My Story of Online Ownership

So there is this show called Adventure Time. It’s a popular show on Cartoon Network, aimed at preteens but enjoyable by both older and younger individuals. I am a fan of it myself, so a couple years ago, because myself and a friend were bored, we decided to make a song that is a tribute to it, extending the main theme. I thought we did pretty well, if I do say so myself.

It was even popular enough to spawn some other videos, either covering our song or using it with other videos, showing some great examples of remix culture, and showing the idea of fan labour for a product, giving them free advertising.

But then some problems popped up.

Anyone who watches my video will notice that there is a pop up at the beginning of the video with us asking that people ask permission from us to use the song. This is in response to several issues we had to people copying the video and posting it as their own. While it is made in homage to the show’s original opening and uses it’s lyrics and chord progression, all the verses are written by us and the video and song was recorded by us. We weren’t making them take down videos with us in it, or asking for payment or anything. We simply wanted some recognition for something we worked on.

This caused a bit of a hard reaction among people who were fans of the video. Despite what we said about our reasoning, we were met with people who saw this as us trying to gain ownership of this song, and how it was wrong because it wasn’t our song. This is a valid argument to put up, but as I said before, we weren’t saying we were owning it. We just wanted recognition that we made it. Because of this, we put a notice up at the beginning of the video to help repel comments like this, and so far, it has worked.

On another note, it is a good example of the fan culture working along with production helping image. Though they did not ask for this, we still did it, and it only helped shed a positive light on the show, showing how much time and dedication we put into it. And on our side, it helped get more views, which helped us gain youtube partnership. It’s a win win situation!

So do people think we were in the right in what we did? Or was it wrong for us to put up that notice?

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