Young people at the Lansdowne Public Library in Pennsylvanian adapted Michael’s song ‘Beat It’ to ‘Read It;’ in the hope of encouraging youngsters to read, and posted it on the internet when they transformed the lyrics of Michael’s 1983 hit ‘Beat It’ into ‘Read It,’ and posted it on the Internet.
Sony-ATV Records, which owns the rights to the song, with Michael’s Estate, refused to grant them permission to post it on the Internet. On November 19th, Sony-ATV Records blocked the video from being viewed on YouTube three days after it was originally posted.
In protest, the teens and the library staff uploaded another video on YouTube titled ‘Just UN Ban-It,’ where students who worked on the film expressed their outrage at Sony, inferring that Michael himself would have been pleased with their efforts. The Library Sony told ABC News overnight that the record label agreed to let the video stay on the library’s website, but not on YouTube.
“While it is not our common practice to do so, we made an exception for the Lansdowne students, waiving all fees, because it is a well-intentioned effort by the students to motivate kids to read,” the statement said.
Abbe Klebanoff, head of public services for the library commented, “You can’t put it on YouTube? What’s the point? If it’s online, it’s online.”
But Ms. Klebanoff told the newspaper she was happy that the kids’ hard work can still be viewed by friends and family on the library’s website.