Ep 28, Part 6 of the Palmer vs Universal court case. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister appears in court, as does Andrew Jenkins, the top dog from Universal. They both start laying the platform for their damages claim, but they have to win the case first! Have you been watching? We’d love to know your thoughts on the case too. Leave us a comment.
You’ll find the full transcript below:
Hey there. Welcome back to my cracker music copyright court case commentary on Universal Music Publishing versus Australian politician, Clive Palmer. Today we’re going to have a look at a few more things that came out of day two of the court case.
Now as I said in the last episode, day two featured Dee Snider, the lead singer of Twisted Sister, appearing by video conference, giving his take on things, and in the last episode I talked about his evidence about ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, a critical part of the whole of Clive Palmer’s defense.
Today though, I’m going to talk about three things where Universal are just trying to build their music copyright case brick by brick, about damages, about how important this is for music synchronization deals. In some ways I don’t know that this is particularly relevant to the outcome. It’s more about if they win, how much money are they going to get? How much damage can they do to Clive in return for the alleged damage he’s done to them?
So the first thing that Dee Snider put to the court was that Palmer using his song was not good for Dee Snider’s image. I guess he’s an old hippie like me. He doesn’t particularly want to be associated with a right-wing politician, and he said, and I quote, “Mr. Palmer’s image is not good for my heavy metal image.”
Now the next thing is quite curious. So Snider said that the use of the song, the alleged use of the song by Clive Palmer, did not boost ticket sales for the 2019 tour because the rendition was awful. Now think about that. There’s two different things going on here. One is Clive’s probably going to argue, maybe they’ve said it already, that all of this was good for Twisted Sister because it boosted ticket sales for their tour. Any publicity is good publicity, which doesn’t really justify alleged copyright infringement, so that defense wouldn’t wash, but nevertheless they tried to rebut it saying it didn’t boost ticket sales for the tour. How they can prove that, I don’t know. How would you know whether it boosted ticket sales? How could you prove that you sold more or less because something happened? Anyway, whatever.
And then the other thing is the very weird comment by Snider that it didn’t boost ticket sales because it was awful. What’s he saying? If it was really good it would’ve boosted ticket sales? I think we can put that down into the red herring category actually.
And then we have an appearance by one of the big dogs from Universal. They wheel in the big gun to say important stuff. In this case it was Andrew Jenkins, who is Australia and Asia Pacific Region President of Universal Music Publishing Group, so a very important man in the music world. He said it was quite uncommon for songs to be licensed to political parties for political campaigns. In other words, it would be unusual if they agreed to do that, and he’s building the idea that they have the right to say no to music synchronisation deals and they often do.
But he also said that if they had licensed it, then a reasonable synchronisation fee would’ve been in the order of a million dollars. Wow. It’ll be a very interesting argument or a very interesting outcome if Universal do win, to see how much money is at stake here.
And finally, as a parting shot, Andrew Jenkins had a really good go at Clive’s version of the song. He said that he didn’t like the lyric change to ‘Australia’s Not Gonna Cop It Anymore’. He said that looked like a cheap use of the song. In other words, those lyrics are really low class. Twisted Sister’s a classy act and they’re much better than that. They’ve cheapened the song by using low-rent lyrics. Anyway, whether that has any impact on the case, I don’t know.
I’ll be back here shortly with more on day three. Don’t miss it.
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Credit: the opening and closing sequences feature “Strong Hands” from Ben Catley:
The song: https://soundcloud.com/bencatley/stro…
About Ben: open.spotify.com/artist/66OGdUyXn2WSipn6ZYq7id
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