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National’s new copyright problem

Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, August 25th, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Remember 2008 when National’s campaign DVD used music that was clearly a ripoff from Coldplay’s clocks?

Or in 2014 when it shamelessly borrowed a riff from Eminem which has caused him to sue National with judgment due pretty soon?

Well Hayden Donnell at Spinoff thinks that National may have a problem with its latest campaign video borrowing heavily from a Bob Dylan song.  From the article:

You’d expect the party to have a few key aims this time: some combination of “Please god make Bill English look relatable”, “Show a road”, and, “Don’t mention Jacinda”. But the thing you’d expect to be a priority above all else would be: “let’s avoid anything which might get us in court for alleged copyright infringement”.

You’d expect wrong, dumbass.

At first listen, the song accompanying ‘Let’s Get Together’, which has just started airing on TV, seems like a slightly-too-depressingly-downtempo folk-country ditty, or if you write for The Daily Blog, a terrifying Orwellian nightmare.

But listen closer, and you’ll see the ad is actually a subliminal message for National-voting over-sixties. It’s designed to take them back to when they were young, swimming in free love, free education, free healthcare, and almost-free houses, still years away from systematically ruining all those things for their children. And it achieves that by sounding quite a lot like ’70s classic ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’, composed by Bob Dylan and popularised by The Byrds.

Right now you’re probably screaming “this is impossible”, and wrenching at your hair and clothes. That’s what I did when I first read the tip-off from a Spinoff reader that sparked this story. But calm down. Look at the evidence.

The chord progressions in the songs are almost the same, though ‘Let’s Get Together’ is in a different key and features a relative minor chord, against Dylan’s minor second. Their melodies also sync up, with ‘Let’s Get Together’ playing it a little more straight than Dylan’s characteristically improvisational verses. But listen to the chorus. ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’’s distinctive coos are strikingly similar to those in National’s song.

I’m sure that National are relaxed about it and Steven Joyce will think that it is pretty legal.  Maybe someone should tell John Oliver so that he can make another show like this:

58 comments on “National’s new copyright problem”

  1. ianmac 1

    Surely not. Unless it is a sneaky plot get folk to watch their ad. Nah. Not so stupid are they? Are they???

    • popexplosion 1.1

      The only spin is talking about the ad dumbarse. That’s the point of ads. Standard once again doing the Nats work for them. Clearly we here now, so lets recap, no houses in the ad, like last time, shotty waterways, people grid locked this time tied together. Basically what’s happening is they found a teacher in their ranks, obviously inky a Nat teacher could afford to live in Auckland and they are chasing them down, while ignoring housing, poverty, etc to hand out a bonus to cover Auckland living costs to the only group hurting, teachers.

  2. tracey 2

    Why wouldnt they? They havent been punished for 2014s yet…

  3. rod 3

    I expect Joyce will say it’s, pretty legal.

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    It almost sounds like mid-seventies Bob Dylan singing it

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Well spotted.

  6. Macro 6

    Actually many of Dylan’s songs relied heavily on previous melodies – not sure about “you ain’t goin’ nowhere..” but one would need to check.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bob_Dylan_songs_based_on_earlier_tunes
    That is not a complete list by the way there are others not included in the wiki list.

  7. SpaceMonkey 7

    FFS… you’d think by now they’d be paying someone to compose something original for them. It’s not as if they can’t afford it.

    Maybe the problem is they can’t find anyone as all decent hearted artists are too progressive for National so would probably refuse them anyway.

  8. Hmmmm… this would be more in line with a National party rip off, wouldn’t it?

    Rob Zombie – Dragula – YouTube

  9. Andre 9

    Maybe they should give up on music. For background noise they could use a poetry reading from Prostetnic Vogon Joyce.

    • mary_a 9.1

      @ Andre (9) … No music required. Because the background sound is right under Natz noses! Bill English! He could drone on in his boring flat monotone for the extent of the ad. That should be enough to drive the punters away in their droves!

  10. dukeofurl 10

    Looks like the have ditched their billboard slogan- Delivering for NZ

    Didnt Joyce say when ‘lets Do It’ was announced that its was crazy as you had to have some phrase showing what ‘you would do for voters.’

    Lets get together doesnt match any of his previous requirements. Im thinking they have had to ditch most of their previous strategy and message.

    The Billboards went up too early for everyone !

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Chocolate fish for you!

    • dukeofurl 12.2

      It was first released in 1968- has the 50 year rule taken it out of copyright ?
      http://www.copyright.org.nz/basics.php

      • McFlock 12.2.1

        2017-1968=49.

        And that’s copyright on recordings, not authorship of the work.

        Although I’m no music critic, it does seem… Dylan-esque…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.1.1

          Focus group polling indicates that National Party voters are finally ready for the radical messages of the 1960s.

        • Tracey 12.2.1.2

          Isnt it 50 years from death of writer/composer?

        • dukeofurl 12.2.1.3

          Well the words are different, they are just re using the background music.

          I dont think any ones suggested they lifted the whole thing essentially unchanged

      • Nope. Copyright is DEATH + 50

        Dylan isn’t dead.

        • dukeofurl 12.2.2.1

          I gave a link- you didnt read it fully so heres the relevant part

          “Copyright in sound recordings and films continues for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which they were made. ”

          Perhaps you have heard of sound recordings and films ?

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.2.1.1

            I followed the link. The relevant part is:

            Copyright in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works continues for 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the author died.

            We’re talking about the composition – not the recording.

            • dukeofurl 12.2.2.1.1.1

              Records are covered under sound recording. The arrangements of music in the Dylans records would come under this category.
              The words are protected for 50 years after his death which hasnt happened yet. They havent used his words

  11. francesca 13

    Well there’s a definite American accent in there that pisses me right off.
    Seems like we really have sold our souls and everything else and become a subsidiary of the good old USA

    • SMILIN 13.1

      Bills been in the Southern Moonlight too long aka Twilight zone
      He has got a bit high again, time to bring him down

  12. gsays 14

    Firstly, it can’t be true. The nats are brimming with originality, strong and stable, insulation policy, building affordable housing in Palmerston north….

    Secondly the irony of an American getting bolshy other copyright, especially Dylan, in the fine folk/blues tradition of borrowing, reinterpreting, adding to those who have gone before

  13. Macro 15

    People should read this:

    Does it matter if Bob Dylan copies other people’s words and melodies?

    By the way don’t get me wrong – I’m a Dylan fan and no lover of the Nats – but it would be very hard to prove “rip off” on this one I think.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      The National Party found a composer to write something new for them but their focus group polling rejected anything original.

      That being so, Bob Dylan was an obvious choice 😈

  14. Steve 16

    Labor should do a parody of their “let get together thing”. Show the same theme, except with loads of people living on the street,and problems with health system falling apart . Roads still blocked in cities.Christchurch rebuild lagging behind .more criminal meaning jails are fuller than ever. Depicting National party members looking kinda stupidly dumbfounded (Bill especially) whilst they all just stand there in a daze, singing-away, as if they still think everything’s going sweet “lets get together”

    Labor could cash in on in . Because perhaps it would help to get more national people thinking-twice

  15. Carolyn_nth 19

    All very romantic retro – happy workers, in factories, and immigrant fruit pickers. No housing or health crisis in this dinner party togetherness – no under paid or underemployed workers…..

    Other “Let’s get together”‘s

    Or Hayley Mills….

  16. Here’s what National said about immigration a few decades back in 1975 ,… my , how times change,… so much for the song and dance routine.

    Racist National Party Advertising – YouTube
    ▶ 0:37

  17. Kat 21

    “you ain’t going nowhere” really sums up Nationals subliminal message.

  18. Thinkerr 22

    I havent seen this years ad, and dont know the Eminem or Bob Dylan song, so no expert opinion on that score. (no pun intended)

    But, if they are both rip-offs, you have to wonder why National would link its subliminal messages to songs titled “Lose Yourself” and “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”.

    Maybe thats a second subtle subliminal message to the 90% of voters who aren’t part of the ‘in’ crowd, so the other 10% can have a bit of a laugh…

    (sorry, Kat, great minds obviously think alike at the same time!)

    • … ” you have to wonder why National would link its subliminal messages to songs titled “Lose Yourself” and “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” ….

      L0L0L0L !

    • Kat 22.2

      Another Bob Dylan song for Bill.

      “A worried man with a worried mind No one in front of me and nothing behind There’s a woman on my left and she’s drinking champagne Got white skin, got assassin’s eyes….”

  19. Incognito 23

    The only values they’re interested in are property values.

    The only ownership that matters to them is property ownership.

    The only rights they respect are property rights.

    The only laws they know are property laws.

    The New Zealand National Party of Property Owners-Occupiers [acronym].

  20. Thinkerr 24

    I’ll start a thread where we pick what Bob Dylan song we’d rip off, if we were choosing the campaign song.

    In the UK it would be easy “…I aint going to work on Maggie’s Farm no more…”

    But it’s NZ, so I’d have to pick “…It ain’t me babe, no no no, it ain’t me babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for babe…”

    Other ideas?

  21. Kat 25

    National: “Desolation Row……. For New Zealanders”

    Labour: “Forever Young”

    Greens: “A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall”

    Act: “Idiot Wind”

    Maori Party: “Tangled up in Blue”

    TOP: “My Back Pages”

  22. eco Maori/kiwi 26

    A bit of conspiracy Spark had a data blip yesterday me thinks that bill got his puppets
    and Peter Thiel to hack the data of Spark to try and do a Houdini and target voters whom are left with propaganda advertising could manipulate them swing to the right into believing Nationals CRAP.
    I read a good article on this subject in the British Guardian the say this was the cause of the Britexit and Trump winning Data is king nothing is free the Dubble edge sword of the internet. the net is so great and can be so terrible

    Peter Thiel and Steve Brannon and his web site Breitbart were ring leaders of this under mining of world democracy
    That is why Peter Thiel got residency and his 30 million win fall from Steven Joice it would be good if we could check Thiels bank account.
    You can check it out it all there on the guardian !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. SMILIN 27

    If they think any song will lead this country’s voter to commit suicide and vote for the party that wants to leave the poor in debt the middle class paying for it while the rich pay next to nothing for the privilege they steal from the majority
    Then their learing smiles and slow motion boardroom house of con video is nothing more than the Titanic sinking

  24. Cheapskate Nats didn’t pay the actors in the video. They gave them a “gratuity” i.e. a petrol voucher. Probably broke labour laws or else depending on their exclusion of performing artists in the ERA.

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