Is it legally ok if make a music parody onYouTube where I'll earn revenue & use my own humorous lyrics but the same music beats?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

Is it legally okay for me to use the exact same musical beats from the original song for a music parody on a website such as YouTube where I'll be earning revenue? The lyrics will be humorous thereby making the lyrics my own and different from the original artist's and record label's song.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Daniel Nathan Ballard

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . It is sometimes lawful under the copyright "fair use" doctrine to use another's melody and musical score to make a parody of the original song. A parody is the “use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works.” Note that the new work, to be a parody, must be a comment on the original work or original artist -- NOT just a funny commentary on anything [though that funny commentary may be a "satire," a satire very often does not qualify as a fair use].

    There is no way for anyone to pass judgment on whether your song is a lawful, parody or an unlawful infringement without hearing your song and the underlying song. And even then there is no one answer to whether the fair use doctrine would apply and, even more, no way for you to be conclusively protected by the fair use defense without first being sued and having to pay an attorney to defend that lawsuit. Weird Al Yankovich ALWAYS acquires a license to make and sell his parody songs. That should tell you that not doing so is a really bad idea.

    The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and... more
  2. Sreenivasarao Vepachedu

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It depends on many factors, including fair use doctrine. You need an attorney's assistance.

    Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
    • reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
    • prepare derivative works based upon the work
    • distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
    • perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works
    • display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
    • perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings*) by means of a digital audio transmission

    This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an... more
  3. Andrew Endicott Schrafel

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Get a license from the original artist or get sued.

    Whether or not they will win the suit is unknown, but any profit you made from the song will vanish instantly in court fees.

  4. Bruce E. Burdick

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Q:"Is it legally okay for me to use the exact same musical beats from the original song for a music parody on a website such as YouTube where I'll be earning revenue?"
    A: Yes, however I doubt what you have in mind is legally a parody but rather a comedic rendition that may be satirical rather than parody. To be safe you should obtain permission and a license.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is... more

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