"Weird" Al Yankovic wanted to do a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," so he did what he usually does: he contacted the artist and asked permission. Lady Gaga said she'd have to hear the lyrics, so Weird Al wrote the lyrics and sent them to her. Gaga then said she's have to actually hear the song, so Weird Al went into the studio and recorded it - at which point Gaga refused to give her permission. Weird Al responded by doing something he's never done in his entire career: he's asserted his fair use rights and made an unapproved parody available to the public.
Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
Mashup artist Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is another artist to try the 'pay whatever you want' Internet release model. However, his 55-minute album consists of over 300 samples from other artists, with many current and past hits. No stranger to current controversies in copyright, Gillis also appeared in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy. Previously. [more inside]
Napster Says RIAA Trying to Stifle Technology. Aw yeah, it's nice to see Napster get on the offensive. Armed with data showing that CD sales have increased with the rise in mp3 trading, Napster is now alleging that record companies are against the software because it reduces their 100% control of the music distribution business. But will a court allow Napster to go on while their users walk the fair-use tightrope?