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Eminem Won't Allow Weird Al Parody Video

Old 05-10-03, 10:07 PM
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Eminem Won't Allow Weird Al Parody Video

Eminem Bars 'Weird Al' Parody Video

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
The Associated Press
Saturday, May 10, 2003; 7:53 AM


NEW YORK - Eminem may poke fun at himself in videos, but he doesn't want "Weird Al" Yankovic doing it. Eminem won't give Yankovic permission to shoot a video for his new song, "Couch Potato," a parody of Eminem's Oscar-winning tune "Lose Yourself," Yankovic said.

"The only reason I could glean was that making a Weird Al music video would detract from his legacy as a serious hip-hop artist," Yankovic said Thursday. "It's very disappointing. This could have been my best video ever."

Eminem parodies himself and other celebrities in some of his most famous videos, including "Without Me," where he depicts himself as a fat Elvis Presley.

But an Eminem spokesman said "Lose Yourself" was special to the rapper, who didn't want the song's serious tone undermined by Yankovic's humor.

"It's an important personal piece of music for him, a piece of art," spokesman Dennis Dennehy said Friday. "He doesn't mind him doing the song, (but) he didn't want to change kids' visual perception on what that image was. He wanted to make sure the image would remain intact."

Artists who have allowed Yankovic to parody their songs and videos over the years include Michael Jackson - whose hits "Beat It," and "I'm Bad," became "Eat It," and "I'm Fat" - and Madonna, whose "Like a Virgin," which became "Like A Surgeon."

Yankovic said the rapper allowed Yankovic to redo the theme song from the hit movie "8 Mile," but said he would need to hear the final mix before granting the video rights. After receiving the final version of the parody - which pokes fun at television addicts - the rapper's representatives said he would not allow a video.

"We started preproduction on (the video) already, because we just assumed that there wouldn't a problem," Yankovic said.

Yankovic said Eminem also refused to allow him to release the song as a commercial single. It's the first cut on his 11th album, "Poodle Hat," which also parodies songs by Avril Lavigne and rapper Nelly. It's due out May 20 on Way Moby/Volcano Records.

Although Yankovic says he's grateful to Eminem for allowing him to parody his song, he's still lamenting what would have been his "most ambitious" video ever - heady words, coming from a man who dressed up like Jackson in a fat suit for the video "I'm Fat."

"You'll just have to listen to the song and close your eyes and imagine what might have been," chuckled Yankovic.

Man, this bugs me. Eminem gives the illusion of having a sense of humor about him (in his songs), but can't seem to take a joke himself.

Reminds me of the MTV music awards when he got all pissed off when the Triumph the insult Comic Dog tried to talk to him.

Last edited by Abranut; 05-10-03 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-10-03, 10:16 PM
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Well, I applaud Yanko for being respectful of the artists he parodies... I also applaud Eminem for allowing Yanko to do that song. It sounds like Em would allow Yank to do any other song in his library in video parody form, but just not that one. It's okay for an artist to have a personal connection with some of his own work. Everyone has a soft spot that they don't like to be poked.
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Old 05-10-03, 10:18 PM
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Where was Moby to accept Eminem's parody of him when Eminem was filming "Without Me", oh yeah, that's right he wasn't consulted. I wish this piece of news would be placed prominently on MTVNews, but it won't. It just goes to show you that these supposed wild rappers who are putting out on the line and keeping it real, are only concerned about one thing: $$$.

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Old 05-10-03, 10:23 PM
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i heard the parody on the radio while i was driving on the San Diego Freeway North/Hollywood Freeway West/North transition. i thought it was pretty good.
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Old 05-10-03, 10:33 PM
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Ahhhhhhh. Thazzzz so schweeet.
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Old 05-10-03, 10:35 PM
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You missed the best part of the story:



It's a picture of Weird Al as Eminem!!!
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Old 05-10-03, 10:49 PM
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I thought parodies were fair game and didn't require the creator's consent. A lawyer fill meus in on this.
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Old 05-10-03, 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by Deftones
I thought parodies were fair game and didn't require the creator's consent. A lawyer fill meus in on this.
You don't. I think what Weird Al wants to avoid is what happened after he made the song/video "Amish Paradise", which was made without Coolio's permission and which Coolio was never happy about (and was very vocal about his unhappiness).
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Old 05-10-03, 10:58 PM
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weird al rules
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Old 05-11-03, 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by WildcatLH
You don't. I think what Weird Al wants to avoid is what happened after he made the song/video "Amish Paradise", which was made without Coolio's permission and which Coolio was never happy about (and was very vocal about his unhappiness).
That's Coolio's claim that it was made without his permission. Al's stance is still (last I heard) that Coolio gave the OK, then after the song's release, publicly said otherwise. Who knows what it really is.

But in response to Deftones, as WildcatLH said he DOESN'T need permission to do a parody, however Al has never released a parody without the artist's permission. He probably wants to keep a good relationship with as many artists as he can, in case he wants to parody one of their songs in the future. Disappointed he won't be making a video for the song, though, because it would probably be good. In an article I read, he said it was going to be his most ambitious video yet (it was already in preproduction when Eminem said no).

And in response to Brain Stew, the story IS posted in the news section of mtv.com.
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Old 05-11-03, 12:21 AM
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Well sure it is going to be on MTV.com. How many people who watch TRL go onto MTV's website though? I meant on the actual channel.
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Old 05-11-03, 12:58 AM
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"Weird Al" has a policy of consulting with artists for their permission, which is pretty cool. Usually they give it because Al doesn't parody the artists themselves as much as using their tunes to base parody songs around.

Like others have said, it's ironic that Eminem, who has done parodies of his own, is so skittish on this issue.
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Old 05-11-03, 01:09 AM
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Originally posted by gkleinman
You missed the best part of the story:



It's a picture of Weird Al as Eminem!!!
Damn...that's some excellent makeup!
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Old 05-11-03, 06:35 AM
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It is a shame that Em won't allow Yankovic to film the video but I can understand why Em won't do it though.

Em is afraid that Yankovic might hurt his career and image by making a parody video since Em parodies his ownself. If you think about it guys, you can clearly tell how Yankovic parodying an Em video would hurt Em's image in his own parodying videoself.

I agree if the song became a single, it would be a huge hit but Em doesn't want that either. I don't blame the guy, but that proves how nice of a man Em can be, though, by letting Al do the song.

Al can perform the song live in concert whenever he wants to because there is no law when performing covers/parodies without permission. Al had performed un-released parodies on stage before.
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Old 05-11-03, 08:43 AM
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Weird doing a video of Em is no different than any other artist he's done over the past 20 years. I don't care if this video is done, but it's another reason Em comes across as a jerk.
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Old 05-11-03, 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by WildcatLH
You don't. I think what Weird Al wants to avoid is what happened after he made the song/video "Amish Paradise", which was made without Coolio's permission and which Coolio was never happy about (and was very vocal about his unhappiness).
Coolio was right to be pissed, though. The parody is more memorable than the original song. Tried to play Gangster's Paradise a few times and couldn't make it through the song because all I could picture was Weird Al churning butter.
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Old 05-11-03, 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by Rocky_Stallone
Al can perform the song live in concert whenever he wants to because there is no law when performing covers/parodies without permission.
Again, there's no law about needing permission to release parodies, either. Al just gets permission to keep good relationships with the artists.

And Brain Stew, the story WAS also mentioned during the news segment on TRL, according to a post on the Weird al newsgroup.
John Norris
is talking about Al's career and Eat It is on the screen.
he announces that the first single is a parody of Eminem and its
called "Couch Potato" then he plays a few seconds of it over the
Eminem video because apparently Eminem wouldn't let him make a video out of it.
alt.music.weird-al post
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Old 05-11-03, 04:40 PM
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Wow, that surprises me that MTV would say anything remotely negative about Eminem. What's next, saying 50 Cent is not a model citizen?
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Old 05-11-03, 10:22 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out how a weird al video would hurt marshall mathers image as a serious rapper.
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Old 05-12-03, 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by scott27
Again, there's no law about needing permission to release parodies, either. Al just gets permission to keep good relationships with the artists.

alt.music.weird-al post
You sir, are dead wrong. Yes, there is a law that Al have to have permission.

I forgot who the band/artist was, but Weird Al almost got sued for doing a song without their permission.

If Al did a song without their permission, he would get sued because the songs are obviously copywritten by the original artists, that is why he has to get permission by the original artist who wrote the song.

Doing "parodies" is the same law with bands/artists covering songs on an album, if a band/artist were to cover a song, they have to get permission by the original artist no matter what. I mean, Bob Dylan allowed other artists to cover "All Along the Watchtower", Led Zeppelin allowed Stone Temple Pilots to cover "Dancing Days", Axl Rose allowed Sheryl Crow to cover "Sweet Child of Mine", Don McClean allowed Madonna to cover "America Pie", etc. Also, Eminem got Dido's permission to sample "Thank You" and got Steven Tyler's permission to cover an Aerosmith song.

The Verve, almost got sued because they sampled a Rolling Stones song, "Bittersweet Symphony" is the song I'm reffering to.

It is a fact that there is a law when either parody'ing or covering songs, THEY NEED TO GET PERMISSION BY THE ORIGINAL ARTIST WHO WROTE THE SONG, if they don't, the artist who parodying/covering is going to get sued

There is no law when performance any parodies/covers you want because playing cover songs at live shows has always been an every day thing by many bands. Many bands has covered songs on stage live in concert and they don't need to get permission by the original artist with that.

I heard "Weird" Al performed "It's Still Billy Joel to Me", another one of Billy Joels unreleased parodies which is an unreleased track, Al can parody any songs he wants on stage without the artist permission, that is why you hear so many un-released parodies at Weird Al shows.

I hope I cleared this up for you. If you still can't get it yet, do some research.
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Old 05-12-03, 06:41 AM
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And guys, How is that Eminem not letting Weird Al parodying a video is making Em look like a jerk?

This isn't the first time that happened to Al, there had been other times when artists allowed Al to parody a song but not allow him to parody a video.

What Eminem did here was very nice, IMO, you have respect him for it at least letting him do the song.
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Old 05-12-03, 10:23 AM
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It's funny how so many people stick up for Eminem. It is a disease. "he's a nice guy for Letting Al do a song" whatever. What about Eminem's abusing classic songs to make a newer and improved song. uke: See Aerosmith, I'm sure there are more I just don't listen to his music. It is rap rule #1 If you can rip off some old song and make a mil. doing it, make it the first single off the album.

I read the article the other way as someone else mentioned. Any other song was fair game but this one, and that is cool.

As for Coolio, in the Al Behind the Music, he was paid a royalty check for Al using the song. Al's manager(i think) said Coolio had no problem cashing the check the day after it was written. I personally think it was one last attempt for Coolio to outlive his 15 mins of fame by another minute or two.
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Old 05-12-03, 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Rocky_Stallone
Em is afraid that Yankovic might hurt his career and image by making a parody video since Em parodies his ownself. If you think about it guys, you can clearly tell how Yankovic parodying an Em video would hurt Em's image in his own parodying videoself.
Please name for me one artist who's career and image were hurt by Wierd Al.
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Old 05-12-03, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Rocky_Stallone
You sir, are dead wrong. Yes, there is a law that Al have to have permission.

I forgot who the band/artist was, but Weird Al almost got sued for doing a song without their permission.

If Al did a song without their permission, he would get sued because the songs are obviously copywritten by the original artists, that is why he has to get permission by the original artist who wrote the song.

Doing "parodies" is the same law with bands/artists covering songs on an album, if a band/artist were to cover a song, they have to get permission by the original artist no matter what. I mean, Bob Dylan allowed other artists to cover "All Along the Watchtower", Led Zeppelin allowed Stone Temple Pilots to cover "Dancing Days", Axl Rose allowed Sheryl Crow to cover "Sweet Child of Mine", Don McClean allowed Madonna to cover "America Pie", etc. Also, Eminem got Dido's permission to sample "Thank You" and got Steven Tyler's permission to cover an Aerosmith song.

The Verve, almost got sued because they sampled a Rolling Stones song, "Bittersweet Symphony" is the song I'm reffering to.

It is a fact that there is a law when either parody'ing or covering songs, THEY NEED TO GET PERMISSION BY THE ORIGINAL ARTIST WHO WROTE THE SONG, if they don't, the artist who parodying/covering is going to get sued

There is no law when performance any parodies/covers you want because playing cover songs at live shows has always been an every day thing by many bands. Many bands has covered songs on stage live in concert and they don't need to get permission by the original artist with that.

I heard "Weird" Al performed "It's Still Billy Joel to Me", another one of Billy Joels unreleased parodies which is an unreleased track, Al can parody any songs he wants on stage without the artist permission, that is why you hear so many un-released parodies at Weird Al shows.

I hope I cleared this up for you. If you still can't get it yet, do some research.
Parody and Covers are completely different beasts. Parody is a protected right under Fair Use analysis ( http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html ). Covers (ie. derivative works) are not. A band could try to sue Weird Al for a Parody, but I don't think they would be successful under the copyright acts. A band could sue a group issuing a cover, because a cover is merely a derivative work (see http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/106.html ) and does not include parody, criticism or commentary.

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Old 05-12-03, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Rocky_Stallone
You sir, are dead wrong. Yes, there is a law that Al have to have permission.

I hope I cleared this up for you. If you still can't get it yet, do some research.
After doing some research (not because you told me to, BTW), I admit I'm not totally right (neither are you) but I am also not "dead wrong," either, sir (again, neither are you). According to the U.S. Supreme Court, parodies are taken on a case-by-case basis - it's not universally lawful or unlawful to do a parody.
Parody. The law regarding parodies is based upon the "fair use" doctrine under the U.S. Copyright Act. Under this doctrine, certain uses of copyrighted works, which would otherwise be considered infringing, are permissible.

In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., which involved 2 Live Crew's parody of Roy Orbison's famous song, "Pretty Woman." In determining that the song at issue was a parody, the Court emphasized the "transformative nature" of the parody. The Court did not set forth a bright-line rule for determining when a parody will be protected, but stated that each parody must be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Courts consider four factors in determining whether a parody constitutes fair use and thus is not an infringement:

the purpose and character of use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

In addition, courts may consider any other relevant factors not specifically enumerated under the Copyright Act. In general, the following principles have emerged from the law on the doctrine of fair use:

Parodies generally enjoy a high degree of protection under the law. Courts generally view parodies as important means of expression that should be protected.
Parodies for nonprofit purposes are more likely to be deemed fair use than those for commercial purposes. This factor, however, is not determinative.
The more the author of the parody changes the original work in creating the parody, the more likely the parody will be considered fair use.

In summary, the law surrounding parodies is factually based. Accordingly, any use of a copyrighted work claiming to be a parody should be reviewed by legal counsel.

The information contained in this memorandum generally describes California's law on the right of publicity and the fair use doctrine. It is for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice or individual analysis of a particular legal matter. Readers should not act without seeking professional legal counsel. Transmission and receipt of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This memorandum may not be provided to or relied upon by any third party without the prior written permission of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLC. For information call 312.372.1121.
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/parodylaw.aspx

And BTW just because someone sues someone (as according to you, a band almost sued Weird Al for a parody) doesn't mean that the person being accused did something illegal. Have you ever heard of something called a frivolous lawsuit? Or how about this legal phrase "innocent until proven guilty?"
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