Pianist's attempt to censor negative review goes viral

3 November 2014, 14:52

Dejan Lazic’s misjudged attempt to remove a Washington Post review has ended up hitting all the wrong notes.

Croation pianist Dejan Lazic’s attempt to remove a negative review from the Washington Post’s website has backfired after news of his request went viral. 

His claim was originally lodged with reference to the EU’s 'right to be forgotten' legislation, passed in May this year. The pianist believed the 2010 review by music critic Anne Midgette, which was topping Google searches for his name, was unfairly compromising his professional reputation.

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However, Lazic's attempt to remove the original article appears to have backfired as the 'right to be forgotten' law only covers search engine results within the EU. The Washington Post denied his request - understandably, given that it is not a search engine and isn't based in the EU. The Post is, however, a newspaper, and decided to report on the request themselves. Their story has since been shared thousands of times across social media.

In a follow-up email to the Post, Lazic said the removal had nothing to do with censorship or with closing down access to information, but rather the control of one’s personal image. 

The original review, written by Anne Midgette, had actually praised the pianist's virtuosity, finding fault only with Lazic's interpretation of pieces by Schubert and Chopin.

What do you think? Should musicians have control over what is published about them online or is that up to those who write the news?

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