Does ABBA Hate Animals, Or Just Hate Rescuing SPCA Animals?

by on February 10, 2014

in Entertainment


The other day I was introduced to a very cute video from the Wake County SPCA that matches up the entire crew from the facility lip-syncing to ABBA’s Take a Chance on Me.

The task was done in one take. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it is pretty awesome. And everyone looks pretty dang happy while they pull off all their parts to the syncing.

SPCA, ABBA video

And it is for a great cause that is synced to a wonderfully uplifting song from ABBA, titled Take a Chance on Me. If you’re like me, ABBA is an old favorite of mine, and this song, to me, is a wonderfully representative piece of their work.

Who doesn’t love ABBA?† Here’s the video, at least, at this point in time before they pull it… again. (There’s a jury-rig set below if this one doesn’t work.)

{YT: .youtube.}

But there is a dark side behind this “production.”

First, this video seems to be getting back to being viral once again. It’s cute and understandable why it’s going viral again.

The video first came out back in September of 2011, and was the brainchild of marketing manager Darci VanderSlik, and was a (volunteer) production of POV Productions and includes the contributions of 60 volunteers.

It was originally done for a private annual screening called the Fur Ball, where they show off their efforts to folks who attend the annual event.†† And, if they thought the video would go viral like it had, they would have pursued different avenues to get the rights to use “Take a Chance on Me.”

But not thinking much about it, they uploaded their work and within a few days, it had 65k views.

It was a huge success online.† They started receiving emails expressing emotion from inspiring to even life-saving, when folks who were at the end of their rope, saw the video and were cheered up and re-inspired.† Who would not want to be associated with that???

Then the legal notice came from the Universal Music Group (UMG) in Sweden showed up, telling them that their commercial use of the song will be discontinued and the video will be pulled from YouTube.

Their $32-budget video designed to help animals get adopted and a cry for donations to help the facility. It was not produced to make money nor have they.† Ynd yet ABBA’s legal team came after them. And even after the Wake County SPCA gang explained things, and offered to pay a usage fee, ABBA’s legal team still said no.

And as they put it, “ I donít blame them. After all, homeless pets and animal shelters arenít everyone’s cup of tea and maybe they donít want their brand associated with homeless animals.”

Be it as it may, the video started taking off again in January of 2013 and the SPCA have been getting those emails from inspired folks once again. But the videos aren’t theirs. These are bootlegs showing up all over the place.

And I’m sure that ABBA’s legal team will start hunting down those “evil” people who are re-posting this wonderful video.

This scenario where ABBA and/or their music company is having issues being associated with this wonderful effort, confuses me. I loved ABBA in the past, but I am frowning at this legal effort to squash this video.† It’s making me wonder if I should just bail on the group because of this.

And as the viral status of the video attests to, there is an obvious demand for the video, as people love it.

But is the band or ABBA’s music company truly that hard pressed for cash to come out of the corners of the past and look to squash the commercial distribution of the video. Which of course, it’s not commercially created for any profit or to make money from it.

The video showed up on VIMEO and within 30 days, UMG had it pulled. Again.

People are scratching their heads why their offer to pay for the music usage was declined.

SPCA, ABBA videoOMG, this guy looks like Alan Tudyk of Firefly fame!

Yet internet history, particularly YouTube, has an interesting history.

When YOU or I upload a video to YouTube, YouTube has a system in place that identifies copyrighted content. It then apprises the rights holder of your video and gives them options. They can monetize your video with an ad, block the video or track analytic data about the video.

So yes, a copyright holder could have their own ad inserted into your video. I’ve seen where I’ve uploaded movie trailers in the past (which I don’t do any more) and suddenly there’s an ad from someone else on “my” video.

In the past, some copyright holders have made upwards of $8 million off third-party uploaded videos with their content in it.† It’s been done time and time again that sometimes, letting free viral content pitch your wares is a profitable measure to take.

Then there’s the past public uses of ABBA’s song in the past, that range from re-do cover band versions, The Chipmunks version and political rallies (John McClain).

But one little effort, with no commercial sales intent for the use, designed to inspire people to adopt kittens, cats, puppies and dogs, is not something they want associated with their song. (And John McClain is OK???)

SPCA, ABBA videoMario Lopez???† No… but it could be close to his doppelganger.

I stand, very confused, about my fandom status of ABBA at this point in time and why they don’t want to be associated with something so well-meaning.

Sources: Why No Music: .spcawake., .newsobserver.

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Make Shift video

Original Vid, with music stripped out:


At the 8-second mark, hit play below (the above vid tells you to hit play, hit it instantly!)


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Simmons February 12, 2014 at 11:42 am

BOL… I like how you’re thinking about this one Tim!

Tim February 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

Frankly, the SPCA ought to dress up some dogs to look like the group ABBA. If they change the lyrics up a little and do the whole thing as a parody, they would be covered by the “fair use doctrine” of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.

That would be a way to get back at ABBA and their lawyers for such stupidity.

On second thought, this is the SPCA and being made to wear ABBA costumes could be considered cruelty.

Meryl Streep , Colin Firth and the rest of the cast dressed in ABBA costumes at the end of “Mamma Mia” is an image I wish I could forget. Course, they chose to do it and got paid well for the humiliation.

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