Three Unnamed Guitar Heroes v. Ojala

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

02/01/2008

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

California

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Finnish media artist Santeri Ojala created a series of popular YouTube videos that parody legendary guitarists such as Steve Vai, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton. In the videos, Ojala overdubbed the guitarists' performances with his own (intentionally) bad guitar playing. The combination... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Santeri Ojala

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Finland
Description

Finnish media artist Santeri Ojala created a series of popular YouTube videos that parody legendary guitarists such as Steve Vai, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton. In the videos, Ojala overdubbed the guitarists' performances with his own (intentionally) bad guitar playing. The combination of the guitarists' rock-star stage antics and Ojala's amateurish noodling was humorous and well-executed enough to warrant attention from Wired, Guitar Player magazine, and the Jimmy Kimmel Live! television show, among others. Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, who was a guest on the same episode of Jimmy Kimmel's show, jammed with Ojala after Ojala performed a live parody of a Slash concert video on the show.

In early 2008, YouTube recieved three complaints regarding the videos, which appear to have come from artists that Ojala had parodied. YouTube disabled Ojala's account in response. According to Listening Post, a Wired.com blog, YouTube parent company Google has a policy of disabling accounts that have "multiple copyright infringement claims filed against them." At this point Ojala has not taken action to reinstate his account; the Listening Post quotes Google as saying that this would require that Ojala "hire a lawyer and appeal the artists' infringement claims."

It remains to be seen whether YouTube will reactivate Ojala's account or whether the videos will result in liability.

Update:

Ojala still is producing shred videos, as can be seen at his website.

Wired.com, which has covered the situation in a number of articles and blog posts, now hosts some of the videos.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Video

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • DMCA
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California

Source of Law: 

  • United States
CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

6/09/2008 (JMC) - No developments found.