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Henley v. DeVore
United States District Court for the Central District of California
733 F. Supp. 2d 1144 (2010)
Don Henley (plaintiff) owned registered copyrights to the hit songs “The Boys of Summer” (Summer), which referenced the liberal politics of the 1960s, and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” (Dance), which referenced American foreign policy in Latin America. Charles DeVore (defendant), a California candidate for the United States Senate, used the melody, syntax, rhyme, and most of the lyrics from (1) “Summer” to create “The Hope of November” (November), which disparaged President Barack Obama and his supporters; and (2) “Dance” to create “All She Wants to Do Is Tax” (Tax), criticizing DeVore’s Senate race competitor, Senator Barbara Boxer. DeVore posted videos of “Tax” and “November” on YouTube and included links to his campaign donation page. Henley filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice with YouTube, then filed a copyright-infringement suit seeking summary judgment. DeVore challenged, arguing that “November” and “Tax” constituted fair-use because (1) they parodied Henley’s liberal views and support of President Obama; (2) the songs were not made for commercial use; and (3) there was no impact on the market for Henley’s original songs or derivative works of those original songs.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Selna, J.)
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