Talk about your “Dirty Laundry”…
A California judge ruled yesterday that Chuck DeVore, a Republican candidate for California Senate, unlawfully adapted two Don Henley songs for use in campaign ads.
Henley, who founded and fronted the popular 70s band The Eagles before launching a successful solo career, sued DeVore for parodying his solo hits for campaign ads, citing copyright infringement.
DeVore first released “The Boys of Summer” knock-off “Hope of November” in April 2009, which was pulled from YouTube after Henley complained. DeVore then shot back with a parody of “All She Wants to Do is Dance” called “All She Wants to Do is Tax.”
Judge James Selna ruled yesterday that DeVore’s versions were “satire” and not “parody,” which would have been allowable. He wrote that DeVore’s “Hope Of November” doesn’t “comment on or criticize the content of ‘Boys of Summer.’ Rather, ‘November’ uses those themes and devices to mock a separate subject entirely, namely Obama and his supporters.”
Henley’s lawsuit marks the first time a musician has won in court over a parody, and follows another musical lawsuit by David Byrne of Talking Heads, who sued Charlie Crist for use of “Road To Nowhere” in a campaign video.
Here’s the original “Boys of Summer” video:
And here’s “All She Wants to Do is Dance”: