Music News: U.S. Supreme Court won't hear Prince 'dancing baby' case


A still from a 2007 video featuring Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy'
A still from a 2007 video featuring Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' (YouTube)

Today's top music news stories include a music-related case the U.S. Supreme Court won't hear — and one it did.

The case it won't hear pits mom Stephanie Lenz against Universal Music Group. It concerns a cute 2007 video of Lenz's baby dancing to Prince’s "Let's Go Crazy." The record label issued a copyright takedown notice to YouTube when the video was posted, and the resulting legal battle has wide-ranging implications regarding whether videos like that can be taken down if there's any question whatsoever about their legality — or whether copyright holders have to meet a higher standard of proof that the use of their material doesn't count as fair use. The case is now headed back to district court. (Pitchfork)

The case the Supreme Court did hear was brought by the Asian-American dance-rock band the Slants. The band argued that they should be able to register their name as a trademark; they were prevented from doing so by a U.S. law that bans potentially offensive names from being registered. On Monday, the justices unanimously agreed that the Slants should be able to register their name, a racial slur that they say they are re-appropriating.

The decision was greeted with enthusiasm by the Washington Redskins, which have been engaged in a longstanding legal battle over whether they can trademark their team name — a term widely viewed as an offense to Native peoples. (New York Times)

Speaking of both Prince, potentially offensive names, and supreme courts...the students of Alexander Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis have succeeded in their campaign to change their school's name. Citing racist behavior by Minnesota's second governor, students started a conversation about who a better namesake would be. Prince Rogers Nelson Middle School was one of the finalists, but ultimately, the school community decided to rename their school in honor of former Minnesota Supreme Court justice Alan Page.

Page visited the school to acknowledge the decision, and noted the "impressive list" of finalists, which also included the likes of NASA mathematician Dorothy Vaughan. "It's hard for me to articulate how big of a deal this is for me," said Page. (Pioneer Press)

JAY-Z brings the hyphen back

He's been Jay-Z, and he's been Jay Z, but the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee who will release his 13th studio album on June 30 now officially goes by JAY-Z — with the hyphen, in all caps. When he dropped the hyphen a few years ago, he suggested that he might once even have been Jäy-Z.

"The hyphen was really big back in the day," he said in a 2013 interview. "It's not useful anymore. I had umlauts over one of the letters; I removed that too."

Can MOTLEY-CRUE be far behind? (Billboard)

White Stripes to reissue Icky Thump

The White Stripes will celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their album Icky Thump with a deluxe reissue featuring "unreleased demos, B-sides and other ephemera" from the band's final LP, reports Rolling Stone. You can stop refreshing their Spotify profile, though: the reissue is going to be vinyl-only, the first of Jack White’s Vault series to be pressed at the new Third Man Records plant in Detroit.

Chance and Crosby costar in Twitter ad

David Crosby is up to his usual trolling, pretty cluelessly, in a new Twitter ad that stars the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee alongside Chance the Rapper. "I could up your game," Crosby tells the hip-hop star. Chance just laughs. (Billboard)

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