Wow, this sucks. R.E.M. has posted a new video “The Big Still” to their remhq YouTube channel that is a blatant rip off of Improv Everywhere’s infamous “Frozen Grand Central” mission (see my previous post). The video does not credit Improv Everywhere as the inspiration. Oh and IE’s original video is way better.
UPDATE 1: A representative from the remhq YouTube channel has sent an apology to Improv Everywhere and updated the video description, but not the video itself. I wonder if R.E.M. has any idea what their publicity company is doing?
UPDATE 2: A representative from remhq has informed us that the video is being re-edited to give credit to Improv Everywhere.
UPDATE 3: Daniel Terdiman posted a follow-up story on CNET News.com.
UPDATE 4: Freelance writer Scott Thill wrote a sensationalistic blog post about the R.E.M. video controversy on Wired’s Listening Post blog, without actually doing any research on the specific issue. After being called out on his original blog post, Scott has published a follow-up post featuring a Q&A with Improv Everywhere’s founder Charlie Todd, who addresses some of the misinformation in Scott’s original post. Of course this could have all been easily avoided if Scott had contacted Charlie first (as Daniel Terdiman did for CNET), before writing his post.