James Earl Jones Reciting Justin Bieber Lyrics On TV... Copyright Infringement Or Not?

from the did-you-license-that-song? dept

Julian Sanchez points us to an amusing bit of TV where the great actor James Earl Jones recites some Justin Bieber lyrics while a guest on the Gayle King Show.
So here's a simple question: is this copyright infringement? Did the Gayle King Show properly license the lyrics from the copyright holder? Perhaps it did, but we've seen music publishers get pretty worked up about various websites posting lyrics online and have heard stories about books not being able to be published because they quoted snippets of lyrics without a license. In fact, given how litigious publishers have been of late, you'd have to think that King's show almost certainly had to go out and "license" the lyrics for this little snippet. Of course, none of this makes any sense. It's silly to think that you should have to buy a license just to have James Earl Jones amusingly read lyrics from Justin Bieber... but, it is the state of today's copyright law.

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  1. icon
    Miff (profile), 21 Feb 2011 @ 8:18pm

    Well, I'm never buying another Justin Bieber CD or MP3 again, now that I can get James Earl Jones reading the lyrics without melody for free because it's pretty much the same thing as the original artist's performances.

    (Before someone says it, I wouldn't buy Bieber's music anyway because I don't think he sounds any good.)

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