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Copyright and the Parody Problem - An examination between the UK, Sweden and Canada

Karlsson, Lisette LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Sammanfattning

Den här uppsatsen är en granskning av brittisk, svensk och kanadensisk upphovsrätt. Mer exakt utreder detta arbete de olika ländernas syn på parodier och hur dessa skyddas under respektive lands upphovsrättslag. För att få en bättre förståelse för om parodier kan kvalificeras som upphovsrättsliga verk, berör även denna uppsats vilka olika kriterier varje land har satt upp för att ett verk ska anses vara originellt. Alla tre länder kräver att ett verk måste vara originellt, men inte någonstans i någon av upphovsrättslagarna finns det en konkret definition av ordet. Istället har varje land sin egen tolkning av det. I både Storbritannien och Kanada härleds definitionen från domstolsavgöranden, medan Sveriges tolkning av... (More)
Sammanfattning

Den här uppsatsen är en granskning av brittisk, svensk och kanadensisk upphovsrätt. Mer exakt utreder detta arbete de olika ländernas syn på parodier och hur dessa skyddas under respektive lands upphovsrättslag. För att få en bättre förståelse för om parodier kan kvalificeras som upphovsrättsliga verk, berör även denna uppsats vilka olika kriterier varje land har satt upp för att ett verk ska anses vara originellt. Alla tre länder kräver att ett verk måste vara originellt, men inte någonstans i någon av upphovsrättslagarna finns det en konkret definition av ordet. Istället har varje land sin egen tolkning av det. I både Storbritannien och Kanada härleds definitionen från domstolsavgöranden, medan Sveriges tolkning av begreppet härleds från förarbetena som ledde fram till den svenska upphovsrättslagen.

Trots att definitionen av ordet originalitet och de kriterier som måste vara uppfyllda för att ett verk ska anses vara originellt är väldigt olika i de tre länderna, så leder de alla till slutsatsen att parodier väldigt sällan anses vara originella verk. För att en parodi ska anses vara rolig och för att uppfylla det syftet, krävs att de personer som läser eller ser parodin känner igen originalverket som parodin bygger på. Därför anses en parodi mycket sällan vara ett originellt verk i och med att de ofta använder sig av andras verk och det här skapar problem. För parodier är något som har funnits i tusentals år och dessutom något som människor ofta uppskattar.

Storbritannien, Sverige och Kanada har hanterat problemet med parodier på olika sätt och det här är något som kommer att diskuteras mer i detalj i denna uppsats. Storbritannien har sitt speciella tillvägagångssätt när de hanterar parodier och det har skapat en hel del problem inom den brittiska upphovsrätten. I Storbritannien särbehandlas inte parodier på något sätt, vilket innebär att de oftast ses som intrång i och med att en väsentlig del av någon annans upphovsrättsliga verk används. Det finns heller inget uttryckligt undantag för parodier i den brittiska upphovsrättslagen. Därför finns det hos de brittiska domstolarna en mängd olika synsätt beträffande hur frågor som rör parodier ska tolkas.

I Sverige däremot finns inget uttryckligt undantag i upphovsrättslagen som täcker parodier. Trots det ses oftast parodier som tillåtna verk som inte innebär intrång. Denna tolkning härleds från förarbetena till upphovsrättslagen, där det anges att parodier ska ses som självständiga verk även om de kan vara väldigt lika andras upphovsrättsliga verk. I de svenska förarbetena påpekas att parodier varken ska anses kränka den ekonomiska eller den ideella rätten. Trots detta förslår ett HD-fall från 2005 att det finns en möjlighet att parodier kan kränka den ideella rätten.

I Kanada är parodier sedan början av november 2012 uttryckligt täckta under undantaget god sed i paragraf 29 i den kanadensiska upphovsrättslagen. I och med att det här är en väldigt ny ändring i lagen så har det inte hunnit komma någon ny praxis som berör denna fråga, och hur det nya undantaget kommer att tolkas av domstolarna är något som bara tiden kan utvisa. Även om situationen är sådan förefaller det som att det enbart är den ekonomiska rätten som är täckt under paragraf 29 av den kanadensiska upphovsrättslagen, vilket innebär att parodier i vissa fall fortfarande kan anses vara intrång i den ideella rätten. (Less)
Abstract
Summary

This paper examines the copyright laws of the British, Swedish and Canadian systems. More precisely it investigates the different countries views on parodies and in what way they are or aren’t protected under their Copyright Act. To get a better understanding of parodies and how they can qualify as a copyright work, this paper also deals with the different requirement each country has set up for a work to be seen as original. All three countries require in some way that a work needs to be original but nowhere in any of the Copyright Acts is there a definition of the concept. Instead each of the countries have their own interpretation of it. In both the UK and Canada the definition derives from court rulings, while in Sweden the... (More)
Summary

This paper examines the copyright laws of the British, Swedish and Canadian systems. More precisely it investigates the different countries views on parodies and in what way they are or aren’t protected under their Copyright Act. To get a better understanding of parodies and how they can qualify as a copyright work, this paper also deals with the different requirement each country has set up for a work to be seen as original. All three countries require in some way that a work needs to be original but nowhere in any of the Copyright Acts is there a definition of the concept. Instead each of the countries have their own interpretation of it. In both the UK and Canada the definition derives from court rulings, while in Sweden the interpretation of the concept derives from the preparatory work leading up to the Swedish Copyright Act.

Even though the definition of original and the criteria that has to be fulfilled for a work to be original is very different in the three countries, all of them have come to the conclusion where parodies are rarely seen as original works. For a parody to be seen as funny it depends on the fact that people need to recognize the original work on which the parody is based. Therefore a parody isn’t often seen as original since it uses someone else’s work. This creates a problem since parodies are something that have been around for thousands of years and something that people thoroughly enjoy.

The UK, Sweden and Canada have dealt with the parody problem in different ways and this is something that will be discussed more in detail in this paper. The UK has their special approach when they deal with parodies, and this is something that creates a lot of problems within the British copyright law. Since in the UK parodies don’t receive any special treatment, they are most of the time seen as substantial taking of someone else’s work and therefore infringement. There is neither an exception for parodies within the C.D.P.A and therefore there are a lot of different approaches that the courts have taken when they dealt with parodies in the UK.

In Sweden on the other hand there isn’t an expressed exception for parodies in their Copyright Act. Notwithstanding that this is the case parodies are most of the time seen as allowed works and not infringements. This derives from the preparatory work of the Copyright Act where it has been stated that parodies should be seen as independent works, even though they can be very similar to someone else’s. In Sweden the preparatory work indicates that parodies won’t offend neither the economic nor the moral rights. However, a case from 2005 does suggest that there is a possibility that moral rights can be infringed upon by parodies.

In Canada parodies are since the beginning of November 2012 explicitly covered under the fair dealing exception in section 29 of the Canadian Copyright Act. Since this is a very new amendment there haven’t yet been any cases dealing with this new regulation, and how this new exception will be used and interpreted by the courts is something only time will tell. Although it seems to be the case that only the economic rights are protected under section 29 of the Copyright Act, which means that parodies under some circumstances can still infringe the moral rights. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Karlsson, Lisette LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Förmögenhetsrätt, immaterialrätt, verkshöjd, parody, England, Sverige, Canada, intellectual property law
language
English
id
3799920
date added to LUP
2013-07-23 09:15:20
date last changed
2013-07-23 09:15:20
@misc{3799920,
  abstract     = {Summary

This paper examines the copyright laws of the British, Swedish and Canadian systems. More precisely it investigates the different countries views on parodies and in what way they are or aren’t protected under their Copyright Act. To get a better understanding of parodies and how they can qualify as a copyright work, this paper also deals with the different requirement each country has set up for a work to be seen as original. All three countries require in some way that a work needs to be original but nowhere in any of the Copyright Acts is there a definition of the concept. Instead each of the countries have their own interpretation of it. In both the UK and Canada the definition derives from court rulings, while in Sweden the interpretation of the concept derives from the preparatory work leading up to the Swedish Copyright Act. 

Even though the definition of original and the criteria that has to be fulfilled for a work to be original is very different in the three countries, all of them have come to the conclusion where parodies are rarely seen as original works. For a parody to be seen as funny it depends on the fact that people need to recognize the original work on which the parody is based. Therefore a parody isn’t often seen as original since it uses someone else’s work. This creates a problem since parodies are something that have been around for thousands of years and something that people thoroughly enjoy. 

The UK, Sweden and Canada have dealt with the parody problem in different ways and this is something that will be discussed more in detail in this paper. The UK has their special approach when they deal with parodies, and this is something that creates a lot of problems within the British copyright law. Since in the UK parodies don’t receive any special treatment, they are most of the time seen as substantial taking of someone else’s work and therefore infringement. There is neither an exception for parodies within the C.D.P.A and therefore there are a lot of different approaches that the courts have taken when they dealt with parodies in the UK. 
 
In Sweden on the other hand there isn’t an expressed exception for parodies in their Copyright Act. Notwithstanding that this is the case parodies are most of the time seen as allowed works and not infringements. This derives from the preparatory work of the Copyright Act where it has been stated that parodies should be seen as independent works, even though they can be very similar to someone else’s. In Sweden the preparatory work indicates that parodies won’t offend neither the economic nor the moral rights. However, a case from 2005 does suggest that there is a possibility that moral rights can be infringed upon by parodies. 
 
In Canada parodies are since the beginning of November 2012 explicitly covered under the fair dealing exception in section 29 of the Canadian Copyright Act. Since this is a very new amendment there haven’t yet been any cases dealing with this new regulation, and how this new exception will be used and interpreted by the courts is something only time will tell. Although it seems to be the case that only the economic rights are protected under section 29 of the Copyright Act, which means that parodies under some circumstances can still infringe the moral rights.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Lisette},
  keyword      = {Förmögenhetsrätt,immaterialrätt,verkshöjd,parody,England,Sverige,Canada,intellectual property law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Copyright and the Parody Problem - An examination between the UK, Sweden and Canada},
  year         = {2013},
}