Today was a good day for stopping non meritorious copyright infringement claims. Followers of the popular Fox television show "Family Guy" no doubt are aware that one of the show's hallmarks is its irreverent parodies of all aspects of popular culture. In the episode "When You Wish Upon A Weinstein," Peter Griffin decides that he needs to find a Jew to help him with his finances. He then breaks into a song that obviously parodies the wholesome "When You Wish Upon A Star" from the Disney classic Pinnochio. Music publishing house Bourne Co. obviously was not amused and brought a copyright infringement claim against 20th century fox. On Tuesday the judge ruled that the Family Guy song was a parody and did not violate any copyrights.
This case is a perfect example of copyright holders obviously trying to overstep their bounds. This claim should have been dismissed at a much earlier junction... this was obviously a parody protected by the first amendment. A parody obviously has to borrow some of the original to create the association with it. The sad part about this lawsuit is that not everyone has the deep pockets of 20th Century Fox to defend against these baseless suits and so many people fear creating parodies because they don't have the money to defend against aggressive media companies like Bourne Co.