Judge: Hangover 2 Can Still Be Released; But Tattoo Artist May Prevail In The End
from the fair-use-is-dead dept
Thankfully, the judge has denied the request for an injunction, meaning that the movie will still be released. However, she does note that Whitmill has "a strong likelihood of ultimately succeeding on the merits of the case." I find that to be a bit troubling as well, but we'll see how the case goes. Of course, if you accept that fair use is not a right, but just a defense, it is possible to see how Whitmill may succeed in showing infringement, while Warner Bros. could still win with a fair use defense. Still, the whole thing seems pretty ridiculous. If Whitmill still wins, he could receive a large chunk of money in an award and could still get an injunction for future releases (DVD, cable, etc.). Over a parody tattoo.
Of course, there's a clear element of Warner Bros., a leading proponent of stricter copyright enforcement, being hoisted on its own petard, in this case, but it seems unlikely that anyone at Warner Bros. has the self-awareness necessary to recognize that its own constant refrain about the importance of "protecting" copyright is part of what now puts it in this position.