Parody Is Still Fair Use Last We Checked
from the but-it-won't-stop-the-lawsuits dept
The EFF is representing a NYC activist who is protesting redevelopment efforts for New York City's Union Square. The woman, Savitri Durkee, set up a website parodying the website of Union Square Partnership, a group that is pushing to heavily redevelop Union Square. Such a parody is certainly a reasonable and lawful way of making a point and protesting USP's actions. However, USP basically fired off multiple shots against Durkee to get the site taken down, starting with a DMCA takedown notice to Durkee's hosting company, followed by a copyright lawsuit against Durkee and a claim with WIPO that the domain name Durkee used violated their IP, and demanding that it be handed over to USP. As the EFF notes, parody is protected under fair use doctrine, and it seems quite clear that USP is doing all this to stifle Durkee's right to speak out against USP's redevelopment efforts.