The Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Inc. is a case regards a music group,2 live crew recorded a parody of a previously created song and then using it for commercial purposes. “oh, pretty women” is a song written by Roy Orbison. He assigned the rights of the song to Acuff-Ross Music INC, protecting the song copyright. Since the 2 live crew use the song and didn’t give any credit to the original artist. In fact they claimed that they will give the credit but they didn’t. Therefore, after the release of the song, the original artists sued the Parody band, 2 live crew, for using their work for a commercial purpose without any credit for him.
The Supreme Court revers the judgment of the lower court, the Court of Appeal and remanded for further proceeding consistent with this opinion
The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether 2 Live Crew’s commercial parody could be fair use of the original song. The court recognized that the Parody was an infringement on Acuff-Ross;s copyright. The Court lists four factors that should be considered in determining whether a use is fair:
- The Purpose and character of use commercial or educational
- The Nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copywriter work as a whole.
- The effect on the potential market for the copyright law.
After evaluating the fair use factors, the Court stated that each of the four factors has to be more explored and taken together to consideration. Therefore, The Supreme Court held that the new work by 2 live crew was fair because it avoided infringing Acuff-Ross’s right in the song “Oh Pretty Women.
in determining whether there is a violation of fair use, the commercial success of a parody can not be considered to be presumptively unfair and the extent of use is not determinative.