Death Metal, Lady Gaga, and Intellectual Property

While it is a basic and somewhat silly example, The Demonstration’s video for their recent metal cover of Lady Gaga’s song “Bad Romance” is an example of the benefits that can exist in the absence of intellectual property.  Lady Gaga could probably bring suit against the North Carolina metal band for using clips from her song and her lyrics, but instead has stated publicly that she is impressed with their work, and even promoted it on her Twitter.

While I’m not sure if Lady Gaga had intellectual property in mind when she made this decision, her actions have turned heads in the metal community, causing many metalheads, including myself, to rethink the image of Lady Gaga as just one more pop diva.  Instead, it seems that she is someone who appreciates a variety of styles of music.

In other words, Lady Gaga’s decision not to push for enforcement of intellectual property rights has allowed her work to matriculate into markets that not only would normally pay no attention to her, but also were not even target audiences of hers at all.  She did not have to lift a finger, and yet her work is being spread, promoted, and appreciated in a place she never intended.

The decision has also benefited The Demonstration, as the song has been streamed over 40,000 times at their Myspace page.  And finally, of course, the ultimate winner in the absence of IP is the consumer, who is the beneficiary of all of the innovation that would normally be stifled.

Check out the glorious result of the free and unhindered intellectual marketplace below.  (Warning: the video is a bit risque.)


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