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The Courts Youtube Your Rights Online Politics

Parody and Satire Videos, Which Is Fair Use? 286

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-met-my-parody-in-an-alley dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Sheffner writes that both sides in Don Henley's lawsuit against California US Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R) over campaign 'parody' videos that used Henley's tunes set to lyrics mocking Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) have now filed cross-motions for summary judgment, teeing up a case that will likely clarify the rules for political uses of third-party material. The motions focus largely on one issue: whether the videos, which use the compositions 'The Boys of Summer' and 'All She Wants to do is Dance,' are 'parodies,' and thus likely fair uses, or, rather, unprivileged 'satires.' The Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994), said that a parody comments on the work itself; a satire uses the work to comment on something else, so for Henley, this is a simple case: DeVore's videos do not comment on Henley's songs but use Henley's songs to mock Boxer. DeVore argues that his videos do indeed target Henley, who has long been identified with liberal and Democratic causes, and asserts that the campaign chose to use Henley's songs for precisely that reason. 'DeVore's videos target Henley only in the loosest sense,' writes Sheffner, 'and his brief's arguments ... sound dangerously close to the post hoc rationalizations dismissed as "pure shtick" and "completely unconvincing" by the Ninth Circuit in Dr. Seuss Enters. v. Penguin Books USA, Inc., 109 F.3d 1394 (1997).' The case also bears directly on the recent removal of the 'Downfall' clips from YouTube where many journalists have almost automatically labeled the removed videos 'parodies' while the vast majority aren't, says Sheffner."
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Parody and Satire Videos, Which Is Fair Use?

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  • Political speach (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:30PM (#32002008)

    I was under the impression that for the most part political speech enjoyed a far higher level of protection than most and this seems to fall very clearly into that category.

    • Political speech enjoys higher levels of protection, but misuse of copyrighted works is not a free speech issue. It is a, oh what's the word, copyright issue. You do understand that, in order to work at all, copyright trumps free speech, except in limited circumstances like fair use and parody.

      Republicans have a long, sordid history of using music without permissions, they especially love to use songs from artists who are not Republicans. Google 'republicans stealing music.'
      This was the first page that came

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by osgeek (239988)

        Free speech is about being able to get your message out against the government. To say that "copyright trumps free speech" is exactly wrong. Where copyright is counter to free political speech, copyright gives way.

        Good liberalism supports totally free speech: freedom of speech, freedom of expression. For supposed "liberal" artists to get upset when their works are used as free speech is hypocritical.

        If there's one thing that Americans left and right should have solidarity on it's the support of the Bill

        • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:58PM (#32002350) Homepage Journal

          Free speech is about being able to get your message out against the government. To say that "copyright trumps free speech" is exactly wrong.

          They are two completely different issues.

          Mock the king[1] all you want - but do it in your own words, not mine[2] - else you're just as much of a leecher as he is.

          [1] of course he won't understand anyway, unless ye doeth itt iynn ye Germannical tongue.
          [2] unless I say so, in which case pay up.

          • Mock the king[1] all you want [...]
            [1] of course he won't understand anyway, unless ye doeth itt iynn ye Germannical tongue.

            I doubt he'll understand it even then. Mostly because he died in 1977!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spun (1352)

          Bullshit, you can't use copyrighted material in a political ad or speech without paying for it. Period.

          All the rest of your post is a similar worthless obfuscation and appeal to emotion. If you want to make outrageous contra-factual claims, back them up with, oh I don't know, the relevant passages from the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

          • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:12PM (#32002512)

            It just seems odd that while you can twist a work to mocks/comment on the original work( which is politically fairly worthless) you cannot twist a work to mock/comment on what it was used to promote(which is politically fairly worthwhile).

            • by spun (1352)

              Take that up with your congrewsscritter, but good luck getting it changed, it would require a constitutional ammendment.

            • Are you really saying that "All She Wants to do is Dance" and "Boys of Summer" are politically motivated works? There are a lot of songs that are politically motivated, and for those I would agree with you. But, for songs such as this, they are just stealing.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by HungryHobo (1314109)

                this:
                http://mises.org/images4/ObamaProgress.jpg [mises.org]

                Which is certainly a derivative of this:
                http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/7/2008/05/340x_obama-progress-poster.jpg [gawkerassets.com]

                and would not be protected because it's about the subject of the original rather than the original.

                It certainly carries a very valid message.

                That just strikes me as stifling since it effectively blocks the creation of satires which resonate with or which people associate with what you want to respond to.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by nabsltd (1313397)

                Are you really saying that "All She Wants to do is Dance" and "Boys of Summer" are politically motivated works?

                All She Wants to Do Is Dance is pretty obviously a commentary on US diplomacy.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  I agree completely. But is US diplomacy in any way germane to the subject of the parody? Does a political statement in a piece of music mean I lose all rights to the musical score. By extension, if I create an original song and mention "George W. Bush" in it anywhere, then every politician has a right to put my music in their commercials? I think there should be no limitations if you are mocking the message of a song, but if you are just using it because it has a good beat and putting your own words to
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by phantomfive (622387)
              It's because no one would ever give permission to mock their own work, and using their own work is often the only way to do it. Thus it is protected. It is very rarely necessary to use a particular song to make a particular political point, you can use your own words to say the same thing.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by nextekcarl (1402899)

                With one exception that I know of, Weird Al gets permission for all of his parodies (though not legally required, he does it anyway). In an interview many, many years ago when someone asked him about that he said with that one exception (can't recall who it was now) he said the usual response when he asks is something along the lines of them being upset that he took this long to make one of them.

          • by osgeek (239988)

            Okay, I looked into it and unfortunately you're mostly right. Emory has an interesting comment on a number of cases. http://www.law.emory.edu/fileadmin/journals/elj/55/2/Rumfelt.pdf [emory.edu] It can get murky, but all too often copyright law is used as the lens to evaluate a case rather than starting with the Constitution.

            My knee-jerk reaction is to always defend speech and freedom. I'll have to think about this some more, but I still don't really like most of the legal precedent. I think it's dangerous to allow

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by spun (1352)

              Copyright is part of the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. Copyright does not infringe on free speech. You can say whatever you like without having to use someone else's art to do so.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pharmboy (216950)

          Where copyright is counter to free political speech, copyright gives way.

          Wrong. You can still make your message without using someone else's work, so it would in no way infringe your first amendment rights. You don't lose your rights to your own work simply because someone else has a political bone to pick.

          You also don't have the right to walk into my house and make a political speech. Your first amendment rights don't "trump" my property rights. You have the right to make your speech in a public place

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > Wrong. You can still make your message without using someone else's work

            A rather specious argument.

            The whole point of using other people's work for the purposes of parody and satire is that they form what is already a shared cultural language.

            In some societies, this sort of "Darmok" discourse is very common.

            This "Darmok" problem is why restrictive and expansive copyright is so dangerous. You expand copyright past it's original sane point and suddenly you have problems making any sorts of references to

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Enderandrew (866215)

          I believe in 100% unfettered free speech.

          That being said, this isn't a matter of free speech. You're suggesting that I should have the right to freely redistribute Avatar if I accompanied it with political speech.

          Any politician has the right to say anything that want about another politician (just in that you should have the right to say anything about me you want), but that doesn't give you the right to breach copyright.

          However, there is a seperate debate here about whether or not copyright was breached. I

          • If this is satire, it could be fair use.

            No, if it is a parody, it could be fair use. As TFA and the summary state if it is ruled a "satire" then it is most likely infringing.

          • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @03:02PM (#32003228) Homepage Journal

            That being said, this isn't a matter of free speech. You're suggesting that I should have the right to freely redistribute Avatar if I accompanied it with political speech.

            Well, no. There's violating copyright while making some kind of political statement, and then there's torturing the very people you're trying to convince. Why would you do that? Why distribute Avatar? There are far more humane ways of communicating your message.

        • by tbannist (230135)

          I'm afraid that there is no such thing as "free political speech". There is just "free speech", or more specifically "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech". If you could prove, in a court of law, that copyright was in fact an abridgement of the freedom of speech, that'd be pretty nifty because then no copyrights could exist for anyone. Everyone would be able to use the excuse that someone was exercising their right to free speech when they pirated whatever material they wanted.

          O

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        It's always funniest when they steal "Born in the USA". The entire song is dripping with contempt for all the hypocrisy the Republicans stand for, and they're oblivious to it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Conchobair (1648793)
          I would go with "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie used by Reagan in the 80s. Guthrie through his life was associated with communist groups and wrote the song as a response to "God Bless America". In many ways the song was a communist anthem.

          I'll alos just note that I have seen certain Repulicans denouce "Born in the USA" as anti-America. I would disagree and question what America they live in.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        I attribute this to the majority of musicians, filmmakers and artists being Democrats. When a Democrat uses a song without paying for it from an artist who is a Democrat, they're not going to complain.

        • by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:26PM (#32002698)

          Uhhh... citation needed? Do Democrats actually use more songs than Republicans without getting permission first?

          Also, allowing someone to use your work for free is a way of contributing to a campaign. Are you saying this is wrong?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          When a Democrat uses a song without paying for it from an artist who is a Democrat, they're not going to complain.

          So then provide an actual example rather than a vague claim with no actual citation.

      • by bkpark (1253468) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:12PM (#32002514) Homepage

        This was the first page that came up: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/77309/a_pattern_of_republicans_stealing_music_from_bands_who_don't_like_them/ [alternet.org]
        Here's another: http://www.theinsider.com/news/1264982_Can_the_Republicans_Stop_Stealing_Everybody_s_Music [theinsider.com]
        And another: http://crooksandliars.com/2008/06/14/mccain-caught-stealing-democratic-music [crooksandliars.com]

        It's pretty amazing how often they do it, and get away with it despite the protests and legal actions of the artists involved. It's the Republican party saying, "We don't have to play by the rules, fuck you!" to artists who disagree with them. Classy.

        It's not quite so clear as far as accusations of "stealing" goes. There is something called compulsive licensing (for example, a radio station playing a music does not have to individually seek permission of the artist; it just has to pay a rate set by law). So, by law, anyone can play the music publicly as long as they pay the license fee set by law, no individualized permission from artists needed (and given the compulsive nature of this licensing, I doubt they can revoke this congress-granted permission; Lessig talks about this as being a case where Congress balanced the rights of copyright holders with public good).

        Especially in the McCain campaign case, you will read about the artists returning the license fee—that's because McCain campaign played the music legally and paid the legally set license fee, as required by law. The artists can refuse the fee as a publicity thing if they want, but that doesn't change the fact that McCain campaign fulfilled all its obligations under the law.

        Of course, why they would want to promote artists whose political views diverge so far from conservative views is baffling to me, but in any case, the only sense in which the campaign "stole music" is in the sense in which McCain campaign didn't seek permission that they didn't have to seek under the current law (but some people, like Weird Al, do seek such permission even if he doesn't have to, so you could argue it as a matter of courtesy—but not as a matter of law, as "stealing" implies).

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by spun (1352)

          Uh, wrong. You don't understand how copyright works. Artists maintain control over their works and can not be forced to distribute licenses. Please, though, cite a source showing how anyone can play anything they like without the artists' consent.

          Weird Al is protected because his works are clearly parody, but even so he does the right thing and seeks permission. Unlike the Republicans you are trying, and failing, to defend.

        • by Moridineas (213502) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:42PM (#32002938) Journal

          Exactly, I think this is what Spun misunderstands. These left-wing bands complaining (eg Heart/Barracuda) when Barracuda was played at Palin rallies is no different from when Sam Moore demanded that Obama stopped using Hold On, I'm Comin. You can't control who plays your song, or who listens to your song.

          If a political campaign (as in the case of this story) uses a song in a paid ad, that's a very different case. One can't just conflate these widely disparate examples and come across with a "REPUBLICANS ARE DIRTTY LYING THEIVESS ZOMG!!" conclusion (as a 10 second google finds examples on both sides of the aisle),

          I personally find this area tricky and troubling ground. There's so much creativity on Youtube and elsewhere that can just be totally SQUASHED by law. As mentioned in the summary, Downfall is a great example, but in general--music videos, remixes, etc... I think it would be a sad world if we lost all of that.

      • by mi (197448)

        pattern_of_republicans_stealing_music_from_bands_who_don't_like_them

        This title seems to support Chuck DeVore've claim, that his "theft" is parody — that the pick was based on the views of the authors. Something like: if this perpetually-high lunatic supports my opponents, you all should support me.

        In either case, I'd say, political speech should be exempt from even the copyright rules. Otherwise we may, eventually, find that it is impossible to quote any of your opponents and their supporters.

        Imag

    • by ensignyu (417022)

      Freedom of speech doesn't protect you from getting sued for copyright infringement, especially since it's a private party (not the government) that's suing.

    • by elnyka (803306) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:46PM (#32002196) Homepage

      I was under the impression that for the most part political speech enjoyed a far higher level of protection than most and this seems to fall very clearly into that category.

      You are confusing freedom of speech (politically motivated and otherwise) with fair use. Imagine for example (and just for shits and giggles) that during the last presidential elections, the Republican party decides to make a satire of Obama at the tunes of, say, one of Michael Jackson's songs (say, "Beat It".) You could alter the roles with the Democratic party making a satire of McCain/Palin (as well as changing the name of the artist and type of art being used) but the essence is the same - a satire and form of political speech using copyrighted material without parodying the copyrighted material herein used.

      It would be legally reasonable that the Jackson's camp would be entitled for monetary fees due to the usage of those songs for purposes other than parodying the song and the artist. The law would recognize the artist' claim (which should not be construed as an attack to freedom of speech.)

      As for the analogy with the removal of the Hitler parody videos, I'm sad to see them go, but the law is clear in that satires are not protected in the same way parodies are (wrt of using copyrighted material). None of this should be construed either as an attack to freedom of speech in the form of satire or parody.

      Unfortunately, the law is (or seems to be) clear on this. I hope that someday (sooner I hope) the law gets amended so that satires done for non-commercial purposes get the same protection wrt copyrighted materials (at least so that we can all enjoy Hitler going at it for lolcatz sake).

      • To reiterate (Score:2, Insightful)

        by elnyka (803306)
        Freedom of speech does not mean a free-for-all usage of anything available to express any point of view. You are free to exercise freedom of speech using the means that are legally available (which are plenty.) Really, not being able to use a copyrighted song to make fun of a political figure does not hamper my liberty of doing so. I haven't seen the satire, but from what I can gather, DeVore is/was in the wrong here unless the artistic work was altered so as to make clear it is a derived art clearly distin
      • by Altus (1034)

        I would put forth non-comercial and non-political (is there a difference really?) uses. I think it is totally inappropriate to use and artists work to support a cause that the artist is opposed to. If the artist is in favor certainly permission would be given, but it seems like it should be well within the rights of an artist to decide who gets to use their work to further a political career.

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        As for the analogy with the removal of the Hitler parody videos, I'm sad to see them go, but the law is clear in that satires are not protected in the same way parodies are (wrt of using copyrighted material). None of this should be construed either as an attack to freedom of speech in the form of satire or parody.

        Unfortunately, the law is (or seems to be) clear on this. I hope that someday (sooner I hope) the law gets amended so that satires done for non-commercial purposes get the same protection wrt copyrighted materials (at least so that we can all enjoy Hitler going at it for lolcatz sake).

        I like the idea of making a Downfall Hitler rant talking about how all his other rants have been disappeared. He would be all pissed about it, and ranting against copyright law protecting parodies, but not satire.

        The funny thing is that it then becomes a parody, and thus actually fair use.

      • Political speech is at the core of the first amendment - it has higher protection than "parody," however defined. The main point of fair use is to make copyright law consistent with free speech, so your argument about their confusion doesn't hold water. And the legal distinction between satire and parody is specious. I realize that's the interpretation made by the courts currently but I think it will be amended when it is considered objectively. The point of protecting parody is to allow free speech, an

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)

      I was under the impression that for the most part political speech enjoyed a far higher level of protection than most and this seems to fall very clearly into that category.

      I don't think there's any legal precedent concerning freedom of political speech versus possible copyright violation, which is what makes this case interesting and important to watch.

      As far as the Downfall bunker scene meme goes, the author is right--almost none of those videos are actual parodies of the movie. They're satire of an entirely different subject, which is not protected as fair use and makes them vulnerable to a takedown notice. I still think the producers are being short-sighted by doing it, ho

  • Hmm. To a dark place this line of thought will carry us. Great care we must take.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:38PM (#32002094)

    Parody but don't *use* the original work. When Weird Al makes a song parody (ignore for the moment that he gets permission and probably shares in royalties) he and his team don't just take the original music and sing over it. It's RE-RECORDED. That's the key. You can get away with the similarities and same song composition but you have to at least lift a finger and do the work yourself. You wanna be lazy, then the consequences are paying someone else, either for use of the work or as damages in a lawsuit later.

    • by Jahava (946858) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:47PM (#32002214)

      Parody but don't *use* the original work. When Weird Al makes a song parody (ignore for the moment that he gets permission and probably shares in royalties) he and his team don't just take the original music and sing over it. It's RE-RECORDED. That's the key. You can get away with the similarities and same song composition but you have to at least lift a finger and do the work yourself. You wanna be lazy, then the consequences are paying someone else, either for use of the work or as damages in a lawsuit later.

      Weird Al actually parodies the song itself, so he could talk over it karaoke-style if he wanted to. He's probably re-recording it because it gives his parody a more professional polish and gives him some musical creative freedom. He really doesn't have to do that in order to be parodying the song. I also heard in an interview with him on NPR that, even then, he still seeks permission from every artist he parodies just to avoid any potential legal conflicts (citation needed).

      As I understand it, however, even if you re-record someone's music, it's still subject to copyright. The first case that comes to mind is the Coldplay vs. Joe Satriani [mtv.com] lawsuit, where Joe alleged that Coldplay stole some of the melody from one of his songs. In this case, even though Coldplay clearly physically played the music, it was still potentially subject to copyright.

      • by dan_sdot (721837) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:02PM (#32002396)
        I remember that Satriani v. Cold Play lawsuit. I'm not lover of Cold Play, but it seemed like a bit of a stretch on Satriani's part.

        The problem here is that Copyright Law if just poorly thought out, ambiguous, and lacking common sense.

        When is one piece of music copying another? When are two pieces of music "different enough" to be considered different pieces of intellectual property? These are actually much more complicated questions than you might think (and this is just talking about music copyright).

        All music crosses lines with other music to a certain extent. Check out these two youtube videos for a quick and witty illustration by a couple musicians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I [youtube.com]
        and
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM [youtube.com]

        PS: Also, it's funny how everyone on Slashdot is all of a sudden on the side of the copyright enforcer.
        • PS: Also, it's funny how everyone on Slashdot is all of a sudden on the side of the copyright enforcer.

          I think there's a fairly clear distinction between music used for personal use and music used for political or commercial gain.

      • by Altus (1034)

        keep in mind, even though he would be protected, Weird Al doesnt want a lawsuit. Recordings are generally owned by record companies and no by the artists themselves. It is likely far easier to get the Artists permission than the recording company.

      • by ProppaT (557551)

        By this definition of parody, " a parody comments on the work itself," how many of "Weird" Al's songs would you actually consider a parody. I don't see many of them commenting directly on the song. In fact, they seem a lot more like the definition of satire (according to this article), "a satire uses the work to comment on something else." He used MacArthur Park to comment on Jurassic Park, I Was In Jeopardy to comment on Jeopardy, etc. In other words, by this definition I can use a Lady Gaga song to ma

        • by Qzukk (229616)

          how many of "Weird" Al's songs would you actually consider a parody

          But gangsters are totally like nerds and the Amish!

      • I also heard in an interview with him on NPR that, even then, he still seeks permission from every artist he parodies just to avoid any potential legal conflicts (citation needed).
        No citation here either, but I think I remember reading that he asks permission not for legal reasons, but simply because he believes it's polite.

      • by greg1104 (461138)

        Al does get permission from the original writers of the songs that he parodies [weirdal.com], even though he doesn't have to. There's your citation. Note that part of this is a pragmatic business move; if he didn't have his paperwork in order, the original artist could sue him to collect the songwriter royalties Weird Al collects from his changed version of each song.

    • by pavon (30274)

      In music the composition, the lyrics and the recording are all covered by copyright. You are required to pay royalties for covers and adaptations regardless of whether you use the actual recording.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      That's the key. That is not the key at all. If you record music someone else has copyrighted, you owe the copyright holder performance royalties. Generally, you cannot get away with "similarities" that exceed 7 consecutive notes. Also, Weird Al doesn't rely on Fair Use law at all -- he always asks the copyright holder for permission first.
  • by srussia (884021) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:51PM (#32002264)
    Does the "derivative work" function as a substitute for the original work? If it serves a different function, it should be considered fair use.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Great! So now my movie entitled Star Wars: The Musical can proceed as planned; it serves a different function, so it obviously should be considered fair use!
      • by srussia (884021)

        Great! So now my movie entitled Star Wars: The Musical can proceed as planned; it serves a different function, so it obviously should be considered fair use!

        Absolutely! Imagine two theaters side-by-side, one showing Star Wars, the movie, and the other showing "Star Wars:The Musical". Do you really think both would attract the same demographic?

    • Does the "derivative work" function as a substitute for the original work? If it serves a different function, it should be considered fair use.

      "Well, the original was a song, meant to entertain and sell records. My rip-off is meant to get people to purchase my t-shirts and coffee mugs, so it's a different function. Fair use!"

      • by srussia (884021)

        Does the "derivative work" function as a substitute for the original work? If it serves a different function, it should be considered fair use.

        "Well, the original was a song, meant to entertain and sell records. My rip-off is meant to get people to purchase my t-shirts and coffee mugs, so it's a different function. Fair use!"

        If you can demonstrate that playing your "rip-off" functions more effectively to get people to purchase your t-shirts and coffee mugs than the original, whereas one would choose to play the original to entertain and sell records, then, by all means it is fair use.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:53PM (#32002290)
    Use of Don Henley's well-known music implies that he supports the DeVore, which he clearly does not. In that sense, it is defamatory to Don Henley. Also, there argument that "It is parody because Henley is a liberal" is absurd, they seem to be arguing that it would be unlawful to rip off a well known conservative's music, but it is perfectly ok to rip off a well-known liberal?!? This is the same race that saw Carly Fiorina's "Demonic Sheep" ads? I think it will go down in history as the pinnacle of Repugnantcan douchebaggery, an affront to intellectual conservatives everywhere.
    • by dan_sdot (721837)

      Use of Don Henley's well-known music implies that he supports the DeVore, which he clearly does not. In that sense, it is defamatory to Don Henley

      What? How on earth does using this tune imply that Henley has anything to do with it? It is clearly meant to be silly. I had difficulty understanding what the heck you were talking about...

      Then I saw you start to drift to talk about ripping off conservative's music (what?) and then onto demon sheep political advertisments (how is that relevant?) and then on

    • by Sethumme (1313479)
      Applying Chuck DeVore's logic, if the song's copyright owner publicly acknowledges his or her support of copyright protection, then as long as I believe in the opposite cause - no copyright protection - I can use and perform the song to my heart's content as a parody.
  • There is no point in concepts like “fair use”, since the base concept that you couldn’t use known information is absurd and physically impossible in the first place. If you know it, you can always and without exception use it. If you don’t you can’t prove it even exists (without revealing it).

    It seems that: In western culture the parody is the LAW. ;))

  • Just tack on a parody of Henley on at the end. Considering his legendary ego and penchant for self-serving aggrandizing, it should be like shooting an overrated fish in a barrel of more talented fish.
  • by spitzak (4019) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:22PM (#32002626) Homepage

    After reading a bit more about this I suprised myself by changing my mind. My first knee-jerk reaction was that the videos were ok because they were parodys/satire.

    But basically if this was allowed, you could use any music for any video you make whatsoever, and claim it is a satire/parody. Maybe you are required to insert at least one insult, about a random subject, into the video, so it is a "satire or parody". This would completely defeat copyright and certainly is not a good idea.

    However that if Boxer had officially used one of these songs in their own videos (after paying for the rights, as required), somebody parodying the Boxer ad can use a parody version of that same song. I believe this was done by conservatives on some Obama attacks. More to the point here, a joke video about Windows using a Rolling Stones "start it up" parody would be allowed, since that was part of the Windows advertisement, but use of a different Rolling Stones song that Microsoft did not use is not allowed.

  • From the article: "DeVore argues that his videos do indeed target Henley, who has long been identified with liberal and Democratic causes, and asserts that the campaign chose to use Henley's songs for precisely that reason."

    That's quite a dangerous stretch counselor. If that were so, it would follow that usage of copyrighted works would depend on how much the holder's political leanings coincide with the person being mocked.
  • Just make everything illegal and be done with it. Stick the whole country in jail. Karaoke: Did you get permission to perform the work publicly? I don't remember ever signing any such contract. Forward a funny email, or one of those "virus" warnings? Sorry, the email is copyrighted material and is not a legal document, so any mention of copying therein does not constitute a contract granting permission to copy. Make a mix tape (oops, CD): jail time. Rip a song onto your MP3 player? Slammertime! Time
  • by Arker (91948) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:32PM (#32008110) Homepage

    No really! [lala.com]

    He's a tortured artist Used to be in the Eagles Now he whines Like a wounded beagle Poet of despair! Pumped up with hot air! He's serious, pretentious And I just don't care

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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