Court Revives Copyright Lawsuit Against Justin Bieber and Usher

June 18, 2015 A federal appeals court on Thursday revived a copyright infringement lawsuit against Justin Bieber and Usher, marking the latest in a string of high-profile decisions attempting to clarify the nebulous difference between homage and theft in the music industry.

A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that there is sufficient reason to allow a jury to consider whether “Somebody to Love,” a 2010 chart-topper from the two pop icons, bears too much resemblance to an earlier song of the same name recorded by two Virginia musicians, Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton.

“After listening to the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs as wholes, we conclude that their choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar,” Judge Pamela Harris wrote for the court.

The case will now be sent to a lower federal court, where it was dismissed more than a year ago on grounds that no reasonable jury would conclude copyright infringement had occurred. But Harris said that the lower court erred by leaning too heavily on the differences between music genres and not enough on technical specifics of the songs, such as chord and beat similarities.

“In our view, that analysis attaches too much weight to what the district court termed a difference in ‘mood’ and ‘tone,’ and too little to similarities between the “element” of the songs— their choruses—that is most important,” Harris wrote. She added that “a reasonable jury could find that these small variations would not prevent a member of the general public from hearing substantial similarity.”

The appeals court decision comes just months after a federal jury ruled that Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.” The jury in that case awarded more than $7 million in damages to Gaye’s family—one of the largest damages awards in the history of music copyright cases.

The challenge against Bieber and Usher could be settled out of court and may not ultimately require a jury to weigh in. In January of this year, Sam Smith settled out of court with Tom Petty, who said the British singer’s “Stay With Me” ballad bore too much resemblance to his 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.”

The recording industry has stepped up its lobbying of Congress over the past couple years as part of a concerted effort to push for copyright and music-licensing reform. Most of the issues being advocated by the Recording Academy and others involve the murkiness surrounding digital radio, such as lower royalty rates for Internet streaming services and a loophole that grants fewer copyright protections for songs recorded before 1972. But the efforts also reflect the complexities of dated music copyright rules.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte last year began an extensive review of the copyright landscape, which has not undergone major revisions since 1976.

No Rest until Sweeping Victory against Drugs, Xi Says

President Xi Jinping called for more comprehensive and coordinated efforts to combat drugs, vowing “no rest until a sweeping victory”.

Xi made the remarks Thursday when meeting groups and individuals who were honored for their outstanding contributions to the country’s antidrug cause, ahead of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on Friday.

“Drugs are a menace for society and a significant issue concerning public security. They severely harm health, corrupt will, destroy families, consumes wealth, poisons society, pollutes the social environment, and leads to other crimes,” Xi said, underlining a “very arduous” task was ahead.

“The antidrug work concerns security, prosperity and people’s well-being, and a firm opposition to drugs is the routine standpoint of the Party and the government,” Xi said, urging all departments to tackle the problem and carry out more effective and resolute measures.

French family denied help by church and state

Press release of June 24, 2015
A video released by the Taxpayers Association and already viewed more than 500,000 times, has, justifiably aroused the indignation of many French.
In this video, Angelo, a young French dad, thrown out on the street with his young family following the loss of his employment, tells how he is forced to beg in order to provide a home for their baby.
None of the State Assistance- or Community- structures he approached could give him any help. “They told me that, if I had been an asylum seeker or in an irregular situation, there would be the solution of hotel accommodation for us, but only immigrants are accommodated in that hotel. The young father shares his distress and legitimate anger.
The tragic story of Angelo is unfortunately not an isolated case:
The millitants “Identitaires” participate every winter in the operation “Generation Solidarity” among homeless and are regularly confronted with similar situations. The majority of people living in the street are of French origin, while illegal immigrants are taken in charge by the State, through the State Medical Aid (which covers all  their medical expenses from the smallest to the most expensive) and  through emergency accommodation. On June 12, a statement from the city of Nanterre informed us that 30 (French) homeless had to leave a reception center so that illegal immigrants could be housed there!
Unlike some of these illegals, Angelo asks for nothing. He did not ask for money but above all employment, preferably in hospitality, in his region of La Rochelle. If you can help, please contact us on We also pass on to him your messages of support.

Dhimmitude: Richmond Hill high school teacher under investigation for speaking his mind


TORONTO – A Richmond Hill, Ont., teacher is being investigated for a series of alleged tweets with Islamophobic themes, the York Region District School Board confirmed.

A now-deleted Twitter account used a photo that appears to be of a teacher at a Richmond Hill high school.

The school board said it was made aware of the tweets Thursday and the teacher was told about the investigation, which is also looking into whether the account was hacked by an impersonator.

Licinio Miguelo, a board spokesperson, said impersonations on social media are rare but they have happened.

Ariana Grande Sexualizes Her Entire Image For Years Then Demands People “Focus On The Music”


Singer Ariana Grande recently released an “essay” claiming that she is being objectified and oppressed by the all-encompassing patriarchy. She said was irate about the supposedly constant references to her as Big Sean’s ex, amidst her general opining about “misogyny,” “sexism,” and “double standards,” and a reference to feminist Gloria Steinem.

“Focus on my music!” is what her piece screamed, all while she continues to cloak herself in female caricatures and stereotypes labeled as sexist when men enjoy them: cat’s ears, corsets, prancing around in her underpants, and generally selling her body to sell albums. Nothing in the piece mentioned the excessive photoshopping of her on magazine and album covers, either, or an obsession with cosmetics that body image experts blame for rampantly low female self-esteem amongst the general population.

It has never been about Grande’s music because a) men typically write her songs entirely or contribute most of the lyrics and composition and b) many people can sing as well as or better than Grande. What Grande sells instead to the public is her body, perceived looks (but I’ll pass, thanks) and youth.

If you want the best singer, or at least one better than Grande, you would end up, probably, with an overweight opera singer or another girl, a rather “homely” one, who switched to pop.


Grande’s diatribe has nothing to do with double standards or “misogyny” and everything to do with celebrity culture. Celebrities are paid truly exorbitant amounts to plaster themselves across our collective social consciousness, without usually contributing anything that isn’t superficial or which doesn’t endorse narcissism.

One of the drawbacks of this massive remuneration and adoration for a person with a net worth well beyond $10 or $100 million is a menagerie of press representatives wanting a piece of their private life all the time.

I have no problem with Grande, like Kate Upton, using sexualization as a tool in her career. But the rest of us need to call a spade a spade. It becomes tedious when Grande robotically describes herself as a sexualized object and alleged “property” of a man when her entire public persona is predicated on her overt and inveterate sexualization. Her success as a performer is attributable to this fact alone.

Grande is not so special a celebrity

Take George Clooney, a much more high-brow celebrity despite his politics, as a case in point. Between 2005 and 2012, he starred in, co-wrote, directed or produced films which garnered him eight different Academy Award nominations across six different categories. Two of these nominations resulted in wins, one for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana and another for Argo being Best Picture.

He additionally received critical acclaim for other performances outside his recognition by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. One is hard pressed to name another film icon with a similar critically prolific and versatile track record over the past decade, with the exception of Clint Eastwood.

Most of the time, though, attention has been lavished much more on George Clooney’s love life and other female entanglements. Grande might argue that she’s the victim of double standards because of her genitals, but it doesn’t explain how men like Clooney are routinely invoked only to describe romantic partners and their “work” outside work.

Intrusion into one’s private life is part and parcel of the celebrity tradeoff for both men and women. Look at the litany of male stars who have legally detrimental encounters with paparazzi. They’re not accosted when they’re on-set and security could efficiently dispose of the photographers. It happens on their downtime, when they’re hand-in-hand with their latest sweetheart or frolicking shirtless at the beach.


Claiming feminism earns you big bucks


The appropriation of feminism or other ideologies by already multimillionaire female (or male) celebrities continues to generate financial windfalls for them. Lady Gaga, for example, has established herself as the preeminent campaigner for gay marriage and other LGBT causes.

I do not doubt that she legitimately believes in what she says, but you still can’t ignore the phenomenal remunerative benefits it has brought her. Being a “gay icon,” a largely straight one who says she’s bisexual and is engaged to a man, equals a gay and leftist following that fills her bank accounts even more.

It’s also rooted in an intrinsic mythology, as it allows these people to present the veneer of suffering the same slights and misfortunes of the common person. This is because celebrity status relies on a complex fusion of being both “above” the masses but “like” them. The ultimate victory of the celebrity is being idolized like a modern-day religious figure but being lauded as “down-to-earth”.

Although more implicit than other songs, Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)(ironically written with three men) is meant to channel the “girl power” of independent women. This presupposes that the situation of, say, lower middle-class women could be in any sense like Beyoncé’s. It’s akin to me comparing my next pangs of hunger to a child in the economically and politically failed state of Somalia.

Finally, and related to the second point, it enables those who are fundamentallyprivileged to fend off accusations that they are part of any elite that should give back more. Because of “patriarchal superstructures,” women with a phenomenal net worth like Beyoncé can lump themselves in amongst the traditional stereotypes of oppressed women. The male gas station attendant has male privilege; Beyoncé is “objectified” and asserting her girl power to fight it.

Basically, if a female celebrity doesn’t like a form of attention or criticism, she can call it sexism. Male celebrities lack such a jack-of-all-trades, please-get-away-from-me card.


It isn’t even Ariana Grande’s music most of the time


It’s suitably quaint that Ariana Grande portrays herself as a victim of sexists not focusing on her music when much of that music she doesn’t write herself. A half dozen others, including men, wrote “her” number one hit from Yours Truly, called The Way. Only five of the 13 songs were co-written by her for this debut album.

Break Free, another number one from the follow-up album My Everything, was written by three men and Problem was written by Grande (finally!), Iggy Azalea and three men.

Fact Alert: Pop and many other genres are about the external appearance and persona of the singer or group, not the music. Female pop itself is invariably the marriage of soft pornography via a trim body and a voice that’s hopefully at least semi-decent.

Independent women who objectify themselves and rely on men

Get the men to write your songs for you and then they’re yours. Dress up in a way seen as misogynistic when men want women to look like that. This is all in a day’s work for Ariana Grande. Her hypocrisy knows no bounds. The command to “Look at me! Look at me!” combines very elegantly with the shrill politicking and opportunism of Grande claiming she is a victim.

The solution to this excremental situation is simple, unrelenting juxtaposition. Compare what feminists and others describe as the objectification of women by men and “society” with the identical self-presentation of unfathomably wealthy celebrities like Grande and the desperate regular girls emulating them.

Challenge the primitive assumption that “male privilege” allows any woman, no matter how elite, wealthy or advantaged in other ways, to claim the mantle of universal victimhood.

In the end, the Ariana Grandes of the world always expose themselves for the discerning and intelligently skeptical to see.

Former CAIR Official Represents Muslim Brotherhood…

Media coverage of the U.S. State Department’s decision to comply with Egypt’s request not to meet with a Muslim Brotherhood delegation this month missed an important point: That delegation included a former official from the Canadian wing of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and he has connections to several other Canadian Islamist groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood delegation visited the U.S. to advocate against the Egyptian government. The Brotherhood announced a new violent phase in January shortly after its representatives met with State Department officials. Brotherhood media outlets arecalling for acts of violence in Egypt and against the interests of countries that are friendly towards President El-Sisi.

Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy writes that the Brotherhood delegation included Wael Haddara, a Canadian who served as a senior campaign adviser to former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official candidate.

Haddara claims he is not a member of the Brotherhood but the group’s followers often play a game of semantics with what it means to be a “member.” He says he was a media advisor to Morsi before he launched his presidential campaign.

Haddara was on the board of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, formerly known as CAIR-Canada. CAIR is a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and was banned as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates last year. Two other directors besides Haddara are known Muslim Brotherhood supporters. He left CAIR-Canada/NCCM in 2012 to work for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.