Al does get permission from the original writers of the songs that he parodies. While the law supports his ability to parody without permission, he feels it's important to maintain the relationships that he's built with artists and writers over the years. Plus, Al wants to make sure that he gets his songwriter credit (as writer of new lyrics) as well as his rightful share of the royalties.
The problem with the bricklayer argument is that he is doing work for hire. Whoever hired him will rent space in that building for as long as they own it. The same is true with music. If I hire musicians to play my music at a demo studio it is work for hire and I own the rights to it and can make money from royalties for as long as I own it. Those musicians, like the bricklayer, move on to the next job.
I see no reason why sites like pirate bay should not have to pay license fees just like any brick and mortar club where music is played.
As for the apartment, you have an agreement with your landlord to pay a certain amount for the use of it regardless of what you do there (except you might not want to advertise that you are selling liquor without a license) and if the owners of the club are using that music to make money they should have to pay license fees for it (or buy the rights to it) just like they are paying the owner of the brick walls that he paid to have laid (or buy the building) so they would have a place to fill with young bodies.
Oh, and if the movie is bad no one is going to watch it and the royalties for the song will dry up.
Now, that being said, you and anyone including me is allowed to give music we own the rights to for free but no one should be allowed to make that decision for us.
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