School Shit: Invoking Fair Use for Fun and Profit

Before we get started I want to show all of you something.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was a Lady Gaga song parody sung by anime characters. So who, if anyone, can sue over that? The original song is owned by Lady Gaga and her record label. The footage from Dragon Ball Z is owned by Fuji TV, Toie, Akira Koriyama, Shonen Jump, with North American distribution rights belonging to Funimation. So who in that clusterfuck can sue? Can anyone sue? Does the fact that the scenes were from about a dozen different episodes and arranged in such a way to make no logical sense give it protection from copyright lawsuits? Does changing a song about a catty women into a song about bald men protect one from Lady Gaga’s meat dress and legal department?

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Pictured: Lady Gaga’s legal department

Okay, that one’s a bit tricky, how about this one:

These are called “Abridged Series,” made popular by LittleKuribo, who created the Yugioh Abridged Series. For those not in the know an Abridged Series takes an original work, shortens it and redubs it, usually in a comical way to mock and parody the original. Can you sue for that? Apparently not, since Yugioh the Abridged Series has been taken down at least three times before, but it has been on for so long that it gives the impression that the original creators of the series are okay with it. And it’s far from the only example, there are tons more, including Gantz, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. These series summarize the original works, so it can be argued they can subtract from the original value. Now, anime is notoriously loose with its copyright enforcement, since they like to foster a sense of community so all the overpriced merchandise sells.

So what’s up with that? Who can sue? Who can’t sue? Who care’s to sue? Ideas people? Inquiring minds want to know. Don’t get me started on these pony songs.

Oh, and added bonus on the subject of remixes. I just noticed that in the top line of the pony video there are at least three remixes of this remix, and I know for a fact there are more. The internet is a strange, strange place.

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About cacthenerd

Dude, let me in, I'm a fairy.
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One Response to School Shit: Invoking Fair Use for Fun and Profit

  1. Sean says:

    Pretty interesting blog. I like your examples and the way you broke down who had the rights to each. It just shows how vague it can be when identifying who has the rights to any remixed product online.

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