The Fight Over ‘Friday’
Ark Music Factory, which is locked in a rights dispute with teen singer Rebecca Black over her viral video “Friday,” says it was “blindsided” by the recent decision to take the clip down from YouTube.
“We’re disappointed, having been in good faith negotiations with Rebecca Black and her representatives for months regarding any open issues,” an Ark Music representative said in a statement. “There’s been an ongoing, open dialogue with our company. So we were blindsided to get a Take Down Notice—with no notice–alleging copyright infringement instead of a call or email from Rebecca’s representatives.”
Black’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
Black and Ark Music are reportedly at odds over how the song–an unexpected viral hit–should be commercially exploited, and how the profits should be split. The video was briefly removed from YouTube reportedly due to a copyright claim filed by Black. Hours later, the video resurfaced as a director’s cut on Black’s Vevo page only to be removed again.
In its statement Ark said “we are going to continue to take the high road and work out the complaint as soon as possible so that the million-plus people who watch Friday for free each day can continue to enjoy the video.”
Using funding from her mother, Black recorded “Friday” with Ark Music basically as a vanity exercise, with little expectation that it would find an audience. It quickly went viral–although it was panned by most critics and many listeners, it was ironically embraced by others as the ultimate guilty-pleasure pop song. The track was re-recorded for the TV show “Glee,” and Black became a web star.