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Property Keyed to French
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
Citation:510 U.S. 569 (1994)
In 1964, Roy Orbison and William Dees wrote a rock ballad called “Oh, Pretty Woman”, and assigned their rights in it to the plaintiff, Acuff. In 1989, the defendant, Campbell, wrote a song entitled “Pretty Woman” as a parody of the original. Campbell informed Acuff that he had written a parody of “Oh, Pretty Woman,” that he would afford all credit for ownership and authorship of the original song to Acuff, and that he was willing to pay a fee for the use he wished to make of it. Campbell enclosed a letter with the copy of the the lyrics for his version, and a recording of the song. Acuff refused permission, but Campbell nonetheless released the song in a collection of songs entitled “As Clean As They Wanna Be.” Almost a year later, after nearly a quarter of a million copies of the record had been sold, Acuff sued.
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