March 7, 1994 Supreme Court Decision Says Parody is Fair Use! Celebrate with Dylan and Al Yankovic

By S. Stasov

Let’s celebrate a wise Supreme Court decision made on March 7, 1994. The Court ruled, in a rare unanimous decision, that parodies that poke fun at an original work can be considered “fair use”, and do not require the copyright holder’s permission. Well done, Supreme Court!

Bob Dylan’s early promo clip Subterranean Homesick Blues was one of the very first music videos. Filmed in an alley by D. A. Pennebaker as part of a documentary on Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, the cue cards were written out by Dylan, Donavan, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Neuwirth. Allen Ginsberg can be seen lurking in the background.–2141379

Al Yankovic made a parody film of Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues with palindromes for lyrics.

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