The Curmudgeon


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fair Profit, Fair Comment

Fury at parody horror

A report on reform of the copyright laws is expected to get a favourable reception from the Government, in part because its recommendations include relaxation of the laws on parody.

The report was presented to the business secretary, a parody of a Liberal Democrat, and recommended permitting caricature and pastiche provided they do not significantly interfere with the profits of multinational corporations.

Ministers from both the Conservative and Deputy Conservative parties are thought to support relaxing the parody laws.

Just as many music consumers have been uploading tracks from legally purchased CDs without being aware that it is actually illegal, many members of the coalition have been parodies for years without being aware of the legal issues involved.

"It's a difficult area," said coalition legal adviser Bradley Ichneumon. "The PM and Chancellor are parodies of their former selves from the Bullingdon Club, but their former selves never filed for a patent on themselves, so there shouldn't be any lawsuits even if the country passes them on its way back to the eighteenth century."

Others may not be so lucky, particularly those ministers who are parodies along even less recognizably human lines, such as Maria Miller, the parody of a motivational speaker, or Iain Duncan Smith, a parody of the Liam Byrne parody Chris Grayling.

"The patenting of the human genome could potentially mean that any Tory office boy could sue Nick Clegg for making him look bad, or that anyone with a functioning set of testicles could sue Michael Gove for defaming any single one of his or her spermatozoa," Dr Ichneumon said.


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