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Lunch Break Goes All Free Culture On You

I spent a fair chunk of time this weekend cooking to MGMT's "Kids" on repeat. It's best to listen to this song if your boss encourages desk dancing.

For all that, I wasn't going to post it as today's lunch break. It's not only indie, but yesterday's indie. Hipster readers will think me lame and other readers will think me a hipster. It's the worst of both worlds. But then I came across this on Wikipedia:

MGMT recently settled a legal dispute with the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Contrary to popular belief, MGMT did not sue anyone, instead receiving a settlement payment that they plan to donate to a charity to help musicians with similar legal battles. The song "Kids" was used on several occasions without permission (in 2008), at a party conference and in two online videos. The party paid a standard fee of €53 to the French music licensing party, but this license did not cover all uses of the song. The UMP, Sarkozy's political party, admitted that the song had been used without permission and offered a symbolic compensation of €1. The band rejected the offer, claiming it was "insulting". The band's lawyer commented that "we are dealing with acts of counterfeiting, with infringements of intellectual property." Nicolas Sarkozy is known as a vocal supporter of stricter intellectual property laws.

Funny how that works.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 1, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  Lunch Break  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: This Week's "Think Tank"
Next: Setting the Record Straight on George Tiller


It's never a good idea to try to impress hipsters. Speaking of which, if you want some good lunchtime fun, you should really read this:

Posted by: Castorp1 | June 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

1. I'm not a hipster and I still think you're a little behind the times with MGMT.
2. I saw that article the other day and also thought it was hilarious.

Posted by: aaxler1 | June 1, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I, too, seem to be behind the times with MGMT. They only recently came across my radar since I began streaming K-Rock 2 on my iTunes. I guess I had seen their album on display in stores, but I thought they were some kind of French trance group. Woops.

I kind of sort of rather like them. Is it just me or do their videos evoke "Lord of the Flies"?

Posted by: pbasso_khan | June 1, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Man, I couldn't stop listening to this song last summer, but I've noticed it making something of a come back as summer draws near again. And you know what? That's fantastic, because it's still a great song. Anybody who gives you guff about being late for enjoying a song probably didn't reeeally enjoy it on its own terms anyway.

Fun trivia: Everyone probably knows that's a fanmade music video, but the band liked it so much that those two were invited for a cameo in the video for Electric Slide.

Posted by: HerooftheBeach | June 1, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

That's "Electric FEEL" (the Electric Slide is very different :)

And, yes, you can very clearly the face-painted people in the Electric Feel video.

Posted by: pbasso_khan | June 1, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Someone should try to legally codify the "MGMT philosophy" of copyright law. Based on the story of this song -- e.g., it's OK to post a fan video w/o permission, it's not OK to use songs at political rallies w/o permission -- it seems like MGMT has hit on the arrangement that, intuitively, most people of our generation seem to consider the fair and just result. Now we just need to put it in writing.

Posted by: tomveiltomveil | June 2, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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