For Eric E. You Know What I Mean, "Bro."
I hate TV, Hollywood, the Cult of Celebrity, a long list of similar things...but this still makes me mad. Since the first missionary was embarrassed by his first exposure to what "spiritual" music really sounded like by some bunch of inappropriately unclothed happy brown people, this has been going on:
The case involved a Zulu migrant worker, Solomon Linda, who in 1939 recorded the song Mbube (Zulu for Lion). Mbube is the most famous song emerging from Africa. We in the United States know the song as â€œThe Lion Sleeps Tonight.â€ The song has been recorded by over 150 artists in myriad languages and has helped Disney and others earn millions. It is no surprise that neither Solomon Linda nor his descendants received royalties for the extensive use of his work and for the many derivatives that have flowed from it. Before filing the copyright infringement lawsuit based upon â€œreversionary copyrightâ€ permitted by the 1911 Imperial Copyright Act (English Law applied in South Africa), Lindaâ€™s children were living in abject poverty with one daughter having already died of AIDS.
"But it's so cute!" "My kids won't sleep without hearing it!" "It's just a cartoon!" Blah, Blah, blah. White people like Howard Stern and Rush can turn their "voices" into millions, but a talented man with a needful family can't convince you that he deserves one of the ten dollars you spent on the CD?
I'm approaching "rage, rage, rage" mode, but it's pretty straightforward. "Intellectual" property laws are for the rich white man, not for you, little serf. What's that you say? "I'm an important writer/artist/thinker/bullshitter." You think you deserve a paycheck? Let me introduce you to 100,000,000 more talented, more educated, more motivated, more "connected" in terms of a "market" people in China and India. You can and will be replaced.
Getting fucked over because you "need" to have managers in order to make your business "successful" is one of the oldest lines after "I promise not to come in your mouth." Believe it, and I have a hard time pitying you. That comes only when someone has lied to you, promised you security, and then gone on to rape your mother while selling out your sister's inheritance, while taking all the credit for your accomplishments. Oh, wait- that happens to black entertainment artists all the time.
Shit, was I talking about Black people? It must not be important. Never mind.
For artists out there, of any stripe: serious question: Given the sure promise of one, would you choose to be rich or famous thru your art, if for argument's sake you can't be both?