Important addition to preceding post about 9th Circuit
By way of review, The summary of the 9th Circuit's Dr. Seuss decision says (the summary, which does not constitute a part of the opinion of the court, is copyrighted by Barclays Law Publishers),
 The parodist is permitted a fair use of a copyrighted work if it takes no more than is necessary to "recall" or "conjure up" the object of the parody. The critical issue was whether The Cat NOT in the Hat! was a parody.  Parody must target the original, not just its general style, the genre to which it belongs, or society as a whole. (numbers are item numbers, not footnote numbers. Emphasis added)
The opinion of the court itself implies -- but does not explicitly say -- that the critical issue was whether The Cat Not in the Hat! was a "parody" according to the court's definitions. The opinion of the court itself does say that in order for the borrowing work to be considered a "parody," it must at least target the borrowed work, but may in addition target something else.
Anyway, rather than confuse the issue by using the ambiguous words "parody" and "satire," I will just distinguish between borrowing works that (1) target the borrowed work and (2) do not target the borrowed work. A key sentence in the Supreme Court's Campbell opinion said,
If, on the contrary, the commentary has no critical bearing on the substance or style of the original composition, which the alleged infringer merely uses to get attention or to avoid the drudgery in working up something fresh, the claim to fairness in borrowing from another's work diminishes accordingly (if it does not vanish), and other factors, like the extent of its commerciality, loom larger. (emphasis added)
So Campbell only says that when "the commentary has no critical bearing on the substance or style of the original composition," then "the claim to fairness in borrowing from another's work" only "diminishes accordingly," and -- contrary to the above official summary of the Dr. Seuss decision -- Campbell does not say that the claim to fairness in borrowing then necessarily disappears entirely. So the whole parody v. satire issue is a house of cards that was built on a false interpretation of Campbell.
BTW, some dictionaries' definitions of "parody" say that the a parody might just be humorous and does not necessarily have to target anything.
In a previous post, I pointed out that Footnote 14 of Campbell is also important.
Labels: Yoko Ono lawsuit