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Rick Weiland is running for US Senate in South Dakota. According to CNN , he's known for being a country singin' minivan drivin' man of the people who wants to run those big business fat cats out of town. This spot is a parody of Bob Dylan's "Big Wheel." And I'm sure he totes asked permission from Mr. Zimmerman to use the song, right?
The intention is to resonate with the millennials. I guess in much the same way Saturday Night Live music parody does. Except, you know, this is heavy-handed political grandstanding instead of something that's actually funny. And also, this is a commercial, not a comedy sketch.
Nothing says you're against fat cats like making an expensively produced video funded by the Mayday PAC-- a deep pocketed , well-funded Super PAC created by none other than Mr. Free Culture-- Larry Lessig. I guess that makes my "did they get permission from Bob Dylan to parody this song for a political ad," question a moot one. Fun Fact: Mayday pledged one million dollars of the eight million it has raised for Weiland alone. If that isn't getting money out of politics I don't know what is.
By the way. in 2010, Senatorial candidate Chuck DeVore tried a similar thing, using The Eagles' "Boys of Summer" and "All she wants to do is dance," and rewriting the words. He didn't seek permission to use the songs though. The Eagles sued. DeVore doubled down on "fair use," and ended up losing, settling out of court, and apologizing for his actions.
Is it just me or does anyone else smell a Goldieblox here? If indeed no permission was sought, can we expect a Permissionless Innovation speech? If that is the case, can I go ahead and vomit now?
Paid for by the Super PAC Mayday
Client: Rock Weiland.