With the whole world* abuzz with speculation as to who or what prompted Angelina Jolie to swap out the original soundtrack of her touching YouTube tribute to her mother, your intrepid Vulture editors decided that it was their duty to reach out to the record label that owns the rights to Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo‘ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” We spoke to the Mountain Apple Company, who put out Kamakawiwo‘ole’s Facing Futures record, to find out what involvement, if any, the company had in this affair. We received the following statement from a spokesperson:
We were aware of Angelina Jolie’s use of the song in this touching tribute. We did not ask for a take down. No we will not be seeking compensation from the family. Many people find comfort and joy in this song and use it for weddings, funerals, baby luaus etc. The viral spreading of this song has been wonderful from our point of view. We enjoy the commercial uses of the song around the world as well.
Well, folks, there you have it! We are still awaiting comment from YouTube, but will certainly keep you posted!