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+ - Family Guy Sued For Copyright Infringement 4

Submitted by Joe the Lesser
Joe the Lesser (533425) writes "Music publishing house Bourne Co. is suing Fox over the use of the song 'When you wish upon a star' which was parodied in the Family Guy episode entitled 'When You Wish Upon A Weinstein'. The episode contains a musical number entitled 'I Need a Jew' which the lawsuit called a thinly veiled copy of the music from "When You Wish Upon a Star," accompanied by new anti-Semitic lyrics. In the 67 years since its debut, the song has been recorded by more than 100 artists and orchestras, however, Bourne claims that "With its theme of wholesome hopefulness, the song has gained worldwide status as a classic. By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, defendants are harming the value of the song.""
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Family Guy Sued For Copyright Infringement

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  • Jiminy Cricket!
  • Nope, they're screwed. If it's the music which is the issue, Fox merely needs a mechanical license. If it's the lyrics, Fox didn't use them anyway. While music companies have tried before (and lost, in the Supreme Court), there's no provision in copyright law for preventing offensive parody.

    Of course, a song 68 years old would in any rational system be out of copyright by now anyway. Too bad we don't have one.
  • Let copyright duration stretch to infinity, but state that the amount of protection the holder receives after 28 years approaches zero. If the judge in this case were to come to some equivalent conclusion, that would help out this sorry situation greatly.

    Don't forget... according to the Founding Fathers, US citizens should own the original Star Wars film right now.
  • Why is Bourne wasting their time and $? Parodies are granted first amendment protection and are exempt from copyright infringement. Family Guy makes fun of EVERYONE. So what is the problem? I thought the episode (nearly all of them actually) was funny.

If you hype something and it succeeds, you're a genius -- it wasn't a hype. If you hype it and it fails, then it was just a hype. -- Neil Bogart

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