RIP Dallas Pulls Its Ads with the Ripped Off Soundtracks

picture-15I raised the question yesterday of whether RIP Dallas had secured the rights to the Rage Against the Machine music they used as a soundtrack.

Guess that answer is a 21-dot, red NO, because they’ve pulled the ad from Youtube.

(RIP Dallas’ campaign is becoming a case study for PR firms, to be filed under F.)

UPDATE: They pulled the first ad “This Is Our City” that “borrowed” the music of Citizen Cope and had to cost a bundle to shoot and produce, even if they saved on music costs.


UPDATE 2: Bethany Anderson offers free advice on free music.


  1. Tom says:

    Too bad Mrs. Teasdale doesn’t know anyone in the music industry.

  2. Matt Pulle says:

    Didn’t I spot this (unintentionally) hilarious ad on Michael Davis’ site yesterday? Am I right on that? Well, it seems to have vanished.

    If I never did see that ad there and I’m hallucinating about what I might have noticed on a random blog, I might have the worst mental illness ever.

  3. Daniel says:

    I’m trying to think of a joke using Jefferson Starship’s “We Built This City” but the song is already a self-contained joke, as flawless in its way as an egg.

  4. Matt says:

    New ads posted this afternoon. Here.

  5. El Rey says:

    It was there, Matt. I saw it as well.

  6. James the P3 says:

    Those new ads are just terrible. TERRIBLE. I don’t know who came up with them or what he/she was thinking, but don’t they think it is important at some point to give me some reason for voting “No”? Even if there isn’t a good reason, shouldn’t they at least try to make one up?

  7. RIP Dallas says:

    [* link deleted. no free links or ads here. TANSTAAFL.-TG *]

    Trey, thanks for all the good press.

    All the movies we made cost ZERO dollars… why? Because people support the cause and dont need to get paid to support it. Shocking… isn’t it.

  8. Bethany says:

    Would it cost you zero dollars if you paid for the music in them?

  9. Liles says:

    These people have no idea what kind of hot water they are in. Right now publishing is the only steady revenue stream in the music business, so copyright owners are being especially prosecutorial in their pursuit of royalties and mechanical licensing fees. When BMI/ASCAP and/or the publishing companies that represent Citizen Cope and Rage Against the Machine become aware of these spots, it’s all over. Somebody is going to be cutting a check for a very large chunk of money. This will also reflect terribly on Dallas in the national music press.

    Well done, idiots.

  10. Bethany says:

    “Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here” is public domain, IJS. And it’s imminently hummable.

  11. James the P3 says:

    RIP, your ads suck so bad; why do your ads suck so bad?

  12. Bethany says:

    FYI, just e-mailed Nicole C. Mullen’s people, too. Didja pay for her music?

  13. For the record, I sent a note to Grim at RIP Dallas and told him that he and his people are welcome to comment here to their heart’s content and post links all day to their website, but I reserve the right to pull direct links to advertising.

  14. I'm with Grim says:

    The groups that support the hotel are overwhelming. Below is a list of organizations and hotels that have joined the Vote No campaign. Does Vote Yes have a similar listing or am I missing something? Do ALL of these groups have it wrong or is Harlan Crow simply using his pocket book to skew the truth to the public (and bloggers like you) for his own personal gain?

    Automotive Oil Change Association
    Big 12 Conference
    Black Contractors Association
    Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce
    Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau
    Dallas Council of Engineering Companies
    Dallas County Dental Society
    Dallas Regional Chamber
    Dallas Safari Club
    The Dallas Morning News
    The Dallas Summit
    Dallas Tavern Guild
    DFW Minority Business Council
    District Council 88/Local Union 756
    Downtown Dallas
    Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
    Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Greater Dallas Restaurant Association
    Hispanic Contractors Association
    Hispanic PAC of Dallas
    Indian American Friendship Council
    Kingdom Builders Ministries, Inc.
    MBE Institute for Public Policy
    MetroTex Association of REALTORS®
    National Athletic Trainers Association
    National Science Teachers Association
    North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
    North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce
    Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce
    100 Black Men of Greater Dallas, Inc.
    Texas Library Association
    TEXO Chapter of AGC/ABC
    The West End Association
    West Dallas Chamber of Commerce

    The Adolphus Hotel
    Aloft Hotel
    Candlewood Market Center
    Courtyard by Marriott Market Center
    Dallas Market Center Suites
    Dallas Marriott Quorum Hotel
    Grand Hyatt DFW
    Dallas Plaza Hotel
    Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Market Center
    Hotel Lawrence
    Hyatt Regency Dallas
    Janus Hotels & Resorts
    Magnolia Hotel
    Marriott Courtyard Market Center
    Marriott Dallas at Legacy Town Center
    Marriott Market Center
    Omni Hotels
    Radisson Hotel Central Dallas
    Renaissance Dallas Hotel
    Residence Inn by Marriott Dallas Market Center
    The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
    Rosewood Crescent Hotel
    Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek
    The Sheraton Suites Market Center
    Springhill Suites Downtown Dallas West End
    Staybridge Suites DFW Airport North/Irving
    Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa
    West End Hotel Downtown Dallas

  15. “Do ALL of these groups have it wrong or is Harlan Crow simply using his pocket book to skew the truth to the public (and bloggers like you) for his own personal gain?”

    Want to explain what you mean by that before you get on my wrong side?

  16. PS – Impressive list. Deep pockets. Lots of money.

    So tell me — if they all want the thing so all fired much, why don’t they take the risk, pool their own money and build it, instead of using the voting booths to pick everyone else’s pockets?

    After all, it’s such a guaranteed winner, right?

    Hell, I want a toilet made of solid gold but I don’t expect everyone else to pay for it.

  17. Bethany says:

    And why hasn’t one of them given poor Grim over there some money so he can buy the rights to songs and use them legitimately?

  18. I'm with Grim says:

    Not trying to bring noise to your site…just trying to push out some facts.

    Here is what I am trying to say:

    The organizations I have listed on your page are run by ardent supporters of our city. These people are often lifelong volunteers and philanthropists who give their time to make Dallas a better place to live, work, and play.

    The hotels I have listed are in the hotel business. They are in it to make a profit and they understand how hotels operate.

    I think it is safe to assume that everyone on this list did their homework before publicly supporting the Vote No campaign as the backlash from an irresponsible endorsement could be detrimental to their cause.

    What I am asking is…were they deceived in their research of this matter or is the public being deceived by the ads run by Vote Yes. That is not a slam on you or anyone else – just a question about who has access to the best information.

  19. Matt Pulle says:

    Just about all those groups supported the toll road. So let’s not make them out to be infallible.

  20. Bethany says:

    Apparently RIP is claiming this is legal.

    “Says group member Erica Snyder: ‘Apparently, the guys that created the video were disappointed that the chatter surrounding it turned to music rights (which, was legal under the Fair Use doctrine), rather than the real message of R.I.P. Dallas and the facts surrounding Proposition 1 and 2. They made the decision to revamp the video’s music as a result.’”

  21. “The organizations I have listed on your page are run by ardent supporters of our city. These people are often lifelong volunteers and philanthropists who give their time to make Dallas a better place to live, work, and play.

    The hotels I have listed are in the hotel business. They are in it to make a profit and they understand how hotels operate.”

    So again, why don’t they use their own money to build a hotel — since they have deep pockets, giving hearts, and hotel expertise?

    No one on the no side has been able to answer that.

    If it’s a sure fire profit maker, who wouldn’t invest?

    And as to why? Because it’s always easier and cheaper to get someone else to pay for something via the ballot box than it is if you have to open up your own wallet.

    You want something, you pay for it.

  22. Bethany says:

    Fair Use:
    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.[1]”

    What do you guys think?

  23. I'm with Grim says:

    Bethany – leave it alone. Trey and I are talking here and your reference to a mistake the RIP Dallas crew made (admittedly, it was a mistake) is childish. Let’s try to keep this one above the belt and stick to the issues.

    As per your point on a community funded hotel group. I know you are not in the real estate business but you should know that this approach doesn’t work. A “pass the hat” approach might work to expand the church sanctuary, but it sure doesn’t build a 1,000 room hotel.

    Hotel investors generally want to see a 15% or greater annualized return on their money. The argument, in this sense, is not about if the hotel will make money, but if they can make more money elsewhere in the market. In today’s market trading CMBS paper, investing in international expansion, or providing mezzanine financing can provide great risk adjusted returns but that doesn’t necessary mean the hotel is going to lose money. It just means there are higher returns available in the market. As a city, this doesn’t mean anything to our tax base. What does? A hotel that generates a profit or even breaks even as the overall gain to the city goes far beyond a hotel.

  24. Bethany says:

    The adults are talking. Yessir. Only, they’re still making the mistake.

  25. James the P3 says:


    Isn’t it a fact that if Prop 1 were to pass, the City could still work with Omni to provide enough tax incentives (and even direct subsidies) to allow the building of the hotel? In fact, wasn’t that the original plan?

    And if the answer is “yes,” then why does the City need to own the hotel? Why is that a better deal for the City than simply subsidizing its construction and letting private enterprise undertake the construction and management?

  26. Bethany says:

    Anybody know what a bond such as what will be used to pay for the hotel would be rated by Fitch, given all the surrounding circumstances?

  27. I'm with Grim says:

    Bethany – you are more than welcome to join in the fun.

    Just stick to facts about the hotel, not the mistakes that a group of young professionals may or may not be making in their approach. If you saw the Presidential election last year you know that it’s not always pretty, but it does seem to get the job done.

  28. So all the business smarts, hotel experience, philanthropic intentions, etc. — and they can’t form a simple investment group? I recall a lot of the signature buildings in Dallas have come from visionaries passing the hat among investors and bankers. Funny. Those ventures worked.

    Oh, and the Vote No people are passing the hat with this plan — they’re just making everyone in Dallas an “investor” after the hotel doesn’t make its blue-sky 68 percent occupancy, $120+ room night target and the bills come due.

    Sorry, man. No spin will gets around basic free market fundamentals, and no enterprise that a businessman wouldn’t touch with his own money is a good plan for government to undertake.

  29. I'm with Grim says:

    First things first – I am not Grim. If you see him tell him I said hello.

    James – you make a great point. This is one of the primary reasons why RIP Dallas exists. The language in Prop 1 changes the city charter (in a sense, our constitution) and specifically prohibits the city from ever…well…read it for yourself:

    (i) no money or other property of the city may be used, directly or indirectly, or transferred to any third party, for the purpose of siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility, nor may the money, property, or credit of the city be lent for any such purpose;
    (ii) the city may not create, authorize the creation of, sponsor, or authorize the issuance of bonds, notes, or other debt instruments by, any special-purpose governmental entity or any nonprofit corporation (including but not limited to a local government corporation or a public facility corporation) for the purpose of sitting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility; and
    This effectively means they are taking away the city’s ability to form a partnership with a hotel group (to build ANY hotel, not just a convention center hotel) down the road. Harlan and his team are trying to ensure that they will never have to compete with a convention center hotel or ANY hotel. Not cool if you ask me…

  30. PS — I’m not against a convention center hotel. Just against this deal.

    The hotel backers should have gone with the original deal of $250M in incentives and made the developer cover the rest, or better, Jack Matthews’ first idea.

    This deal stinks for all the reasons I outlined last week.

  31. Now post the remainder of the ballot language, Friend of Grim.

    Because you know damn well that’s your claim is absolutely false.

    You know, where it says the initiative doesn’t prevent the city from giving incentives, abatements or all the other goodies developers like when they have a genuine good deal.

    See, this kind of blatant dishonesty and fear-mongering is not the tactic of a group with the better plan, the moral high ground, or the compelling argument.

    It’s the tactic of the con man.

  32. I'm with Grim says:

    They CAN form an investment group but if the purpose is to make $$$ (what an investment partnership is trying to do) there are other places in the market that offer better returns. It is purely a money game. Ask Harlan – he makes money for his partnerships all the time.

    BTW – the downtown hotel market was something like 63% occupied in February of this year. In a down economy. The convention center hotel is currently underwritten to open at 52% and does not stabilize in the proforma for several years as the convention center and its hotel build a reputation in the market.

    With no new hotel built in downtown in over 30 years and no hotel attached to the convention center currently, I honestly don’t believe that those numbers are that far fetched…

  33. “They CAN form an investment group but if the purpose is to make $$$ (what an investment partnership is trying to do) there are other places in the market that offer better returns.”

    Well here I thought you told me they all have the best interest of Dallas at heart.

    Surely such altruistic people would be willing to get a slightly smaller profit if they truly believed this hotel was the panacea for what ails downtown, and something that will secure Dallas’ future with glory ever after, or whatever language you people are selling it with today.

    I mean — it’s a smaller profit, but it’s guaranteed profit, right? And they so love the city, and there will be all these other benefits on top of their returns?

    Or is it maybe none of them want to be directly on the hook when it doesn’t make a profit? Could that be it?

  34. James the P3 says:

    Grim–the charter amendment specifically excepts “the adoption of a tax increment financing district or tax abatement agreement in accordance with state law” from its prohibition. So isn’t the answer to my previous question–”Isn’t it a fact that if Prop 1 were to pass, the City could still work with Omni to provide enough tax incentives (and even direct subsidies) to allow the building of the hotel”–”yes”?

    And so assuming we can do it strictly with abatements and TIF’s, as was the original plan (and Matthews’ original proposal), why is owning the hotel outright a better deal for the taxpayers? Or is it your contention that the hotel wouldn’t be built with abatements and TIF’s alone?

    This is the problem I have had with the “No” campaign from the outset. It’s really impossible to get a straight answer out of them. Why does this make sense? Why is it better than the alternatives? Why do we even need a hotel in the first place?

    To the extent anybody knows, nobody wants to talk about it.

  35. Rico says:

    I’m a little late, but as to that list of Vote No supporters I know for a fact that the Dallas Safari Club has not endorsed the Vote No position or the hotel. Makes me wonder what other groups don’t belong on that list.

  36. I'm with Grim says:

    I was really looking forward to responding to these last few comments but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon.

    I was just informed by a friend I trust that Trey removed comments from another “Vote No” blogger without his permission. While he has not treated me with the same disrespect thus far, I don’t want to risk being in that situation.

    I really would like to continue the discussion with you all, but not on a platform that picks and chooses what is posted online.

    Off to greener pastures where people play fair…

  37. Aw. And I was going to nominate you for king of the winter carnival.

    Comments were deleted at the poster’s request, my friend.

    If he’s changed his mind, he’s welcome to email them to me and I’ll put them back up.

  38. Bethany says:

    Given the way the last guy flounced off, too, I’m beginning to wonder if Vote No’s version of “playing fair” means a place where everyone agrees with them, or eventually concedes that they are right.

    And then I wonder where such a place exists.

  39. James the P3 says:

    Grim–if you have an answer to my questions, please email them to Trey who can then email them to me directly. That way, you don’t have to get bend out of shape with the forum.

    Alternatively, I can simply take your withdrawal as a concession of my previous criticism–that it is impossible to get a straight answer out of the “No” side. Presumably, that’s because they’ve no good straight answers to give.

  40. Oscar Wilde says:

    “…your reference to a mistake the RIP Dallas crew made (admittedly, it was a mistake) is childish. ”

    Which mistake – stealing Rage Against the Machine’s music, or claiming that fair use allows your group to steal Rage Against the Machine’s music?

    And why is it childish for someone to point out that R.I.P. Dallas makes mistakes as a result of poor planning?

  41. Bethany says:

    Because it’s currently in vogue to pretend I’m a junior high school student.

  42. mbtrt says:

    A few years back I recognized some of Peter Gabriel’s _Last Temptation of Christ_ on a local news promo. I emailed them asking if they had rights to use the music; they didn’t answer but the promo was gone the next day after having run for a few weeks.