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Ann Arbor Public School Site
Status: Parody
image The website of the Ann Arbor Public School system can be found at http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/. A parody version of it (created by an unknown author) is at http://annarborpublicschools.org/. Apparently the school district doesn't find the parody amusing, because they're sending its domain host a cease-and-desist letter claiming infringement of their intellectual property. The two sites do look very similar, but I don't think their case would hold up in court. After all, parody relies upon copying elements of whatever it's making fun of, and parody has always been a "fair use" exception to copyright that the courts have strongly defended. However, the question will be whether the case ever gets to a court. Often domain hosts see a cease-and-desist letter and immediately take down the material in question rather than risk any kind of legal action. We'll have to wait and see what happens here. But I took a screen shot of the parody site, just in case it does disappear.
Websites
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 28, 2006
I looked all over the "parody" site, but saw nothing stating that it was a parody. I thought that in order to be protected by law, a parody has to state that it is a parody, and not to be taken seriously.
Posted by buddhaonline  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  04:10 PM
I suppose they could sue for copyright on images.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  05:23 AM
Now that's funny. We should all create parody sites of the school boards in our own district. I'm sure everyone's district has enough problems to provide plenty of source material.

Copyright law does not require that a parody specifically state that it is such. Even the lawmakers know that requiring that would diminish the effect of satire. Besides, there is absolutely no way anyone could read that site and not know it's a parody.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  09:33 AM
Maybe it's just because my own high school is strapped for funds, but that has to be the funniest parody site ever. The creator(s) ought to get an award.
Posted by Iria  on  Fri Mar 03, 2006  at  05:12 PM
By the way, if anyone except me is really interested in this site, they've been updating it. They say that they are going to publish the cease and desist letter soon "so you can see where your money goes."
Posted by Iria  on  Fri Mar 03, 2006  at  05:14 PM
The site was forced to shut down last week.

It received 35000 hits during its short live and many emails. None showed any sign of having been deceived. No one thought the site was the real site or that they were emailing anyone really affiliated with the AAPS system.

All but one email was supportive. Most emails expressed either gratitude for the laugh or the humorous yet true exposition of the issues, or were in kind. That is, giving proposals for savings, for example, that were also hilarious and over the top.

It of course the whole thing was parody. It was over the top, unmistakeable parody. I am waiting to see if the district and its lawyers, who make over $390 an hour, will come after me beyond the cease and desist letter.

Alan Pagliere, the creator of the site.
PS. 1) Thanks for your interest. Here's to exposing mismanagement, and disingenousness at all levels of government and politics, in all ways, serious ( http://proposedhighschool.org ) and humorous.
2) See http://www.theyesmen.org for more about "identity correction"
Posted by Alan  on  Sun Mar 12, 2006  at  01:36 PM
Alan, who took down the site. You or your domain host?

And by the way, buddhaonline, I don't think parody has to identify itself with a disclaimer. But a lot of parody sites do, just to play it safe.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Mar 13, 2006  at  04:23 PM
It was a bit complicated, but I took down the site voluntarily. For a more complete story, see http://www.pagliere.net/alan/annarborpublicschools/

I will likely fill it out a bit more, but that's it for now.

And no, of course parody doesn't need to have a disclaimer. Imagine Saturday Night Live having to disclaim every impersonation of George Bush or other famous person.

chau,
Alan
Posted by Alan Pagliere  in  Ann Arbor, Michigan  on  Tue Mar 21, 2006  at  11:40 AM
The parody version looks better than the original.
Posted by promovare seo  on  Mon Dec 24, 2007  at  03:38 PM
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