Newprt Spoof Blocked from release
The Parody “Newport State of Mind” has been removed from YouTube after the original 7 writers of ‘Empire State of Mind” refuse to allow the parody to be released.
This is a little surprising. We have precedent for spoof songs – see Al Yankovic’s entire catalogue. We have a Hip -hop song, which lets face it, is a genre based on copying and referencing other songs. And finally, we have the song as a parody (Fair Use under US Law). As it it transforming the original meaning of the song (using juxtaposition to provide a comedy comparison of New York, New York and Newport, Gwent.) which, under US law, could be Fair use.
“While we don’t comment on individual cases, it’s our duty as a publisher to represent the interests of our songwriters. When a song is created based wholly on any of our writers works, those writers need to grant their permission. If that permission isn’t granted, then we ask the service in question to remove the song from their platform.”
The response almost looks like they haven’t fully understood the question. Of the original song, only the melody is being re-used – all the lyrics have been changed (Sound familiar?). So the question is “can we sample your theme music to create a parody of the song to raise money for charity?” to which the answer is a a short statement about how good an agent they are to impose the protectionism of copyright on behalf of their copyright generators. Either that, or they didn’t understand the question – after all, if it was a straight copy that would be allowed, and if it was written and released, it wouldn’t be breaking US law -in fact, with fair use, you supposedly don’t even need to ask.
‘Newport State of Mind’ is not threatening the market for “New York State of Mind”. Neither is is being derogatory of the original work. This activity is a staple of that genre (The original was sampled from ‘Love is a two way street’ by The Moments). The song was to be released for charity. It will be interesting to see which of the 7 writers is blocking the use.