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Silver: There were a number of videos that I left on, that had 22 steps. I only pulled the ones off that were doing it incorrectly.
Beigelman: You know, we've both come to the conclusion that the more people that do it in the right way, in a noncommercial way, on the Internet, it's phenomenal for the dance. It only makes Rick's creation even more popular and valuable and more part of the American cultural mainstream. The issue of whether or not people learn it or get to know it in a 22-step version or an 18-step version is something that I think we're best to kind of deal with in more of an education realm than just pulling things off the Internet. And that that was the spirit by which Mr. Silver and I negotiated with the EFF.
What was the rationale behind agreeing to this Creative Comments arrangement?
Beigelman: The only thing that we really would object to in terms of the use of the dance is it being used in a commercial way. So, once we established with EFF that the objection was not necessarily the use but more of what this crowd (in Machulis' clip) did and how they did it, then we realized that we had really no argument with their position. They made some suggestions as to how we could further support the fair use, which we were very much in support of anyway, and I encouraged Rick to be very open-minded with this. I think that it was a terrific solution, a win-win for everybody.
What about the inevitable situation in the future where someone at a wedding shoots a video of people doing the 18-step version and posts it on YouTube, and they have no idea there's been a settlement? Are you going to say, "Hey, this is the wrong dance, take it down?"
Beigelman: If it's used in a noncommercial way, we acknowledge that we have no right to ask them to take it down or to have it taken down. We may on certain occasions just inform them that, "By the way, it's done improperly." What's more important for Rick is to make sure that the commercial exploitations that actually teach the dance do it in the proper 22-step (form), and we have some control over that. Going after noncommercial use of the dance is a waste of time.
You're saying it's a waste of time--but that's precisely what happened with Kyle Machulis, right?
Beigelman: Yes. It was a waste of time and a mistake, and it took perhaps a lawsuit and Rick getting an attorney helping him promote the commercial exploitation in a proper way to freely acknowledge that.
As a contact creator, what is your take on the EFF's position that we're in a new era and that new technology really is forcing us to re-examine how people share information?
Silver: I think in many ways they're doing a great job and otherwise I think they're publicity hounds and picking at straws. But they certainly opened my eyes to what I can and can't do with my copyright.
Do you feel like that's a good thing?
Silver: In many ways, yes. I still have a problem with people doing my choreography incorrectly, but we're working through that and I now have a great lawyer who's helping me control this.
So, from your perspective, who in the movies has done the dance the right way and who hasn't?
Silver: Joe Pesci in The Super and The Parkers TV show, episode eight, are the only ones who did it correctly. Those were both before 2000.
But there have been movies where it's been done incorrectly?
Silver: Since 2000, there have been a number of movies, (including) Keanu Reeves in The Replacements.
And have you contacted the producers?
What's happened there?
Silver: I sent them a bill and they're waiting for the copyright office to send me my paperwork to pay it.
And in the case of The Super and The Parkers, did you want to get compensation for the use of the dance there?
Silver: Yes, I've written to both, and we're still in negotiations.
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