Court to base ruling on Crew’s parody

A disagreement over rap group 2 Live Crew’s parody of the Roy Orbison hit “Oh, Pretty Woman” will be used by the Supreme Court to resolve an important copyright law dispute.

The court said yesterday it will decide whether copyright owners may bar others from borrowing a song’s words and music for a mocking sendup.

The rap group said its parody was a fair use of Orbison’s 1964 song and did not require permission from the copyright owner.

The group said its parody is part of an American tradition of creating sendups of popular songs of the day. “Yankee Doodle” and “The Star Spangled Banner” started as political parodies of English songs, the 2 Live Crew appeal said.

The controversial 2 Live Crew has previously tangled with prosecutors over allegations of obscenity. The case accepted for review yesterday does not involve obscenity, but a song parody that simply displeases the owners of the copyright on the original.

The parody uses much of the Orbison song’s music and the first line of lyrics: “Pretty woman, walking down the street.” Then it deviates to “big hairy woman,””baldheaded woman” and “two-timin’ woman,” ending with “now I know the baby ain’t mine.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety

Loading