Olympic Gymnastics Parody and the 2 Live Crew
Given the fact that the IOC is notoriously litigious, are the WSJ and the Guardian in trouble for their little vignettes? Nah -thanks to the 2 Live Crew. Parody is a defense that falls under the broader category of Fair Use. The 2 Live Crew case (Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994)) is the Fair Use decision that all other interpretations flow from. The Court had to start with determining if 2 Live Crew’s use was satire or parody. Satire, as defined by the Campbell court and the Oxford Dictionary in 1994, is a work “in which prevalent follies or vices are assailed with ridicule”, which is a very weird way of saying “your work is being made fun of for being stupid”. Parody, however, is more closely related to a spoof or a humorous exaggeration. Courts still struggle with both concepts in the realm of copyright infringement and the fair use defense. But we did learn from Campbell is that commercial use does not take a use out of the realm of parody.