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  1. #1
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    In the Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody video there were parodies of other famous videos by artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Billy Idol, Michael Jackson etc. Did Dave have to get permission to do these parodies or is stuff like that fair game? They were pretty blatant and I'm wondering if artists or the directors have ownership rights to the videos, and therefore Dave would have needed permission to use them.

  2. #2
    Unchained Olen's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 06:25 PM
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    *Glenn is shaking his head slowly, thinking "Not OLEN, again..."*

    Glenn: This is a similar issue that was raised in a Trademarks case I studied this past semester involving Woody Allen and a video rental chain.

    In that case, a Woody Allen impersonator was used in a poster ad, with the ad stating that you "don't have to be a star to get star-like treatment".

    To cut through the legal analysis used (namely, the 'likelihood of confusion' standard common in Trademark cases), the court in this case stated that the Allen impersonator was used to cause confusion and mislead the public, so an injunction was issued (no actual money damages).

    The court went on to say, however, that the impersonator could continue to sell his 'services' as an impersonator as long as the context in which the impersonation used is clear that it is a look-alike and not an endorsement by the celebrity for the product. Making it 'clear' can be accomplished through clearly labeled disclaimers.

    As for Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, et al, coming after Roth for the Gigolo video, chances are that any successful claim brought by these individuals would be trumped by Roth's defense of 'parody', which is afforded mucho protection by Trademark Law, namely through the 1st Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression.

    Few, if any, reasonable people would watch that video, and understanding the contextual antics of the 'impersonators', and imply that those individual artists are 'endorsing' Roth's product.

    EVEN IF a jury would find these antics as an 'endorsement', Roth could assert that these artists were being parodied, which is an exaggeration of a work of 1st instance. The impersonator's 'antics' are not likely to confuse the public into believe that the 'real' artists are endorsing the product.

    As you can see, there is overlap between 'likelihood of confusion' and 'parody' in this situation.

    So, in sum: Idol, Jackson, et al could try, but would likely lose a suit for 'impersonation' and trying to protect their 'appearance'. And Roth did not need to get their permission to parody (b/c if permission were required for parody, then shows like SNL would never exist financially).

    Hope this helps.

    ------------------
    Its a prehistoric fish...Coelacanth.

    [This message has been edited by Olen (edited May 24, 2000 at 01:34 PM).]

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Olen is right. It falls under parody, which is fair use.

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  4. #4
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Okay, I remember VH saying that the reason they let Pepsi use Right Now was because if they didn't, Pepsi was going to just get studio musicians to record their own version of it. Is this the same parody rule? Was it Pepsi's intention to re-record Right Now and then claim it was just a parody, and therefore side step any legal claim Van Halen would have had?

  5. #5
    Unchained Olen's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 06:25 PM
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    Glenn: the "Pepsi" thing is a different field of Intellectual Property, namely Copyrights.

    See, copyrights protect the actual performance of a song, whether it is manifested in an audio or video recording. That is why 'bootlegging' is illegal, b/c it is the unauthorized recording of a performance by an artist.

    However, there is something called the 'expression-idea dichotomy' in Copyright Law. An artist can copyright the 'expression' of an idea, BUT NOT the idea itself. That's why someone can copyright the I-IV-V chord progression that is predominately used in popular music. That is an idea, a concept.

    It really pissed me off when VH was labeled as 'sell-outs' when the Pepsi, and then the Mazda (?) commercials were occurring, b/c VH had little choice.

    VH was going to get paid either way, either a royalty for the use of a copyrighted song performed by other artists, or the actual RECORDING of a copyrighted song. Either way that get paid. The reason VH authorized the use of those songs, mainly, was because they would rather hear THEIR OWN VERSION of the song, and not some Musak-bastardization of their songs.

    The 'expression-idea dichotomy' allows bar bands to cover every top 40 song imaginable w/o fear of being sued for infringement of a copyright. Now, you go using an actual recording...THEN YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS, LOL!!

    Hope I'm not boring the hell out of you guys!



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  6. #6
    Good Enough z28girl's Avatar
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    10.12.15 @ 05:43 PM
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    Hey Olen, can you negotiate some advanced tickets for us? You have a way with words, man! And really know your shit.

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  7. #7
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Geez Olen, if you don't want to answer the question, just say so.

    Seriously that's good information, thanks.

  8. #8
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    It is parody and public domain in a sense. people always ask me if Celebrity Deathmatch can be sued by the actual celebrities for annihilating them in the ring?

    Legally, we run a disclaimer to erase any coincidences or incidents but most importantly, this parody is the same thing that allows SNL to spoof on celebrities as well. Public Domain states that because these people are financially supported by the consuming public, they are open to public parody and satire just as much as promotion and marketing exposure by their face and name.

    I think the only time you run in to legal problems with celebrities, is when Libel and Slander are committed that emotionally or financially hurt that person's reputation, especially if it is false or based on no facts. ( i.e. Tabloids)

    Dave's video was a parody because there was nothing that was assasinating character. Billy Idol was thrown in to the electric generator that appeared in his video, Willie Nelson was just strumming his guitar in front of a horse, Michael Jackson was just dancing, and Boy George, who is openly homosexual, was tearing at Dave's clothes. I'm sure even Boy George found this humorous.

 

 

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