Perhaps spurred on by an aghast Bono, Universal Music Group is claiming that Bank of America committed copyright violations when two employees, Ethan Chandler and Jim Debois, performed their synergy-praising cover of “One” that made the Internet rounds last week. The legal assault even stretched to Stereogum’s comment section, where a misspelling-filled cease-and-desist letter was posted on Tuesday:
As a courtesy to you and, in order to put Sterorgum.com on notice, I am attaching the text of a cease and desist letter sent to Bank of America’s legal counsel. Universal is aware that you are contributing to the infringement of U2′s Composition entitled “One” by, among other things, providing access to the unauthorized video on your website. Universal is also aware that you are the owner, registrant, administrative contact and technical contact of Stereogram.com. …
Please be advised that, if the unauthorized video is not removed from your website immediately, Universal shall seek any and all available legal relief against the owner(s)/registrant(s) of Stereogum.com.
The first comment following this note, perhaps unsurprisingly, called the lawyer a “jerkoff,” and other Stereogum readers debated whether or not the take on “One” fell within the boundaries of fair use; a YouTube-hosted version of the clip remains embedded in the post. Bank of America isn’t commenting, save a denial that the video’s leak was part of a marketing ploy; Chandler used the Times piece about the kerfuffle to let readers know that he’s been singing for a long time. Really, we’re just waiting for the cease-and-desist letters to start flying between Universal’s legal counsel, Bono, and David Cross.