Music Parodies Legal
The second fair use factor, the nature of the copyrighted work, recognizes that certain types of works simply deserve greater copyright protection than other types of works and therefore determines the scope of copyright protection that should be afforded to the original copyrighted work. The scope of fair use is greater for a „work of information” intended to inform or educate, such as a work on facts, information, science or news reports, than for a more „creative” work, such as a work of fiction, art or music, intended for entertainment. Another important consideration is whether the original copyrighted work was published or remains unpublished, as courts were much less willing to sanction unauthorized removal of an unpublished work as fair dealing. „A parody must convey a simultaneous and contradictory message that it is the original, but also that it is not the original, but a parody; To the extent that an alleged parody only conveys the first message, it is not only a bad parody, but also vulnerable to trademark law because it confuses the customer. While a parody must necessarily cause initial confusion, an effective parody reduces the risk of consumer confusion by conveying just enough of the original design for the consumer to understand the meaning of the parody. „Seriously, I promise I`m not trying to cross your eyes. These are quotes from a real case. It only means that the audience, i.e. the customer, needs to know that parody is just that: a parody. If a client is confused that parody is actually the real deal, then parody is not only an epic failure, but potentially illegal! An example of illegal parody Psych is an example of good (and legal) parody. Let`s take a look at a bad (illegal) parody. This case concerns PETA a/k/a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is dedicated to promoting and raising public awareness of animal welfare issues and combating the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, entertainment and animal experimentation.
PETA sued Michael Doughney, who peta.org registered the domain name and created a website called „People Eating Tasty Animals.” He claimed that peta.org was a parody of PETA. A viewer on peta.org would see a statement that the site is a „resource for those who enjoy eating meat, wearing fur and leather, hunting, and bearing the fruits of scientific research.” The site contained links to various meat, fur, leather, hunting, animal research, and other organizations that all had opinions that generally contradicted PETA`s views. Another statement on the website asked the viewer if he/she „felt lost? Insulted? Maybe you should get out immediately. The phrase „resign immediately” contained a hyperlink to PETA`s official website. In response to the dispute between Doughney and PETA over the domain name, Doughney told the media, „If they [PETA] want one of my domains, they should make me an offer.” The court concluded that there was no indication of parody of Doughney`s domain names alone. The domain name peta.org simply copied the PETA trademark and conveyed the message that it was related to PETA. The domain name did not convey the second contradictory message required to establish a parody – a message that the domain name was not related to PETA, but that it was a parody of PETA. Doughney claimed that the second post in the content of his website made it clear that it had nothing to do with PETA. However, this second message was not conveyed at the same time as the first, which was necessary to be considered a parody.
An Internet user would only notice that he is on an official PETA website after using PETA`s trademark to access the „www.peta.org” site. The court further noted that potential users of the real PETA who accidentally access Doughney`s website may not continue searching for the real PETA website due to confusion or frustration. And hyperlinks on Doughney`s website would connect the user directly to messages in direct competition with PETA. Doughney was held liable for trademark infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting. Apparently, his website was taken down. Keep in mind that many parodies will be composite works. For example, a commercial music video consists of a music recording, composition, lyrics, performance, and a motion picture video. Copying only one of these items may constitute an infringement, which means that it does not comply with copyright.
An entirely new video recording can be removed from YouTube if it contains excerpts from a music title by a rights holder that contradicts its use. By avoiding directly copying a sound or video recording, parodists can prevent their works from being removed from services such as YouTube, even if the elements indirectly copied (e.g. musical notes of a composition) still constitute an infringement. Parodies have always raised a variety of legal questions and international law has often given different answers. Another important piece of the legislation is that contractual clauses to prevent or restrict the production of parodies permitted under this exception are legally „unenforceable”. In other words, the parody exception cannot be contractually suspended. This means that you may still be able to make a parody of something, even if other conditions imposed by a platform owner or publisher would limit your use of the underlying source material. It`s an exciting time for parody artists in the UK, as this new policy reduces the risk of lawsuits. However, it will be interesting to see how a judge decides whether a parody is comical or not. What will happen to a parody artist if the judge presiding over the case does not have a different sense of humour or sense of humour than the artists? A parody is when someone imitates another piece of literature, music, or artwork. Because they are considered both a criticism and a commercial exploitation of a creative work, parodies are a unique case in copyright matters.
In 2012, Brownmark Films, an artistic experimentation and viral video production company, sued Comedy Partners, the creators of the animated TV series South Park, for creating an animated version of a popular internet music video. The court analyzed Comedy Partners` use as part of the four-factor fair dealing analysis and concluded that it was a „clear case of fair dealing.” Under the first factor, the court argued that the Comedy Partners` video was „clearly parodic” and transformative because their version used only enough dialogue and original visual features to evoke the original viral video to mock „our society`s recent enthusiasm for watching video clips on the internet” throughout the episode. Have you ever let a competitor create a website to scam your good reputation? Have you (or someone you know) stumbled upon a website that seems to be trying to confuse your audience or damage your reputation? If so, you could be a victim of cybersquatting or illegal parody. The good news is that you don`t have to pretend it`s funny if it`s not funny. There are legal remedies to help you. Contact me to find out what you can do. Have you ever thought about using parody to poke fun at your competitors with a comedic version of their ads? Has someone ever created a „scammed” version of your website that could damage your reputation? Did you know that these copycat advertisements and websites can do more than damage the reputation of the copied company? It could also be illegal. Last week was the final episode of Psych, a TV show about Shawn, a 30-year-old man with acute observational abilities who claims to be a mental crime counselor, along with his childhood best friend, Gus.
The series was known for its witty humor, constant references to pop culture from the 1980s-90s, and a pineapple hidden in every episode.