Parody, Fair Use of Copyright Infringement?

The Campus Theater showed Spaceballs earlier tonight. It is a parody of the original Star Wars Parody. People tend to have polar opinions on parodies, but I am a big fan of them, especially movie parodies. Parodies are merely a form of satire. They imitate “works of art” by deliberately exaggerating them mainly for the purpose of comedy. But is this fair use? or is it a Copyright Infringement?

Parodies can make fun of many forms of art – You can make a parody of almost anything. You can create parodies a writing styles (like the Onion), songs, movies, and even paintings. Sometimes people are insulted by parodies because they think that the parodies are disrespectful towards the original. I think these people are missing the point that these movies are intended for humor. Another reason that people don’t enjoy parodies is due to the fact that they do not get the references. Of course you need to have seen the original to appreciate and get the parody. Without seeing the original, parodies would seem like childish and pretty dumb movies. Below are some really funny parodies that everyone should take time out of their day to see.

Parodies flirt with the small line between copyright infringement fair use since they are essentially imitations of other works. It is not a simple distinction but rather a very complex and case-by-case situation. Click here for a more in depth and technical analysis of what makes a parody fair or a copyright infringement. An important aspect that would make a parody be fair use is weather or not the parody would negatively effect the market or value of the original. If it doesn’t, the owners and creators of the original work of art would probably not seek copyright infringement charges. I believe that more often than not, the parodies actually help the market and value of the original piece because it helps market it and also entices some people to watch the original before watching the parody. Do you think parodies help or hurt the original work?

Other examples and forms of parodies:

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