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Stephen Zralek Talks to USA Today about 2 Live Crew Copyright Infringement Case

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Stephen J. Zralek was asked to weigh in on 20th anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court copyright infringement decision involving Roy Orbison and 2 Live Crew.  His opinion was included in a story with USA Today.

The case followed a lawsuit that Acuff-Rose, a publishing company in Nashville, filed against 2 Live Crew, a rap group, over the use of Roy Orbison’s song Oh, Pretty Woman.  After declining permission for 2 Live Crew to use the song in a parody, the rap group did it anyway, and the publishing company filed suit for copyright infringement.  U.S. District Judge Tom Wiseman, for whom Stephen clerked after law school, held that 2 Live Crew was not liable for copyright infringement because its parody constituted fair use.  The Sixth Circuit reversed, but the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Judge Wiseman and held that just because the parody was for a commercial purpose did not deprive 2 Live Crew from asserting fair use. As Stephen explained to the reporter, “To me, the Campbell v. Acuff-Rose case is still the gold standard when it comes to fair use.”

Stephen is an AV-rated, SuperLawyer who helps individuals and business clients from the technology, creative and entrepreneurial fields resolve disputes through intellectual property litigation, business litigation and entertainment litigation.

To read the story, click here.


Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit