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.

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Comments on “Parody Is Still Fair Use Last We Checked”

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RD says:

Welcome to the New America!

You are all obviously proceeding from the false assumption that laws apply to all. Dont you know by now, laws only apply to the poor, those not “in”, and those who arent in power. There is no such thing as “Fair use” anymore. Sure, its enshrined in law, but that only means it gets to be interpreted by those who have, at the expense of those who have not. The courts will side with the rich and powerful, wait and see.

Lonnie E. Holder says:

Re: Welcome to the New America!


Parody is still protected, as “Saturday Night Live,” “The Late Show,” “Mad Magazine,” Bill Maher and countless others prove on a daily basis. As long as it was clear that the woman’s site was parody, the plaintiff will lose.

The court will side with the defendant, as long as it is clear that her site is a parody, wait and see.

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