Wednesday Writs: Easterseals Society v Playboy, and Other Assorted Smut

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Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    L5: Dude. They *TOTALLY* plagiarized that riff.Report

    • Avatar greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      What song did they take it from?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        (Jump ahead to 0:48, if you’re not inclined to listen to the whole thing.)Report

        • Avatar greginak
          Ignored
          says:

          Ohhh…..well that was very strongly reminiscent at the very least. Or just completely ripped off.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            And part of the problem is that Page had a… well, let’s call it “cavalier”… attitude towards attribution to others. Page heard the song played by Joan Baez, thought “dude, that’s awesome!” and attributed it on the first Zep album to “Traditional, arr. by Jimmy Page”.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            Gionatti Granata wrote a guitar piece in the mid-1600s with a passage that is remarkable similar — even closer than the Spirit bit.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re going to have to do a whole lot more to plagiarize than a couple of bars of descending on the neck. There are only so many notes in the scale.

          There was an interesting report on this on All Things Considered (I believe). The jury had to rely on sheet music to make the determination, and couldn’t do an ear test.Report

          • Avatar greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            I can see how this gets much harder to prove in court. Just on listening though i could hear STH and i’ve never liked the song. Granted i heard it million times growing up but meh. That , admittedly short bit, sounds so close.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Both songs are in A Minor… I suppose there are only so many keys, I guess.

            Here’s a guy who takes both songs apart:

            He points out that Page also used a descending A-Minor bassline in Babe I’m Gonna Leave You… but also compares it to While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

            I’m not going to say that this video will change any minds but he plays the riffs right next to each other and does a compare/contrast.

            Add on top of that the fact that Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit in the early days of Zep, I’ve gotta say that I’m leaning toward plagiarized.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            Right. It’s a standard chord progression used by lots of musicians. Finger picking is a standard style. Certainly it’s likely that Page and Plant borrowed the idea for the intro to Stairway: as in, “We’re going to start with an eight-bar chord progression like Spirit used, but then we’re going to take it in a completely different direction. For eight minutes.”Report

            • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
              Ignored
              says:

              Johnny Cash used to tell a joke that the best song Kris Kristofferson ever wrote was called “Let’s get together and steal each others songs” but he couldn’t get it past the copywritersReport

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Fantasy, Inc v. Fogerty is the case where Fogerty got sued for his song “The Old Man Lives Down The Road” which Fantasy, Inc. said infringed on their copyright of “Run Through The Jungle” (a song also written by Fogerty).

              If you asked me whether Fogerty plagiarized, I’d have laughed.

              If you asked me about whether he infringed on copyright, I’d have gone into a speech about what a “signature sound” is.

              If some kid in a garage told me “hey, I just wrote this song!”, I’d say “dang, you’ve been listening to a lot of Fogerty there, huh?”

              But even if there is a fuzzy, fuzzy line between inspiration and ripping off, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a sorites problem.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    L1: A lot of seemingly wholesome organizations have revealed themselves not to be wholesome in recent years. So I don’t think your old boss’ advice is necessarily sage. We might find that Girl Scout cookies are laced with cocaine. That’s why they sell so well.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    L7: I am utterly shocked that a bipartisan group of lawmakers don’t want citizens to be able to hide their communications from the government.

    I am amused that any of them truly think that such a bill would somehow stop end-to-end encryption.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      The last time this came up seriously was back in the early 1990s when the government put software implementing strong encryption algorithms on the do-not-export weapons list. I recall Sun shipping software for their workstations with no encryption library, but with instructions on where to download it from Europe (Finland, I think) and which applications to run through the linker again. The DOD had enough sense to drop the ban quickly.

      I don’t think they’re trying to stop it entirely. They’re trying to stop dummies from using it. Keeping Apple from putting it in their phones, or Facebook from using it for voice and video calls, is probably sufficient for that goal. Keeping you and me from using it is a different degree of difficulty.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Is pedophilia that big of a problem that we need a blanket solution like this? Seems like a convenient scapegoat for a more nefarious end.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Exactly, so they force a change that looks like they are doing something, and basically gets the lowest hanging fruit, while not doing anything that significantly impacts the most dangerous players.Report

        • Avatar veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          The people who need to know will figure it out. I have a friend who is a recovering junkie. She has pretty much zero tech knowledge, but she knows how to run TOR. (Evidently you can order dope online.)Report

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