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- Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton Dances Cheek-to-Cheek with Convicted Commissioner Bonner.
- Did you hear the one about Steve Urban?
- Joe Paterno 1926-2012
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- Tattooed Man Blames Needle Phobia for Assault on Cop
- Red Sox rally for 4 in 8th to beat Indians 7-4
- Kyle Busch wins Nationwide race at Charlotte
- Jimmie Johnson chasing NASCAR history, not legacy
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- Valencia, Jones homer as Orioles top Blue Jays 6-5
- AJ Foyt back at track with chance to win Indy 500
- France: NASCAR not talking to IndyCar about double
- David Beckham's soccer career officially over
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- They're here
Clean Up Corruption Now
Coal Region Voice
Not Cease From Exploration
Circumlocution for Dummies
A Big Fat Slob
The Lu Lac Political Letter
Scranton Public Policy Examiner
Luzerne County Railroad Blog
"Fightin' and trouble are my middle name..." Did Lou Barletta Spit on the Grave of Tennessee Ernie Ford? (UPDATED 10/30/10)
UPDATE: (10/30/10) We have yet to determine if the Barletta campaign has permission to use "Sixteen Tons" in their radio spots. All roads lead to a music publisher operating under the name "Merle's Girls." The telephone number for the company belongs to Merlene Maggini, daughter of country great (and "Sixteen Tons" scribe) Merle Travis. (Interestingly -- at least according to this website -- Merlene was also once vice president in charge of copyright for Warner-Chappel Music.) Ms. Maggini has not responded to The Valley Scanner's request for an interview. The Barletta campaign has also not responded to our requests to clarify the matter.
As of yesterday (10/29/10) the radio spot is still being broadcast.
ORIGINAL POST: (10/20/10)
A new radio ad from congressional hopeful Lou Barletta features a wacky MAD magazine style swipe of Tennessee Ernie Ford's 1955 hit "Sixteen Tons."
"We gave him twenty-six years...
And what did we get?
Kanjorski got richer
And we're deeper in debt..."
Some folks have been wondering aloud whether the Barletta crew went through proper channels to license the rights to the original composition. If Barletta's media types were intent on keeping things legitimate, they would have ponied up anywhere from $10,000 or more to clear the rights to the song. We're going to go out on a limb here and guess they did not. But we're not sure they had to either -- it's a bit of a gray area. Parody and satire are the bread and butter of "fair use" exemptions in the murky waters of intellectual property disputes. Fair use is why 2-Live Crew can turn a Roy Orbison song into an X-rated rap and not have to cough up a dime. But things get even murkier when you peruse a list of court decisions documenting what is -- and what is not -- considered fair use. Stanford University offers a nice recap of various fair use cases here. Feel free to make your own call. The provenance of "Sixteen Tons" makes things even murkier. Although originally credited to country singer Merle Travis in 1946, the tune may be derived from an earlier folk song without clear attribution.
(Click "Read More" to see Ernie Ford singing the original version...)