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I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball
I had a million dollars but I’d, I’d spend it all” –
Sublime – “Santeria” (1997)


The lines of the American punk ska band Sublime read like a jukebox classic playing in a bar or a karaoke favorite sung with friends.


Unfortunately, this beloved classic has been caught in the legal crosshairs of intentional copyright infringement. It was discovered this past Friday, when a man, Senett Devermont, paid a visit to the Beverly Hills Police Department, to obtain body camera footage from a previous incident, he was bombarded with the sounds of the all familiar “Santeria”.


Devermont is a famous Los Angeles area activist who is known for his consistent live streams of protests and police interactions on his Instagram account which hails more than 300,000 followers.


The method Sergeant Billy Fair employed was a subtle tactic used against Devermont, or anyone else live filming, to breach copyright. For the duration of their interaction, Fair is visibly irritated over the prospect of being filmed. It is then, for over a minute he blasts the song at full volume and purposely stays quiet. Only to casually state that he could not hear Devermont properly during their conversation.


It is common knowledge that Instagram in particular is strict with posted videos in violation of copyright. Most videos that contain certain songs are subject to removal by the app.


After the past year the public eye is widening to the injustices incurred by the abuse of police. This seemingly innocent music tactic is an alarming new method to withhold citizens of one of their only resource of protection, video documentation.


View the video here.

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