April 29, 2004

Trump Fires Bush, a Copyright Parable

Filed under: events, open — Wendy @ 7:30 pm

Thanks to Ernie for pointing out the latest from TrueMajority: a video mashup of NBC’s The Apprentice with news footage of George W. Bush, in which Trump Fires Bush (mirrored flash or quicktime). Never mind Trump’s trademark applications for “You’re Fired”, this could raise copyright issues too!

I think it’s clear the mashup is a political parody that would be protected as fair use, but in the world of the broadcast flag, post July 2005, neither I nor a judge might ever get to make that call. If the “copy never” flag is set, commentators never get the raw materials for their parodies; judges never get to reset the bounds of fair use to an evolving media culture. The public’s rights are frozen in 2004 while technology marches forward. That shouldn’t be, since as the Canadian Supreme Court has said so well: “user rights are not just loopholes.” (CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada)

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