The IPKat has come across two news items concerning copyright matters. The Guardian reports that French president Sarkozy's UMP party (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) is to compensate indie group MGMT for using their song 'Kids' at recent party rallies without seeking the band's permission. According to the news report the song was played at UMP party meetings on 24 and 25 January 2009 and was also used for official videos displayed on the UMP website. 'It seems that those who led the charge against internet users are not the most respectful of copyright', the band's French lawyer Isabelle Wekstein is cited in the Guardian.
According to a report by AFP, UMP's public relations firm has now confirmed the use of the song but insists that it was 'an unintentional mistake'. The UMP has offered the band one (1) Euro in symbolic damages for copyright infringement. AFP further reports that MGMT's lawyer has already rejected the offer as 'disrespectful of the rights of artists and authors' and 'insulting' and has demanded full financial compensation. According to Ms. Wekstein, the UMP has only paid a standard 53 Euro fee to SACEM, the French music licensing body, which did not cover subsequent uses of the song, particularly on the internet.
In other copyright related news famous photographer Annie Leibovitz (shown left) has reportedly 'pawned' the rights to her life's work in order to borrow £10.8m from Art Capital Group, a Manhattan lender, to pay off debts. The Telegraph reports that Ms. Leibovitz secured the loan partly against copyrights and contract rights to 'every photograph she has ever taken or will take in future as collateral'.