In this article, Adriana Collado summarizes the distinction between parody and satire and the interpretation of this difference in fair use cases over time. Collado goes on to discuss the present state of the law, what the law should be, and possible solutions and compromises for satire, which is not currently mostly included under fair use provisions.
However, Collado also argues that by Supreme Court's own definition of fair use works ("for purposes such as criticism [and] comment"), satire should already been included. Satire has been defined as a commentary or critical work, one of the uses specifically enumerated in the Fair Use Doctrine, so it should technically be protected.
Since satire is currently not included under fair use, Collado discusses potential solutions and compromises, although none are very promising. Collado quotes Tom W. Bell, who suggests that copyright owners and secondary users should be able to opt out of copyright law and contract under a fared use system, although he fails to mention what would happen for satirists if copyright owners refuse to license (which would probably happen due to the self-esteem issue). Collado adds another possibility of courts requiring unauthorized satirists to pay copyright holders for actual damages sustained from the use of the copyrighted work, but understands that such a method might still dissuade satirists who cannot predict such a number in advance.
One look at the pages of this book and it is immediately known that it is unlike any other sources to be used for this essay. The pages are printed with a hole in the center and the outline of a CD on each one – clearly a modern work by a modern author. This is the argument for all of the merits of sampling and Dj-ing music for a crowd as told from the perspective of an established DJ, Paul Miller (DJ Spooky). Despite its casual tone and appearance, however, this book is filled with intellectual commentary on the state of music and the art of remixing today.
Quoting anyone from Woodrow Wilson to George Clinton, Miller offers a wide range of examples to support his stance on the art of Dj-ing. He believes that sampling music is a form of creation, putting a musical piece of work together in a different way in order to achieve what DJs refer to as “flow.” He asserts that sampling is both the result and catalyst for new music. “You can never play a record the same way for the same crowd,” he writes, calling the digital sample a “recycling” of sorts, a “repurposing” of an old melody or riff.
Miller’s unique stance as a DJ himself, combined with the casual tone of this narrative offer the reader a conversation with a man deeply involved in the digital music industry. As mentioned above, he does indeed advocate the benefits of the art, but he also recognizes the dangers of “taking sampling too far.” Seeing the digital music industry from his eyes in this way is a welcome insight into yet another point of view on this topic. This will only add to the complex standpoint that I will be able to take in writing this essay.
Seemingly a sequel to his previous work, Sound Unbound is compiled with the help of numerous contributors and reads much more like a scholarly account than its predecessor. It delves further into the intricate aspects of Dj-ing and remixing: sampling, appropriation, plagiarism, and various forms of musical technology from tape loops to video opera. The list of contributors ranges from science fiction writers to media activists, from rappers to composers, and this wide range of expertise offers an even better insight into the intricacies of the music industry in the digital age that the first book provides.
Most important to the focus of this paper, however, remains to be the testimony and work of Paul Miller. Once again, his experience as a professional DJ offers an exclusive look into the life of someone who makes a living off of sampling and remixing, however the supporting chapters from his colleagues offer a much stronger foundation for his more up-to-date commentary on the industry. In addition, the work of novelist Jonathan Lethem on appropriation and plagiarism is a good complement to Miller’s chapters on sampling and civilization.
Contrary to the last book by Miller, Sound Unbound explores more deeply the legal implications of “stealing” another’s song or work, and the distance that one must go in order to gain such negative attention from the authorities or at least the original creators. Furthermore, the book includes a mix-CD compiled by Miller himself, made up of a variety of artists commonly classified as “avant-garde,” which only serves to enhance the written works that he includes in the book. It gives the reader something real and interactive – a way to experience what all of the scholars are talking about first-hand. It is the well-roundedness of this complete work and the many facets of the modern music industry that it covers from the inside-out that is the reason this is so helpful in the construction of my final paper.
tagged appropriation author's_rights bootlegging copyright copyright_act digital_sampling dj-ing dj_spooky fatboy_slim international_copyright_law jonathan_lethem lyrics mix-cd morality music music_industry plagiarism public_enemy remixing sampling song by minglet ...on 25-NOV-08
Katz also examines the realm of digital sampling, but he does so with a keen detective’s eye, looking at the practice from the outside-in. He uses three case studies to show the main uses and techniques employed with digital sampling. First of which is a “song” created by Paul Lansky with recordings of human voices speaking random words entitled “Notjustmoreidlechatter.” The complicated issue of speech and music is addressed through this first instance of sampling and Katz identifies the specifications and implications of either one. Secondly, he compares two pop songs, Camille Yarbrough’s “Take Yo’ Praise” and Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You,” which uses bits of the former in its creation of the latter. Finally, he breaks down the numerous sampled bits in Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” Public Enemy’s strong political message coupled with the nature of his samplings creates one of the most powerful sample-ridden songs of contemporary music.
Katz only does so after first clarifying with the reader what exactly sampling is. This definition has been found in the majority of the sources, but none went on to detail the legal issues as well as Katz. He also goes on to explore the question of originality and immorality in terms of remixing and sampling. Nevertheless, his case studies have proven most useful in determining the full extensions of digital sampling in music and his insight into its effect on music today. He also lightly touches on the various effects parodies have upon the original work, if any, and acknowledges the complexities within the industry when it comes to approval for such works. This book could possibly be the best source found thus far, seeing as it is not overly specific in its subject matter, yet it explores enough topics in a reasonable level of detail to be reliable.
tagged camille_yarbrough copyright copyright_act creative_commons digital_sampling fatboy_slim international_copyright_law morality music music_industry notjustmoreidlechatter paul_linsky phonorecords piracy public_enemy remixing sampling speech by minglet ...on 25-NOV-08
Lee Marshall, co-editor of the very first source, "Music and Copyright – Second Edition," authors this work of similar form but on a slightly different subject. The strictness of copyright law in terms of music is once again revisited but is no longer commented on as either fostering or inhibiting creativity in the industry. Lee more explicitly lays out the fundamentals of copyright law, especially when it applies to bootlegging and piracy, and he broadens the discussion outside of the United States to international copyright law.
Prior to his outline of the bootlegging/piracy portion of the industry, Marshall itemizes the four main copyright issues in music. The first two he identifies as the copyright of the original work itself: song and lyrics. Beyond that, he clarifies the issue of copyright of the recording and who often owns the rights to a song produced in a studio. Lastly, he outlines the details of copyright it terms of the performance and the differing stipulations both in the United States and abroad. Marshall then asserts that the main concerns over performers’ rights stem from issues regarding bootlegging, and he goes on to explain the complicated laws concerning it.
Bootlegging and piracy are two of the main portions of copyright law that are most closely related to, if not directly cited in, cases involving digital sampling. By referencing Marshall’s comprehensive look at copyright law as it pertains to bootlegging, I can not only ascertain for myself whether or not a particular usage is acceptable or not, but I can also refer to the various case studies employed by Marshall if unsure. In writing this final essay, Marshall’s detailed work on bootlegging and piracy in terms of copyright law has certainly been a valuable source to cite.
An academic journal from Columbia University, this source is the first on the list to fully support the other side of the argument between song samplers and those being sampled. McGiverin begins the journal by arguing for the musician’s rights to be compensated for any and all portions of his work that are reproduced in another work. He then goes on to divide his work into three main portions: the first of which describes sampling and its implications in the music industry, the second applies the 1976 Copyright Act to sampling from phonorecords, and finally the third investigates state common law and rights of publicity in terms of musicians’ control over their original work.
A source of this nature is essential for any paper analyzing the issue of sampling in the music industry, seeing as it provides the exact counter-argument of a few of the sources found. McGiverin continues to refer to an artist’s sampled work as his or her “auditory identity,” giving great importance to the underlying bass lines and riffs that make up the background of a performance. In doing so, he asserts the value of these otherwise-overlooked aspects of a work. Seeing that they are often the portion involved in the sampling, they should be given greater significance and, as McGiverin believes, the original artist should be compensated for their use.
As mentioned above, this source is arguably the most important, simply because of the point of view that it represents. Although this paper has been unbiased in theory, the majority of the sources were all either neutral or in support of one side of the argument. By providing an intelligent and fresh insight into this half of the issue, this source is one of a few to complete the perspective in order to find a well-informed answer to the question concerning the limits and merits of digital sampling in the music industry.
This source happens to be a blog entry written by a visiting professor at Washington College of Law who is also on the board of Creative Commons at the college. The blog is a response to a Sixth Circuit court interpretation of the Copyright Act in the case of Bridgeport Music vs. Dimension Films which stated that artists must either have a license or abandon their sampling. Carroll then continues to explain a few stipulations in the Copyright Act and their involvement in this court decision, namely Section 114 and Section 106.
Carroll analyzes the courts assessment of de minimus in the Copyright Act and how it was originally interpreted in the local Bridgeport court. In the appellate court, however, Carroll finds fault with the way the court approached its decision, moving straight to Section 114 instead of focusing on Section 106. He disagrees with their reading of the Act and consequently, their decision to remove de minimus from the realm of sound recordings, stating that he does not believe there is a “statutory basis for the rule announced by the court in this case.”
Carroll’s stance in the Creative Commons forum at a prominent law school in the United States, as well as his origins in, and knowledge of, international copyright law once again present the material in a newly-cast light. The case he references is one of much importance to the focus of this final paper and his commentary on the subject is clear and well-formed. This source provides a very narrow view into one single court decision that acts as a useful spotlight among other more general sources.
Section 801 of the Copyright Act determines the appointments and functions of the Copyright Royalty Judges. Section 801b is most important and determines the function of the Copyright Royalty Judges. The 801b standard of the Copyright Act is the standard that the Internet Radio Equality Act proposes. It is used for determining rates for satellite radio and digital cable radio. The 801b standard takes into account the relative value of the copyright work to the public, and it also considers a fair return to both the copyright owner and user. The judges must determine and adjust royalties with the following objectives:
1) Maximize the availability of creative works to the public.
2) Set a rate that gives the copyright owner a fair return for his/her work and allows the user a fair income given the economic conditions
3) Reflect the relative contribution of the copyright owner and user with respect to creativity, technology, and the market.
4) Minimize any disruptive impact on the industries involved.
This source explains the standard for royalty rates that my paper will argue is a better model for both the copyright owners and users. The Copyright Royalty Judges implemented a willing buyer/willing seller standard, which Pandora and other webcasters believe is ineffective and unfair. The 801b standard was used before the new royalty board decision and has proven successful until now. This source is concise, but it contains essential information necessary for my paper to argue that the royalty ruling was based on an unfair and unequal standard.
Rogers V Koons. No. 234, 388 and 235. United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. 2 Apr. 1992.
This is the 2nd Circuit's appellate ruling on Rogers v Koons. The introduction states that the "key" to the suit "brought by a plaintiff photographer against a defendant sculptor and the gallery representing him, is defendants' borrowing of plaintiff's expression of a typical American scene — a smiling husband and wife holding a litter of charming puppies." It calls the copying deliberate goes on to give the background facts of the case. It first describes Rogers' work and reputation, followed by an account of how the "Puppies" photograph was created. It then does the same for Koons and the creation of "String of Puppies." It goes back over the "prior proceedings," giving the history of litigation between the two parties and affirms the district court initial ruling.
Moving on to the discussion section, the court eleaborates on the ownership of copyright in an original work of art, which Rogers has, discusses unauthorized copying by defendant, which Koons is held guilty of, and defines the fair use doctrine. It then enumerates the four criteria required to satisfactorily pass as fair use. Under the Purpose and Character of Use criterion, the court says, "Relevant to this issue is Koons' conduct, especially his action in tearing the copyright mark off of a Rogers notecard prior to sending it to the Italian artisans. This action suggests bad faith in defendant's use of plaintiff's work, and militates against a finding of fair use." Essentially, they are saying that he was underhanded about his method of copying. As far as Parody or Satire as Fair Use is concerned, the court says "that even given that "String of Puppies" is a satirical critique of our materialistic society, it is difficult to discern any parody of the photograph "Puppies" itself." They argue that Koons was motivated more by profit than satire. The court also holds that Koons copied far more of Puppies than necessary to convey his point. "Koons went well beyond the factual subject matter of the photograph to incorporate the very expression of the work created by Rogers," says the court. Lastly, the court orders that the effect of the use on the market value of the original has been harmed, and "there is simply nothing in the record to support a view that Koons produced "String of Puppies" for anything other than sale as high-priced art. Hence, the likelihood of future harm to Rogers' photograph is presumed, and plaintiff's market for his work has been prejudiced."
Blanch V Koons. No. 05-6433-Cv. UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT. 26 Oct. 2006.
This is the judgment on the appeal for the Koons v Blanch case with the opinion of Judge Sack. The appeals court rules that Koons’ work was indeed a fair use. Koons was commissioned by the Deutsche Bank and Guggenheim Foundation to create a painting, “Niagra” in which he used Blanch’s “Silk Sandals by Gucci” ad. The court gives background on Koons’ life and work, saying that he is “known for incorporating into his artwork objects and images taken from popular media and consumer advertising, a practice that has been referred to as "neo-Pop art" or (perhaps unfortunately in a legal context) "appropriation art."” It describes both Koons’ painting and Blanch’s photograph and Koons’ use of the photograph in his painting. The two artists’ economic gains and losses are then detailed: Niagra has been appraised at $1 million, while Blanch was paid $750 for her work.
In meeting the criteria for fair use, the court finds Koons’ work transformative, saying it “adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message." The court ignores the effect of commercial use because Blanch admits that Koons’ work did nothing to detract from any financial gains Silk Sandals brought her. It does, they say, meet the requirement for parody: “Koons's use of a slick fashion photograph enables him to satirize life as it appears when seen through the prism of slick fashion photography.” Bad faith is cited as the last criteria of fair use. Here the ruling holds that Koons only exhibited bad faith in not first asking Blanch’s permission to use her photo. What I wonder, though, is whether than would have made any difference to her. The other major reason that Koons’ work is said to be acceptable is that he uses only a portion of Blanch’s image, and places that portion with other elements that are not part of her photo, thereby substantially transforming it. In conclusion, the court rules "promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts," U.S. Const., art. I, § 8, cl. 8, would be better served by allowing Koons's use of "Silk Sandals" than by preventing it.”
"Koons Affirmed (Don't Blanch)." The Patry Copyright Blog. 26 Oct. 2006. 28 Nov. 2006 <http://williampatry.blogspot.com/2006/10/koons-affirmed-dont-blanch.html>.
This article is a guide to the Koons v Blanch ruling and takes us through the courts' decisions regarding the four criteria that constitute fair use step by step. Fundementally, he says, the case boils down to two points, that "Koons' use was highly transformative and the copyright owner suffered no harm to her market; the rest is window dressing." He summarizes the background of the case (Blanch paid $750 for original ad in Allure magazine, Koons incorperates exact image in his work "Niagra" in order to comment on the way popular images appeal to our most basic instincts and desires.)
Party thinks the majority's distinction between parody and satire is helpful and shows that "Koons had a genuine creative rationale for borrowing Blanch's image, rather than merely using it merely 'to get attention or to avoid the drudgery in working something fresh up.'" He also brings up the issue of bad faith, which has not been mentioned in the two other cases. I think this comes out of Blanch's claims that its pratically a matter of etiquette, she's been quoted as saying something along the lines of "if the artist is still alive, you should at least ask for permission to use their work." I am also interested in the comment posted in reply to this blog in which the author writes, "A major factor in the difference between Rogers and Blanch appears to be that the court found the use of the feet from the Blanch photograph transformative because they were recast in a different position and that the important background elements (man’s lap, aircraft cabin) were not copied. In other words, the Blanch photograph was used more as a reference than as the foundation for the painting."
Greenberg, Lynne A. "THE ART OF APPROPRIATION: PUPPIES, PIRACY, AND POST-MODERNISM." Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 11 (1992): 1.
Greenberg calls appropriation art a “wide-reaching trend which has arisen as a response to post-modernist criticism.” She says its reaction to the formalism and aesthetics of a media-saturated society. Most importantly, echoing Koons claims about the school of thought he belongs to, Greenberg says, “Aggressively and self-consciously derivative in its ideology, post-modernist art critiques the very attributes that copyright law uses to define art: namely, artistic creativity and originality.”
In the introduction, she says the article will focus on the challenges postmodernist art poses on copyright law and argues, like the Columbia Law Review editorial that visual art requires a different set of rules than other copyrightable entities. In the section of her piece about the infringement vulnerability of photography, and “its relationship to the originality requirement” she uses Rogers v. Koons to illustrate her point that we need a different way to interpret copyright as it interferes with the objectives of postmodern art. In her analysis of the case, Greenberg maintains that the court’s perspective is skewed because Koons’ work is so expensive. She says that although the court claims that Koons’ work has an economic impact on Rogers, “It seems farfetched to imagine that Koons's "high-priced" kitsch, sold in the elite world of the art gallery, could even tangentially affect the market for either Rogers's commissioned photographs or Rogers's postcards, sold predominantly in gift shops”. Basically, she concludes, the court ruled fairly according to current laws, this case shows that these doctrines are in need of revision in order to make allowances for appropriation art. “The recent decision of Rogers v. Koons simultaneously underscores the precarious position occupied by artists practicing radical appropriation strategies, and accentuates the consequences of so rigorously enforcing the limited monopoly rights granted by copyright law,” she explains.
Tyson, Kimball. "The Illegal Art Exhibit: Art or Exploitation? a Look At the Fair Use Doctrine in Relation to Corporate Degenerate Art." Southern Methodist University School of Law Computer Law Review & Technology Review 9 (2005): 425.
This article responds to the "Illegal Art" exhibit that toured the country and features Forsythe's work. The author (who repeatedly spells the artist's name "Forsyth") wants to assess whether or not Food Chain Barbie is fair use--even though the court has already ruled it is. She contends the artists are not sincere in their parodies, and thinks they are actually using art to serve their personal "greedy" objectives. After an abbreviated history of art, Tyson says these works are "an ancillary to Pop Art of the 1960's that take corporate images and use them in their works to convey a parodic message not only of the image itself but of the larger societal scheme of which it reflects." She also summarizes the Copyright Act and defines Fair Use. Instead of actually analyzing what the court said about Forsythe's work, she merely repeats it, and it seems, decides to agree with their ruling. One of the few useful things about this article is her comparison of Forsythe and Koons:
"In the Rogers case, there is no doubt that Koons' use of the original work would compromise Rogers' market of the "Puppies" and "would prejudice the market for the sale of "Puppies" notecards or any other derivative uses he might plan." 247 However, in Forsyth's situation, his photographs seem to have little to no effect on the commercial gain of Mattel based on their copyrighted Barbie Doll. Photographs of Barbie in a blender or in a casserole dish are not really going to have a significant chilling effect on Mattel's market; [this] weighs in his favor."
Tyson allows that the Barbie series is a fair use, but remains suspicious of Forsythe's motives. She writes, "The idea of using art and distorting already existing images to convey a message, to illustrate the absurdity of our times, seems very vulnerable to exploitation. In Mattel Inc. v. Forsyth, the artist had very distinct aims in his creation. Call this a derivative work, call it exploitation. Regardless, perhaps these artists used the well-known corporate images as a way to make money. Just as Volkswagen manipulated the automobile market and somehow made consumers feel as though they were really stepping out of conformity in buying a VW, so these artists, under the pretense of satire and art as corporate parody, had an objective no different than that of the corporations and consumer crazed society which they mocked: personal gain motivated by greed, selfishness, and envy." To me, her argument falls flat given that Forsythe did not profit hugely from the works. Art is his profession, his means of making a living, and to charge $400 for a work that he spent time creating does not seem greedy or unreasonable. She contradicts herself, but this piece is valuable to my research because it takes a position I haven't yet encountered and deals with the concept of artists' "worthiness" so to speak and the merit of their intentions.
This is an article mainly about the licensing process for internet music stations. The article explains that in order to get an internet public performance license one must contact, ASCAP, BMI, and/or SESAC. In exchange, you pay a royalty rate to these groups based on your service's gross revenue, who then pass them to the record publishers and rights holders. However, the article goes on, the licensing can be a difficult, confusing, and contradictory process. For example, ASCAP's license does not say one may make multiple copies of the music and the Copyright Act only permits one copy of the transmission, but transmission of anything over the internet technically occurs by copies being made. The Copyright Act says non-subscription transmissions are exempt from licensing, but one argument is that any website is still a subscription service because users accessing it must pay for the internet through service providers. There is also statutory licensing if transmissions fit five criteria.
I came across this article in my research about how some copyright holders are willing to waive some copyright in order to benefit from MP3 blogs, while still fighting for stricter copyright law that will curb the use of other similar technology such as peer-to-peer services. The licensing options in this provide a legal way for people to get licenses to use music over the internet so that the copyright holders still get paid. However it seems that for much of the use of music on the internet, particularly for bloggers, there is little or no revenue generated. Also while these licenses help the copyright owners to make some money for the work's use, by the time the money gets through the collecting societies, then to the copyright holder, there is probably little monetary value for anyone involved and it may not be much of a step in promoting the artist's creativity.
THE FAIR USE COMMERCIAL PARODY DEFENSE AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT -- Jonathan M. Fox, 46 IDEA 619, 2006 (LexisNexis -- SEARCH IN “LAW REVIEWS” USING THE TITLE IN THE “KEYWORD” FIELD)
In this article, Fox lays out the divergence between the dictionary definition of parody and the legal one, and concludes that “Supreme Court's current definition of parody has allowed certain works, completely devoid of the elements of literary parody, to qualify as fair use parodies” (I). This is because he argues that the court has given parodists too much flexibility by interpreting too broadly what a “parody” is.
Fox writes, “It appears that the purpose of fair use is to be fair to the party accused by the copyright holder of infringement” (V). This is because of the disconnect between what dictionaries say is “parody” versus what the courts say it is:
Although most would find 2 Live Crew's version of Pretty Woman to be at least mildly amusing, the Supreme Court made it very clear that the work's humorous component was not what made the song a fair use. Instead, it was primarily the song's transformative character coupled with the fact that it commented on or criticized the original. Both of these characteristics that won the song fair use protection are only tangentially related to the traditional definition of parody. Similarly, in its decision in SunTrust Bank, the Eleventh Circuit established that "judges need not set themselves up as arbiters of whether the product is funny. (V.A)
Fox then goes on to list ways in which copyright law can be changed to curtail the possibility that courts will grow too lenient with parodies. “Although commercial parodies are deserving of protection from a First Amendment perspective,” Fox writes, “their strong commercial status renders their position in the realm of copyright law decidedly more suspect” (VI).
Fox makes the pertinent observation that legal definitions need to conform to dictionary ones, or else it leaves future courts with little ability to analyze and apply precedent. Furthermore, he argues that that if parodists are all but immunized from infringement suits, then it has the possibility to negatively affect the progress of arts and science by curbing the creation of new works--after all, it would essentially negate the purpose of copyrights, to give security to authors that their work will not be stolen, if all anyone has to do to copy it is to claim fair use through parody.
The Fair Use Doctrine in the U. S. American Copyright Act and Similar Regulations in the German Law -- Holger Postel and Jean-Luc Piotraut, 5 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 142, Spring 2006 (LexisNexis -- SEARCH IN “LAW REVIEWS” USING THE TITLE IN THE “KEYWORD” FIELD)
This article analyzes the differences between American and German copyright laws as they relate to fair use. In large part, the differences amount to different interpretations based on natural rights. For instance, the article notes, “Campbell shows that there is no distinction between musical work and other forms of work as long as the purpose is in accordance with one of the criteria set out by section 107. While the German Copyright law does not allow an artist to use musical works without the licensee of the copyright holder, the American law does not recognize this distinction” (II.1).
Both the American and German legal systems interpret parody narrowly, mainly out of pragmatism: if they do not, it would “open the floodgates” to excessive parodying (which “ THE FAIR USE COMMERCIAL PARODY DEFENSE AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT” argues is already happening). However, as the article notes, “The dilemma courts face is that parody is a form of art and courts are generally cautious in defining art” (II.2). The dilemma also entails the problem of how do you protect copyrighted works on the one hand, while not stifling creative and transformative parodies on the other.
Interestingly, German law does not allow for music parody at all, though it does allow for other forms of fair use and parody similar to those in the US, including videotaping, photocopying, quoting, and news reporting. However, often American and Germans laws have similar ends, though their means differ.
Ultimately, both German and American laws will begin to come together more and more than in the past because of globalization. Especially as a result of the internet, the rules are changing and the world is getting smaller and smaller, and countries will soon no longer be able to have legal structures that are vastly different for fear of being incompatible with a neighbor, as evidenced by the streamlining of laws and codes with the Berne Convention the European Union.
FAIR USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IN ADVERTISEMENT PARODIES -- A. Hunter Farrell, 92 Colum. L. Rev. 1550, October 1992
This article summarizes and analyzes parodic advertisements such as the Coors beer commercial parodying the Energizer Bunny. However, the article notes that there has been an inability to uniformly agree how best to apply fair use criteria on these cases--something which is touched upon in “Fair Use Commercial Parody Defense.” However, another difficulty is the weighing of the creative and transformative value of the parodic commercials with their innate commercial nature. Two years after this article was written, Campbell attempted to put to rest the question of whether or not parodies can also be commercial; however, this has not always been the case (see “ The Wind Done Gone, the Law Done Wrong?”).
Though many of the fair use considerations in the article are outmoded because it was written before the Campbell decision, the issue of competition is still valid. Farrell writes that “In the context of advertising, however, it is extremely unlikely that a parody would usurp the demand for the original work. Usually, advertisements are extremely brief and serve a very specialized purpose: promoting products. Consumers will rarely reduce consumption of a copyrighted work to consume more of an advertisement, especially given the common perception that most advertisements are forced upon the public” (III.D).
This is an interesting distinction between advertisements and other forms of creative work; the latter one must go and actively seek out, whereas the former is thrust upon the audience. In many ways, it can be thought that commercials may in fact grate on viewers and turn them off to the product being sold. The question then becomes this: are viewers turned off to the product being sold by the offending advertisement, or by the product being parodied? However, the fact that many commercial parodies do not compete in the same market as the originals may still render the former question moot.
THE CAT IN THE HAT'S LATEST BAD TRICK: THE NINTH CIRCUIT'S NARROWING OF THE PARODY DEFENSE TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN DR. SEUSS ENTERPRISES v. PENGUIN BOOKS USA, INC. -- Jason M. Vogel, 20 Cardozo L. Rev. 287, September 1998
This article analyzes the decision of infringement against the publisher of the book The Cat NOT in the Hat!, a satiric account of the OJ Simpson double murder trial, written in the style of Dr. Seuss. The case was ruled an infringement because The Cat NOT in the Hat! used Dr. Seuss conventions as a vehicle for commenting on OJ Simpson; Campbell v. Acuff-Rose established that to be considered parody and not satire (which is not covered under fair use--see “Unfair Use”), a work must criticize of comment on the work it is copying. The problems with this is that:
The argument that the commentary element should be an absolute prerequisite to fair use, thereby dispositively disqualifying satires, suffers four significant shortcomings, however. First, distinguishing between parodies and satires involves arbitrary judicial line-drawing, as there is no clear standard for how closely the work must focus on the original to qualify under "parody" status. ... A second significant shortcoming to the parody/satire dichotomy is the fact that satiric works causing inherently offensive associations to be drawn to the underlying work are as unlikely to be licensed as those that directly criticize the underlying work. ... A third flaw of the parody/satire rule is the notion that should the copyright owner refuse to license a satire, the satirist will be able to find other copyright owners who are more amenable to his use of their works. ... Finally, it is unreasonable to suggest that potential authors will be dissuaded from creating new works solely because their product may later be used as "unpermitted" and uncompensated elements of a satire. To the extent that the satire does not serve as a market substitute for the original, its presence will result in no cognizable economic loss to the original author. (B.III)
Vogel proposes that all satires fall under fair use consideration, much like parodies. This is because satires behave in much the same way that parodies do, and should be afforded the same rights: “Because inherently offensive satires implicitly analogize the external target of their criticism to the material being borrowed, a reciprocal analogy can be inferred. For example, The Cat NOT in the Hat! implicitly asserts that, in some respects, O.J. Simpson is like the Cat in the Hat. This creates a reciprocal implication that the Cat in the Hat is somewhat like O.J. Simpson” (IV). He goes on to outline many of the arguments for satire as fair use discussed in “Unfair Use.”
This article makes some good points that fit in nicely with the narrative for this project that satire is not only commentary--and thus falls under free speech and fair use protections--but that it meets the other prerequisites for fair use by virtue of its similarity to parody. The courts are beginning to take note of this, as evidenced by the Campbell decision, and it is probably only a matter of time before they rule thata satire is substantially similar to parody.
SUNTRUST BANK v. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY (268 F.3d 1257) -- LexisNexis
This is the Eleventh Circuit appeal of the of the case brought by Suntrust against Houghton Mifflin charging infringement on Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind by Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone. In this case, Judge Birch ruled in favor of Houghton Mifflin by virtue of First Amendment rights. Interesting, he writes in a footnote:
I believe that fair use should be considered an affirmative right under the 1976 Act, rather than merely an affirmative defense, as it is defined in the Act as a use that is not a violation of copyright. ... However, fair use is commonly referred to an affirmative defense, see Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. ... Nevertheless, the fact that the fair use right must be procedurally asserted as an affirmative defense does not detract from its constitutional significance as a guarantor to access and use for First Amendment purposes. (n3)
Birch rules that The Wind Done Gone had value beyond what fair use laws afforded it because the nature of the work was a social commentary meant to create dialogue and end the myths about the Antebellum South. “Freedom of speech requires the preservation of a meaningful public or democratic dialogue,” he writes (II.B). In essence, Birch held that Randall was merely continuing a discussion that Mitchell had established; by adding her own expression, Randall was free to “use or discuss the idea” (II.B.1).
This was a landmark, but controversial decision, as discussed more in “ The Wind Done Gone, the Law Done Wrong?” and tangentially in “Fair Use Commercial Parody Defense.” I agree with the outcome, though I’m undecided about the rationale. Instead, I think a less controversial justification for ruling for fair use would be to allow satires--which The Wind Done Gone is more of than a parody--the same protections afforded to parodies. This is discussed further in “Unfair Use.”
The Wind Done Gone, the Law Done Wrong?: Fair Use and the First Amendment in Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co. -- Sarah A. Gessner, 35 Conn. L. Rev. 259 (Fall 2002)
In this article, Gessner lays out the case of Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin, which involved an infringement suit brought by the estate of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, against Alice Randall, who wrote The Wind Done Gone. The latter was written as commentary and criticism of the former, which glorified the Antebellum South while denigrating African Americans.
Despite the fact that The Wind Done Gone’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin, marketed the work as parody, Suntrust, which represented Mitchell’s estate, claimed that the work competed in the same market as Gone With the Wind, which still remains popular in all its forms. The article notes that “The Mitchell Trust had authorized sequels to Mitchell’s book in the past, and that this was an important market for them” (II.B.1.a). This, however, ignored the fact that the two books catered to completely different markets; further, the title The Wind Done Gone is easily construed to be parodic and indicates to readers that the book meant to be a departure from the conventions of Gone With the Wind. To wit, the article notes that “Houghton Mifflin contended that ‘to the extent that [Gone With the Wind’s] fully developed characters have analogs in [The Wind Done Gone], [The Wind Done Gone], as part of its parody, presents them as flat, one-dimensional characters who are not substantially similar to the characters created by Margaret Mitchell” (II.B.1.b).
The district court ruled for Suntrust, but the decision was later overturned by the Eleventh Circuit Court, which argued for Randall’s First Amendment rights to free speech: “The Eleventh Circuit used the First Amendment to impose a limitation on The Mitchell Trust’s copyright in order to give the public ‘access to Randall’s ideas [and] viewpoint in the form of expression she chose’” (II.B.3). Writes Gessner: “The public interest should be taken into account when a determination of fair use is being made. If the work in question serves the public interest by illuminating an idea or bringing new ideas/interpretations to the forefront, it should be deemed a fair use if it does not substantially effect [sic] the market for the original. ... Randall’s book highlights the social injustices of Mitchell’s book; it exists as a foil to the original and in no way seeks to assume the place of the original in the minds of the readers” (IV.D.V).
This is an important argument because it lies at the heart of the purpose of copyright: the progress of arts and science. In as such, free speech considerations that affect the overall progress must take precedent over copyrights and be immune from infringement prosecution.