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I made a song for a friend recently by replacing "Stacy" with my friends name in the song "Stacy's Mom". Is that legal? I know I'm not allowed to sell that song, but can I give it out for free?..

Comments (15)

What do you mean by "made a song"? Did you recompose the original or did you just rename the file?..

Comment #1

I used the original song but replaced one word...

Comment #2

I think you have to change more than a single word before you can call it your own work and give it out for free. Overall do I guess that you will violate the copyright of the song if you publish your "own" version...

Comment #3

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

I can't quote specific codes of law, but am well aware that would be illegal in the US (I'm assuming that's where you're from...albiet, most nations have simular laws or atleast half-way respect copyright laws of other nations, if the artist or their publisher is from there). Performing the song, for non-profit and to a small and private audience (ie: you record song, just to give one copy to her only OR singing it at a private - note word "private" - birthday party) is not a violation. But, any means by which you yourself (or your carelessness, within reason, allows to happen) spread the song out to where it may become public by any means is a violation of the original artist or their publisher's rights. I wasn't about to spend forever looking up code (you can do that yourself ), so you can use the link below to find more specific federal law pertaining to the situation. Just do a search on "music", "copyright", "recordings", or other words and combinations that may fit.

Cornell Law School: US Federal Code Search..

Comment #4

Well if you replace it it's called a parody... but then again it depends how much you are replacing. For instance if you use just the beat or just the music and record over that, it should be okay. I am not a lawyer however, this is just what I know because there are many many remixes of a song and they just use the beat but different lyrics...

Comment #5

Actually, parodies are granted permission by the copytight holder. Wierd Al must get permission to do the songs he does. As far as copyright. I beleive you can perform music on a small scale (bar cover bands et al), and you can do your own artistic changes. But to chagne and record the words wuld be violation of copyright. If kepted between you and friends, they wouldn;t bother you.

Perfect example of using someone elses music. Huey Lewis sued and won against Ray Parker Jr in a copyright case. It was claimed and supported that "Ghostbusters" bass riff was the same as "I want a new drug". Huey prevailed and recieve a substantial sum of money from it. At that was only for a bass line.....

Comment #6

I am pretty sure that's NOT true. Weird Al doesn't get permission for his songs because in the music industry ANYONE can pay for rights and use the songs. This is how companies like K-TEL make compilations CDs and such. There already is in place a system for music to be paid for. You may not need permission but you still need to pay the correct people. Seek a music lawyer for this...

Comment #7

It depends on your age, her mom's age, and the laws of your state...

Comment #8

I'm 15. Her moms age? Who's moms age.

Would it be allowed if I take a song, say "Stacy's Mom". I replace all existances of "Stacy" and place in, with my voice, "Jenny". The rest of the song is the actual song.

Would I be able to distribute this song for free amungst the public?.

I don't think that that is considered a parody because Weird Al sings the whole song...

Comment #9

If you plan to publish the song to the general public like on a website will it be illegal in almost any country...

Comment #10

Ah Labrocca... assuming again..... You ever think someone may know something you don't???.

Research Wierd Al and Coolio with "Gangsta Paradise". Yes you need permission to use other peoples music........ But that permission can come with a price... got it?..

Comment #11

Parody, like most exceptions, is an extremely narrow exception.

Replacing one word in a song is not a parody - i.e. it is not a satirical or humorous commentary on the original. Here, we are talking about making a derivative work, not a parody. Making derivative works is one of the rights, along with making copies, that is protected by copyright. So, whatever you want to do with this song in terms of making copies or distributing it, you might just as well ask yourself, "can I do that with the original recording?", because the answer is going to be the same...

Comment #12

You would need to change more than a single word to say that it's yours. Anyways, I know theres many people that already did that before...

Comment #13

Umm, not exactly true.... I know someone who robbed a convenient store, so I guess that is legal then.. right?.

This is bordering on fine line here, there are paradies (and how they are used), then there are copyright infringements...

Comment #14

If you use ANY part of the music or lyrics that is recongizable as similar to or matching the original, AND make it available publicly (free or for money), you are probably violating the copyrights.

If you just make it and give it to a relative, you probably don't have anything to worry about unless the gift receiver doesn't like you. Put it on a public website or play it in public, and you put yourself at risk. As with anything, violation doesn't necessarily mean you'll be sued. The copyright owner might not find out, they may not see it as worth the cost based on the violation, or they may just not care based on you use. However, it's their choice, not yours...

Comment #15

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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