Spike Lee approached Public Enemy because he wanted a defiant, impassioned song for the movie he was directing. Who can forget the adorable Rosie Perez and her badass dance moves during the opening credits of Do the Right Thing?
When the song originally came out in 1989, it was about racial tension in Brooklyn. But since it's release it has become an anthem for disenfranchised youth, and those who feel oppressed or marginalized in our society.
At this particular moment in my life—while our company Modern Dog is going through a legal battle with some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world—that song speaks to me, and I like to play it loud.
Because of our situation, many of our friends and colleagues have wanted to host crowdsourcing fundraisers, which we initially declined (we thought we could handle it on our own). Since then we've received so much support and additional offers of help that we've decided to go ahead and set up a fundraiser to help offset legal expenses as our case proceeds to trial. Any surplus funds will go to causes we believe in: The Link Program and the McKee Project.
We've set up a trust to make sure our fundraiser is transparent to anyone considering making a donation.
I know that many people think owning a copyright or a patent offers some kind of protection, but this is simply not true. It means absolutely nothing unless you are willing and able (with an emphasis on "able") to protect and enforce it. I don't believe that the current legal system favors the small company, or the individual artist. I don't even think we are on the same playing field.
Copyright law should protect everyone, not just those who can afford to litigate. I think Chuck D—who actually studied to become a graphic designer—would agree.
For all the info you'd ever want to know about our case please visit Friends Of Modern Dog.