Legal dispute pulls Friday video off YouTube

20 Jun 2011

The YouTube video that went viral of Rebecca Black’s song Friday has been yanked off the video-sharing site due to a legal dispute.

A spokesman for the 13-year-old aspiring singer from Anaheim Hills, California, says her team asked YouTube to remove the video because of a dispute between the song’s producers, Ark Music Factory, and Black’s lawyers over who owns the rights to the internet hit. Friday drew more than 160m views since going online in March.

The producers began last week to charge $2.99 (€2.10) to watch the video on YouTube and in a tweet Black said she had nothing to do with the move.

“My Manager and Lawyer are on this and are going to get to the bottom of this! Stay tuned…” she wrote.

Black’s lawyers sent a letter to Ark Music in March, accusing them of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of the teenager’s publicity rights.

Black’s parents paid $4,000 (€2,813) for production of the song and video, which has been much maligned since its release.

The Independent in the UK has called it “the worst song ever” and the majority of feedback on Twitter was negative towards the video and the simplistic lyrics of the song.

Photo, above: Rebecca Black performs in the video for Friday, and below, the message that greets those wanting to view the video on YouTube

Friday offline