All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, March 6th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 6, 2015
Guest: Joe Sestak, Anthony Graves, John Sylvan, Jeff Peritz
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: We need to put boots on the
DR. BEN CARSON, NEUROSURGEON: I believe (ph) to put to boots on the
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: At some point, it will require boots on
HAYES: The drums of war get louder and Americans increasingly favor
sending troops to fight ISIS. So, tonight, the question: should America
reinstitute the draft?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The draft lottery. A live report on tonight`s
picking of the birthdays for the draft.
HAYES: Then, guess which state`s senior senator is about to face
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of life this is?
HAYES: Plus, the man who invented the K-Cup says he wishes he never
did it and he`s here to explain why.
And the case of Marvin Gaye versus Pharrell and Robin Thicke.
Tonight, an ALL IN investigation into the blurred lines between stealing
and borrowing music.
(on camera): OK. So, that is the exact same song?
(voice-over): ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
As members of the American political class continue to advocate for
military escalation in the Middle East, there is mounting evidence this
week again that it is having a dramatic effect on public opinion.
According to a FOX News poll conducted in the run up to Benjamin
Netanyahu`s speech to Congress this week, 57 percent of Americans said the
U.S. hasn`t been aggressive enough in trying to stop Iran from building
nuclear weapons, while 65 percent would support taking military action
against Iran, if that were the only way to stop them.
Such action would likely provoke chaos, backlash and violent
reprisals, putting U.S. troops in the region, including nearly 3,000
stationed next door in Iraq at risk, and exposing Israel and other allies
to violent retaliation, further destabilizing a region that`s already
barely holding on to anything resembling order or security at the moment.
And according to experts, U.S. military action could only delay for up to
four years Iran`s ability to build a nuclear weapon, far less than the
decade plus that`s now on the table in the ongoing diplomatic talks
happening right now with Iran in Geneva.
Keep in mind, this poll was conducted before Netanyahu delivered his
lengthy polemic on the evil nature of the Iranian regime, and the
foolhardiness of the Obama administration`s attempt to negotiate with them.
Also in this FOX poll, yet another result, showing a majority of
Americans support sending ground troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS,
the same group that`s currently under attack in parts of Iraq from Shia
militias backed by Iran. To paraphrase Netanyahu, the enemy of our enemy
is apparently our enemy.
And should American policymakers take this argument to its logical
conclusion, we`ll soon be at war with nearly everyone in the region. Now,
the Saudis have joined in pressing the U.S.-led coalition to step up its
military involvement in Iraq. The foreign minister at the press conference
yesterday with Secretary of State John Kerry saying the kingdom, quote,
"stresses the need to provide the military means needed to face this
challenge on the ground."
And just as its easy for Saudi Arabia to call for other government`s
militaries to do the fighting, it`s easy for a vast majority of Americans
to call for ground troops because a vast majority of Americans won`t be
sharing the burden and the sacrifice of going to war.
After another poll this week saw 62 percent support sending in ground
troops, this was the reaction here on this show from Colonel Lawrence
Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL: I
want to say that if the polls show 62 percent of Americans want to use
ground forces against ISIS in Syria or Iraq or whatever, then I suggest we
have a draft and we draft those 62 percent to lead the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A draft -- we are coming out of the longest period of war in
our nation`s history, but a tiny share of the population, about half a
percent, has been on active duty during that time. Many of those service
members doing as many as six tours in combat. They and their family had
been the only ones to shoulder that burden. It wasn`t always this way and
as Colonel Wilkerson pointed out, maybe it shouldn`t be now.
Almost all men, between 18 and 25, are required to register for
selective service, but no one under 40 in this country has ever had a real
threat of being drafted into service. The last time we did was during a
war in Vietnam. There was an actual lottery based on your birthday and you
were assigned a number determining the order in which you`d be called up.
If you didn`t fail the medical exam or run away to Canada or register as a
contentious objector, when your number was called, if you couldn`t get a
deferment, you`d be inducted to the military. And shortly thereafter, you
could fine yourself in the other side of the world fighting in Vietnam
regardless of your feelings about that war.
More than 600,000 Americans were drafted to serve during that war.
And now, here we are, years after we thought we learned lessons of our last
two wars, especially Iraq, and now, we`re poised it seems to do it all over
again. The only way to avoid repeating history is if everyone has a little
more skin in the game.
Joining me now, former congressman and retired admiral, Joe Sestak,
who entered the U.S. Naval Academy during the Vietnam era, of course, later
served as director of defense policy on President Clinton`s National
What do you think about this idea of a draft?
ADM. JOE SESTAK, U.S. NAVY (RET): Well, I think it`s good to have
everybody have a piece of skin in the game, but it`s not practical. It`s
not like Vietnam when we trained our soldiers to be expert rifle shooters.
Today, it can take up to a year to train young enlisted men and women on
the very sophisticated machinery they have to use.
We need to return for that investment, not just one or two years, but
four years. I believe in national service, where you can join AmeriCorps
or the military. Two years for AmeriCorps, four years for the military.
That`s the way to have the skin in the game.
But I do believe that is why sometimes too many people are ready to go
to war, and the family`s skin is not in the game.
HAYES: We`re now at 14 years. I thought that we were seeing the end
of a period of war, and now, we`re seeing, it appears to me, both in the
way that the political class, the media class, the pundit class, and others
talk about it -- the nation`s elite frankly -- talk about this, as if we`re
being lead back into it, as if we were being led back into further military
escalation that might involve U.S. ground troops? How do you feel at the
end of those 14 years of this?
SESTAK: Well, I think it shows part of the problem when you have so
few in the leadership in Washington, D.C. who`s ever served, or even have
immediate families serve.
I think they don`t understand the militaries can stop a problem, but
we can`t fix a problem. I don`t care if it was Nazi Germany. It took the
Marshall Plan to finally fix them after we stop them. Or look at Iraq
today, we certainly didn`t fix it.
Look, we went in there and as Colin Powell said, if you break it, you
own it. And ISIS is a splinter group.
The second thing I have to say, Chris, is they don`t understand the
new way of warfare. Look, it`s no longer about capacity, how many ships,
how many air wings, how many battalions. It`s about capability.
If we dominate cyber space and know and can read the other guy`s mail,
and with a very accurate laser-guided munitions put it in this window or
that window, it`s not how much, it`s knowing exactly where to pinpoint a
target. That`s why the president`s strategy up until now, although it`s
been slow, has been correct.
HAYES: But even if that`s the case, the first point you made that
strikes me as the key one here, which is ISIS is itself, of course, a
splinter group, born out of maelstrom of horror and violence that was the
Iraq civil war, precipitated by the American invasion, right? And if we
were to win, let`s say we were to put in ground troops and defeat ISIS, I
don`t think there is a question of a sort of face to face military
confrontation, that American troops would prevail over the sort of somewhat
ragtag army of ISIS, but the "then what?" question seems to be erased from
the national conversation. What does the next day look like?
SESTAK: Absolutely, what is the end game? It`s why I didn`t support
the Libya intervention. What is the aftermath? What is the end game here?
Look, there is no reason to put boots on the ground of companies,
battalions, brigades or divisions. We have perhaps a very unique
capability that no one else has. We may want to put a special force there,
in order to take a laser guided instrument and pinpoint it at a head of the
ISIS and have, from the sky, an artillery piece, a laser guided ammunition
to take him out.
Warfare has changed so dramatically. And second, you know who is
really at the forefront of this fight? The Treasury Department. ISIS has
$400 million in cash they have plundered, from around, from oil drills and
taxes. Cutting that down would do so much to squeeze them if we shut off
those lifelines. This is a multi-threat and a totally different approach
than a total different war than like Vietnam was.
HAYES: Final question, you just said you oppose the Libyan
intervention. Given the fact that we now have seen the rise of ISIS in
Libya, in the wake of the NATO intervention there, should politicians who
supported that intervention be paying a political price?
SESTAK: Well, that`s the biggest question. It`s why I`m actually
dressed like this today, I`m walking across Pennsylvania, trying to say
that, where`s accountability? Where are people saying not just here is
what I said, here is what I did or didn`t do and hold me accountable?
The accountability is answering for oneself ones deeds, not ones
words. Where are they for who should be held accountable for not finding
the weapons of mast destruction in Iraq? When we spent a trillion dollars
in national debt and think about the human capital that was lot and came
No, before you put our military in somewhere, whether it`s Iran or
whether it`s Syria, try to have by other means a resolution to the issue.
The military shouldn`t be played with as though you`re going to whack a
mole around the world. Use it to stop that nuclear weapons, but you have
better try all other means to stop it by other types of more peaceful
HAYES: Joe Sestak, thank you very much. Good luck with your walk
SESTAK: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right, when does imitation in pop music cross over into
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The thing that`s making you feel like you`re listening to that
song is the exact same drum pattern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drum pattern -- very similar cow bell pattern, the
sound of he cow bell, and Marvin Gaye`s -- ooh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We look at blurred lines later in the show.
Plus, the inventor of the K-Cup will be here to tell me why he regrets
ever inventing it, ahead.
HAYES: So, Eric Holder today was talking about the Ferguson report,
the scathing Ferguson report. And he reiterated the fact that the
Department of Justice is going to take any legal means they can to remedy
the situation up to and including dissolving the Ferguson Police
Now, if you had not read that report, it`s a government report. You
might think, I`m not going to sit around and read the government. It is an
exceptional piece of reporting that I urge you to take a look at -- 106
pages keep thinking of, what has haunted me since I read it the other day
is that everything in that report is government at its worst -- petty,
capricious, cruel, indifferent, making people do things for no reason.
If there is one group of people in America who should understand the
offensiveness of the kind of things the police department was doing in
Ferguson, it is, of course, the people that raised the Gadsden flag that
says, "Don`t tread on me", the Tea Party. Go back and read the DOJ report.
What the Ferguson police were doing routinely and systematically at
the black reticence of Ferguson was treading on them. So maybe the next
time there is a protest in Ferguson, the protesters should waive that
Gadsden flag and see if the Tea Party comes running to help them out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Let me be very clear, very
clear. I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with
the law. Every action that I and my office have taken for the last 23
years that I have been privileged to be in the United States Congress has
been based on pursuing the best policies for the people of New Jersey and
of this entire country. That`s who I am. And I am not going anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It is possible, we are about to see, the federal indictment of
a sitting United States senator. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New
Jersey, just moments ago, addressing widespread reports today that the
Justice Department is getting ready to file corruption charges against him.
A federal grand jury in New Jersey is still hearing evidence and sources
familiar with the case tell NBC News, charges -- criminal charges could
come later this month.
The expected charges first reported publicly today are likely to
center around Senator Menendez`s relationship with a Florida eye doctor.
Prosecutors have been investigating whether Menendez helped Dr. Salomon
Melgen with personal business interests in exchange for gifts. Both
Senator Menendez and Dr. Melgen have denied any wrongdoing.
Joining me now, MSNBC`s Steve Kornacki, host of "UP WITH STEVE
New Jersey politics, the gift that just keeps on giving.
STEVE KORNACKI, UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI: It is always something.
HAYES: OK. This has been -- I mean, there have been stories about
Melgen and Menendez for years. I mean, you even got Menendez in House, in
hearings. I mean, in congressional hearings basically pushing people to
help out Melgen business interests, right?
HAYES: What do you think? What do we know -- or what do you think
has happened that tipped things over?
KORNACKI: Well, I mean, like you say, this is something that`s been
two years now. It`s been two years coming. I think you can say he was
sort of -- the federal government would charge if they go forward with this
case would charge, look, he interceded obviously to help him with the
Medicare case, also with some business interests from the Dominican
Republican, in exchange for that.
Well, Menendez, we know, got private jet flights to the Dominican
Republican a couple of times in 2010, valued at $58,000. You say $58,000,
it`s a little, it`s a lot. You think of senators as being rich in a lot of
KORNACKI: Well, Menendez is not one of the most wealthy United States
senators. He`s one of the least wealthy, maybe the least wealthy, of the
personally wealthy of United States senator. So that $58,000 in gifts,
significant chunk of his net worth there.
So what the Menendez side I think would counter, you saw him saying
this tonight, one of the things is, he stressed tonight, and I think he`ll
stress going forward, that he has a longstanding close personal friendship
with Melgen, a friendship, in which they have routinely exchanged gifts
between the two of them. The idea being that there is exceptions built in
the law for these personal relationships. So, he`s going to play that up.
HAYES: All right. The key is if I do something for you, quid pro
quo, you give me a gift, I intercede on your behalf in business interest.
That is corruption that could be criminal. If you`re my buddy, there`s
nothing in the law that says, I as a senator can`t take an interest in
helping out my buddy.
KORNACKI: Right. So, he`ll play that up, and then he will get the
other thing, the constitutional law and stuff is the speech and debate
clause of the Constitution. So, this is where they`re basically saying
that the Justice Department -- the Justice Department has trouble, there is
limited grounds that they can interfere with lawmaking. You can`t
interfere with lawmaking.
So, Menendez would argue that the actions that they`re talking about
here, probably will argue that the actions that they`re talking about here
fall under that ground. This is lawmaking. This is not something that`s
in their purview.
HAYES: In fact, we know that two aides of his invoked the speech and
debate cause, and refusing to give a testimony in a deposition. I should
reiterate, of course, he has not been charged. So, we don`t know what the
contours are. We don`t know if he will be charged. There are reports
today -- clearly strong enough reports that senator came out and addressed
How is Chris Christie feeling today?
KORNACKI: You see, now, there`s two ways of looking at this. I
guess, you say, look, the spotlight is off. Chris Christie, and now, it`s
the Democratic senator from New Jersey.
The other thing, though, is look -- New Jersey`s reputation nationally
and it`s a richly earned reputation, it`s a haven of political corruption,
and Christie, of course, it`s been the whole bridgegate thing for the last
year and a half that`s really dogged his presidential aspirations. So,
while the story is not about Chris Christie in any way, it`s also about New
HAYES: It`s about the rotten --
KORNACKI: Yes, it`s about the same thing that Christie has been
painted with, fair or not.
HAYES: Knowing what you know about Menendez, you spent a long time
figuring New Jersey politics, in fact, once testified against his mentor
because, of course -- this is the way it all works. Knowing what you know
about him, what do you think? Will we see him fight?
KORNACKI: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the idea -- this is not something
that will end quickly. I mean, again, let`s see if he is charged or
whatever. But this is the kind of guy -- that the important thing to note
about Menendez, like you say, his career began 30 years ago as a government
witness against his mentor in Union City, the Mayor Billy Musto.
There have been moments not quite this severe, but there have been
moments like this for him before. He was running for reelection in 2006 in
New Jersey. The U.S. attorney was a man named Chris Christie. A month
before the election, it got leaked from the U.S. attorneys office that
Menendez was under federal investigation. I thought that would derail his
campaign. It didn`t. The investigation ended up being nothing. So, there
have been moments like this for him before.
HAYES: And we have seen them in the last few years, in fact,
including stories that were later debunked or proved erroneous, women
accusing him of things, down the Dominican Republican, who looked like they
were taking payment and later recanted. So, he has been a survivor.
Very interesting to see how this plays out. I imagine there will be
talk about it on UP tomorrow morning.
KORNACKI: Might be a little bit, yes.
HAYES: Steve Kornacki, of course, you can catch up with Steve -- I
will be watching morning and Sunday at 8:00 Eastern.
Thanks a lot, man.
HAYES: All right. Last night, we brought you the story of a man on
death row in Texas who maybe innocent. Tonight, I talked to the last
person to be exonerated from Texas` death row. You`re going to want to see
that. So, stick around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When you found out that you were getting the death penalty,
did it feel real to you? Did it feel distant?
RODNEY REED, DEATH ROW INMATE: It was a nonfeeling. It was a
nonfeeling. It was like, you know, really it was unbelievable. I just --
it felt like I was in a dream. It felt like it wasn`t real. It was a non-
feeling, this can`t be happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last night, we brought you our investigation into the capital
murder case against Rodney Reed, a death row inmate who was scheduled to be
executed yesterday by the state of Texas. That was before a court
intervened last week, putting a stay on his execution in light of new
evidence that his lawyers say proves his innocence.
Ultimately, his defense team at the Innocence Project is trying to
clear Reed to the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites and it is a very difficult
task, but not impossible. Last year, a record number of convicts across
the country were exonerated. And just today, a woman in Nevada was
exonerated after spending over 30 years in prison on murder charges after
new DNA evidence linked another man to the crime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big news this noon for murder suspect Cathy Wood.
She was accused of killing UNR student Michelle Mitchell back in 1976.
Well, the Washoe County district attorney`s office just announced that
murder charges against her will be dismissed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Perhaps, not surprisingly, the state that has exonerated the
most convicts of the last 25 years is Texas. And one of those people is
Anthony Graves, who was on death row in Texas, with Rodney Reed. Graves
was exonerated in 2010 after being scheduled twice for lethal injection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Finally free, Anthony Graves says he is not bitter.
ANTHONY GRAVES: I never lost hope. I never lost hope, because once
you lose hope, you`re just a dead man walking. So I never lost hope.
REPORTER: Graves spent 18 years in prison, most of it on death row,
for a mass murder he didn`t commit. It was the 1992 killing of a
Summerville woman, her daughter, and four grandchildren. The only evidence
linking Graves to the crime, the testimony of codefendant Robert Carter,
before Carter was executed, he recanted, said he`d been pressured to
testify against Graves by then Washington County D.A. Charles Sebesta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s been over four years since Anthony Graves was free from
Texas death row. I sat down with him earlier, and he told me what it was
like to get two execution dates for a crime he did not commit.
GRAVES: Yes. I mean, can you imagine someone comes to you and tell
you, captain wants to speak to you, take you down in the office, sit you
down, and just like a normal conversation telling you that such and such a
date the state is going to murder you, pretty much. You know, just a
surreal moment or two.
HAYES: What was -- I mean, you must feel like a person inside of an
insane asylum who is sane that you can`t do anything. How did you feel in
GRAVES: Well, I mean, you know, it`s hard to describe because, you
know, you`re faced with your own mortality, number one. And then I
witnessed over 350 murders around me. So every day, it`s on your mind that
it is possible that you can be executed at any moment, you know, by the
state of Texas for something you didn`t even do.
So, it was -- it -- you know, you have to believe in a higher power.
You really have to believe in a higher power because it can drive you
insane. I witnessed guys, you know, attempting suicide, hanging
themselves, you know, slitting their wrists.
One guy sitting on death row now, snatched his eye out and swallowed
it. He`s just going insane, you know? Those are the conditions.
What was I thinking? You know, I just prayed. I would just stay in a
naive state thinking that justice would prevail so I didn`t have to go
HAYES: What was it like, how did you hear the news when it began to
look like your case was going to get reviewed and then ultimately you were
GRAVES: Yes. Well, I heard the news is that another inmate had sent
a note through an officer telling me that it was about my case. She put
the note in my cell, and I read it, and it was saying that the fiscal (ph)
had overturned my case, citing egregious prosecutorial misconduct. And
that he was happy for me that I was going home, what a guy (ph) since been
executed, he had a claim of actual innocence or something to that effect.
But that is how I found out. And so, in less than 120 days, they came
and picked me up and take me back to the local county where I thought I
would be released in front of my family, the state would apologize, et
cetera. It didn`t happen like that when I got back to the county jail, the
judge now on my case was the daughter of the judge that sentenced me
And so, now, I`m faced with this judge who is pushing the case,
pushing for another trial, trying to resentence me for a crime I didn`t
commit. And that lasted another four years and three months, where they
had me in solitary confinement. And literally, all by myself and they told
the other inmates not to talk to me, et cetera.
So, they were trying to make it hard for me because they had been
exposed. But -- so, my faith and the support around the world, I was able
to maintain my sanity and my strength until I got out.
HAYES: How did you go about reconstructing a life for yourself after
death row, after coming this close to being executed by the state? How did
you do it?
GRAVES: Well there is no manual for it. As a matter of fact, I`m
thinking about creating one, you know, because that a million dollar
question. There is a lot of guys come out of here can`t maintain -- you
know, I like to say that I`m the exception, not the rule, because you`re
not suppose to be sane after going through the trauma that I to go through
for 18-and-a-half years.
So, there wasn`t really a manual for it, I just took it one day at a
time, you know, some days were good, some days were not. You know, at
times I didn`t know if I could make it, but then, you know, I spent four
years now, and I`m in a really great space.
You know, I travel the world. I use my story to educate people about
our need for criminal justice reform. You know, I have taken my life back
by putting myself out there to say that we need reform.
HAYES: Yeah, what is the lesson of your life and your case that you
people to hear?
GRAVES: Well, the lesson in my case is that look, we can`t be playing
I don`t care what your feelings are about the death penalty. I mean, I
think that we all fall on different sides of social justice issues. And
I don`t think no one has the right to tell you how you should or
shouldn`t feel about the death penalty. But I don`t think that`s the
intelligent question to be asking any more. I think the intelligent
question now is, does the death penalty work.
And as I sit here as exonerate number 138 in this nation, I can tell
you that it doesn`t. You know what I`m saying? Because what you now
witnessing, and me being number 138 is that, had this nation killed 138
people that they once sentenced to
death row, they would have -- we know for a fact, they would have killed at
least 138 innocent people. But we up to 146 now, and counting.
So that tells me that the death penalty can`t work?
Whether you believe in it or not, that`s irrelevant. Does it work?
Does it make our society better? And I don`t see that evidence that says
that it does.
HAYES: Mr. Graves, it`s really a pleasure and honor to talk to you
tonight. I really appreciate it.
GRAVES: Well, I appreciate you having me on.
HAYES: Alright, I`m going to head to a recording studio to get to the
bottom of the massive copyright lawsuit, now being decided in Los Angeles,
to determine what is art, and what is fact. Next.
HAYES: A jury in Los Angeles began deliberations today in the biggest
music copyright case in a generation.
The lawsuit over whether Robin Thicke`s massive 2013 hit, Blurred
Lines, which made more than 16 million dollars in profits, unlawfully
copied Marvin Gaye`s 1977 classic, Got to Give it Up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At one point, the trial felt more like a concert,
Thicke sang and played a piano melody, trying to demonstrate songs can have
similar melodies and chords without coping each other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The trial over Blurred Lines got me thinking. Doesn`t every
pop song steal from other pop songs? How do you figure out what crosses the
I went to SMASH studios in New York City to find out.
Our guide was Jeff Peritz, professor of music theory at the Clive
Davis Institute at NYU, and brought along a full band, made up of students,
to help explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Okay, so I`ve been really fascinated with this Blurred Lines
Probably because these things never go to trial, and the idea of, you know,
Robin Thicke sitting there in a chair in front of the jury playing piano.
You know, everybody I think has the experience where you`re driving
your car and you`ll hear a song on the radio and you`re like, that sounds
So, I guess the first question is, what`s the line? Like, lots of
songs sound like each other. Some songs get sued, some songs settle, what`s
JEFF PERITZ, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC THEORY, NYU: Well, the line is up to
interpretation. Any judge in any given day may go one way or the other.
There`s, the harmonic content, the melodic content, and then there`s
the rhythmic content.
The melodic content is usually when we hear a song that sounds like
another song, it`s the melody that we hear, and that`s usually when we say,
"oh, that song is this song."
HAYES: And that`s like the sung line, right? So, if I`m singing along
we`re going to get to some songs later where there is a sung line that`s
actually pretty close, right? That`s the one that kind of leaps out at you?
PERITZ: Exactly. That`s the most immediate thing you notice when you
hear the song.
The other elements you can`t really, there`s no, you can`t really copy
right a chord progression. There`s only 12 notes in music, there`s only 7
notes in the key, and then, therefore 7 chords, so mathematically speaking,
you`re going to cover the same terrain.
HAYES: So, what about melody?
PERITZ: Melody is different. It has to do with your length of time. I
mean, I guess the language in the rule is about significant similarity. If
a judge --
HAYES: That`s the standard? Significant similarity?
PERITZ: That`s it. And that`s pretty gray.
So, it`s like, you know, so when you -- mathematically speaking, if
you write the songs down you can see if they`re the same or if they`re not.
For this piece I wrote down, I transcribed Blurred Lines and I
transcribed Got to Give it Up and you can physically see, geometrically on
the paper, they`re not the same song.
Because these laws of copyright infringement, as it pertains to music,
were they written back in Tin Pan Alley days, when the only way to transfer
music around was by sheet music.
There was no device to play it. There was no iPhone, there was no tape
So, if you wanted to hear a song you had to have someone who could
read it and play it for you.
So that`s the method they`re using to determine whether the songs are
the same. If that`s the only method they`re using, there not going to play
the sound recording, there`s no case.
Where the similarities lie are in the master sound recording.
If they had sampled it, it would have been a different issue. Like, if
they had sampled Got to Give it Up and built their track upon it, done
deal. They would have to pay, they`d have to give credit. But they didn`t
do that. They replayed it and reconstructed it.
HAYES: Okay, so this is a great segue because let`s talk about a
recent case where a song came out, very popular, a song writer came forward
and said you kind of stole my song a little bit, and they settled. They
said, okay, guilty as charged, right?
Sam Smith`s Stay with Me and Tom Petty`s Won`t Back Down, so maybe we
can get these guys, we can maybe play that, and take a listen?
That would be great.
PERITZ: Let`s do that.
HAYES: Okay, so that`s, that is, I mean that is the exact same song,
PERITZ: And hence the check that was written to pay Tom Petty.
The harmonic is the same, the melody is the same, and the rhythm and
the tempo. The only things that`s different are the tempos, but when the
melody is that close, it`s a done deal.
HAYES: So the tempos are a little different.
PERITZ: Yeah. We kind of met in the middle. Sam Smith`s song is a
little bit slower than the Tom Petty song, so we kind of met in the middle
HAYES: Now, okay. Now I want to talk about two songs that are, have
very, very similar components, but have not had, there hasn`t been like a
legal judgment, right? Partly, I guess, to sort of explore how -- this
seems to me frankly.
So we`ve got Summer Loving from the musical Grease and What Makes You
Beautiful from One Direction.
Okay so that is, so what`s different there though is the melodic lines
a little different, right? It`s not completely identical?
PERITZ: The melody of the intro, which is a big, it`s a --
HAYES: Can you play that again, play that melody, because that`s such
Is that literally the One Direction song?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
HAYES: Come on though, that is so iconic. Like, how did they
PERITZ: It`s a hookish part of the song, but it`s not the melodic
hook that`s sung. And that`s kind of why, I`m sure there was thought, there
was people who were, in their minds, thinking it would have been a good
idea to go after them, but, in the end it`s not -- it doesn`t cross that
HAYES: Is this just part of song writing from time immemorial?
Borrowing, snatching, walking up to the line and not crossing it?
PERITZ: Yeah, I mean, isn`t most art just taking a little from over
here, a little here, combining together and making something new? So, yes
is the answer to that question. Short answer.
And again, getting back to the fact that mathematically speaking,
there`s only so many different ways you can combine these sounds. You`re
going to come up with the same thing.
HAYES: Alright, so now we`ll get to the two songs at issue in this
big suit, right?
Blurred Lines by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, although not
really Robin Thicke as we`ve learned, and Got to Give it Up by the great
PERITZ: So, as we were saying earlier, these two songs share the
exact same drum pattern. So if we can start with that and hear what that
sounds like a little bit.
And where they begin to differ is in the cow bell pattern, but the use
of the cow bell is what sets the vibe and that is kind of what was at
question here about, when we first hear these two songs, why they sound so
HAYES: Right. The thing that making you feel like you`re listening to
that song, you`re saying, is that they`ve got the same, the exact same --
PERITZ: Drum pattern, very similar cow bell patterns, the sound of
the cow bell, and Marvin Gaye`s "Ooh."
HAYES: Right, right.
PERITZ: That all over the track is what, when you hear it, is what
So here we go, let`s play one of these.
HAYES: Awesome. Wow, that sounded great.
So now let`s listen to Got to Give it Up.
HAYES: Wow. So, okay, that actually, I find this really illustrative,
because lining all that up, right, the way that we did, where we started
with the thing that got nailed legally and then something extremely similar
didn`t. Like, I`d come down if I`m in the jury, I don`t think it gets to
the legal line.
As much as those songs, that`s how you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that`s the consensus
PERITZ: The thing is you know, they`re definitely guilty of --
HAYES: Ripping off in some sort of formal sense.
PERITZ: A stylistic thing.
It worked in 1977. It was a number one hit. It was going to work again
HAYES: Well, Jeff, guys, this has been fantastic. I really learned a
lot. Thanks a lot.
PERITZ: Yes, any time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Helping us out there were three amazing students from the
Clive David Institute, Myles Evert on keyboard, Andrew Campbell on drums
and Nick Hanson shredding it on vocals and of course, the cowbell.
The man who invented what might be one of your favorite things says he
wishes he hadn`t and he will be here to tell me why ahead.
HAYES: If the sun has set where you are, the National Day of
Unplugging has begun. It will last until tomorrow night at Sundown.
What is the national day of unplugging, you might be ask. We
discovered today while reading our iPhones. And it was launched in 2010 by
Reboot, a New York based nonprofit that seeks to retain Jewish traditions
by promoting them with a modern spin.
The National Day of Unplugging is described by the New York Times as,
quote, "an electronic Sabbath of sorts. Its Sabbath manifesto project
encourages people to carve out time to slow down and unwind.
The organization encourages people to dish their smartphones, tablets
and computers and be more present for 24 hours, which people can do by
signing a pledge on their website NationalDayofUnplugging.com.
Around 4:45 p.m. today, the internet went down for all of us here at
the office, which was frustrating, although it wasn`t quite sunset, I feel
like I sort of already participated for a little bit.
In another really strange coincidence today, it is also National Day
Liking the All In with Chris Facebook page. It`s so weird, right.
So, before you up unplug, you should definitely head to
Facebook.com/AllInWithChris, like the page, and tell us in the comment
what you will doing tonight instead of burying your nose in an electronic
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hamilton was a genius.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, COMPOSER: Hamilton was a for real genius.
Surrounded by geniuses. And not only geniuses, but also, you know, the --
thinking three steps ahead. I mean, I think if that is the essence of
genius, if it`s OK, we have to win this war, but we also have to like
figure out how to not be in perpetual revolution, which is what we see all
over the world today, which is what we see time and time again throughout
history, you know, you see America stick the landing and then you see the
French Revolution, which cycles from chaos, to dictator Rose Pierre, to
another genius Napolean who grabs everyone and says we`re going this way,
and America really stuck the landing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was part of my interview with Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award
winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda on the genius of founding father
Alexander Hamilton, the subject of Miranda`s extraordinary new production
We`ll bring you the story of how a hip hop musical about the very
first secretary of the United States treasury became the must see show of
the year. And my interview with the genius behind it Lin himself on
Consider it a bonus day of MSNBC`s seven days of genius. Our weeklong
partnership with the 92nd Street Y. As part of that, I`ll be joined by the
man who invented the way we drink coffee in this country by inventing the
K-Cup. Why he says he wish he hadn`t next.
HAYES: All right, this is a Keurig cup, also known as a K-cup, which
you`re probably well aware of if you work in an office anywhere in America
in the year 2015. They`ve become pretty ubiquitous thanks to their
remarkable convenience. Just stick it in the Keurig machine, close the
lid, push a button, just a few seconds later you`ve got a nice hot cup of
The only problem, well, once it`s used, this little thing is going to
stick around for a long, long time, probably much longer than us human
beings will be here on planet Earth. And since most of these are just one
serving, we`re going through a lot of them.
Amid all those concerns, according to The Atlantic, the guy who
invented these things now says, quote, I feel bad sometimes I ever did it.
Though the company is quick to point out they`ve pledged to create a
fully recylable version of the K-Cup by 2020.
Keurig also points out that its system uses less electricity, water
But the K-Cup guy is far from the first inventor to regret what he
unleashed on the world. The most famous example concerns what may be the
most consequential invention of the 20th Century: the atomic bomb.
Robert Oppenheimer worked on it for years as part of the Manhattan
Project. And when he saw the first mushroom cloud, he later recounted this
was what came to mind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT OPPENHEIMER, MANHATTAN PROJECT: I remember the line from the
Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita, "now I am become death, the destroyer of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Likewise, for Mikhail Kalashnikov -- he of course the inventor
of the Kalashnikov rifle, also known as the AK-47, which has become the
weapon of choice for militants and terrorists the world over and by now
has, in all likelihood, killed more people than nuclear weapons.
Later in his life Kalashnikov wrote a letter to the Russian orthodox
church saying, quote, my spiritual pain is unbearable. The longer I live,
the more I wonder why the lord allowed man have to have the devilish
desires of envy, greed and aggression.
But it`s not just inventors of mechanisms to kill a lot of people who
eventual come to regret their inventions. Take, for example, the designer
Robert Probst (ph) who brought us the cubical back in the 1960s. Decades
later, he told the New York Times the cubicalizing of people in modern
corporations is monolithic insanity.
Or what about Vincent Conair (ph), creator of what has to be the most
loathed font in existence, comic sans. There`s even a movement to ban it
altogether. According to the Wall Street Journal, the comic sans inventor,
quote, "cringes at the most improbable manifestations of his Frankenstein
And then there`s Wally Conron (ph), the very first person to cross a
standard poodle with a Labrador retriever giving us the majestic
labradoodle. Conron (ph) said last year I opened a Pandora`s box, that`s
what I did. I released a Frankenstein. So many of these dogs have
physical problems and a lot of them are just crazy."
Which brings us back to the little K-Cup I have got right here. You
know how much the guy who invented this ubiquitous little coffee pod got
for it? Well, he`s here to tell you himself.
Joining me now is John Sylvan, inventor of the K-Cup.
All right, John, first of all how did you come up with this?
JOHN SYLVAN, K-CUP INVENTOR: My roommate from college and myself
decided we wanted to start a business and we said what does every office in
America needs and it was a coffee maker, a copier and a phone. And so we
said let`s try a coffee maker.
HAYES: So you just noodled around in your garage, in your basement,
and came up with it?
SYLVAN: Actually I did this in my kitchen in Brooklyn, Massachusetts.
HAYES: OK, so you come up with this thing. First of all, when you
got it all to work together, do you think this is going to be absolutely
SYLVAN: At the time, absolutely not. No clud.
HAYES: And what happened? Did you go into business or my
understanding is you sold the idea?
SYLVAN: I started the company with my college roommate, and then we
raised venture capital financing, and then after that, it went its own way.
And I haven`t been associated with the business for almost 20 years now.
HAYES: OK. So now 20 years later this thing is absolutely
ubiquitous. There are hundreds of millions of these cups floating around.
SYLVAN: I think it`s billions.
HAYES: There`s billions of these cups floating around. Are you some
sort of a millionaire yourself?
SYLVAN: Me, no, not at all.
HAYES: So you didn`t like score big from this thing that we now all
see in our offices?
SYLVAN: I didn`t score at all.
HAYES: Is that why you regret inventing it?
SYLVAN: No, not at all.
HAYES: What are your misgivings about the way that the Keurig Cup has
come to dominate our lives?
SYLVAN: Just the solid waste that it generates.
HAYES: Did you ever think that you would be seeing the scale of waste
that we are seeing now? Did it ever occur to you that billions of these
pods -- I mean, when you were doing the invention, were you thinking to
yourself, we should probably have some way to dispose of these things
because there is going to be
billions of them floating around the Earth?
SYLVAN: We didn`t even consider that at the time. It wasn`t even.
We were just trying to get a product out to market that worked.
HAYES: So, they`re now pledging that they can make a recyclable one
by 2020. Do you think that is a doable proposition?
SYLVAN: Not in this current format. I`m not sure what they`re talking
about, and 2020 is five years from now. That`s a long time. Between now
and then, they will be selling a lot of coffee brewers and a lot of K-Cups,
so talking billions more.
HAYES: What Keurig came to you and said you made the original thing,
we need you back, it`s like a heist movie where they come back and they`re
one last score, we need you John Sylvan to come back and engineer a
recyclable checkup for us. Would you do that?
SYLVAN: No, that part of my life is over. I have no desire to do it
HAYES: Were you generally an inventor? Was this something you had
done before? Were you someone that came up with ideas and made stuff in
SYLVAN: No, but I come from an engineering family so my father had
some basic patents in semiconductors. And I always wanted to start a
business, so I started a business. I was 25 at the time I think. I was
going to work in one of
those terrible cubicles you were talking about, or go out and start a
business and buy a labradoodle.
HAYES: Yeah exactly, work in a cubical, came home to your
labradoodle, wake up in the morning, brew a cup of coffee with your K-Cup.
John Slyvan, the inventor of the K-Cup. You have him to praise or
blame for it. Thank you very much.
All right, that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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