The first Honorary Scrooge of the Month Award goes to Sony/ATV Music for blocking a parody of Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Beat It" from appearing on YouTube. Local high school students who frequent Lansdowne Public
Library (in Pennsylvania) and serve on its Teen Advisory Board wrote and produced “Read It,” a delightful take-off aimed at inspiring other teens and tweens to just pick up a book or e-reader and take the reading plunge. However, on November 19, just three days after the video made its debut during the dedication of the library’s Ronnie Hawkins Resource Room, they discovered that the performance had been blocked on YouTube by Sony, which administers the copyrights for Jackson's music. As you can imagine, the teens were crushed that all their hard work was going to go unseen.
Heroic librarian Abbe Klebanoff
After a week of intense lobbying of Sony executives and the executor of Michael Jackson's estate by the video’s editor, Abbe Klebanoff, head of public services for the library, the corporation finally relented and acknowledged the video's parody/educational purposes under the Fair Use Act. The video has been restored to YouTube. Who knows, perhaps the fat cat corporate types were visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past and woke up remembering what it was like to young and excited about creating something... or maybe the ghost of the king of pop himself paid them a call. Below you can see what all the fuss was about.
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