Weird Al Denied Permission To Parody Lady Gaga… Releases New Song For Free Anyway [Updated]
from the fair-use-doesn't-need-permission dept
Updated this story to make it clear that it was Lady Gaga’s manager who apparently failed to forward the song to Lady Gaga for permission.
A few weeks ago, in discussing the takedown on Dan Bull’s “Death of ACTA” song, some of the discussion in the comments turned to parody in music and whether or not Weird Al has to get permission for his parody songs. What was noted is that he does ask for permission, but almost certainly doesn’t need it. He appears to have now put that to the test somewhat. A bunch of folks are submitting the news that Lady Gaga’s manager snubbed a permission request from Weird Al, but since she had asked to first hear the song before giving her permission, he already had it done and released the song anyway… for free, on the basis that he was protected by fair use. As a side note, the report (from his agent) notes that this is only the second time he’s been refused, with the other time being (you guessed it) from Prince:
Justin wrote to me last night: “You’re going to love this. Lady Gaga denied Weird Al the right to release his parody of BORN THIS WAY, only the second time in his career that he’s been denied [ed: the other refusal came from Prince]. But he recorded the track at her request as a part of the approval process… the first time any artists has made that request. She summarily passed without comment. So instead of selling a couple hundred thousand or a million copies… he gave PERFORM THIS WAY away for free to his 2 million followers on Twitter.”
Of course, it’s nice to see him stand up for his fair use rights. The post script to the story is that after this got so much attention, Lady Gaga’s manager finally caved and got Lady Gaga to grant permission. But it’s really unfortunate that we still live in “permission culture” where people feel the need to ask permission to create culture.