Weird Al Yankovic?

xizorkatarnxizorkatarn Rising Star
edited March 2011 in The Rock Band Network
In the Ultimate Setlist forum, there's a thread that's talking about how Weird Al Yankovic WANTS to be in a music game, and says he just has never been approached by any of the companies. This got me thinking... isn't Rock Band Network perfect for bringing those who want to be included into the game?

Now, I'll admit, I have no idea how to go about charting music or even contacting bands for rights. Does anyone else think it's worth approaching Weird Al about Rock Band Network? Can anyone try it? What do you guys think?

Comments

  • ZorrkiZorrki Unsigned
    edited March 2011
    I think this idea has been tossed around a few times actually. His parodies would be licencing hell I'd imagine, but I'd actually prefer some of his original songs. Although the 10 min time limit would mean no Albuquerque.
  • xizorkatarnxizorkatarn Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    That's unfortunate, that's the song by him I want the most. He still has tons of great stuff though, and who knows? Maybe getting him on RBN would convince HMX to approach him for the regular store as well.

    I brought up the parody rights issue in the thread on the other forum, and I got a lot of responses saying that part of the rights deal he negotiated in the first place would give him full control over even his parody songs, allowing him to use them in concert and put them on "Greatest Hits" collections. It sounds to me that parodies would be plausible.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited March 2011
    xizorkatarn;4321970 said:
    I brought up the parody rights issue in the thread on the other forum, and I got a lot of responses saying that part of the rights deal he negotiated in the first place would give him full control over even his parody songs, allowing him to use them in concert and put them on "Greatest Hits" collections. It sounds to me that parodies would be plausible.

    It's further complicated by Harmonix's "no covers" policy for the RBN. Not sure if a parody fits their definition of "cover," but I imagine it would.
  • jeccanekojeccaneko Headliner
    edited March 2011
    Yes, I'm pretty sure HMX has said that his parody songs would count as a cover and thus not be allowed. His original songs could be released though.
  • xizorkatarnxizorkatarn Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    That's so weird, I had no idea that rule existed. Well, thankfully he has plenty of originals worth releasing, such as Dare to Be Stupid, Everything You Know Is Wrong, Genius in France, I Remember Larry, Your Horoscope for Today, UHF, and more.
  • ctynerctyner Unsigned
    edited March 2011
    I know it's been explained as a moot point already, but...
    I brought up the parody rights issue in the thread on the other forum, and I got a lot of responses saying that part of the rights deal he negotiated in the first place would give him full control over even his parody songs, allowing him to use them in concert and put them on "Greatest Hits" collections. It sounds to me that parodies would be plausible.
    Right, but concerts and audio collections are one thing. Dropping 'em in a video game (or anything displaying on a television or movie theater screen) gets into "sync rights", and that's a whole other (and much messier) set of negotiations.

    I'd love to see some of Al's originals pop up on RBN. With a new album coming out later this year, maybe we'll see that happen (or maybe even some of his parodies wind up as Harmonix-released DLC?).
  • WolfsbaneWolfsbane Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    OMG UHF would be so much fun!
  • PlatStratPlatStrat Unsigned
    edited March 2011
    I made a thread about trying to get HMX's attention about his popularity here
    If you support this post a comment on the thread.
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited March 2011
    I think Albuquerque could be edited down to under 10 minutes without hurting the song too much
  • GreatJedi7GreatJedi7 Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    LuigiHann;4322292 said:
    I think Albuquerque could be edited down to under 10 minutes without hurting the song too much

    Speed it up.
  • PlatStratPlatStrat Unsigned
    edited March 2011
    luigihann;4322292 said:
    i think albuquerque could be edited down to under 10 minutes without hurting the song too much
    blasphemy!
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited March 2011
    I've actually looked for contact info for Al to no avail. Other than his twitter that is.
  • SirDavidTLynchSirDavidTLynch Headliner
    edited March 2011
    Before anything else you'd have to go to Sony, and major labels haven't had the best history with the Rock Band Network.
  • AshtrayHeartAshtrayHeart Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    GreatJedi7;4322335 said:
    Speed it up.

    Oh God, that would be torture.
  • xizorkatarnxizorkatarn Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    ThatAuthoringGroup;4322369 said:
    I've actually looked for contact info for Al to no avail. Other than his twitter that is.

    Have you tried his Twitter? I've gotten through to celebrities in the past that way. You just gotta catch them at the right time. His website's forums might have an effect too.
  • leob5622leob5622 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    ctyner;4322065 said:
    I know it's been explained as a moot point already, but...



    Right, but concerts and audio collections are one thing. Dropping 'em in a video game (or anything displaying on a television or movie theater screen) gets into "sync rights", and that's a whole other (and much messier) set of negotiations.

    I'd love to see some of Al's originals pop up on RBN. With a new album coming out later this year, maybe we'll see that happen (or maybe even some of his parodies wind up as Harmonix-released DLC?).

    He has music video collections avail on dvd/vhs. I'd suppose he can get some leeway. Even then, doesn't he give some royalties to the artists (or their families)? I don't think they'd argue too much about cash coming their way.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited March 2011
    leob5622;4324430 said:
    He has music video collections avail on dvd/vhs. I'd suppose he can get some leeway. Even then, doesn't he give some royalties to the artists (or their families)? I don't think they'd argue too much about cash coming their way.
    If cash were ever the only issue, we'd have Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd DLC available for RB3.

    And yes, Weird Al has released DVD compilations, but you can bet he had plenty of legal paperwork to do to ensure those video compilations were all legit. In fact, it's funny you bring that up, because Yankovic has had trouble in the past getting permission to feature the opening credits of Spy Hard in his video offerings. At one point they told him he could do as long as he stripped out all of the actual credits, including the one of his own name!

    Music licensing is such a quagmire even without taking "artist intent" into account, that it's nothing short of a miracle that we have what we do. Throw in how artists can get extra persnickety about how their stuff is used, and the tangled mess gets even messier (ever wonder why Yankovic had to include the original title in the name of his "Money for Nothing" parody?).
  • deathmonkeydeathmonkey Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    FujiSkunk;4321992 said:
    It's further complicated by Harmonix's "no covers" policy for the RBN. Not sure if a parody fits their definition of "cover," but I imagine it would.
    jeccaneko;4321999 said:
    Yes, I'm pretty sure HMX has said that his parody songs would count as a cover and thus not be allowed. His original songs could be released though.
    xizorkatarn;4322006 said:
    That's so weird, I had no idea that rule existed. Well, thankfully he has plenty of originals worth releasing, such as Dare to Be Stupid, Everything You Know Is Wrong, Genius in France, I Remember Larry, Your Horoscope for Today, UHF, and more.

    But if Harmonix can break their own rule and release the Eric Cartman version of Poker Face they can break it again for a Weird Al parody...
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited March 2011
    deathmonkey;4324854 said:
    But if Harmonix can break their own rule and release the Eric Cartman version of Poker Face they can break it again for a Weird Al parody...
    We're talking about the possibility of Yankovic releasing tracks through the RBN. "Poker Face" was official DLC, as are all the other covers in Rock Band.
  • phroxenphyrephroxenphyre Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    I'm pretty sure the No Covers rule exists solely to prevent garage bands from just performing their favourite songs and uploading them to circumvent licensing the song properly. I'm sure if Weird Al himself produced the tracks, HMX would have no problem letting him release it.

    The real question is whether Weird Al has sufficient control over his works to put them in Rock Band. If he's expressed desire to be in the games and is waiting to be approached, then I would assume that he does have that control or at least believes he can make it happen.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited March 2011
    phroxenphyre;4324907 said:
    I'm pretty sure the No Covers rule exists solely to prevent garage bands from just performing their favourite songs and uploading them to circumvent licensing the song properly.
    Off on a slight tangent, I suspect HMX is less concerned about bands making sure their songs are licensed properly than it is about the possibility of an outfit like Wavegroup flooding the RBN with a bunch of "as made famous by" covers that potentially could make the real groups shy away from offering their songs to the game.

    One small piece of evidence in favor of that is the upcoming tracks from Buckner and Garcia's Pac-Man Fever. The proper licensing to secure permission for all those video game sound effects had to have been far more complex than the proper licensing for a cover song, but still the songs will be in the RBN.
    The real question is whether Weird Al has sufficient control over his works to put them in Rock Band. If he's expressed desire to be in the games and is waiting to be approached, then I would assume that he does have that control or at least believes he can make it happen.
    I have little doubt he can make it happen, but like all the other groups we're hoping to see in the game, it's a matter of effort, communication, timing and luck. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • Edify1Edify1 Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    jeccaneko;4321999 said:
    Yes, I'm pretty sure HMX has said that his parody songs would count as a cover and thus not be allowed. His original songs could be released though.

    I'm flabbergasted that Harmonix would release a statement about his use of parodies in Rock Band Network, and yet never release any of his songs as DLC.
  • SirDavidTLynchSirDavidTLynch Headliner
    edited March 2011
    That this discussion is necessary is half the reason I'd rather see original songs than parodies of songs we already have.
  • ArcanonArcanon Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    Edify1;4325254 said:
    I'm flabbergasted that Harmonix would release a statement about his use of parodies in Rock Band Network, and yet never release any of his songs as DLC.

    I don't believe HMX ever mentioned him specifically. If I recall correctly, the question about parodies came up when someone asked about another person's parodies of songs, and the answer was something to the extent of "parodies count as covers for RBN so they're not allowed."
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited March 2011
    It's also worth noting that this was just forum moderators and community team staff offering their interpretation of the rules as they might be applied to Weird Al. There was no "official statement" from the company or anything like that. And I know a lot of the moderators/community people would love to see some Weird Al dlc, but they don't particularly have the sway to influence DLC, especially if some other factors are acting against them. Who knows.
  • BehonkissBehonkiss Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    Does anyone know of any way to contact Al or his label? If he was made aware of RBN, he might spur something himself.
  • MourganDespanaMourganDespana Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    Songs like:

    The Night Santa Went Crazy
    CNR
    Dare to be Stupid

    Could be licensed. It would all be up to the record label to allow you to get the masters and put them through testing.

    Those three songs would be great gets though.
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