ENTERTAINMENT
12/15/2017 11:00 am ET Updated Dec 18, 2017

'Harlem Shake' Creators Threaten Legal Action Against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Pai starred in a Daily Caller video dancing to the song without proper licensing.

The creators of the song “Harlem Shake,” which became part of a viral Internet meme in 2013, are threatening legal action against Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for his use of the song in an advertisement for the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules.

After famed DJ Diplo tweeted at the song’s producer Harry Rodrigues ― a DJ better known as Baauer ― about Pai’s use of the song, Rodrigues tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he’d be “taking action.” 

In collaboration with conservative news outlet The Daily Caller, Pai released a video entitled “7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After Net Neutrality” that, at one point, features him dancing to the 2013 song. The video went out just one day before the FCC voted to repeal the Obama-era regulations currently in effect. 

Baauer gave a statement to Billboard Dance about the use of his song without his permission, saying that it “obviously comes as a surprise to me as it was just brought to my attention.”

“I want to be clear that it was used completely without my consent or council [sic]. My team and I are currently exploring every single avenue available to get it taken down. I support Net Neutrality like the vast majority of this country and am appalled to be associated with its repeal in anyway.” 

A screenshot of Pai dancing to "Harlem Shake" in the video from The Daily Caller.
The Daily Caller
A screenshot of Pai dancing to "Harlem Shake" in the video from The Daily Caller.

In addition to Baauer, the record label responsible for “Harlem Shake,” Mad Decent, also tweeted that they do not “approve of the message contained therein” and would be pursuing “further legal action if it is not removed.”

As of publication, the video has been removed from Youtube. It is still live on The Daily Caller’s Facebook page.

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