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Marketplace Scratch Pad

You can’t dance to that, Ellen

Scott Jagow Sep 11, 2009

The pick of Ellen Degeneres as the next American Idol judge is being overshadowed today by the news that big record companies are suing her TV show. They claim Ellen’s little dance numbers are a violation of copyright laws.

From Rolling Stone:

…the labels allege that Ellen’s show has broadcast over 1,000 songs during the “dance over” segment of the show — when Ellen dances through the audience while moving from stage to stage — without ever paying for the licenses.

From a legal standpoint, this looks like a pretty open and shut case. How did the producers of the show not know they had to obtain licenses for the songs to broadcast them on national TV?

On the other hand, what’s with the record companies waiting this long to sue? After 1,000 song violations? Come on. You’d think they could’ve gone to Ellen and said hey, we appreciate the promotion, but we need to work out a deal here. You’re violating copyrights.

I think this calls for a visit from the Don’t Sue People Panda:

What’s your take on this?

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