We all had fun using the referendum 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 satire, 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in return for explicit reference of the crown copyright, I understand the Electoral Commission Enrolment Centre has withdrawn its objections (which is good of them).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