Got a shot in the arm of pure adrenaline yesterday. I was playing (what else?) when suddenly my bro sent out a whoop from down the hall. He’d tracked some info on a song of mine that’s starting to go viral and low and behold – it’s in a film. In fact, it’s the credit music.
I sat and watched the movie – it’s a full length, 90 minute film. It’s definitely one of the worst films ever made. Shlocky and with more boobs than could be called ‘necessary’ under any stretch of the imagination, I honestly couldn’t decide if it was made from someone in the porno industry who’s trying to go legit or just a first year film student so desperate to work that they said yes to a shady script. Nonetheless, my practiced eye noted this was not the first camera work done by the cameraman. The robots (yes, it was a robot film – robots killing naked women) looked pretty good and the miniature work wasn’t half bad. Multiple locations were used, or multiple sets. Pretty decent lighting. Some dramatic camera angles. The project had a bit of money behind it.
Then came the full credits at the end. All the ‘actresses’ were listed. Then came music. One credit for the film score, which was cobbled together from samples. Then credit for the credits music – Jonathan Slatter. Did some research. Seems Mr. Slatter attempted to claim MY music as his own. He was even trying to sell it online via Amazon. Thank you, goddess, for my digital publishers. They track all of that; my songs always have imbedded tracking numbers in them because I’m legit and not some empty headed internet sensation. I’m in the biz. So Mr. Slatter (Official Mother Fucker of the World) got caught out.
Yeah. I’ve been looking for that ass wipe. To send him an email saying hey, I’m the artist you tried to RIP OFF.
I’ve located a composer by the same name who lives in England. In fact, that’s the only person I can find under Jonathan Slatter. I don’t think it’s the right guy. I listened to his compositions, and it’s all piano. If he ripped my song, he’s pretty damned dumb. It would be akin to me suddenly claiming some screaming metal (complete with male vocals) was my work. Not even CLOSE to what I normally do. So I think that the real culprit has hidden behind a pseudonym. Similar to the director, who exists but only so far as that film goes. No way, baby. That was not done by a first year.
Might never find who these people actually are. I’d like to say thanks, in a strange way. I mean, someone thought my music was good enough that they tried to rip it off. You don’t do that to a piece of shit. You do that to something you think you can make money on. So it’s an odd kind of compliment; hey someone’s trying to rip me off buy HEY! someone’s TRYING to rip me off. Not happy about the scumbag side of it, but damned pleased I’ve reached the level that people want to be me (after all, why else would you plagiarise someone else’s work?).
Still vacillating between being thrilled my song was used in anything vs my anger over someone trying to rip me. Never been so happy to be signed up with my distributor. Now you’re costing the people I don’t know money, and the people I don’t know have more money to come after you than I ever did, so watch your motherfucking ass. Hope Mr. Slatter gets prosecuted to the full limit of the law, and I hope the case sets a few new limits for the motherfucking thieves of the world.
In the meantime…
My work has credit via the listing on YouTube, which was obviously where these guys got caught. Rip off or not, I’m getting noticed from it. Streams and sales. See how, in a weird way, this kind of thing can work FOR you? Again, thank you, digital distributor. They’re the ones putting pressure on the director or whoever owns the rights to the film right now. I wouldn’t even have KNOWN about it if not for them.
Now…how many OTHER assholes are out there using my music and claiming it as their own? I know there’s more than just Slatter. This kind of thing is kind of like cockroaches. If you find one, you can bet there’s thousands more that you haven’t seen yet.
I’m sure you can tell where I come down on the issue of copyright laws. This is my life and soul, people. You can’t use it without crediting me. I’m not some shmuck putting together 5 samples and saying hey! I’m a song writer. I create everything from the ground up. Takes days to write a song, months to record it, and sometimes years to perfect it. And you’re gonna try to rip me off, not credit my work, and not pay me? Go to hell.
Hope comes in strange packages for me. Certainly, I never would have dreamed that I’d feel hopeful for myself or my music from someone trying to rip me off. Yet, I do. All those rejections melt away when you get one nibble. And, like I said, I’m even getting paid for it now. Plus it’s now one more notch in my professional belt. This is the second film my music’s been in. Definitely the worst of the two, but I’m not complaining. When I can say it’s the worst of ten or twenty, then maybe I’ll think it’s not so great to have my name attached to that piece of work.
For now, fly, my unknown minions, fly! Find every other cockroach on this planet trying to rip me off and let’s squash them under our collective boot. You grab the bug spray, I’ll get suited up for a messy fight.
Exterminator City 2005? Baby, I’ve ALWAYS lived in Exterminator City.