Monday, November 2, 2015

Appeals Court Rules 'Point Break' Parody Is Entitled to Copyright Protection; Hollywood Reporter, 10/30/15

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Appeals Court Rules 'Point Break' Parody Is Entitled to Copyright Protection:
"On Friday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals took up a dispute that is a bit of a mind-bender and delivered an opinion that determines that a parody is entitled to copyright protection.
The dispute concerns playwright Jamie Keeling's theatrical adaptation of the 1991 film Point Break, which starred Keanu Reeves as a federal agent who goes undercover as a surfer. In the film, Reeves is unintentionally hysterical, so Keeling got the bright idea to have an audience member chosen at random to recite his lines.
The production company behind the live version stopped paying Keeling, did its own version, and took the position that that Keeling had no right to her script since it was based on the film. This set up the fascinating question of whether someone who creates a parody of copyrighted material could sue someone else who also is doing a parody.
In December 2012, after a judge said absolutely, a jury returned a $250,000 verdict in favor of Keeling. What followed was the appeal where 2nd Circuit judge Jose Cabranes decides that even an unauthorized work that makes fair use of source material is protected."

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