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Gangnam Style Makes Millions by Ignoring Copyright Infringement

These days we find copyright owners making a hue and cry even over a trivial instance of copyright infringement. However, here comes an artist who made millions by ignoring copyright infringement of his work. Most of us would be familiar with the Korean pop star Park Jae- Sang’s, (better known as PSY) music album Gangnam Style that went viral over the internet and became the most-viewed You- Tube’s video. And with this song PSY is all set to make millions from You-tube adds and i-tune downloads. His relaxed attitude towards mass copying and sharing contributed in making the song a super-hit. This has infact helped him in earning significant reputation.  PSY has also benifitted from TV commercials for brands such as Samsung and LG.
Last year, Dhanush’s “Why this Kolaveri di”‘s overwhelming popularity had made it the song of the year. Dhanush had sold his rights over the song to Sony Music. However, in spite of the viral nature of the song and the mass copying and sharing of this song, Sony Music restrained from taking any action to sue the infringers. We had posted about the issue over here. To quote from the post, “After the song was initially leaked on You Tube, Sony was quick to become the content partner with You Tube. It capitalized on leaking of the song by way of posting the song in Tamil, Hindi and international facebook pages to drive the traffic, followed by a strategy to get as many twitter mentions of the song as possible. These efforts are said to have set cash registers ringing for the music company. Nearly 80% of the traffic to the song on You Tube was brought through facebook, whereas, increased twitter mentions of the song by nearly 200% everyday, starting at 179 and going till 14,907 tweets on December,24th raked more money for the said company, which is claimed to have been taking 50% of the revenue generated by the video from You Tube”.
These instances show how copyright owners may mint money even if it is at the cost of their IP rights. Nevertheless, each situation is different and sometimes, it is all the more necessary to protect and enforce ones rights than to remain silent when it is being infringed.
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