Don Henley Strikes Back

The laughless legions of the left have struck again. Eagles band member Don Henley demanded the removal of my “Hope of November” parody song on YouTube. YouTube took the music video Obama parody down yesterday after it was approaching 1,000 views.

I was inspired to write the lyrics for “Hope of November” using Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” as a starting point after I saw a fading Obama bumper sticker while campaigning in the Bakersfield area.

Liberal warriors are notorious for their thin skins and Don Henley is no exception.

Perhaps I should mine some of Henley’s other songs for satirical gold. “The End of the Innocence” comes to mind. That 1989 song slammed Ronald Reagan, a man I worked for in the Defense Department, in the form of the line, “they’re beating plowshares into swords, for the tired old man that we elected king.” At this line in the song the music video shows several Reagan posters while at the line “armchair warriors lead us into war” a television displays scenes of LtCol Oliver North’s congressional testimony. Or perhaps the overbearing lyrics of “Little Tin God” will do. The line referring to Reagan, “The cowboy’s name was Jingo,” cries out for parodic reengineering.

YouTube rather blandly announced that my First Amendment right to parody was being infringed “…as a result of a third-party notification by Don Henley…” But I wonder if the behind the scenes muzzler was David Geffen. Geffen, who’s so far to the left that Hillary Clinton was too conservative for him, owns the label for the “The Boys of Summer.” Geffen has lawyers, lots of lawyers.

Perhaps Geffen’s lawyers are familiar with Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court case that dealt with “fair use” in parody. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that 2 Live Crew’s parody remake of the late Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” constituted fair use in spite of the fact that the rap group had taken much of Orbison’s material whole cloth and used it for commercial purposes. My own parody using “The Boys of Summer” to lampoon President Obama uses original lyrics and clearly meets the Court’s four factor fair use test: “1) purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is commercially motivated or instead is for nonprofit educational purposes; 2) nature of the copyrighted work; 3) amount and substantiality of the portion used in the newly created work in relation to the copyrighted work; and 4) effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”

Bottom line, we’ll be filing a counter notice today with YouTube today to reinstate our “Hope of November” music video rough cut, then work to make a better cut of the parody song available. If YouTube again bows to Geffen’s lawyers or Henley’s whine, we’ll take it to where we should have posted it at the start: PopModal, “The Conservative Alternative to YouTube.” (The now-banned “Hope of November” music video can still be seen at: http://www.chuck76.com/nov/.)

And, it goes without saying that I’ll now be looking for every opportunity to turn any Don Henley work I can into a parody of any left tilting politician who deserves it, (I keep thinking “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” would make a great transition into a Barbara Boxer parody).

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Big Hollywood, Defense, Supreme Court, Ronald Reagan

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