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'Weird Al' Yankovic gets permission to 'perform this way' after Lady Gaga dustup

Lady Gaga has a sense of humor after all. 

On Wednesday, we reported that Gaga denied permission for parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic to satirize her anthem, "Born This Way," according to a lengthy post on his blog.

Dubbed "I Perform This Way," the man who turned Michael Jackson's "Beat It" into the gluttonous ode "Eat It" -- among dozens of others -- planned on poking fun at all things Gaga and donating sales from the video and song to the Human Rights Campaign.

But before Weird Al fans got ready to picket the Queen of the Monsters, it turned out her manager was responsible for nixing the song, without sending it to Gaga first. Yankovic didn't actually need Gaga's permission, but he extends the mutually beneficial proposition as a courtesy -- his parodies have always fallen under "fair use"  in matters of copyright law.

Yankovic wrote in an updated post that Gaga's manager apologized -- and that Gaga loves the cover. 

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy


Comments () | Archives (7)

I thought that parody was considered Fair Use. At least it was in Falwell v. Flynt...Why would Weird Al need permission?

Because Weird Al is a class guy....

He doesn't need permission as a matter of law. But why create enemies when you don't need to? Plus, maybe cooperation gets him better access to make a better parody.

Parody IS fair use, but sometimes is subject to opinions about just what exactly qualifies as a satire, etc. By getting permission he avoids law suits claiming unfair competition or copyright infringement claims.

While all parodys fall under Fair Use, Al chooses to ask permission from artists before actually publishing the song: (from the blog yesterday) "...it has always been my personal policy to get the consent of the original artist before including my parodies on any album, so of course I will respect Gaga’s wishes."

He had already jumped through multiple hoops to get her approval, including recording the song, which he's never had to do for any other artist in the past:
"However, given the circumstances, I have no problem with allowing people to hear it online, because I also have a personal policy not to completely waste my stinking time."

The Original post is a good one to read: http://alyankovic.wordpress.com/the-gaga-saga/. I have heaps of respect for both the artists involved.

I would like to hear this straight from Lady Gaga’s manager. Then I can make up my mind as to whether this is true or not.

Personally, I think he’s just taking the hit for Lady Gaga because she wasn’t looking too ‘cool’ in court of popular opinion.

- Mike


@Mike, Gaga has stated multiple times she's open to covers and parodies, she was named as one of the most charitable celebrities of 2010, she's donating $1,000,000 dollars this year already to a charity and she's been on tour for two years now. The chances of her hearing it and disapproving it are slim. The chances of her manager disapproving it, less slim, as Weird Al would of had to go through him to get to Gaga, and I've seen interviews with the manager, he has no interest in Gaga, only the money she makes.


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