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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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 6:53pm

    SLAPP Happy

    It sounds like a threat of lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence a critic

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 7:30pm

    Thank god the EFF is around

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RD, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 10:15pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 21st, 2008 @ 5:33am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2008 @ 6:36am

        Re: Re: Welcome to the New America!

        or ... since the site has been taken down and their mission accomplished the victors will postpone indefinitely

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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