Danny points us to yet another story of copyright being used to stifle creativity, rather than enhance it. It’s the story of Jodie Rivera, better known as VenetianPrincess, for years “the most subscribed to female on YouTube.” She creates video parodies of famous pop songs, such as the Lady Gaga parody below, which has nearly three million views:
However, apparently she hasn’t been releasing videos lately, and a few weeks ago, took to YouTube to explain the unfortunate reasons why. It seems that various music publishers are telling her that parody is not fair use, and, from the sound of it, have been threatening her if she doesn’t pay up. You can see her explanation here:
She doesn’t explain the full details, but it’s not hard to guess what happened. The publishers, who represent the songwriters, not the performers, can likely claim that while the song may be a parody of the musicians, it’s still using the actual music, and thus is not fair use (there are some other legal arguments as to why it might not be fair use as well). But, if you look at it from a common sense standpoint, it’s ridiculous. These parodies don’t take anything away from the original songs, and, if anything, probably serve to make them even more popular. So, once again, we have a case of copyright law being used to stifle creativity, rather than enhance it.