Absolut Bull$#!%

absolut-corruption-2politicaljunkies.JPGI’m a big fan and supporter of parody and I loathe petty litigation. The image posted here is brought to you by the fine folks at 2 Political Junkies. I’m not associated with them, by the way. The reason I have my own copy of the image is just in case they have to take it down for legal reasons. Ya see, apparently the owners of Absolut Vodka, V&S, don’t get the joke. They’ve asked 2 Political Junkies to take down the image.

"A lawyer for Absolut’s owners, V&S, e-mailed Lupinacci Nov. 14, saying the parody infringes on Absolut’s copyright and trademark, and requested it be immediately removed. The firm’s policy is to stay away from political statements of any kind, attorney Jenny Bergquist wrote, and ‘you are using the Absolut trademark in order to promote your political message.’"

So much for free speech and protection of parody.

"Although a parody can be considered a derivative work under United States Copyright Law it can be protected under the fair use of 17 USC ? 107. In 2001, the federal Court of Appeals, 11th District in Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin upheld the right of Alice Randall to publish a parody of Gone with the Wind called The Wind Done Gone, which told the same story from the point of view of Scarlett O’Hara’s slaves, who were glad to be rid of her. See also the Supreme Court of the United States case Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music regarding the song Oh, Pretty Woman."

In particular, parody advertisements are legally protected.

Unless and until lawyers start breathing down my neck, I’ll be keeping this image up. Welcome to America, V&S, land of free speech and home of fair use. Get bent!

P.S. I agree with the commenters who want a version for Democrats, too. Come to think of it, in response to V&S’s petty behavior, a parody of them in the same vein might be appropriate. 😉

P.P.S. Someone please hit this guy with a cluebat/LART/mallet o’ understanding.

Comments 6

  1. Rob wrote:

    That’s fascinating — everyone seems to be picking on “The Wind Done Gone” case, me included. Mostly because it ended happily.

    On my blog, I mentioned the case of the floating VW Beetle that National Lampoon did long before you were born. I think it would still make the conservatives happy. Of course, it didn’t have a happy ending.

    “The Wind Done Gone” was a great book, BTW. I finished reading it Sept. 10th, 2001, and the next day wrote a quick message to someone suggesting they’d enjoy it. They wrote back telling me to turn on the TV, and that they might never laugh again.

    Posted 26 Nov 2005 at 7:09 am
  2. Maria wrote:

    Thanks for the support! We haven’t given up just yet. There should be an article in the City Paper next week and David and I will be on McIntire’s radio show on KDKA this evening (10 or 11PM?).

    We do plan on taking this as far as we can.

    (Someone sent me the “The Wind Done Gone” case as well.)

    Posted 26 Nov 2005 at 12:00 pm
  3. Funky Dung wrote:

    I’d didn’t pick the WDG case, per se. It’s what’s listed in Wikipedia under parodies and copyrights.

    Posted 26 Nov 2005 at 3:15 pm
  4. Rob wrote:


    How’s it feel to be a liberal wingnut who doesn’t care about the law?

    Check out Justin Lollie’s blog.

    You liberal, you!

    Posted 26 Nov 2005 at 4:37 pm
  5. Advocatus Adolescenti wrote:

    Technically, a parody must comment on the object it is parodying. It’s a stretch with the Campbell case, but would not apply at all here. In order for this to be parody, you’d have to somehow be commenting on Absolut. That’s not the point of the ad, so it becomes “political commentary” or some such thing…and is slightly less protected.

    Posted 06 Dec 2005 at 11:41 pm
  6. Funky Dung wrote:

    As far as I know, what Weird Al does qualifies as parody. Most of his parodies don’t comment on the band whose song’s he’s borrowed.

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 3:18 am

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