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That’s Why You’re the Judge, and I’m the Law-Talking Guy

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I’m not well-acquainted enough with copyright law to know the exact limits of parody-as-fair-use. It may well be that Chuck DeVore’s “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”-level appropriation of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” is covered, though I think this is complicated by the fact that DeVore’s use is as part of a political campaign, a wrinkle his lawyer never mentions.

But it’s still pretty funny that DeVore’s lawyer decries the curtailment of his client’s exercise of free speech, while whining about Don Henley’s.

Nobody wants to be mocked. And if you’re a rock star, surrounded by sycophants for the better part of 35 years, it must be especially hard to deal with being mocked. It makes sense, then, that Don Henley does not like the parody of his song “Boys of Summer,” penned by Chuck DeVore, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Justin Hart, his advisor. But Henley’s copyright-infringement lawsuit is far bigger than one rock star or his feelings. Henley’s lawsuit undermines the First Amendment right to speak freely.

Don Henley makes no effort to hide his political leanings. In addition to performing at scores of fundraisers, Henley has given about $750,000 to partisan, liberal causes, including $10,000 to Barack Obama and $9,000 to DeVore’s soon-to-be opponent, Barbara Boxer. Henley also exploits his music to advance a liberal, political agenda.

Zah? I’m pretty sure that the original version of the song is much less political than DeVore’s. And what does that have to do with anything, legally?

Whatever, though. Mainly I’m covering this post to point out the hilariousness of DeVore’s own lawyer tacitly admitting that his client sucks balls:

DeVore and Hart’s parody is not for everybody. Hart’s vocal performance may not be for anybody. It may be bad art. But it’s not copyright infringement.

We realize that this thing sucks so bad that we couldn’t even get the various nacho-cheese-stained basement dwellers who populate the Big Hollywood comment threads to care, but look! An evil liberal! In a minor legal dispute with a completely unviable conservative Senatorial candidate! To arms!


Written by dieblucasdie

May 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm

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