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.

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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": 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

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    iommi600
    That shit was funny as hell. Dammit, even their lawyers have to suck?
    godisasniper
    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.
    godisasniper
    That said, this seems like pretty clear fair use to me.
    CoolMcAwesome
    was going to say, you can use anything for purposes of satire and critique without fear of legal trouble.
    godisasniper
    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.
    bubkusjones
    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.
    notaconotaco
    I'm unamused with all of Nickelback's songs. Can I hire a lawyer to get their songs to disappear?
    cyclonus
    Can we hire any to make the band disappear?
    Eclipse112358
    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.
    roarinflames
    unfortunately, copyright law wins this. even though the track is so awesome!
    guitarplaya070
    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.
    mop10893
    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.
    elcapitan1800
    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
    ironman316
    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.
    godisasniper
    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.
    Scourge441
    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.
    CoolMcAwesome
    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).
    rebreh
    Am I the only one who thought the parody was an improvement over the original song? The lyrics were more intelligent.
    Salvo416
    I'm unamused by Nickelback's song Photograph.
    AcdcTXfan
    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.
    CrazyAce#7
    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
    Salvo416
    I'm sure there are plenty of other songs out there that have the same message but do it better.
    Blargaha
    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.
    GuitarGod610
    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.
    Blargaha
    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?
    paulohd2
    I don't see you picking up a guitar and recording good music. I guess the guys from Nickelback have more talent than you.
    Izzy-Sweet
    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.