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Is This CBS Radio Commercial Legal?

A Loyal Reader sent me this radio commercial and asked:

“Is this spot legal? Does it somehow qualify as a song parody?”

Does This Qualify as a “Song Parody?”

No, it’s not a song parody.

“Song parody” doesn’t mean simply “changing some of the lyrics.”

To qualify as a parody, the new work must represent commentary on the original work and/or on the artist who created the work.

Is This Radio Spot Legal?

If someone got permission from the copyright holder to use and to rewrite the Who’s song, “Who Are You?” for this campaign, then it’s legal.

Because this is a CBS-owned radio station in Los Angeles, I’d be very surprised if their legal team didn’t make sure they followed the rules regarding the use of copyrighted music in a radio advertising campaign.

When victims of copyright infringement take legal action against infringers, they go after everyone who was involved…especially the ones with “deep pockets.”

Here’s my e-book about what’s legal (and what’s not) when using music in radio commercials.

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  • Matt Forrest August 10, 2015, 10:20 am

    Personally, I think someone should take action against whoever threw that tag in at the end – it completely undoes the mood of the promo!


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