Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dell blatantly rips off Broken Bells

A friend of mine recently asked for my advice on a laptop he is considering buying.  It's the new super-sleek and ultra-modern Dell XPS 15z laptop that apparently has "less mass and more appeal".  So I went to the Dell website and looked at the specs.   I checked out some pictures and then decided to watch one of the promo videos.  As I watched, I realized that the song in the video was strikingly similar to something I've heard before.  I couldn't quite put my indie finger on it at first and I had to rewatch and stomach the video a couple times. But it finally came to me. It was the The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells.

Check out the video below and listen carefully:

For those not familiar with the original or need a refresher, listen to the The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells.

Yes, it's a blatant and cheapened rip off!  Sure they use a different tempo and key. But everything else is carbon copy - the 1/8 note keys, the bass line, the synth lead, the double claps, back-up harmony vocals and even falsetto voice at the end.

Now I've seen this done before. Not too long ago, Microsoft launched an advertisement with a song that sounded a lot like Arcade Fire's Wake Up but was different enough to not be deemed copyright infringement.  Don't these big high-tech multi-million dollar companies have the coin to license the real thing? Or perhaps they know people like me will write a blog post about it, giving their product free (yet limited in my case) publicity?

While I'm not going to lose sleep over this, I just think credit should be given where credit is due and artists should be fairly compensated for use of their intellectual property.   But the more I think about it, if anyone should be upset it should really be Damon Albarn of Gorillaz :) .  Or maybe he should be simply flattered.

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