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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.


Three Words That Went So Viral That Kylie Wants To Trademark Them – And Why She’s Right To Do It.



It all started when Kylie Jenner gave us a tour of her Kylie Cosmetics office on YouTube. Then, she went to wake her sleeping daughter, singing “rise and shine.”

Maybe it was the way she sang it, but it went viral, memes followed, and it became the most hashtagged phrase EVER on Tik Tok. Almost immediately.

Within a week, she filed an application to trademark the phrase, hoping to turn the now viral moment into a merchandising opportunity. Folks called it excessive and silly, claiming such a common expression shouldn’t be up for the taking.

Those people are wrong. What it is, is smart.

Take a look – the seemingly innocuous moment happens 15 minutes in to the tour.

Why is it smart? Because if she doesn’t trademark it, someone else will. People are ALL about capitalizing on viral moments, and if she didn’t, someone else would have tried to use Kylie’s influence to benefit themselves, just like people are using the #RiseAndShine hashtag right now for views and likes. And that’s not taking advantage of it?

In fact, she’s not the first person to even apply for a trademark for the phrase. Roughly 100 applications, some active, some dead, have been filed with variations of the phrase over the years. A mattress company liked the sound of it, so did a coffee company, a beer, snack mix, and Hardee’s wanted to use it to promote breakfast entrees. All of them make sense. McDonald’s trademarked the common phrase “I’m Lovin’ It.” Emeril trademarked “Bam!” and Paris Hilton trademarked “That’s hot.” Having the trademark doesn’t prohibit everyone else from saying it in conversation, but it does limit the ability for others to monetize it for themselves. It keeps a phrase that is uniquely attributed to another person or business from being used in a misleading way for monetary gain by others. Sports announcer Michael Buffer wisely trademarked “Let’s get ready to rumble” so that others couldn’t go and make t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise with a catchphrase that he made famous. Anyone can file for a trademark on a phrase. In the end, the trademark office will decide if the application has merit. Before you do, it is suggested you seek the advice of a legal expert.

By now we know that Kylie Jenner is a successful business woman, given the enormous popularity of Kylie Cosmetics. It stands to reason that she is going to expand her scope of business. No matter WHAT she decided to name a spinoff of her brand, she would trademark it. By jumping on a phrase that is now already organically linked to her, thanks to the fans themselves, she merely did the SMART thing. Coming up with a brand name is one of the hardest things an entrepreneur does. Half of the ideas are taken, the others you don’t love, and sometimes the ones you do love other people don’t like.

So before we start hating on Kylie’s fast acting ingenuity, we should be inspired and do some of it ourselves!

For more pop culture and entertainment analysis, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter!

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VIDEO: Why Paris Hilton Is A Chameleon.



Paris Hilton sat down with me and Makho Ndlovu at the People Now studios to talk about her new fragrance “Electrify,” the first song she plays when she’s DJ’ing, and what character’s she likes the play… in real life!

What an amazing time it is visiting and guest co-hosting People Now. The people on camera and behind the scenes couldn’t be more kind and welcoming! And Paris herself was absolutely charming and sweet.


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Watch How This Hasselhoff Deepfake Takes Years Off The Actor!



Visual effects artist Chris Ume takes countless images of David Hasselhoff from his past Baywatch days, then creates a younger avator, blending the new, artificial Hof onto the real life Hoff.

The process of this crazy magic? It’s called a Deepfake = combining and superimposing existing images and videos onto a source image or video. The process is incredible, and yet still relatively in its infancy. If things keep progressing this genre as we can only expect they will, it’s not a stretch to imagine that we could someday see an actor actress play a younger version of themselves so convincingly we won’t see how they did it.

To follow more of his work, subscribe to Chris’ youtube channel.

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