In a message dated 6/13/06 5:27:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
Never really struck me as a valid explanation, this question of "rights".  My understanding of copyright is that anybody can cover anybody else's songs as long as the proper royalties are paid, where applicable.  This was further expanded back in the eighties when 2 Live Crew appropriated "Born In The USA" as a theme for one of their raps, where it was decided that even in a parody one doesn't need to get prior permission to use the composed tune. 
This is true, but think of "Weird Al" Yankovic, for instance.. while he doesn't expressly NEED, in legal terms, permission to record a parody of someone's song, he always contacts the writers and artists who wrote and/or recorded whatever song he plans on doing as a matter of consideration, ettiquette and not wanting to piss anybody off. It also helps prevent a situation where, let's say, an artist would hear one of his parodies and decide that the subject matter of the lyrics was something detrimental to their charachter or public image and decide to sue. He consults with the artists first to avoid things like that. I suspect the case of FZ consulting the members of Led Zeppelin about releasing a cover of "Stairway" may have been the same sort of thing.
 
There were rights issues in Europe with FZ releasing "Bolero" (and perhaps the Stravinsky and Bartok pieces on "Make A Jazz Noise Here", I'm not sure) but I would have to do some research amongst the many FZ-related bookmarked web pages I have to get the details on that.
 
--Milhouse
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