Wal-Mart Cracks Down on Parody

Wal-Mart has threatened to sue a student who designed a parody web page that used some images from the Wal-Mart Foundation's website. The student has taken the images off his page. He's just 20 years old. What is he going to do to fight off Wal-Mart? However, I don't think he should have removed the images. He's in the right. The law gives very specific protections to parody, since parody inevitably depends upon borrowing elements of the original. I think the guy should put the images back up and counter-sue Wal-Mart for fraudulent claim of copyright. Well, he probably wouldn't get away with that. But put the back images up, at least. By removing them he's giving up his rights without a battle. And if Wal-Mart did go through with some kind of litigation, I'm sure he could find someone to represent him.


Posted on Thu Apr 28, 2005


Heck, the whole youth activist group would be fighting to represent him.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  12:26 AM
Fair use and parody cases are almost always about threats and not really about the law. A company with huge pockets is very tough to fight and they have shown they are willing to fight long battles even when they know they are in the wrong in order to bankrupt/demoralize their foe.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  08:58 AM
Great publicity for the site though.
Posted by Peter  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  03:50 PM
Hey, we're living in Bush's America. Individuals are no longer allowed to even attempt to fight corporations, law and rights be damned. It's all part of the chimp's catering to his "base"--millionaires and billionaires. Bankruptcy protections? Social security? Class-action lawsuits? Kiss 'em goodbye, suckers!
Posted by Barghest  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  07:02 PM
the "censorship" accusation and rubber stamps featured prominently on the "parody" site speak of superficial sensationalism: of course wal-mart can't censor anyone -- only the government can censor. all wal-mart did was threaten legal action. and how did this hero of the people react? tail between his legs ... how brave.

and the idea that they unintentionally revealed the foundation to be nothing more than a front group for the corporation -- just as he suspected! hilarious. talk about the scoop of the century! oh to be young and naive ... again.
Posted by fild dilderson  on  Tue May 03, 2005  at  01:45 AM
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