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.
By Adriana Collado. Published in Journal of Technology, Law, and Policy, Vol. 9, Issue 1, June 2004.
Collado's article goes through the differences between parody and satire as stated by various court cases. This analysis includes a look into the Campbell and Seuss cases. With regards to the Seuss case, Collado states that the Ninth Circuit "unnecessarily narrowed the Campbell holding and set a precedent inconsistent with the goals of copyright law and with the Campbell decision itself" reaching the same conclusion as the Tushnet article.
Collado then analyzes satire as a fair use and how Seuss was inconsistent with Campbell. Specifically, Collado takes issue with the conclusion that there would be significant market harm from "The Cat NOT in the Hat!"
"[I]t seems unlikely readers would regard “The Cat NOT in the Hat!” as a substitute for the original, especially since the works target different audiences. While the original Dr. Seuss work is sold in the children’s section of the bookstore, “The Cat NOT in the Hat!” would likely be sold in the adult humor section. Furthermore, the fact “The Cat NOT in the Hat!” was labeled as a parody on its front cover and the author’s name was clearly depicted reduced the possibility readers would confuse or substitute the secondary work for the original."
By Footnote 14 of the Campbell decision (cited above), Collado concludes, there should have been fair use protection for this satire as the potential for market harm was slight.
Collado is a proponent of more freedom for satires. She disagrees with the Bisceglia opinion that satirists can "shop around" for other material if they cannot find a way to make a comment on the original work. Instead, Collado feels that a satirist's ideas are "often intertwined with their underlying source material" and if a satirist must look elsewhere for material, "the idea might not be created at all, thus generating a result...contrary to the goals of copyright law." Finally, Collado argues that satires not only do not displace the market, but could even "increase demand for the copyrighted work" by increasing interest in the original .
Overall, Collado's article provides a well-reasoned insight into the reasons why satire should be given fuller fair use protection as opposed to the Seuss case.
Unfair Use: The Lack of Fair Use Protection for Satire Under § 107 of the Copyright Act -- Adriana Collado, Journal of Technology: Law & Policy (June 2004)
This article gives a summary of fair use and parody decisions and attempts to show how satire should be protected under fair use because it is transformative. The primary argument against protecting satire under fair use is that “owners are likelier to allow use of their works in satire because satires do not target the copyrighted works directly” (II.A). This, of course, ignores the problem encountered in cases such as Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. Penguin Books USA, where, for instance, “satirists that propose using copyrighted works to criticize something else in an offensive manner are not likely to be granted licenses because copyright owners may fear the use will reflect negatively on their works” (IV.A). That is, courts have reasoned that because specific copyright holders aren’t being directly targeted by satirists, they will gladly license their work.
This line of reasoning willfully ignores reality; however, this reasoning still should not preclude fair use of satire, as, Collado notes, “reputational harm is not an interest that copyright law is designed to protect” (IV.A). Certain copyright holders, such as Disney and Dr. Seuss, notoriously guard their property against parody. Yet because of the rich nature of these works, they are ripe for parody and satire; by disallowing fair use of satire, the law in effect stifles the free speech and creativity of new authors. “The assumption,” writes Collado, “a satirist can ‘shop around’ for copyrighted works to employ in his satire ignores the nature of the creative process” (IV.C).
Finally, we may be headed towards a future where a court will rule that satire is protected under fair use. As Collado notes, “In Campbell [v. Acuff-Rose Music], the Supreme Court defined satire as ‘commentary.’ In turn, the Fair Use Doctrine states ‘fair use of a copyrighted work ... for purposes such as criticism [and] comment ... is not an infringement of copyright’” (V). If a court were to acknowledge this--and the Supreme Court has nearly already done so with Campbell--then it would place satire under the fair use umbrella alongside parody. This would have an enormous impact on society; however, because most satire, like parody, does not compete in the same market as the original work, there can be little argument besides greed and prudishness against this result. Yet, as noted before, prudishness cannot be a legal justification for stifling free speech; as for the competing markets: satires and parodies, by their very natures, nearly never compete in the same markets as their progenitors, which would render moot the main argument against their fair use.