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Real Life 'Glee' Groups Would Be 'Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law'

Glee I (sort of) watched my first (and second) episodes of the latest biggest-thing-since-sliced-bread prime time show, "Glee," last night. Chalk it up to extenuating circumstances.

I admit that it didn't once occur to me to ponder the copyright implications of a bunch of high school kids singing and dancing along to some of the most popular, funkiest tunes of the modern era (see, I really did watch). Others, though, have apparently thought a lot about it.

Via Overlawyered, comes Christina Mulligan's article on the Yale Law School Information Society blog, in which she expresses -- feigns? -- surprise that the issue of copyright violation hasn't been dealt with head-on on the show, in light of the fact that, under the law, some of the activities depicted could result in some hefty fines. Mulligan also notes that the instinct to pooh-pooh the notion of copyright holders going after amateurs doesn't comport with history, listing several instances where those owning the rights to music have done so, including the infamous ASCAP Girl Scout incident.

Mulligan's clearly trying to get the public to think about the current state of copyright law, but, as a "Glee" novice, I kind of like her suggestion of an episode featuring "glee club coach Will Schuester giving his students a tough speech on how they can’t do mash-ups anymore because of copyright law." And I volunteer to consult, pro bono, with the show's writers should they decide to include such an episode in the next season.

Posted by Eric Lipman on June 9, 2010 at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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