Article Lead Image

High school lip dub pulled from YouTube for copyright violation

A tribute to Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time” was taken down last week because of a copyright claim made by Universal Music Group.


Fernando Alfonso III


It took more than five months of preparation, Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time,” and more than 900 students at Massachusetts’s Algonquin Regional High School to create a lip-synched tribute video to promote their school. 

After posting the clip to YouTube, it took less than a week for it to get pulled down.

The video was taken down last week because of a copyright claim made by Universal Music Group, which owns the rights to “Good Time.” The video was posted on March 4 and had collected more than 30,000 views before it was yanked.

“Everyone’s devastatedthe faculty, the administration, parents within the towns,” student Giles Ober told the Telegram. “It’s been overwhelming.” 

Other students were surprised that the video was taken down for copyright considering it was made to promote a school and also included a direct link for people to download the song. The video featured students dancing around the school in classic lip-dub style—a single-take production where people stare directly into the camera as it follows them around.

Students from the school have been approached by lawyers in Massachusetts to help them get Universal to put the video back up.

“We created so much school spirit from the students coming together,” senior Dezi Garcia told the Telegram. 

Lip dub videos have been a part of Internet culture since 2006. Tributes to Mariah Carey’s 1994 classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You,”  Michael Bublé’s “I’m Feeling Good,” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” are just a few. Most of these have not been taken down, nor have record labels stepped in.

Now, tribute videos using the original audio can even contribute to a song’s Billboard ranking. Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” for example, was monetized by record label Mad Decent to throw advertisements on the clips and bring in AdSense money.

Screenshot via Telegram

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot