Monday, April 12, 2010

Copyrights & Campaigns - First Amendment, Parody or Copyright Infringement?

Here is a post by Ben Sheffner that has a link to a copy of a motion for summary judgment made arguing that use of "Boys of Summer" in an election campaign was a "parody". The motion makes the analogy to the Ralph Nader "Priceless" campaign (Mastercard sued Nader and lost) I would have to watch the video, but I can't imagine "Boys of Summer" was used by DeVore as a parody.

This case is analogous to the Obama/Hope case: I think the best argument is that this is pure political speech made during a political campaign. There is lots of good Supreme Court case law protecting election speech under the First Amendment. No copyright lawyer wants to open up that Pandora's box, but when copyright owners start suing political adversaries, my bet, based on the "core protected speech" caselaw is that free political discourse will ultimately win.

But the devil is in the details, I would need to know more.

Copyrights & Campaigns: Chuck DeVore moves for summary judgment in Don Henley copyright suit; argues fair use of songs in 'parody' videos

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