15 February 2013

I’m traveling again and that makes posting uncertain, especially when I’m going somewhere new and I’m not completely sure of internet connections. I have a very slow, unwieldy connection and since time is really tight today, I'm giving an update on a past Causes & Effects recipient.

On Jan. 22, I gave to the Wake County SPCA. As you may recall, the volunteers had produced an adorable video highlighting the furry creatures up for adoption set to Abba’s “Take A Chance on Me.” It was an incredible labor of love.

At the time I wrote about it, the video was already a year old and had already gone through some legal wrangling, had been taken down because of copyright infringement on the song, and put back up. 

When I was home in Raleigh, which is in Wake County, last week there just happened to be an huge above-the-fold huge story in the News & Observer about how, once again, the Wake County SPCA had been denied the rights to the ABBA song.  It was really unclear as to why. They had tried to go through all the right channels, but Universal Music Group, which owns the ABBA master, said no.   Music licensing is a very tricky, complicated thing to the uninitiated and actually involves two licenses to to use the original song. The user has to get both a masters license to use the sound recording (in this case, ABBA’s version of “Take A Chance On Me”), as well as a sync license, which is permission from the publishing company who owns/administers the copyright for the song writer.   

From the story in the News & Observer, it looks like the shelter could never get the usage of the master after several attempts. 

The problem for Wake County SPCA is that so many people have copied the video and posted it that new versions keep popping up, but I don’t think they can be held responsible for those. 

Since I can’t repeat donations, I’m giving to the Humane Society of the U.S. 

Feb. 15: Humane Society of the United States  http://www.humanesociety.org/

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