Copyright and Parody

July 14th, 2009 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

orangeparody

We all had fun using the question generator to create parodies.

Now what people may not be aware is the Electoral Commission Enrolment Centre filed a takedown notice against the site allowing you to create a parody, as Orange Man is their intellectual property.

New Zealand doesn’t have a specific exemption for parody and , so if they had proceeded, the site could have been forced to close.

Most people would agree the Electoral Commission Enrolment Centre should of course be able to take action if a person is using Orange Man to impersonate the Commission Enrolment Centre , or make people think it is a real notice on behalf of the electoral agencies. But most people can work out that a question such as “Should gingas be exterminated by 2011″ is not a real referendum.

Thankfully a compromise has been reached, where in return for explicit reference of the crown , I understand the Electoral Commission Enrolment Centre has withdrawn its objections (which is good of them).

It does highlight though the need for good intellectual property law that both rewards the owner of intellectual property, but also protects fair use and free speech by allowing satire and parody.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

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15 Responses to “Copyright and Parody”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    I was surprised to learn there are no exemptions for satire and parody.

    I bet the creator of that site is a sterling fellow.

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  2. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    should gingas be exterminated by 2011

    I have long suspected that DPF is secretly a self-loathing ginga.

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  3. Steve (4,520 comments) says:

    There’s always someone who wants to stop people having fun.

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  4. MT_Tinman (3,043 comments) says:

    “But most people can work out that a question such as “Should gingas be exterminated by 2011″ is not a real referendum.”

    Shocked is not the word for it.

    I’m devastated!

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  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    Electoral Enrolment Centre.

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  6. petal (705 comments) says:

    “in return for explicit reference of the crown copyright, I understand the Electoral Commission has withdrawn its objections”

    Wow. More of this common sense and I may have to give up some of my cynicism!

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  7. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    This reminds me of election night 1993 when TV3 had a great parody of the pathetic MMP referendum education adverts. In it person A explained that under MMP there would either be more Maori seats, the same number of Maori seats or fewer Maori seats. Person B then explain that on the other hand under FPP there would either be more Maori seats, the same number of Maori seats or fewer Maori seats. Both then cursed their total confusion. The advert was a great parody of the way the official campaign bent over so far backwards to be absolutely precisely accurate and impartial that it ended up telling people nothing and leaving them confused.

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  8. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    Since this copyright is owned by the crown and the crown holds such copyright in trust for the people of NZ, it stands to reason therefore that the copyright is the property of all Kiwis and can be used as such, without license, payment or threat of prosecution.

    For the state to claim otherwise would be a blatant abuse of power and a rort — since it’s *our* tax money that paid for the creation of the intellectual property in question.

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  9. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    I understood there was going to be a discussion document on a satire and parody exemption for the minister to approve shortly after the election. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0809/S00481.htm)

    I’m assuming it wasn’t approved?

    Incidentally, most of the arguments for satire or parody (that I can think of) also apply to collages/mashups. So there could be a slippery slope (I’m in favour BTW), but while I rate it very slippery it would be fairly short.

    Also, it would make the no-satire rule for Parliament TV footage a bit hypocritical, no?

    And finally, since the election types (I’m told) only require a credit in their general copyright terms anyway, why didn’t they just ask for one?

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  10. Inventory2 (10,168 comments) says:

    The Electoral Commission needs to lighten up a little

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2009/07/todays-referendum-1472009.html

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  11. Steve (4,520 comments) says:

    Hey Orange Man, tell Nanny to “Foxtrot Oscar”

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  12. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Uhhh, WTF ? Who paid for this orange man’s creation again ? Oh yeah, it was us , the taxpayers.

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  13. Fatal Paradox (10 comments) says:

    This lack of tolerance on the part of governmental and quasi-governmental organizations towards parody and satire is rather depressing – as I recall during last year’s election campaign the Workers Party also got a lawyer’s letter from the Smokefree Coalition complaining about their posters riffing on the well-known “Smoking: it just isn’t cool” campaign…

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  14. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    To summarise Graeme on PA (hopefully accurately): The Bill of Rights applies here. But a credit is not unreasonable. (If, in this case, obvious.)

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  15. Murray (8,841 comments) says:

    Screw em.

    Humourless bitches.

    We own their asses lock stock etc.

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