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You’d Think They’d Have People to Check This Stuff

JK Parkin has a great bit about Marvel getting sued by the Foo Fighters for using some of their music without permission for a trailer for the new Wolverine cartoon series.

You’d think they’d have people to check this stuff, no?


See I wondered about that when I saw it,cuz I doubted they’d be using licenced music in the actual show. If I’d mentioned it to Dave Grohl I coulda been the new Ken Kneisel!

To be fair, it’s not the Foo Fighters as much as it’s their record company.

Sorry, E.D., but all the articles about this (at the WSJ and E! Online) say it’s the Foo Fighters AND their record company suing Marvel.

there’s a Wolverine cartoon?

Well, it’s called Wolverine and the X-Men. I’d link you to the video, but it’s been taken down.

The video’s still alive and well on YouTube.

And isn’t it a lot more likely that this was never meant to be an officially-broadcast trailer, but rather an internal thing to show to advertisers and the like?

I was always under the impression (from reading, not just making stuff up in my head) that permission isn’t actually required, just compensation. One of the reasons people do permissions is the rates are better, plus sometimes for the PR; or vice versa (don’t use because don’t want the bad PR of someone saying they don’t want their music used). AIR “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was used as the theme music for someone’s Presidential bid (Bush ’88?); Bobby McFarrin was public about not wanting them to use it, but because they paid he couldn’t force them to not use it.

I think compensation greases the wheels to permission, but I don’t think there’s a “fair market value” that a third party could stipulate to force a creator to share their work. Marvel could offer FF a billion dollar to use their music, but Grohl, et al could still withhold permission. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding your point, Lothor.

I kind of agree with Anonymous. It seems unusual that a non-primetime comic book cartoon would use popular music for a promotion.

It is odd. First time I saw the trailer I thought someone on youtube had remixed into a personal fanvid, because the music seems so random and out of place.

Perhaps the marketing execs have realized how popular such fanvids hold and decided to try and tap into it?


Permission is ALWAYS required. Compensation is just a part of it, but if you’re using someone’s work, you’re going to need to get their permission. If you don’t you’re setting yourself up for some major litigation.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s “just” for promoting it for potential licensing or advertising. They’re using an artist’s work for their own benifit, if they don’t license it they’re liable for some major damages.

What I remember reading, I read quite some time ago. It’s possible what I referred to is an old rule which has since been superseded. By “permission” I’m talking about permission from the artist(s). Permission from a licensing body such as ASCAP is what I termed compensation: they don’t discriminate (in a value-neutral sense) as to who can and can’t use it, they just take the money. I can see that I wasn’t clear about that. I wasn’t talking about using it and then IF you get caught you pay someone off.

Anyway, as I (vaguely) recall what I’m remembering, if you use without getting prior permission from the artist(s) there’s a specific, more or less objective formula for caluclating the proper compensation amount (which I don’t remember any details of), not a third party deciding what the compensation should be on a case-by-case basis. Whereas if you get permission they could give it for free or make compensation $1 or $1,000,000, or whatever the parties agree on.

OTOH if there’s no licensing body involved then the wanna-users would have to deal directly with the artist(s) in question or their representatives.

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