A parody is an artistic or expressive work designed to incorporate elements from, or the style of, an existing work for comic effect; frequently intended to criticize the underlying work. In the context of Copyright law, a parody uses elements from an existing work to criticize the work itself and is entitled to greater Fair Use protection than works incorporating underlying works to criticize an unrelated person or thing. On the other hand, satire is an artistic or expressive work designed to criticize someone or something through exaggeration, humor, and/or irony. In the context of Copyright law, a satire may incorporate elements of an existing work, but without the intent to criticize the original work.

Opinions & Commentaries

Hustler magazine parodied Jerry Falwell, a nationally-known minister and public commentator, in a cartoon that imagined Falwell recalling his first sexual experience with his mother in an outhouse. The cartoon included a disclaimer that it was an “ad parody not to be taken seriously.” Falwell received damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress from the trial court and the Fourth Circuit.

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