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Henley Beats Pol In Legal Showdown

Politicians that use songs without permission got a message from a California court Tuesday (6/1) when a judged presented a 32 page decision against a California senate candidate that made sound-alike parodies using two Don Henley songs.  Hope Of November applied lyrics slamming Barack Obama and So Cal liberals to the melody of Boys Of Summer.  After Henley contacted candidate Chuck DeVore campaign officials to request that the parody be removed from the web site a send-up twisting All She Wants To Do Is Dance into All She Wants To Do Is Tax was posted.  That got Henley fired up enough to sue the candidate for unauthorized use of the songs.  The politician countered with the claim that parodies are are sheltered against copyright infringement claims by freedom of speech guarantees.  That may be true in the case of a parody that makes fun of the original song - but not when the song is usurped to make fun of another subject, according to the judge hearing the case.  Among other cases, the ruling cited a decision against Frito-Lay for using a Tom Waits sound-alike in a commercial some years back. The snack food food company was slapped with a penalty that could keep Waits in chips and salsa for several lifetimes.


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