's Grant Crowell and entertainment law attorney Gordon Firemark take a fan question from their "Is That Legal?" video series on doing parody and satire in videos for your own business and other professional purposes. Is this person staying legal, or might they end up in trouble?


"Parody is among the kinds of things that we as a society have decided are worthy of the very highest level of protection. Parody falls under the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and freedom of the press. When you create a parody, what you’re doing is criticizing, commenting, poking fun at the thing you’re talking about. You are using irony and humor and sarcasm, essentially, to foster a discussion of issues that arise from the thing in question.

So that kind of discussion is very important for a free society to have and therefore we have given it a great deal of First Amendment protection. Parody is also a part of the fair use defense to copyright infringement.

"What that means is that if you are poking fun at a film or a photograph or a song, it is OK to use that work of art, that copyright protected work, as a part of the parody. You need to use it in order to make fun of it. So parody is a defense to the claim of copyright infringement.

AS long as the parody is creating the commentary, it is ok that it bends the truth a little bit, but it has to be very clear that what you are doing is a parody. If there’s a sense that you are making a true statement about a person and that statement is false, it could be construed as defamation

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