In this journal article, Annemarie Bridy discusses the history of satire and parody throughout a variety of cases, concentrating especially on the Campbell case. She argues that Justice Souter's decision entitles parodists more than satirists when deciding how much and what kind of borrowing is appropriate for fair use arguments. So, what happens when a parodic work "shades into satire?" Is it no longer classifiable and therefore defensible as a parody?
In order to answer this question, Bridy draws upon literary theory and the distinction of "indirect satire" and "direct satire" to argue that some satire (direct) is definitely not permissible under fair use, but others (indirect) should be. As is, the definitions of parody and satire seem to be mutually exclusive, which can draw unfair consequences for indirect parody. Instead of employing such a distinct definition between satire and parody, she argues that the distinction should be drawn between two types of satirical parody, eliminating the problems that result from a hybrid of satire and parody.
Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. filed suit against the members of the rap music group 2 Live Crew and company, claiming that 2 Live Crew's song "Pretty Woman" infringed their copyright in Roy Orbinson's rock ballad, "Oh Pretty Woman." Supreme Court ruled that 2 Live Crew did not infringe on "Oh Pretty Woman" because their song was a parody, and did in fact fall under the fair use clause.
This 1994 case is extremely important to my topic because it was one of the first to differentiate between satire and parody and how they deal with fair use. According to the Supreme Court's definition, parody is "the use of some elements of a prior author's composition to create one that, at least in part, comments on that author's work." It counts as fair use due to its critical nature. If the commentary "has no critical bearing on the substance or style of the original composition," on the other hand, it is satire, which does not have the same protection. In the Supreme Court's mind, satire should be able to stand on its own, and borrowing of another work is just to "avoid the drudgery of working up something fresh."
The most interesting aspect, however, is footnote 14, which allows that satire may in certain circumstances also fall under fair use (although these circumstances are much more narrow than for parody) if "there is little or no risk of market substitution."
In this case, the Supreme Court rules 2 Live Crew’s commercial parody of a Roy Orbison song is protected under the auspices of fair use. The court found the new song to be significantly transformative, both building upon the earlier work as a new entity and sufficiently parodying the original in a way that was ruled as fair use. The court also found a portion of Section 107, “the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation the copyrighted work as a whole” to be a key factor, deciding that the small amount of the song actually used was significantly small enough, even if that portion displayed the heart of the work. “Even if 2 Live Crew's copying of the original's first line of lyrics and characteristic opening bass riff may be said to go to the original's 'heart,' that heart is what most readily conjures up the song for parody, and it is the heart at which parody takes aim.”
I reference this case in relation to my project because this case deals with two important factors: parody, and what is said to be the “heart of the work.” My project will be clearly defined as parody, while at the same time drawing from key thematic elements of the original works, which creates the potential for the project to be deemed as taking the heart of the work.
This is also an issue as the audio track of my project will be a continuous copyrighted work, taking the original in its entirety and transforming it to a new medium of video.