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YouTube Pulls Michigan `Singalong' Amid Copyright Dispute

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - It's another hit video for the Pure Michigan advertising campaign, but YouTube has pulled the plug on it.

The video that Pure Michigan commissioned is based on a 50-city, one-week August road trip and seeks to promote Michigan as a place to visit, live, work and create a business. But the controversy centers around the creators of the  platinum hit song "Good Time," on which the video is based.

The producers and sponsors of the "The Pure Michigan Statewide Singalong" say they hope to resolve a copyright dispute with the creators of the song.

A copyright claim from Songs Music Publishing led YouTube on Friday to take down the popular video of a statewide sing-along shot for Michigan's tourism promotion agency.

At the time the video was removed, it had nearly 2 million views.

"We don't like it" that the video can't be seen, said David Lorenz, spokesman for Pure Michigan, the nonprofit agency that promotes travel in the state. "We want to see this back up."

Jeff Barrett and Rob Bliss of Grand Rapids-based Status Creative produced the video. It uses the melody and adapts the lyrics of "Good Time," written by Brian Lee and Matthew Thiessen. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen performed the song, which was released in June.

The three-minute video opens with a firefighter walking in a parade in the eastern Upper Peninsula community of Newberry before cutting to a convertible driving onto a beach in Silver Lake. It quickly jumps from Marquette to Jackson to Midland to Rogers City.

Each scene shows people singing different verses of the song, whose lyrics say "it's always a good time" to be in Michigan.
The video debuted at halftime of the Detroit's Lions' Sept. 9 game with the St. Louis Rams and has had thousands of hits since.

"We had received usage approval for the song but were unaware of there being any secondary copyright claims," Barrett told The Associated Press in an email Monday. "We are working to resolve the issue."

Rob Bliss, who directed the video, said it's all a miscommunication.

"We had written approval from the executives at Universal to use the song," Bliss told WWJ Newsradio 950. "They did not make use aware of other publishing groups that we needed to be in touch with.

Lorenz said Pure Michigan has been deluged with messages since the video was taken down Friday. He said he is hopeful that talks under way between the producers and the "Good Time" copyright holders will let Pure Michigan post the video again soon.

"We have received so many calls, Facebook and Twitter" messages, Lorenz said. "Everybody wants to see this up."

MORE: Pure Michigan Surges On Social Media

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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