Judges know fair use and parody when they see it. Especially when it comes to South Park‘s “distinct animation style and scatological humor” as seen through the eyes of a 4th grade character.
That was the conclusion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Circuit today (read it below) when it affirmed a trial court judge’s July 2011 decision to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit over the viral “What, What (in the Butt)” internet video by the singer Samwell.
Here is why the decision is an important victory for parody, satire, and fair use on the Internet.
A federal appeals court in New York reversed a lower court ruling in Viacom’s copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube and Google over user uploads of thousands of popular TV shows like South Park and ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
“A reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website.”
The new decision (read it below) reverses the June 23, 2010 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granting summary judgment to YouTube and Google.
Continental Appliances, Inc., a California manufacturer of a gas wall heater sold at Lowe’s, sued the unknown poster of a YouTube video on Friday for claiming that its product creates “an imminent danger of fire and serious injury” because of “uncertain fuel settings.” (see below)