List of instances of intellectual property hindering artistic expression

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This is a list of instances of intellectual property hindering artistic expression, either in real life or fiction.

Real life

  • In the 1942 romantic drama Casablanca, originally the opposing piece for the iconic "duel of the songs" sequence was to be the "Horst Wessel Lied", a Nazi anthem, but this was still under international copyright in non-Allied countries. Instead "Die Wacht am Rhein" was used.[citation needed]
  • Nina Paley sought to produce a short animation, Sita Sings the Blues, combining an episode from the Ramayana with a torch song recorded in 1929 by Annette Hanshaw, "Mean To Me". Because of obstacles in clearing the rights to Hanshaw's recordings, Paley began taking active part in the free culture movement.[citation needed]


  • In "Miss Tucson", Season 5, Episode 1 (7 June 1991) of the American Western comedy series Hey Dude, Melody becomes obsessed with winning a beauty pageant and plans to sing Michael Masser and Linda Creed's The Greatest Love of All. At the last minute, Jake informs her that he was unable to secure the rights from the record company and that she will have to instead sing a song that is in the public domain. (She chooses Home on the Range.)