The Real Reason Rebecca Black’s Official “Friday” Video Has Been Pulled Off The Web.

Rebecca Black's "Friday" became an instant phenomenon - now it's suddenly... GONE. Why? A legal battle that could prove the company that produced it never intended (or was prepared for) one of their clients to actually be successful!

The story of Rebecca Black becomes bigger and bigger. The teen’s music video for her song “Friday” became an instant viral phenomenon when it went online – and now it’s suddenly… GONE. Why? A legal battle that could prove the company that produced it had never intended (or been prepared for) one of their clients to actually succeed in the music business.

As a young woman who aspires to be a pop singer, Rebecca’s parents gave her  the opportunity to record the music video as a gift. They turned to Ark Music Factory, which on its website touts its services as a means of  helping “young artists achieve their dreams, and realize their talent” and “get discovered” for a fee. In other words, regardless of talent or actual potential, a check made out to Ark Music Factory meant your child could get their own music video… giving them a shot at fame.

What it seems they weren’t prepared for, was that it would actually work.

Black’s song, “Friday” reached No. 58 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, has been covered by Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, (who then put Black in her own music video) and even performed on “Glee.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, the problem with the song began when it actually became popular:

In Black’s case, she seems to have created a vanity recording by making a deal with Ark Music Records to use its studio to record her song. After the song exploded, Ark Music wanted to capitalize… In March, Black’s lawyers sent a letter to Ark Music, accusing the company of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of her publicity rights. Specifically, Black says she never got the master recordings allegedly due to her by contract and that Ark hadn’t attained the necessary rights to advertise her as an exclusive Ark recording artist and commercially exploit the song in derivatives like ringtones.

Truth is, recording labels that actually intend to make their clients musically successful (rather than just take a few grand from as many parents as they can) are well read in these matters and cover their ground more efficiently. They’re also prepared for the publicity and marketing needs of an emerging artist. Black’s legal team will argue that Ark Music Factory has not delivered on their promises.

But let’s be realistic: if Ark Music Factory really thought their song “Friday” was going to be heard by millions, they would have reached for lyrics somewhere above the cognitive level of a seven year old.

(Although, arguably, the song may never have gone viral if it weren’t so awfully written.)

Now, both sides are in a legal battle over who owns what, and who gets paid what when ring tones, singles, and other items related to the song get sold. If they aren’t able to come to an agreement, then a judge will make the decision for them.

While it still remains uncertain just what sales pitch Rebecca Black and her family got when they sold them a music video and custom song, there are plenty of companies out there that are promising that they will, in fact, help pave the way for young, impressionable showbiz hopefulls become ‘stars.’

In this case, both sides are at an impasse over just who has rights to what.

ARK Music Factory released a statement that reads:

“We’re disappointed, having been in good faith negotiations with Rebecca Black and her representatives for months regarding any open issues. There’s been an ongoing, open dialogue with our company. So we were blindsided to get a Take Down Notice — with no notice — alleging copyright infringement instead of a call or email from Rebecca’s representatives.”

“Our use of the video has fully been authorized (as evidenced by four uninterrupted months and 160 million-plus viewings without objection) by both Ms. Black and the copyright holder,” the statement continued. “Regardless, we are going to continue to take the high road and work out the complaint as soon as possible so that the million-plus people who watch Friday for free each day can continue to enjoy the video.”

(statement via Entertainment Weekly)

Despite the fingerpointing, it seems Ark has either been loose with their restrictions, or ill prepared for the success that would come of the song.

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