Who Gets the Last Laugh? Satire, Doctrine of Fair Use, and Copywrong Infringement

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Historically, satire and parody have been protected from alleged copyright infringement by the Doctrine of Fair Use defense. This article explores copyright infringement, the Doctrine of Fair Use, and satire with regard to “character image” while enlightening readers about how satire is intermixed with the Doctrine of Fair Use versus copyright infringement. This article proposes to enact a statute to help protect “character image” in satire, so that use of a celebrity “character image” in satire would be considered copyright infringement rather than fair use. Through analysis, it is suggested that “character image” needs protection in satire, just like a real celebrity has, due to its copyrightable interest. The addition component added to the Doctrine of Fair Use will not allow copyright infringement by a satire when it pertains to “character image”. With the proposed statute, the Doctrine of Fair Use defense could no longer be exploited by alleged infringers.

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Eric Gorman on:

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