For the second time in as many days, Rebecca Black's "Friday" music video has been pulled from YouTube.
Thursday, the songstress's video, which received upwards of 160 million views, was unavailable on YouTube, the video bearing notice that it was "no longer available due to a copyright claim by Rebecca Black."
Friday, the video had returned to YouTube as a "director's cut" branded by Vevo, though according to Mashable, the channel, RebeccaBlackOnVEVO, was not official. The link to the video now includes a notice from YouTube reading, "RebeccaBlackOnVEVO has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of our Community Guidelines."
The appearance and disappearance of the viral clip stems from a legal spat over the rights to the video between Black and Ark Music Records, a vanity recording studio that helped produce "Friday."
In March, Black's lawyers sent a letter to Ark Music, accusing the company of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of her publicity rights. Specifically, Black says she never got the master recordings allegedly due to her by contract and that Ark hadn't attained the necessary rights to advertise her as an exclusive Ark recording artist and commercially exploit the song in derivatives like ringtones.
Most bona fide record labels would have taken care of such matters rather easily. But if Ark was really more like a recording studio for hire rather than a recording label, it likely gave little thought to how it would support Black's career through publicity and marketing expenditures. Instead, Ark took a few hundred dollars from Black's mother to let the 13-year-old record a song, probably without the slightest expectation of any further reward.
Now that the song has hit it big, the equation has obviously changed, and the parties are fussing over who owns which rights, which will help determine the slicing of the royalty pie. If the parties don't come to an agreement, only a court's inspection of the contract will settle the matter.