Sony Goes After a Podcast for Making a Halo Parody Song

A couple of weeks ago, Drew Koehler, host of Hardcore Christian Gamer podcast, got a karaoke track of Neil Diamond's "Hello Again" and made a parody called "Halo Again". A listener of the podcast made a video using Halo footage, and the parody song and put it up on YouTube. Another listener sent an e-mail through a website to "Neil Diamond". A representative of Neil Diamond (or the artist himself which isn't confirmed yet) got that e-mail and did not appreciate the parody of the song. The information was given to Sony and the story unfolded from here:

"Sony just sent a Cease and Desist order to the Hardcore Christian Gamers Association for doing a parody of a song by Neil Diamond called 'Halo Again'.
The song did not use Neils Lyrics nor did it use his actual music yet the Cease and Desist order was posted and we were told to take down the video on YouTube as well."

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ktchong4038d ago (Edited 4038d ago )

Because "parody" happens to be one of the few key areas that are exempted from copyright laws. Parody, like a criticism and review using a copyright material, is protected under the "Fair Use" doctrine. You can legally take a copyrighted material and make a parody out of it.

This kind of case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court before. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. (1994), in which the United States Supreme Court reached the unequivocal conclusion that a parody falls within the scope of the fair-use defense.

If Sony wants to play tough, Sony will just end up losing in court for this one.

ktchong4038d ago (Edited 4038d ago )

Stanford University online library: What Is Fair Use?

MIT legal brief - Court Rules Parody Can Be Exempt From Copyright Law:

Parody: Fair Use or Copyright Infringement:

marinelife94038d ago

They don't have to go to court. Oftentimes just the threat of the letter is enough to deter further abuse. Why would someone risk paying legal fees when all they have to do is pull the offensive material.

DeFFeR4037d ago

Because of free speech.

Offensive? It's the Christian Gamers, and Neil Diamond. It doesn't get LESS offensive than that.

TheUltimatePS3Fanboy4038d ago

The title is hilarious! But nice find.

ironwolf4038d ago

Sony doesn't have a leg to stand on here. If you want examples of the sort of things that can be done in the way of a parody, just fire up a Weird Al or a Paul Shanklin CD.

People have tried to stop parodies of music and video for decades, and they have all, every one, lost in court.

Guitarded4038d ago

had to pay royalties to whatever rapper he parodied with his song "Amish paradise" from the song "Gangsters paradise".(Don't like rap. Especialy when they sample...steal other peoples music. Wish that was considered copyright infringement.)

WilliamRLBaker4037d ago

Weird al did not have to pay royalties to coolio, And weird al didn't have to ask permission either, What it came down to is the fact that lines got crossed in weird als group and they said they'd asked permission to use the song *as a courtesey* and they went ahead and did the song, but in reality no one asked coolio and coolio would have said no cause he thought the song was too serious to have a parody *even though he wrote it for a movie*

no royalties we're paid.

the_round_peg4038d ago

Sony must know they will lose on this one but they still go after it... Sony must be seriously ticked off by Halo to make such a stupid move.

fopums4038d ago

sounds like neil diamond was the one who was really pissed, he just sicked SONY on them...

and yeah its a parody anyway so.....whats the point?

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