How to Make a School Spirit Music Video for Youtube

How to Make a School Spirit Music Video for Youtube
By Susan Basko, Esq.

12 Simple Steps, each of which take a good deal of time, work, and attention to detail:

1. TEACHER SUPPORT:  Gather the support of a teacher who will sponsor the making of the video.    Any enthusiastic teacher will do.

2. STUDENT VIDEO CREW: Find a few students who like to do video production.  A music video such as the one above can be made using a GoPro type of camera that is worn on a hat.  A good cellphone video camera can also be used to make such a music video.  You don't need an expensive or fancy or big camera.

3. PLAN YOUR VIDEO: Plan how you will make your video so that you have as little editing to do as possible.  Youtube itself has a  simple video editor that is compatible with Youtube and easy to use.  Or the people on the video team may have their own video editing program.

Note: One mistake a lot of these school walk-through videos (like the one below) are making is having the featured people walking backwards.  The camera person should walk backwards, with the featured people walking toward the camera.  The camera person should walk a few feet ahead of the featured performers, but be walking backwards.  The camera person will have an assistant to guide the way.   Plan this out and practice and you will see that the video looks much better with the main performers walking toward the camera.

4. CHOOSE A SONG or SONGS.  Our good friends at Youtube have made arrangements so that you can use many popular songs for free to make your own music video for Youtube!  The songwriters and record labels have agreed to let us use their music on Youtube videos and Youtube puts ads on the video.  That way, the music people are making a little money from your video.  This is ONLY for use on Youtube and not on any other video uploading site.  Keep in mind, a Youtube video can be linked onto Facebook, Twitter, or in emails, and can be embedded onto almost any website or blog - if you set the settings on your video on your Yutube channel so that it can be shared by linking and embedding.

5. YOUTUBE POPULAR SONG LIBRARY.  Here is a link to the music library of popular songs.  If the song is on the list, you are allowed to use it on your Youtube video.  You will need to buy a copy of the song someplace, such as Itunes or Amazon.

6. SONG POLICIES.  Find a song and read the "Policies" that apply to it.
You can use the search bar on the page to find the song you like.  Click on the little arrow by the song to find out the Policies related to the song.  If the song you want to use is on the list, you don't need any sort of licensing.  Youtube worked out this deal especially for Youtube users so you can make cool videos with the great music that you love!

7. YOUTUBE CONTENT POLICIES.  Keep in mind, Youtube NEVER allows any video that shows any person who has not given their permission to be in the video.  Youtube does not allow any video to show any person or mention their name unless that person has given permission.  Youtube also does not allow anything that says anything bad about any person (defamation), or that invades anyone's privacy, or anything that is shocking, violent, gross, sexual, illegal, or anything that promotes illegal drug use, violence, terrorism, hate, racism, or any other such thing.

This excellent school video from Canton High School uses snippets of many songs:

8. TRY TO INVOLVE EVERYONE AT YOUR SCHOOL.  If you look at both of these videos, you will see that they include everyone from the school.  Include students of all races, all sizes. Include the students with disabilities.  Include the book worms and the shy students.  Watch these videos for clever ideas on how to do this.  On Youtube, you can find many other examples of school spirit videos.  Some use cameras on drones for aerial shots.  Some have a talking or acting component -- though these videos are not usually as strong as the spirit videos that use only music.

Here's another good one that uses a lot of songs. This is from Lexington High School:

9. REHEARSE THE VIDEO.  SHOOT THE VIDEO.  Once you have the video all planned out, the individuals who will lip synch or dance or speak should rehearse their parts. Then there should be a day when everyone gathers to do a big group rehearsal and to shoot the video.  You should rehearse and shoot the video on the same day, since it will be hard to gather all those people more than once.

10. EDIT AND UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO. After the video is shot, it will need to be edited.  It is best if you plan in advance to have as little editing as possible. For example, while you are shooting the video, you can have the music playing over a boombox so all you need to do is match up the video with the song using the boombox audio that is on the video. Practice this a bit and you will find what works best for you.

11. UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO AND SET YOUR SETTINGS.  Once your video is made, upload it to a Youtube video channel.  It is best to create a channel just for the video so that no one feels that the school spirit video message is being mixed with any other messages. Someone will need to watch the Message Inbox on the channel in case there are problems with take down requests. You will also want to be sure to check the box to allow someone to moderate the comments so that negative comments don't spoil your video.  Or it may be easier to simply Disable Comments.  If you disable comments, you will lose some encouraging comments, but you will also avoid the nasty haters.

12. POST LINKS AND EMBEDS.  Once the video is up on Youtube, if you have the "Sharing" setting set so that anyone can link or embed the video, you can encourage all the students to post the video on their Facebook and Twitter pages, to email it to their families and friends, and embed it on their blogs or websites.  This is a great way to share your school spirit!

And most of all, have fun!

Vendome Underpass Tent City, Los Angeles

Vendome Underpass Tent City, Los Angeles
by Susan Basko, esq.

In the City of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., Vendome Street has an underpass beneath the 101 Freeway.  As in many underpasses throughout the Unites States, people with no other place to live have made their homes in a tent camp lining the sidewalks and embankment below the busy road above.

 These photos are all taken from Google maps.  They are all Copyright by Google 
and are used here in Fair Use for purposes of analysis and commentary.  
According to the note on the photos, the Google maps truck took these photos in March 2015.

 On that day in 2015, each side of the street had about 6 tents, with a few additional tents up higher on the embankment.  Notice how the tents have been neatly spaced apart, each one next to a support post.  This will provide support for the tent.  It may also provide each tent's occupants with a bit of privacy behind the post for engaging in toilet activities.

Living under the freeway provides some shelter from heat, cold, wind, and rain.  Los Angeles does not get snow.  Temperatures range from about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) on a cold winter day to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) on a hot summer day.  In the summer, the nights tend to cool down.  

In the summer, the temperature in the underpass will be cooler than out in the sun.  However, it is very noisy living below a road above, with the constant roar of cars and trucks driving at high speeds.  There may also be mice, rats, and other animals.  There is always a danger from robbers or violent people.

 There are also no running water, toilets, or showers.  
This woman appears to be washing her hair with bottled water.

 Perhaps she and this man hauled the bottle of water to their tent home in this shopping cart.

 This shopping cart looks like they might use it to collect recyclable bottles.  In California, purchasers of water and drinks in plastic bottles pay a tax of 5 cents per bottle.  Many people living on the street make money by collecting empty bottles and bringing them to a recycling center, where they are paid 5 cents per bottle.  Many of them steal shopping carts from stores to have a vehicle in which to collect bottles and to store and haul their personal belongings.  Most water bottles are easily crushed, which allows many to fit into a cart.  A cart filled with bottles might net a collector $5 or $10.  This is a bare subsistence living for many people in Los Angeles.

Here she is catching a few rays of early morning sunlight for hair washing.  The location of their tent, near the end of the underpass, allows them to enjoy the sunshine a bit.

This appears to be a buggy or cart laden with a tent, a little pink baby suit, and a collection of other personal possessions.  These items are most likely beloved by their owner. 

This looks like a young woman in a white dress.  She appears to be standing behind her tent.  There appears to be a fence to keep her from going up onto the embankment.

But, here she is behind the fence.  Maybe someone cut an entry in the fence.  The area on the embankment might be used for toilet activities, for cooking or lighting a small fire for warmth, or for storing or hiding belongings.  

This tent has a tidy set-up.  Notice the shoes are set outside the tent.   Supplies are off to the side.  A blanket is hung on the fence, possibly to dry it or to provide a private dressing area.  A towel draped over the entry to the tent provides privacy, while allowing air circulation inside the tent.

That same tent appears here on the right.  To its left is a much larger tent. 

The larger tent, shown here on the right, has a shopping cart stowed next to it.   A shopping cart is a prized possession among people who live on the streets, because it can be used for collecting recyclable bottles. In California, small water bottles bring 5 cents apiece, which can add up to a few dollars that can buy food for the day.

Next to the big greyish tent is this smaller orange and white small dome tent. Perhaps because the  tent is so small, the occupant has many items stored outside around the tent.  Notice the occupant in the tent takes up most of the inside space.  The tent is just big enough for sitting or lying down.

The Google truck usually drives around just after sunrise. This looks like a woman in her pajamas.  Maybe she is getting ready to go to her job?  Many homeless people in Los Angeles are employed, but do not make enough money to pay the very high rents and security deposits of multiple months' rent.  

The blue tent has a wheelchair parked outside.

The resident of this tent may be disabled and get around in a wheelchair.  It looks like a mattress is stowed along the fence.

The next door neighbor living in the orange and white tent has many interesting objects on display, including what appear to be gold-colored statues of animals.  There is a shopping cart.  A red plastic box provides storage.  A plastic bag full of things hangs on the fence.

This is a map of where Vendome Street passes below the Freeway.  It is a residential area.

This is how the area looks from the sky.

These are nearby home listings with prices from May 2016.  These are simple, small houses.  Most of them are about 1,000 square feet with 2 or 3 bedrooms.  The asking prices are around $600,000.  To buy a $600,000 house, one would need a $120,000 down payment and a yearly salary of about $192,000.  Very few people make this much money.  This is why there are so many people living in tents and vehicles in major cities in the U.S.

There is the neighborhood of houses for those who can afford them.  
For those who cannot, there is this tent camp below the freeway.  
This is very common in major cities in the U.S.

Thank you to Google maps for the pictures.  
Photos used in Fair Use for purposes of analysis and commentary.

Important Legal Notice -Domains and Emails Being used Illegally in my name

From: Susan Basko aka Sue Basko
Date: January 19, 2016
Update: March 20, 2016

My name is Susan Basko or Sue Basko and I am an attorney licensed in the U.S.A. in California and Illinois.  This is a legal notice that I, my personal name,  and my name as a lawyer are being impersonated and infringed upon.  Several domains (websites, emails, etc) in my name are being used for nefarious and/or criminal purposes by two men and associated companies without any permission from me.   

On or about March 11, 2014 and since that time, a man named Jason Scott Leiderman aka Jay Leiderman, a lawyer licensed in California and residing in Ventura, California, began purchasing domain names in my name.  These domains can be used for websites and other purposes and each domain comes with emails, also in my name.   Jason (Jay) Leiderman admitted this transgression against me under questioning from a Judge in a Court in San Jose, California.  Jason (Jay) Leiderman was or is the General Counsel for Via View, Inc., a corporate entity at times in Delaware, Nevada, and California.  A man named James Alexander McGibney, of San Jose, California,  is the owner or president of ViaView, Inc. and an employee of a company called Rosendin Electric in San Jose, California.  It is believed that James McGibney, the man who has been stalking me for over two years with Jason (Jay) Leiderman, is the IT Director of Rosendin Electric of San Jose, California, a company that is involved in construction nationwide.

Rosendin Electric has been duly informed that James McGibney is stalking me and that he and Jason Leiderman own domains and emails in my name and that they run websites in these domains that are defamatory, obscene, dishonest, harassing, and stalking.  Rosendin Electric has been duly informed that their IT Director James McGibney has been found to own hundreds of domain names, dozens of which are in the names of people whom he has been stalking for several years, aside from the domains in my name.

 The domains in my name of which we are aware are now being held in the names of ViaView, Inc and or James McGibney.   I DO NOT  have any contracts or agreements with Jason (Jay) Leiderman, James McGibney, ViaView, Inc., or Rosendin Electric whereby any of these people or entities would have a right or license to use my name, own or use a domain in my name, own or use an email in my name, or communicate as  me, about me, for me, or in any way communicate any information using my name whatever.  These individuals or companies have taken it upon themselves to purchase, hold, and use approximately 5 (five) domains in my name for purposes that can only be classified as illegal, harmful, harassing, or criminal.  These individuals and companies have been given adequate notice that they are to cease and desist in impersonating me and owning domains or emails in my name, and yet the domains in my name continue to be held and operated in the names of one of more of these encroaching impersonators. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO LEGITIMATE REASON FOR ANY OF THESE PEOPLE OR ENTITIES TO OWN OR OPERATE ANY DOMAIN OR EMAIL IN MY NAME.

Both of these men, Jay Leiderman and James McGibney,  are members of or connected with internet hacking or harassment groups Anonymous, Rustle League, Bullyville, and Cheaterville, and thus should be considered dangerous and should not be approached.  Rather, if you see communications that are in the name of Sue Basko but are not from my limited official websites and emails listed below, please contact me at one of the emails, or contact your local police or contact the FBI.  Do not view the illegal websites as they are likely spring-loaded with malware, and do not open or respond to any of the emails.   

THIS IS LEGAL NOTICE THAT THE ONLY VALID EMAILS UNDER WHICH I WILL CONTACT ANYONE ARE:SUEBASKO@GMAIL.COM AND SUEBASKOMUSIC@GMAIL.COM  The ONLY VALID website in my name is and others that may be linked on that page in the sidebar.  The only valid Twitter accounts in my name are @SueBasko and @pacempacem.  Please contact me directly at one of these email addresses and/or file an FBI report about all other communications purportedly from or about me.  

Bike Sharing - How it Works

Bike Sharing - How it Works
by Sue Basko, esq.

You're in a city and you see people ride by on bikes, many of which seem to match.  Then you notice bike stations with racks (called bike docks) and kiosks.  You see people pick out a bike and ride off.  What is this?  It's Bike Sharing! 

Bike Sharing is popular throughout the world.  Bike Sharing combines two of my favorite things - bicycles and the sharing economy.  Each year, more cities add Bike Sharing programs and the existing programs add more stations and  bikes. 

Here is a list of North American cities that have Bike Sharing programs: 

And here is a worldwide map showing which cities have Bike Sharing:  

Bike Sharing programs have different rules and prices in each city.  However, there is a shared commonality among almost all the programs.  This is how it works:

1.  THE BIKES MATCH. All the Bikes in a city are the same.  The seat heights can be adjusted.  Most of the bikes are sturdy and somewhat heavy.  The bikes have a front basket or rack with a bungee cord.  The bikes have lights that go on by themselves. You can tell the Shared Bikes going past on the street because they will all be the same distinctive color.  Bike Shares buy expensive bicycles that are valued at $1000 to $1500 per bike.

2.  BIKE STATIONS.  Bike Share programs have Bike Stations that have a kiosk and bike docks. The kiosk is a computer screen on which the users buy a daily membership, choose a bike, report any bike malfunctions, etc.  The Bike Stations are self-serve and automatic. There are no workers present, though most Bike Share programs have a phone number where a customer service person can be reached. Each bike is locked securely into a bike dock.  A bike may be taken from any bike station and returned to that same bike station or to any other bike station.

3. SHORT RIDES.  The object of Shared Bikes is to provide bikes for short rides, such as errands or commutes to and from a train, university, shopping center, or tourist attractions.  Therefore, the system works such that all short rides are included in one price.  That "short ride" might be defined as 30 minutes, 40 minutes, or one hour.  You need to check the Bike Sharing program you are using.  

4. ONE PRICE FOR ALL THE SHORT RIDES YOU CAN TAKE.  Most Bike Share programs allow a user to join for 24 hours, or for one month, or for one year.  Included in that price are all the short rides you care to make.  When the short ride time limit is up, you must return the bike to any dock location at any station.  You must then wait a minute or two and you can check out a different bike, if you like.  You could, in theory, spend your day taking short bike rides, and this would cost you one price.  If any bike ride you take exceeds the "Short Ride" time limit for that city, you are billed for the extra time.

5. EXAMPLES: These are imaginary examples that are typical approximations of times and prices.  Let's say Fun City has a bike share program with 100 stations throughout the city, with 1200 bikes total.  In Fun City, you can buy a 24 hour Bike Share pass for $10 or a yearly Bike Share pass for $75.  

If you buy the 24 hour pass at noon, you have until noon the next day to use the bikes.  You can check out a bike and take as many short bike rides as you like.  Let's say Fun City has a 30 minute short ride limit. You can check out a bike, and as long as you re-dock the bike at any bike station within 30 minutes, it is included in the daily price.  You can then wait a few minutes and take out another bike, if you like.  Or you can go for a short ride in the morning, another short ride in the evening, and several short rides the following morning.  If you are walking down a street and see a bike station and the mood suits you, you can take a bike.  

If you keep the bike for longer than 30 minutes (or whatever the short ride limit is in that city) on any given ride, you will be billed extra for that.  As an example, it might be an extra $2 for the time period between 30-60 minutes.

6. BIKE SHARING YEAR MEMBERSHIP:  If you join a Bike Sharing program for a month (if available) or a year, you will be given a thick plastic "key" which you will insert into a bike dock to unlock any bike.  This is much quicker than a daily membership, where you must choose a bike number at the kiosk.  You just walk up to any bike, put in the key, pull the bike from the dock, adjust the seat, and ride away.  With a Bike Share yearly membership, you can take as many Short Ride trips as you like for one year.  You might take 3 trips per day or 3 trips per month.  Users are encouraged to use the Shared Bikes as much as they like.  

7. CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD NEEDED.  To join a Bike Share, you need a debit or credit card.  Fees for keeping the bike longer than the Short Ride limit are charged to the card.  In some cities, only one bike can be taken out per credit card.  Other cities allow multiple bikes to be taken on one card.

8. NOT FOR CHILDREN.  Bike Share programs are not designed for children.  Most cities limit use of Bike Share bikes to people age 16 and up.  The bikes are the size and design for an adult rider.  

9. BIKE SHARE APPS.  Many Bike Share programs have apps for a smart phone that show the locations of bike stations and how many bikes are available at that station.  Bike Share programs also have websites that have interactive maps showing stations and bike availability.  

10. BRING YOUR OWN HELMET. You need to bring your own helmet and anything else you might need for your ride.

Demo Reels - Using Film Clips

Demo Reels - Using Film Clips
by Susan Basko, esq.


I am a film editor. An actor friend wants me to make him a demo reel.  I may also want to start making demo reels as a service for other actors.  Do I need to get clearance for all the clips?  I do not want to be sued for Copyright infringement for using the film clips.


It seems to be a standard in the industry that actors use the clips in which they act for their demo reels. The clips are small and are limited to the parts where the actors appear.  The clips in themselves are not edited and the audio is not changed and music or effect of any sort are not added onto the clips.  They are kept as is.  The clips give the name of the project and the year. The videos are edited on high end systems so the video and audio look good.

 Sell your services making the video, do not sell the video itself.  The videos can never be monetized (have ads on them).

This seems to be the standard in the industry and I have never heard of anyone being sued who follows this specific pattern. A legitimate film industry professional with a normal sense of fairness would not sue an actor for use of their acting clips in a demo reel -- or doing so would be what marks the person as not a legitimate film industry professional.   It is a known standard in the film industry that actors use their film clips in their demo reels.  However, the film clips must be short and must not be edited or changed in themselves, because this may in itself by a an infringement of Copyright or of artist's moral rights.

 If a lawsuit were to happen, it might be an arguable defense that the demo reel is Fair Use as an analysis or review of that particular actor's skill.

Nothing can ever keep you from being sued. Using only the appropriate short clips in the correct way without making changes will go a long way to providing a solid defense if any lawsuit should arise.  Also, give credit for the clips.

Watch many demo reels  first to see what works and what does not:

Big Pimpin' Copyright Lawsuit

Big Pimpin' Copyright Lawsuit
by Sue Basko, Esq.

Now is a good time for a review of the basic Copyright law that pertains to use of a sample from one song used in a new song created by someone else.  There is a Copyright case on trial now in Los Angeles involving Jay Z, Timbaland, and use of a sample in a song they made.  Below, we'll review the law YOU need to know to use a sample in a song you create.

Jay Z and Timbaland are testifying in a Copyright lawsuit trial that was filed against them in 2007 by the nephew of an Egyptian songwriter.  The nephew claims that a 4-note flute sample from the Egyptian song used by Jay Z and Timbaland in their 1999 song "Big Pimpin'" violates his uncle's moral rights.  The Egyptian nephew claims that the family never signed over the right to make a derivative work.  You can read more about the case in this excellent news article by the Guardian.  

The flute sample in "Big Pimpin'" is taken from the Egyptian song, "Khosara, Khosara," written for use in an old Egyptian movie.  You can hear the song in the video below.

The "Big Pimpin'" case is complicated because the sample came from an Egyptian song that was not registered and using U.S. Copyright law.  From the accounts of the trial, it sounds as if Jay Z, Timbaland, and their record companies did all they could to be fair.  They paid the music companies representing the family of the composer for use of the song.  The nephew, or his lawyer, contends that the family never signed over the right to make derivative works.  The music company representing the song says the family did sign over the right to make a derivative work.  This may be difficult to determine because of different laws and different languages being used by the U.S. and Egypt.  There is also the issue of artist moral rights, which are recognized differently in different nations.  The nephew's concern seems to be that "Big Pimpin'" has lyrics that portray promiscuous sex, and that this defiles his uncle's song.   If permission was not given, this would violate the artist's moral rights.  In U.S. copyright law, this right is translated statutorily into the right to control which derivative works are created.  In the "Big Pimpin'" trial, the judge has ruled that the song lyrics cannot become part of the trial.  This is the crux of the lawsuit and thus appears to be an error on the part of the judge, which may result in an appeal.

USING A SAMPLE UNDER U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW OR INTERNATIONAL LAWS:  When you want to use a sample of a song in your work, first you need to check and see if it is under U.S. Copyright law.  You can check that on the U.S. Copyright website.  If the song you want to sample is under the laws of a different nation, you need to follow the laws of that nation and of the U.S.  That is not easy.

If you look at the "Big Pimpin'" case, Jay Z and Timbaland involved lawyers, got contracts, and paid at least $100,000 for use of the sample.  That was not good enough because the family claims it never gave up the moral rights or that it never assigned the right to make derivative works, although the music company representing the song says they did assign the right to make derivative works.

This brings up a very important lesson -- that the rights or license you are getting in any contract are only as good as all the underlying contracts, releases, and licenses.  In most instances, the underlying contracts will be shaky, at best.  It is important to get rock solid contracts that are valid in perpetuity for all the world and that are binding on the estate, heirs, agents, or assignees of the property.

IF THE SONG YOU WISH TO SAMPLE IS UNDER U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW and if the song you are creating will be under U.S. Copyright law, this is the important thing to remember:


1) MASTERS USE LICENSE. the recorded music itself has a copyright that belongs to the Owner of the Copyright on the Sound Recording that is actually being used, which will usually be a record label.  The license to use the sound recording is called a MASTERS USE LICENSE;

AND  (a great big important "AND")

2) PERMISSION FROM THE SONGWRITER/ PUBLISHER TO CREATE A DERIVATIVE WORK.  The Songwriter is usually represented in such matters by a PUBLISHER.   The songwriter or publisher may or may not give permission to use the sample.  Permission may be given or withheld for any or no reason and may be on any terms the songwriter or publisher desires.

The right to create a derivative work is one of the main rights given to a songwriter in U.S. Copyright law.   This is the statutory place where "artist moral rights" have been codified, to some extent - although artist moral rights, as they exist in other nations, are more all-encompassing.  Under U.S. Copyright law, the right to make a derivative work is where the artist gets to say yea or nay to the use of his or her work in someone else's new work.  In the "Big Pimpin'" case, the family of the Egyptian songwriter is saying that their uncle's song, "Khosara, Khosara" is defiled by use of its characteristic flute notes being sampled and placed into a song with immoral or indecent lyrics.

In the U.S., if a songwriter wants to use a sample of a famous song, it is very common that the songwriter or publisher will demand to see the lyrics and possibly even to hear a simple mock-up recording of the proposed song BEFORE permission is given for use of the sample.  A songwriter or publisher may even want control over any music video for the song created with the sample.

AND (and this is the biggest "AND" of all)

3) MONEY MONEY MONEY.  You have to PAY to use a sample.  You have to pay a flat fee and royalties per sale for the MASTERS USE LICENSE.   That money goes to whoever owns the sound recording you are using, usually a record label.  And you have to pay the songwriter/ publisher.  That might be a flat fee, or it might be a flat fee plus an amount per each copy sold.

The contracts that you form with the Songwriter/ Publisher and with the Record label/ Owner of the Copyright on the Sound Recording will tell what price will be paid, how, when, and all the pertinent terms.

In most instances, most record labels and most publishers will only allow samples of their songs to be used by a song creator who has a good track record, a lot of potential for sales, a plan for a good song and good usage of the song, plans to create a new song that will not interfere with the sales or reputation of the original song from which the beat is taken, and MONEY to pay them upfront.

AND (and and and)

4) ROCK-SOLID CONTRACTS written to cover all contingencies.

If a sample is used in a song that becomes a big hit, lawsuits will come out of the woodwork.  In the "Big Pimpin' " case, it sounds as if Jay Z and Timbaland took every conceivable step to be fair, to get contracts for use of the music and for the underlying songwriting, and to pay everyone fairly.  They say the family has been paid all along for use of the song.  Success and money attract lawsuits. In the U.S., generally speaking, a nephew would have no standing to sue on behalf of rights that belong to his uncle.  It is unclear (at least to me) how he has standing to bring this lawsuit in California, unless he was appointed the representative of the estate under the laws of Egypt.  It also sounds as if the lawsuit is trying to divide the right to make a derivative work from artist moral rights over that derivative work, but in U.S. copyright law, that is not valid, and the lawsuit is taking place in a U.S court.

In the U.S., it is the obligation of the artist who is allowing someone else to create a derivative work to take precautions IN ADVANCE to make sure that the new work will be suitable to cover what are in essence, the artist's moral rights.  In the U.S., we cannot give the right to create a derivative work and then complain afterwards that it does not meet our standards.  THEREFORE, any contract formed to give the right to create a derivative work should be based on information given BEFOREHAND regarding the proposed project and the people who will be creating it, and subject to approval AFTER its creation.  This is where the right to create a derivative work branches off from moral rights.  In other nations, one might give the right to create a derivative work and then still complain after its creation that it violates the moral rights of the original artist.  In U.S. Copyright law, if you give permission for a derivative work to be created, the onus is on you, as the owner of the copyright on the original work, to ascertain in advance whether the derivative work will meet your approval.  Under U.S. copyright law, once you give permission for a derivative work, unless it violates a specific provision of a contract you have formed with the person creating the derivative work, you do not have grounds to complain.  In the U.S., the artist's moral rights are not separate and apart from the right to create a derivative work. In other nations, the artist's moral rights are separate and sacrosanct rights.

Conversely, any contract to allow creation of  a derivative work must be meticulously drafted to avoid having one's creation used in a new work that may harm the reputation or morals of the creator of the original.   The "Big Pimpin'" case is a great example of this.  The original song, "Khosara, Khosara," was created by an Egyptian for an Egyptian movie.  Egypt is a predominantly Muslim nation, which has become more fundamentalist in recent years.  It is entirely possible the family of the songwriter may face scandal or punishment if it appears they gave permission for the sample to be used in "Big Pimpin,'" the lyrics to which are below.  The music video, shown above, portrays a drug hustler fantasy of having a big boat filled with dozens of beautiful women wearing bikinis.

"Big Pimpin' (Extended)"
(feat. U.G.K.)

Uhh, uh uh uh
It's big pimpin baby
It's big pimpin, spendin G's
Feel me.. uh-huh uhh, uh-huh
Ge-ge-geyeah, geyeah
Ge-ge-geyeah, geyeah

You know I - thug em, fuck em, love em, leave em
Cause I don't fuckin need em
Take em out the hood, keep em lookin good
But I don't fuckin feed em
First time they fuss I'm breezin
Talkin bout, "What's the reasons?"
I'm a pimp in every sense of the word, bitch
Better trust than believe em
In the cut where I keep em
til I need a nut, til I need to beat the guts
Then it's, beep beep and I'm pickin em up
Let em play with the dick in the truck
Many chicks wanna put Jigga fist in cuffs
Divorce him and split his bucks
Just because you got good head, I'ma break bread
so you can be livin it up? Shit I..
parts with nothin, y'all be frontin
Me give my heart to a woman?
Not for nothin, never happen
I'll be forever mackin
Heart cold as assassins, I got no passion
I got no patience
And I hate waitin
Hoe get yo' ass in
And let's RI-I-I-I-I-IDE, check em out now
RI-I-I-I-I-IDE, yeah
And let's RI-I-I-I-I-IDE, check em out now
RI-I-I-I-I-IDE, yeah

[Chorus One: Jay-Z]
We doin.. big pimpin, we spendin cheese
Check em out now
Big pimpin, on B.L.A.D.'s
We doin.. big pimpin up in N.Y.C.
It's just that Jigga Man, Pimp C, and B-U-N B
Yo yo yo.. big pimpin, spendin cheese
We doin - big pimpin, on B.L.A.D.'s
We doin.. big pimpin up in N.Y.C.
It's just that Jigga Man, Pimp C, and B-U-N B

[Bun B]
Nigga it's the - big Southern rap impresario
Comin straight up out the black bar-rio
Makes a mill' up off a sorry hoe
Then sit back and peep my sce-nawr-e-oh
Oops, my bad, that's my scenario
No I can't fuck a scary hoe
Now every time, every place, everywhere we go
Hoes start pointin - they say, "There he go!"
Now these motherfuckers know we carry mo' heat than a little bit
We don't pull it out over little shit
And if you catch a lick when I spit, then it won't be a little hit
Go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch and step up yo' vocab
Don't be surprised if yo' hoe stab out with me
and you see us comin down on yo' slab
Livin ghetto-fabulous, so mad, you just can't take it
But nigga if you hatin I
then you wait while I get yo' bitch butt-naked, just break it
You gotta pay like you weigh wet wit two pairs of clothes on
Now get yo' ass to the back as I'm flyin to the track
Timbaland let me spit my pro's on
Pump it up in the pro-zone
That's the track that we breakin these hoes on
Ain't the track that we flow's on
But when shit get hot, then the glock start poppin like ozone
We keep hoes crunk like Trigger-man
Fo' real it don't get no bigger man
Don't trip, let's flip, gettin throwed on the flip
Gettin blowed with the motherfuckin Jigga Man, fool

[Chorus Two: Bun B]
We be.. big pimpin, spendin cheese
We be.. big pimpin, on B.L.A.D.'s
We be.. big pimpin down in P.A.T.
It's just that Jigga Man, Pimp C, and B-U-N B
Cause we be.. big pimpin, spendin cheese
And we be.. big pimpin, on B.L.A.D.'s
Cause we be.. big pimpin in P.A.T.
It's just that Jigga Man, Pimp C, and B-U-N B, nigga

[Pimp C]
Uhh.. smokin out, throwin up, keepin lean up in my cup
All my car got leather and wood, in my hood we call it buck
Everybody wanna ball, holla at broads at the mall
If he up, watch him fall, nigga I can't fuck witch'all
If I wasn't rappin baby, I would still be ridin Mercedes
Chromin shinin sippin daily, no rest until whitey pay me
Uhhh, now what y'all know bout them Texas boys
Comin down in candied toys, smokin weed and talkin noise

[Chorus Two]

On a canopy my stamina be enough for Pamela Anderson Lee
MTV jam of the week
Made my money quick then back to the streets but
Still sittin on blades, sippin that ray
Standin on the corner of my block hustlin
Still gettin that cane
half what I paid slippin right through customs
It'll sell by night its extra white
I got so many grams if the man find out
it will land me in jail for life
But im still big pimpin spendin chesse
with B.U.N. B, Pimp C, and Timothy
We got bitches in the back of the truck, laughin it up
Jigga Man that's what's up


HTML: fun and easy!

HTML: Fun and Easy!
How to Make a Link
How to Make Italics, Bold, Delete, Big, and Center
by Sue Basko, Esq.

Are you jealous of people who can make their online comments, Craigslist ads, band descriptions, and other things just a bit snazzier because they know HTML?  HTML is hypertext mark-up language.  It is coding you can use in spaces that allow it.  It's easy!  Here are a few easy HTML codes to get you started.  

Here's how to do it:

This is called an angle bracket.  
HTML code goes inside the angle brackets.

Let's say you want to make some words bold.
is the code for bold.

You turn the bold code on with 

and turn the bold code off with

Everything that is between the on and the off will be bold.

I want to order a mushroom only pizza.

Let's add some HTML for bold:  

This is how it will look: 
I want to order a mushroom only pizza.



How it looks: 
The Title of My Paper



How it looks:
 She was so dreadfully boring.


How it looks:
  The sale is for a Limited Time Only!

Note: In comments, this is used mostly for jokes or sarcasm.


How it looks:
   The Antiques Shoppe was filled with junk treasures.

Susan's Twitter
The link is live. It goes to my Twitter.  Click on it and see. Here is how to make such a  a link: 

This will get you started on HTML. Practice makes perfect!  There are many more HTML codes.  Have fun learning them!

Paragon Studio Trident Audio Board Refurbished

Paragon Studio Trident Audio Board Refurbished
by Sue Basko, Esq.

My very dear friends at Paragon Studio in Chicago have worked for months refurbishing their famous Trident mixing board.  Paragon Studio is a great place with wonderful people.  You can read about  Joe Connors, the Chief Engineer and producer, HERE.  Paragon sent me this excellent write-up below about the historic Trident audio board - which I have had the pleasure to sit behind many times.  Please read and enjoy the pics.  

Trident TSM 48x32x24x4x2 Mixing Console #9

PSI-Trident 1a
Paragon Studios, Inc. is home to the legendary Trident TSM Console #9 used to record artists Art Garfunkel, Pink Floyd (The Wall), Queen, Roberta Flack, Meryl Streep, Little Richard, Elvis Costello and R.E.M. to name a few.
Paragon Studios, Inc.
This unique Trident audio mixing console was constructed in 1979 and remained in full service at Trident Studios in London until 1981 when renowned recording engineer, Ben Rizzi, purchased and installed it in New York City’s Master Sound Studios. There, the console’s award winning recordings by renowned artists led to a studio buyout and its relocation to Kaufman Astoria Film Studios in 1984. The console was then sold to Fred Shaw of Bradley House Music Studios in Quinby, South Carolina. In 2002 the console was purchased by its third and present owner, Ned Engelhart, of Paragon Studios, Inc. in Chicago, IL.
Trident Board 02
The legendary Trident TSM #9
Just some of the many artists who have recorded on the legendary Trident TSM #9Placido Domingo, Keith Richards, Tony Bennett, Pink Floyd, Barbra Streisand, Dizzy Gillespie, Queen, Kiss, Luciano Pavarotti, Sesame Street, Julie Andrews, N’Sync, Elvis Costello, John Cullum, Wynton Marsalis, Gary U.S. Bonds, Sir James Galway, Roberta Flack, Sinead O’Connor, Laverne Butler, Monty Alexander, Arthur Blythe, David Sanborn, Joey Henderson, Ramsey Lewis, Robert Merrill, Gerry Mulligan, Max Roach, Bill Taylor, Astor Piazolla, Marvin Hamlisch, Betty Carter, Barbara Cook, Incognito, Billy Joel, Benny Carter, Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, Blues Traveler, Little Richard, R.E.M., Chuck Harrington, Ornette Coleman, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Ace Frehley, Phylicia Rashad, Don Byron, Paul Williams, Vilayat Khan, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jack DeJohnette, Peter Erskine, Art Garfunkel, Charlie Haden, Judy Kaye, John Lurie, Marcus Miller, Michel Petrucciani, Markus Roberts, Buzzcocks, Samuel Ramey, Chico Hamilton, Kathleen Battle, Hal Miller, Chic Corea, Meryl Streep, Vernon Reid, Betty Buckley, Paquito D’Rivera, Oscar Peterson, “Weird Al" Yankovic, Monte Croft, Dom DeLuise, George C. Scott, Don Rickles, Angelo DiPippo, Joe Simon, The Drifters
The legendary Trident TSM #9 has completely been reconditioned to original factory specifications!
Come in and listen for yourself!
The process has been lengthy, arduous, painstakingly tedious, time-consuming, with many prolonged delays spent finding the correct replacement parts!
The regional tech for Trident during the 70's was John Klett | | Our local expert who has been assisting since the legendary Trident TSM #9 was installed in PSI (and, in fact, was the individual whose recommendation was made to Ned to purchase) is Soren Wittrup of CS Electronics Inc. Fred Guarino, owner of Tiki Studios in New York, had a Trident similar to Paragon's. Mr. Guarino sent information, schematics, and was of the utmost assistance. Story has it that Fred sold his board to Alicia Keys, and then she sold her's to someone in Kansas City.
IMG 2862
Joseph Connors with Darrel Yount
And, finally, our legendary Trident TSM #9 reconditioning project was completed under the dedication and supervision of our Chief Engineer, Joseph Connors, and in-house tech, Darrel Yount of Music Dealer Services / Mods by Darrel.
Call if you wish to know more about our legendary Trident TSM #9 reconditioning project.  

triton board main studio ad
Who We Are
First and foremost, we here at Paragon Studios, Inc. believe in you, the artist, and the music you are making. We listen to your needs and present solutions to capture and preserve your creativity. No matter if you are a seasoned professional or just beginning, we are committed to providing you with exceptional quality in service and product.
We're Team Players
All of our efforts are targeted at creating and maintaining long-term mutually rewarding associations, not only between us and you the artist, but among your entire team. We help you grow by understanding the relationship between you the artist and your support network of Manager, Tour Manager, Publicist, A&R Exec, Booking Agent, Attorney, Record Company, etc.
Adjusted Gold
We've Got the Gear, the Ears, and More
Paragon Studios features professional recording hardware and software from Pro Tools HD and Logic, to gear by Shure and Neumann. Whether you’re going for a clean digital recording, or that classic analog “straight-to-tape” feel, Paragon has what you’re looking for.
In house instruments include assorted electric and acoustic guitars, basses, Hammond B-3 Organ (with Leslie cab), unique Steinway Grand Piano and various drum kits with assorted snares, cymbals and percussion. We are experts at capturing the sound of your own gear and help you polish that personal touch on your tracks.
We're Flexible
Whether it’s a short demo or a full length album, our eclectic studio and productive atmosphere is the perfect fit for nearly every genre. Paragon Studios is a 24/7 facility, including space and studio. Block rates are available, and rates are negotiable to fit your budget.
Chief Engineer
Paragon Studios, Inc.
Joe Connors studied composition and linguistics at the University of Montana. After college, Joe began his career at Paragon Studios, Inc. as an intern, learning the ropes of recording and further developing his composition skills. He quickly earned the title of Chief Engineer in 2007 and has held the position ever since.
FUN FACT: Joe used to be a Sous Chef at Drayton Place in Mobile, Alabama serving Cajun and Creole flares on French Cuisine. Mouth-watering aromas are commonplace wafting about the studio complex; especially in the kitchen and dining areas when Joe wears his 'chef hat'!
820 West Fulton Market, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-942-0075 (Studio Line), Phone: 312-942-2488 (Fax)
Phone: 312-342-4005 (Cell), E-mail: