at 10:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


How much for something authentic, like my cat eating a cardboard box?

Trick question, cats are famously anti-commercial about their art. They're basically the Fugazi of domesticated pets.
posted by cortex at 10:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


I love Friday, and Rebecca Black, and Ark Music. I love Top 40s-style factory pop, but I also feel like it should be open to more indie competition. I don't need a song to have fifty layers of meticulous production to get it stuck in my head. Really all I need is for it to be relentlessly vapid and just a little bit irritating.

I hope Ark spawns a whole bunch of clone services — hopefully more talented and less scummy, but still I'd like a bunch of young idiot know-nothings (and I say that lovingly) to try and cynically produce pop music. It's endearing.

Here's my essay on Rebecca Black and why I love her, which also mentions the incredible parody/homage song Prom Night, which takes each imperfection of Friday and makes it just slightly less perfect. The lyrics are almost brilliant in how cleverly they are bad:

We're all dancing in the sky.
His eyes are great cos they are brown.

posted by Rory Marinich at 11:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


I must have done something really rotten on youtube, as my karma is terrible. Almost any video I watch, the following recommendation is the Rebecca Black video. Watched a metal video? Rebecca Black! Cute cat? Friday official video! Game trailer? Rebecca Black... you get the picture.

I never thought it would be Rebecca Black herself who would take pity on me and end this. I owe her one.
posted by vanar sena at 11:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alternate versions of the song can be found pretty easily: here's one without the video, but with the lyrics.

Also, Rory's essay is awesome, and gingerest is right about why RB should get paid.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:14 AM on June 17, 2011


I said, "And the girl should be paid because she wrote a song that made a bunch of money."
and then chaff said, "Just want to be totally clear here why I'm defending them, this is from wikipedia: "Friday" is a song by American recording artist Rebecca Black, written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson."

To which I now respond: Oh, then, I'm completely wrong. I flagged but I don't know if it will mess things up or not to get rid of it. (But division of assets still doesn't have anything to do with whether the singer or the song is likeable.)
posted by gingerest at 12:16 AM on June 17, 2011


AS long as this stops the people on my Facebook friends list who think posting this song every single Friday is the height of hilarity, I'm okay with it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:18 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, anyone who says Friday is "no worse than any other top-40 single" or whatever clearly doesn't actually listen to top-40 pop music.

It's just as dumb, it's just as focused on dumb things, and it's just as over-produced. Only slightly LESS over-produced than Gaga. Also, nowhere does she mention her disco stick, or how she's like a G6.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:37 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


nowhere does she mention her disco stick, or how she's like a G6

Could be she's self-conscious about this subject. I'm only licensed to take my disco stick up to a G3, which is a matter of some embarrassment for my family.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:46 AM on June 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


Rebecca black 4 president 2016? Platform? Strong ip policy reforms, creation of the Artist Protection Agency, hopefully acting as the armed wing of the NEA, Friday Saturday Sunday weekend, and good school breakfast programs. Confirm or deny predictive accuracy.
Your favorite pop music is about things that you think you are about, you put yourself into your favored artists, as fans of other pop music do. It isn't what the music says, it's what the music says to the listener.

One might hate Jon cage fans, or lady gaga fans for the abstraction, or whatever reason, but the receiver side manipulation of a received message is a massive (under calculated) factor in a delivery, recipient, message transfer situation. This site even has shorthand for this... Plates of beans, to me that seems a large part of creativities value. In the act of possessively obsessing, of adding a few cycles on the old CPU in the noggin to any given art, therein, meaning is elicited. Elided. Sometimes the meaning is that self is averse to a particular sound, tone, tempo, colour palate, bpm, twang, thump, whatever selected parameter, other times, or for other people, epiphanies happen. Story patterns are exposed, ideas unlocked, interests raised.
Sometimes 'over thinking' it will be merely vacillation, others, elaborate ventilations of meaning extruded. A synthesis more powerful than constituent elements.
If a message receiver can make something deep by adding the labour of their own mind, where there was "pop", or something similarly widely looked down on. Who is anyone else to say what does or doesn't 'expand' the critical/analytical observation of the world, and art in particular.

Gaga is helping someone out there reach, or strive for their higher potential, as, I am sure, any other persons preferred band may be doing.

All music is trash pop (an-traditional/low/looked down on) to someone/groups of someones.
My point is not that that all music is trashy pop, rather, all music (art) is someone's greatest inspiration in waiting. For the scale of this phenomena ; the terror atrocities of hitler are cited as the inspiration for some truly amazing projects of human attempts at love.

There is no algorithm for modeling what is going to impact who when and how.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:55 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"In November, the teenager's mum paid Ark $4,000 (£2,482) to produce Friday and its music video"
That's less than a year's in-state tuition at UNC Chapel Hill.
Er, I mean, that's more.


Just to be clear here: no, it's not more. It's not even close. Nor is it close to a years worth of in state tuition for any four year school in North America. BUT it is their money and they chose to spend it how they wanted... so that's kind of a moot issue to be up in arms about.

Crappy song? Sure. Is it worse than other pop 40 music? Mariginally, but only because the lyrics are slightly worse than most. Is she still owed some money? Hell, yeah. Lots of artists have others write for them. Pay the girl.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:03 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


infinite intimation: are you drunk or are you trying to emulate Friday's lyrical structure in your comment? I honestly cannot tell, but trying to figure this out amuses me.
posted by zachlipton at 2:05 AM on June 17, 2011


Man. I just want Rebecca Black to appear on some kind of late night show and totally go with the making-fun-of-Friday flow.

Rebecca Black, in a few years time, making her own parody version of Friday and touring the late night shows. Make it so!
posted by Harry at 2:25 AM on June 17, 2011


Yeah, I know - a Rebecca Black story.... But still I think it's interesting that it's come to this, as it seemed amazing how much Ark was making from Friday, and how little Black was.

Welcome to the Music Industry. Can I get you a drink? Of course its refillable...but you can't share it with anyone else. Do it, and we'll sue your ass for $300,000,000.00.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh...no. See, admission was $10. What happens to that money? Well, it goes to the bartender. Ok...almost $1 goes to the bartender who actually made it. The rest goes to me. Its because of me that you got the drink. So of course 90% is mine. Well yeah, the glasses cost money...about $0.37. But still...
posted by hal_c_on at 3:02 AM on June 17, 2011


Some of the information in this (nytimes.com) blog post about Rebecca Black's mom seems pertinent.
First, she says, while she knew the video would go online, she knew other young performers who had worked with Ark, and their views reached a few thousand, if that. It never crossed her mind that millions of people would pay any attention to her daughter. She did take some precautions — paying an additional $2,000 so that Rebecca, and not Ark, owned the master of her video (bringing the total cost to $4,000, twice what has been widely reported; Kelly says she paid it in installments, because she did not have it all at once, but adds that it was a worthwhile investment, similar to what one would pay for a month of sleepaway camp or private school.)
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 3:04 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Trick question, cats are famously anti-commercial about their art. They're basically the Fugazi of domesticated pets.

There has to be a joke in there about straight edge and catnip but I can't join the dots.
posted by pmcp at 3:35 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


How exactly do I apply the steel wool to my brain to scrub off that 'music'?
posted by bwg at 3:35 AM on June 17, 2011


This sounds very retro - a young singer signs up to an exploitative contract and then, when her song makes it big, finds herself making almost nothing. It's like the good old days of Tin Pan Alley!

chaff: The Ark guys have staked their entire business enterprise on the idea that something like "Friday" could happen, and it's happened beyond their wildest imagination.

I'm not sure that's right - of course, they would have to talk a big game about being in the business to make hits, but I suspect that they were actually what they looked like - people who were planning to make a living out of giving more or less deluded American teenagers an opportunity to pretend to have a record deal - essentially, trading on a Los Angeles location and a credible resemblance to music producers to a suburban teenager and her mother. It's Space Camp for the Hannah Montana generation. In terms of there being starving children in Africa, $4,000 sounds like an obscene amount of money for a birthday present, but if the same family would be getting her a car at 16, it's not crazy.

The problem Ark and Black have is that this success is not replicable. Taye Zonday didn't convert Chocolate Rain into long-term success1. The Zuma Zuma guy experienced diminishing returns. So, Ark have to assume that this is the first and last time any of their acts are going to generate this much attention, because the joke has now been told. Rebecca Black and her family/management have to assume that this is her one and only hit.

So, it becomes a kind of prisoner's dilemma. The ideal solution is one where Ark and Black get a satisfactory cut of performance and play payments, and Black is able to sing it at store openings and other personal appearances, which is probably the major earner from here on out on the IP, along with the odd ironic TV show appearance or advert and the long tail of YouTube views - a very small number of which would pay $2.99 to rent it, I can say with pretty much absolute certainty.

An injunction on either hurts both, because I imagine Ark have scaled up their operation in a way dependent on residuals from Friday, and the window of Black's relevance and thus marketability is closing all the time.

1 Arguably, Coulton is the exception to this rule, but, really, there's a lot more to him than a comedy version of "Baby Got Back".
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, anyone who says Friday is "no worse than any other top-40 single" or whatever clearly doesn't actually listen to top-40 pop music.

i listen to it at times - the performance and production are sub-par, the verses wander too much, but the chorus is solid top 40 pop

but then songs with wandering verses and cymbals that sound like they're being played by a sound blaster 16 might become the style this year - stranger things have happened in pop
posted by pyramid termite at 4:04 AM on June 17, 2011


Along the same lines of "spoiler alert" there should be an "earworm alert" for posts like this, and they should just appear as: EARWORM ALERT more inside on the front page.

This would stop me from getting this song stuck in my head for HOURS GODDAMNIT, HOURS ever since my eyes merely glanced over the thread title.
posted by greenish at 4:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This makes me sad. Every Friday since the song came out I have come into work early and as soon as my coworker showed up I would start playing her song. It was a good way to start Friday.
posted by lilkeith07 at 4:49 AM on June 17, 2011


Speaking of Rebecca, she has a decent size role in Katy Perry's latest video.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:50 AM on June 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Along the same lines of "spoiler alert" there should be an "earworm alert" for posts like this, and they should just appear as: EARWORM ALERT more inside on the front page.

This would stop me from getting this song stuck in my head for HOURS GODDAMNIT, HOURS ever since my eyes merely glanced over the thread title.


I know how you feel. It's ruined an entire day of the week for me.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:51 AM on June 17, 2011


First, she says, while she knew the video would go online, she knew other young performers who had worked with Ark, and their views reached a few thousand, if that. It never crossed her mind that millions of people would pay any attention to her daughter. She did take some precautions — paying an additional $2,000 so that Rebecca, and not Ark, owned the master of her video (bringing the total cost to $4,000, twice what has been widely reported; Kelly says she paid it in installments, because she did not have it all at once, but adds that it was a worthwhile investment, similar to what one would pay for a month of sleepaway camp or private school.)

This makes no sense. She says she thought the video would only be seen by a few thousand people. It never crossed her mind that millions would pay attention to her. Yet, it was an investment? Was that after the video blew up?

I have a feeling she's trying to validate the decision to spend the money. She doesn't need to. Her money.
posted by justgary at 4:53 AM on June 17, 2011


I think the "investment" she's referring to is emotional (i.e. owning the stupid song you recorded and made a video for with your friends when you were 13) rather than financial.

Here's another block quote from the same post that helps explain her mother's motivation.
Rebecca wants to be a singer when she grows up, Kelly says. Paying for her to sign with the Ark Music Company and produce a professional-quality video was her mother’s way of showing her how much work was involved in a singing career. “I thought it would be a good experience and would give her a glimpse of what it takes,” Kelly says. “I wanted her to see that the only glamour that comes with this career is when you go to a function and they roll out a red carpet. In a way I was hoping to discourage her, and to send the message that maybe she should have a backup plan. This certainly has been much more than what we ever bargained for in terms of teaching her the downside. And she still wants to do this.”
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 5:06 AM on June 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm so out of touch, I never even knew about this whole Friday thing until Rebecca Black wrote that song about it. My week makes so much more sense now!
posted by orme at 5:35 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


In other crazy viral video news, somebody at YouTube is using their 20% time right.

Weird, who knew you could style the progress bar and indicator in the player?
posted by odinsdream at 5:51 AM on June 17, 2011


It's just as dumb, it's just as focused on dumb things, and it's just as over-produced. Only slightly LESS over-produced than Gaga. Also, nowhere does she mention her disco stick, or how she's like a G6.

"Over-produced?" It's pop music. What should it sound like, some dirty vagrant playing slide dobro while kicking a cardboard box with a tambourine taped to his shoe recorded in a parking garage with a single $25 microphone from 200 feet away? Some unattainable No True Indie aesthetic? It's pop music. If you don't like it, you don't like it. But it's not because it's "over-produced."
posted by uncleozzy at 6:04 AM on June 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am a late 40's Dead head, and I have to say that I actually liked the darn song. I can just envision the Dead covering the song with Bobby singing it in his high voice with Jerry just looking over at him peering over his glasses with that wry smile of his.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have to kind of agree with those who have noted that without seeing the contract, it's not much of a worthwhile endeavor to speculate about whether they're being ridiculous or not.

If the mom is right that she paid extra money to own the song rather than having Ark own it, then that affects the calculus, and as dumb as you think the song is, there's no more reason why Ark should make money off of it than she should. It's not a moral victory for her to get hosed out of what she's contractually entitled to just because the video is stupid. If it's your business plan to make money off of stupid things, you still have to abide by the provisions of the contracts you enter into. Somebody is making money here. She's the one who's taken all the crap; I don't have any problem with her making money from the song if that's what the contract says is supposed to happen.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 6:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish to Christ I could understand the vitriol being hurled at an adolescent for the crime of producing something that was adolescent.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:10 AM on June 17, 2011 [24 favorites]


...I think the fact that running order incorrectly referred to Gary Brolsma as the "Zuma zuma guy" (rather than the "Numa numa guy) is an unexpectedly telling comment about the transient nature of internet fame which Rebecca Black ultimately faces.

It's a lot of zen for a Friday morning.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish to Christ I could understand the vitriol being hurled at an adolescent for the crime of producing something that was adolescent.

I agree with that. But the web has long given license for a culture of contempt. So many people seem to define their tastes on what they hate, and how cleverly they can hate it. Miss Black was the unfortunate recipient of that culture.

On the other hand, there is something useful to learn from this if you're the sort of person who wants to be famous, and, according to a 2007 Pew Research Center Report, that's 51 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds. And the lesson is this: Fame is no guarantee that people will like you; they may despise you, and the experience might be one gigantic pile-on. And it's no guarantee of money. All it guarantees is that a lot of people will know who you are, for a short while.

If you're in it for some sort of self-validation, spend that $4,000 on a psychiatrist instead of a YouTube video. Attracting attention online can be like chumming water for sharks, and you're far more likely to discover a million people hate you than love you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:26 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nor is it close to a years worth of in state tuition for any four year school in North America.

Pardon the derail, but that's not accurate. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a four year school, and its in state tuition works out to $3,762 / year for someone taking 12 credit hours per semester, which is generally considered to be full time. And it's not even the cheapest school in the country.
posted by jedicus at 6:33 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to kind of agree with those who have noted that without seeing the contract, it's not much of a worthwhile endeavor to speculate about whether they're being ridiculous or not.

Yeah, it's tough to say without seeing the contract, but according to the RS article, Ark gave (sold) 10% of the publishing to Black. Looking at the ASCAP record for the song, there isn't a publisher listed (only writers, of which Black is one, although she is not registered with ASCAP). I don't know how this works with ASCAP, but with BMI it would mean that the writers also own 100% of the publishing (and thus Black owns 10% of the overall broadcast royalties).

I would imagine the broadcast royalties are small potatoes here (a YouTube play, even a lot of YouTube plays, can't be worth much; the TV plays might be worth more). The real contention is whether or not Black's mother licensed the song and video to Ark for broadcast on their YouTube channel, and what the terms of that license were. It's possible, and likely, that Ark itself doesn't owe Black anything for those plays.

If Ark didn't have a license to create the ringtone, on the other hand, they're in pretty deep.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:36 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I paid $1.29 plus tax for the Glee version of "Friday." it's pretty good. Don't you judge me.
posted by ColdChef at 6:48 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


People have this perverse tendency to get really mad at things that aren't up to the level of amusement they feel entitled to. It's ugly.
posted by clockzero at 6:55 AM on June 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


B...but Trey Parker and Matt Stone convinced me that there's no money on the internet, and that we're all stupid, naive fools for thinking that internet videos will make us any money.

I feel so betrayed.

a YouTube play, even a lot of YouTube plays, can't be worth much

Unfortunately it looks like youtube partners agree to remain silent as to how much their videos make per 1k hits (laaaaame), but I've seen estimates of $1 per 1k called "conservative." The Black video had 167 million hits.
posted by muddgirl at 6:58 AM on June 17, 2011


"This isn't Nam, man, there's rules"

Words to live by.
posted by wittgenstein at 7:04 AM on June 17, 2011


I wish to Christ I could understand the vitriol being hurled at an adolescent for the crime of producing something that was adolescent.

Was there really a lot of vitriol? It was a silly and poorly made song/video and a lot of people watched it and laughed. Kind of like the music video equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room. The media tried to spin it as an Internet bullying situation but in my opinion that's a mischaracterization. I would say that the reaction of most people to it was humor rather than anger.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, if you print out the lyrics to a lot of recent hit pop songs and read them like poems, they're mostly just as inane and crappy as Friday.
posted by rocket88 at 7:05 AM on June 17, 2011


I agree, kid and stage mom own or ought to own the works, but no, kid isn't morally entitled to profit from being a dumb-dumb who wanted ATTENTION!!!!!!

Good bye Hollywood, good bye Broadway. By this principle every performer who's ever worked should've done it for free.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:12 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's always interesting to see when things go from "funny internet fad" to "shit just got real".

I think the song is awful, but I've always had nothing but respect for RB; the amount of maturity, confidence, and poise that she shows in the face of this bizarre situation that sprung up around her would be impressive from anyone, let alone a 13 year old girl.

In fact I made this (self-link) in tribute to her.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:13 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately it looks like youtube partners agree to remain silent as to how much their videos make per 1k hits (laaaaame), but I've seen estimates of $1 per 1k called "conservative." The Black video had 167 million hits.

Right, but isn't that for the ad revenue sharing that YouTube does? Depending on the license that Black's mother granted to Ark for broadcast of the video, she may or may not be entitled to a cut of that. If she just licensed the recording to Ark without a sync fee or a share of revenue, she could be SOL. Of course, I am no expert, and the terms of this contract are unknown.

Frankly I'm not sure how (or if) YouTube pays PROs for use of their catalogs, but if they do pay, then Black could be entitled to her share (probably 10%) of whatever ASCAP winds up paying out for the song. TV plays don't even make a whole lot of dough, though, so you'd imagine that YouTube plays are worth even less.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:15 AM on June 17, 2011


I like this parody better, anyway
posted by notbuddha at 7:19 AM on June 17, 2011


Did anyone else mis-read this FPP as "in a dispute between Black Ark Music Factory about rights to the song" and wonder how you missed the news that Lee Perry is the new Linda Perry?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:51 AM on June 17, 2011


I'm surprised that Youtube is required to pay a license fee to ASCAP, but apparently they are. I always classified Youtube more in the "media storage" category than the "media performance' category (i.e. they are more like Blockbuster than Fox Television) and that they would have to work out licensing individually. But IANAL.
posted by muddgirl at 7:52 AM on June 17, 2011


"The tapes belong to you, but the magic on the tapes belongs to us! We've got to get the magic to the record company!"

"Sounds like a YP - your problem -not a YP - my problem."
posted by porn in the woods at 8:08 AM on June 17, 2011


"...an MP - my problem"
posted by porn in the woods at 8:09 AM on June 17, 2011


"i'm thinking about KICKING YOUR ASS!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2011


There's only one proper way to settle the rights dispute - with a Gang Fight. (caution: hilarity)
posted by FatherDagon at 8:21 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


[i]I can't ride a skateboard. If I hired a camera crew to fake some skateboarding stunts, and put out a video on youtube calling myself the next Tony Hawk, and people unsurprisingly ridiculed me for my stupidity, my shitty video, and hubris, for that I should make bank? [/i]

orthogonality it's more like you're 13 years old and you like skateboarding, but you're not that great but you're not bad. Then these guys see you at the park and tell you how awesome you are and how you need to get a demo video together to show sponsors so you can make it into the next X-Games. Then you tell your mom, and she gets the hard sell from them also. You are being sold a bill of goods. It's like Barbizon modeling.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:32 AM on June 17, 2011


It's not a bad video. It's not fabulous, but, I mean, it's not "Dancing in the Streets."

Hey! We have a hit song! Let's dance badly in a bathroom and some random alley!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:36 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


infinite intimation: . . . One might hate Jon cage fans, or lady gaga fans for the abstraction, or whatever reason, but the receiver side manipulation of a received message is a massive (under calculated) factor in a delivery, recipient, message transfer situation. This site even has shorthand for this... Plates of beans, to me that seems a large part of creativities value. In the act of possessively obsessing, of adding a few cycles on the old CPU in the noggin to any given art, therein, meaning is elicited. Elided. Sometimes the meaning is that self is averse to a particular sound, tone, tempo, colour palate, bpm, twang, thump, whatever selected parameter, other times, or for other people, epiphanies happen. Story patterns are exposed, ideas unlocked, interests raised. Sometimes 'over thinking' it will be merely vacillation, others, elaborate ventilations of meaning extruded. A synthesis more powerful than constituent elements. If a message receiver can make something deep by adding the labour of their own mind, where there was "pop", or something similarly widely looked down on. Who is anyone else to say what does or doesn't 'expand' the critical/analytical observation of the world, and art in particular.

QFWTF

You're Anthony Braxton, aren't you?
posted by Herodios at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: ...I think the fact that running order incorrectly referred to Gary Brolsma as the "Zuma zuma guy" (rather than the "Numa numa guy) is an unexpectedly telling comment about the transient nature of internet fame which Rebecca Black ultimately faces.

Woah. Busted. In my defense I was half-asleep, but you're dead right - Internet fame is clearly super fleeting. One moment you're a legend, the next people are getting you mixed up with the President of South Africa.

The Katy Perry video cameo seems like a sensible move. If you can't own "Friday" the song - or at least your ownership of "Friday" the song is contested - it makes sense to focus on owning Friday, instead. And meeting Kevin McHale.

(Grim visions of a closely-observed Rebecca Black at a mall PA, being permitted by the court to express the fact that it is Friday and that she is looking forward to (but not getting ready for) the weekend, but unable to move or speak with a hint of rhythm lest the legal sharks start to circle in...)
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:50 AM on June 17, 2011


Speaking of Rebecca, she has a decent size role in Katy Perry's latest video.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero


That video makes me so damn happy, and I have no idea why.
posted by SPUTNIK at 8:55 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Grim visions of a closely-observed Rebecca Black at a mall PA, being permitted by the court to express the fact that it is Friday and that she is looking forward to (but not getting ready for) the weekend, but unable to move or speak with a hint of rhythm lest the legal sharks start to circle in...)

In 1979, Jack Wrather, owner of the Lone Ranger character, obtained a court order prohibiting Clayton Moore -- who played the masked man on 1950s televsion -- from appearing in public wearing a mask.

Moore responded by. . . replacing the mask with similar-looking Foster Grant wraparound sunglasses, and by counter-suing. He eventually won the suit, and was able to resume his appearances in costume, which he continued to do until shortly before his death.
posted by Herodios at 9:01 AM on June 17, 2011


A funny story about Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger.
posted by Uncle Ira at 10:22 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Image/style is a really weird and seemingly capricious corner of IP law. Vampira lost her suit against Elvira for stealing her schtick. Bette Midler won a lawsuit when a former back-up singer of hers covered a song (that Midler had previously covered) in imitation of Midler's style. Nancy Sinatra lost a similar suit when a commercial used a cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and featured women distinctively dressed like Sinatra. All of these suits were filed in California (I think), which recognizes the Right of Publicity, which is what they claimed was violated.

It seems like the sort of thing you can probably get away with... unless you don't. (There are lots of other things that are unambiguous violations of the right of publicity; I'm talking about the "she stole my act"/"he stole my look" ones.)
posted by Zed at 10:30 AM on June 17, 2011


Ark's lawyer issued a statement denying that Black and her mother own the rights to Friday. "The agreement [between Black and Ark] was not court-approved," Barry Rothman said.

The fact that they are denying the validity of the contract (if I'm inferring correctly that they are from that statement) makes me think that Ark really didn't anticipate that any of their "artists" would really have any success. The contract RB and her mom signed might be far more favorable to them than Ark would have liked.
posted by VTX at 11:03 AM on June 17, 2011


I can't ride a skateboard. If I hired a camera crew to fake some skateboarding stunts, and put out a video on youtube calling myself the next Tony Hawk, and people unsurprisingly ridiculed me for my stupidity, my shitty video, and hubris, for that I should make bank?
K-Strass
posted by Flunkie at 11:22 AM on June 17, 2011


Pardon the derail, but that's not accurate.

Yeah, not to harp on this because the original statement was a loaded charge that imputes an irresponsiblity that really wasn't there.
BUT 12 credits is barely full time and beyond that everyone who's attempted to go to college knows there are a crap ton of little other charges and fees that usually end up making tuition the least of worries. Thereby no one with an extra 4 grand could just up and decide they are going to school for a year without a hell of a lot more money.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:16 PM on June 17, 2011


(a YouTube play, even a lot of YouTube plays, can't be worth much

I've read that Husky Starcraft was pulling down 6 figures, off of about 100 million views.

She also charted on itunes and hit the billboard hot 100.

There was some money made here.
posted by empath at 1:22 PM on June 17, 2011


Metafilter: I'm being attacked by a toddler.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:35 PM on June 17, 2011


My favorite thing about 'Friday', besides the bridge,

"yesterday was thursday, thursday, etc",

was the fact that 'rebecca black friday' came up in youtube's autocomplete when you typed the letter 'R.'
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:14 PM on June 17, 2011


Along the same lines of "spoiler alert" there should be an "earworm alert" for posts like this, and they should just appear as: EARWORM ALERT more inside on the front page.

Otoh, until a couple people mentioned that, this was an utterly forgettable song for me.

I cleaned the earworm out of my head with J.J. Cale's Friday
(Head needed to be cleaned out anyway)
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 7:34 PM on June 17, 2011


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