Nickelback Unamused By 'Photograph' Parody

Nickelback lawyers have taken down a popular parody of their hit song "Photograph" - but not before College Humour jumped on the meme to poke fun at Instagram.

Ultimate Guitar

Nickelback's lawyers have taken down the popular Look At This Photograph parody site - but not before College Humour jumped on the meme to poke fun at photo-sharing service Instagram.

In the video below, the male/female duet sing to the Nickelback song "Photograph" with lyrics that highlight the banality of photo social networks, where many users snap pictures of food, coffee foam and clouds, over and over again.

Before being taken down by lawyers, the Look At My Photograph site apparently embedded your own image to parts of the original Nickelback video. It was a hit and currently has 128,000 Facebook likes, but now reads:

"THE WEBSITE IS OFFLINE BY REQUIREMENT OF THE NICKELBACK LAWYERS. We are in contact with them to try to reactivate it. Thanks everyone who player and helped to share this frolic."

In its early days, Instagram was among the most impressive apps on the iOS store and showcased a beautiful array of images from professional and amateur photographers alike. Since Facebook bought it for an incredible $1 billion in spring, its popularity has exploded - and in turn, many feel the average calibre of photos has dropped.

Watch the College Humour parody of Instagram to the Nickelback song "Photograph":

CollegeHumor's Favorite Funny Videos


What do you think of Instagram? Was Nickelback wrong to take down the original parody site? Let us know what you think in the comments.

114 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That shit was funny as hell. Dammit, even their lawyers have to suck?
    I think it's mostly an issue of them wanting to protect their copyright claim. The way the law works with trademarks and copyright, if you're aware of something that could be a violation and you don't follow up, it can be used to nullify your claim later on. It's also probably not actually Nickelback's lawyers but rather their record label's lawyers, who have a business interest in ensuring complete control over the content.
    That said, this seems like pretty clear fair use to me.
    was going to say, you can use anything for purposes of satire and critique without fear of legal trouble.
    Of course, but unfortunately copyright law right now incentivizes sending C&D letters to everyone, regardless of what claim to fair use they may have.
    Wouldn't this be covered under the allowances for parody and satire? I mean, hell, all the "How It Should've Ended" videos should be evidence enough.
    I'm unamused with all of Nickelback's songs. Can I hire a lawyer to get their songs to disappear?
    Can we hire any to make the band disappear?
    Can anyone offer a legitimate reason why Nickelback is bad besides "they suck"? Even though I'm not a fan of their more recent stuff, they were a pretty good hard rock act in their earlier days. It's annoying because we're wasting our time on Nickelback. They are MUCH worse artists out there.
    unfortunately, copyright law wins this. even though the track is so awesome!
    I didn't listen to the song, did they change the lyrics? If so parody is a fair use exception to copyright law, and if they fought it, they'd probably have a good case.
    Thank you. If they changed the lyrics, then it's the same thing as Weird Al. The band itself didn't even do it (they probably didn't care). Why do lawyers and others like them always have to do shit like this? Also, misleading headline once again UG.
    They took down the Look At This Photograph site, which used the actual song and a parody of the video . Obviously they didn't take down the parody song if everyone here is listening to it.... Fix the headline
    Weird Al still has to get permission from the artists, because it's using the exact same tune and vocal melody, even if it's got different lyrics. There was a story on here a year or two ago about Avril Lavigne getting sued because her song sounded just a little bit like another song. So they still have to go through getting the rights/permissions from the artist.
    He actually doesn't necessarily have to, but he prefers to because it's no fun making fun of someone who's going to be all sad about it. He has to pay royalties to the writers of the song, but you don't need permission.
    The Avril Lavigne thing is different, because she claimed the song to be completely her own creation. Weird Al doesn't need permission from other artists, but he chooses to get it anyway. Weird Al makes it very clear that his songs are parodies of other creations, which was not the case for Avril.
    the college humour one is clearly a satire, and can't be the target of copyright law. Didn't see the vid that got removed, so I can't really comment on it. (however if it is anything like the CH one, then they have no justification for taking it down).
    Am I the only one who thought the parody was an improvement over the original song? The lyrics were more intelligent.
    I'm unamused by Nickelback's song Photograph.
    That sucks. Guess you don't miss friends from high school or being young or anything, huh?
    Sleaze Disease
    I don't miss "friends" from high school, I don't miss high school, and I'm not old. Try defending this shitty song again, please.
    I'm sure there are plenty of other songs out there that have the same message but do it better.
    Yeah, find another way because you only win Grammy's, other awards, sell out show, and a massive amount of records if all of your songs pertain to Sleaze Disease
    Unfortunately, their lawyers were in the right here, they were allowed to take down the site, it was a pretty flagrant misuse of copyright. We can bitch of course, but the law is equal for everyone, so the same copyright that allows Nickelback to take down this page also protects many much smaller acts. Nickelback has the same right to their stuff as everyone else after all.
    Unfortunately, fans of music are not in the right here. Nickelback was allowed to make horribly bland music, and it was a pretty flagrant misuse of talent, effort, and art. We can bitch of course, but their music sounds the same to everyone, so the same song "Photograph" that sounds like white bread, sterile trash also sounds that way to many much less informed musicians. Nickelback has the same right to create whorish products with no regard to music as an art form as everyone else after all. That said, the video is hilarious.
    Come on, isn't the Nickelback hate a bit old by now? Yeah, they are not very exciting to listen to, and they might be considered to have "sold out", but there is an easy solution to annoyance with them. Are you ready? Here goes: Just don't listen to Nickelback. There, I have been following it for years. What people do not realize is that their particular taste of music is not the universal taste, there are many people who like Nickelback. You may scream about how bad taste it is, but it's still a matter of taste, and therefore your opinion is no more valid than anyone else's. Lastly, are you really arrogant enough to consider yourself as the arbitor of what "art" is?
    I don't see you picking up a guitar and recording good music. I guess the guys from Nickelback have more talent than you.
    Misleading title here, UG. Nickelback said NOTHING about their views on this, also, there was an article a while back stating that the band enjoys finding fun ways of dealing with hate/jokes directed at them, so I highly doubt they'd get upset over something like this. I actually really respect them, they're doing what THEY want to do and they don't give a damn what anyone thinks.
    kill it
    I'm not into Nickelback but in interviews they seem to have a sense of humor and seem very down to earth. I bet they had a good laugh over this video but the label or lawyers had an issue with it.
    Are people still doing parodies of this song or this band for that matter? The hate was funny but now it's almost become more annoying then their music. This was also a copyright issue, College Humour most likely didn't get the proper license or any license to do this.
    I think it's pretty much established that Nickelback takes a lot of unfair hate. I like them a lot more than a lot of the other modern rock acts out there. I actually love the song "Photograph" but that's probably because I don't listen to the radio so it never got overplayed on me. While that's all true, this parody is still hilarious and they shouldn't be taking it so seriously. It makes a great point about the phone-zombie state of our world, and I guess I thought they'd maybe support that.
    Pretty funny but the second verse wasn't as good as the rest. I don't the Nickelback are thaaat bad, there are worse acts around.
    ****ing hilarious Also the guitar solo was amazing. Wait... was that the original solo?
    Can anyone offer a legitimate reason why Nickelback is bad besides "they suck"? Even though I'm not really a fan of their more recent stuff, it's getting annoying because they were a good hard rock act in their earlier days. Why don't we band together and troll someone else? There are MUCH worse artists out there. We're just wasting our time on Nickelback.
    Nickelback don't have a sense of humour. Goddamnit, Weird Al made fun of Nirvana and Cobain thought it was awesome.
    To be fair, Wierd Al is a lot funnier, and his parodies are always with a wink and a nod to the songwriters whose work he repurposes.
    C'mon that was really funny! Way to have no sense of humor Nickelback, now you suck on more then just a musical level, you suck at LIFE!
    so not only are they a shitty band, but they also have a shitty sense of humor? who'd have thought
    I didn't think the video was funny. It was more of a slap to those who take stupid pictures of things and of what they're eating. People who do that are desperate for attention and are doing one of the lamest things to try and get it.
    Can't tell if youre the troll of trolls, or the dumbest person currently alive - but it's most definitely one of the two.
    Josh Reubenking
    HA! Nickelback are such pussies. Even their lawyers too. Instead of taking legal action on something that's actually good and interesting, (unlike their music) shouldn't they be attempting to write songs that aren't mediocre, and with much more variety than sex, drugs, alcohol, and parties?
    Josh Reubenking
    All disklikes = Nickelback fanboys and fangirls.
    Just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn't mean they're fanboys. Please grow up.
    Josh Reubenking
    Why don't you grow up and listen to REAL music instead of Nickelback, good sir?
    When did all this Nickelback hate happen? Never realized there was such a shallow mass of people in the world. We need to respect each other's musical tastes. Ask yourselves, is Nickelback really worth your time? The true act of hate is to ignore them all together, so let's do that and hate on someone who deserves it
    So not only do Nickleback write extremely boring, mediocre music, but they're a bunch of whiny babies, too!? Wow.
    Watch out! There's Nickelback groupies around -1 everyone who nay says them! I will put effort to battle them by giving you a +1!
    thats the only nickelback song I've ever enjoyed but not the only one I've laughed at
    on ug,s part,no matter how much i dislike nickleback, at not a single point is there a quote or any affiliation to the band members themselves refering to the vid as unamusing....another attempt at a shitstorm ug?
    Instagram makes people think they are good photographers. It's ruining the world of photography.
    To GuitarLogic: so Instagram is doing to the art of photography (which I know nothing about) what certain computer programs are doing to recording and producing music? That's too bad really
    It was better than the original. Besides, that's funny, their lawyers are just as pathetic as they are.
    this actually wasn't meant to make fun of Nickleback obviously, it was meant to make fun of Instagram. I think the only reason Nickleback freaked is because they get so much unnecessary hate that everything seems like an attack. So can i blame them for being a bit sensitive.
    or they could say: "whatever guys, hate on us all you want, but im rich as ****" Seriously if I was THAT rich. you could ruin my car, my house, and kick me into the hospital. I'd laugh, when im out of that hospital I'll buy a bigger house and a better car and laugh my ass off.
    Funny! I don't think Nickleback took offense to it at all. The video makes fun of our morbid obsession with social media, and our need to inform 600 "Friends" we hardly know that we ate a freakin' sandwich. I bet there is an issue with royalties or something like that. Funny video for sure!
    Nero Galon
    I don't really mind Nickelback but its stuff like this which makes me have no sympathy for them.
    It's all about copyright law. I bet the band doesn't even know about it. The label probably took action.
    wow shes making 10 dollars an hour more than 5 minutes was she promoted congrats!
    So they laugh at actual critisism and ignore it but as soon as its a slight legal issue they have their lawyers jump on it?