Monday, January 19, 2009

This land is your land. This land is my land. Again. Finally.

Joe Sudbay (DC), Bruce, Pete Seeger and Seeger's grandson sang one of the classics at the Lincoln Memorial today. Everyone sang along, including Obama.
HBO has been busy. Not only did they pick a fight with the Obama Inaugural Committee over openly-gay Bishop Gene Robinson (HBO censored Robinson's invocation, so no one will be seeing it), they've been scouring the Internet to make sure no one sees evidence of yesterday's Obama inaugural event.
Yesterday, I posted a clip of Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen singing "This Land is Your Land" at the "We Are One" Obama inaugural concert. Perhaps you've heard of the concert - it's that amazing event down on the Mall set to kick off the inauguration of our next president. But that song is HBO's song. They took down my video claiming copyright infringement. That's the spirit, HBO. You own the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall which is is officially part of the swearing in of our next president. Nice.
I get that HBO has rights, but when they're broadcasting news -- and the concert was news -- they need to relax. It's not like I copied one of their stupid shows (and after "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City," most are pretty stupid.) And, the Presidential Inaugural Committee should have thought through the concept of letting a corporation own Obama's inaugural concert. Again, it was at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and was an official event of the inauguration of our president. We all own that, not HBO.
YouTube sent this email:
This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Home Box Office, Inc. claiming that this material is infringing: This is Your Land: (
Class act, HBO. God forbid people get to see Pete Seeger sing "This Land is Your Land." And, doesn't this violate the spirit of the idea that corporate America doesn't own D.C. anymore??
Ben Smith at Politico has more:
There is something a bit intuitively objectionable about barring other networks and random citizens from pointing their cameras at a public event like this on the Mall, and effectively prevent the broadcast of a key public part of the event, though the Inaugural Committee argues that selling the exclusive rights were the only way to pay for the extravaganza in tough economic times.

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