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Elsmere Music Inc. v. National Broadcasting Co.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS, SECOND CIRCUIT


decided: June 9, 1980.

ELSMERE MUSIC, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Gerard L. Goettel, Judge), F. Supp. , finding a song parody to be a non-infringing fair use of a copyright. Affirmed.

Before Feinberg, Newman and Kearse, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

This copyright infringement suit concerns a skit, shown on the television program "Saturday Night Live," poking fun at New York City's public relations campaign and its theme song. In the four-minute skit the town fathers of Sodom discuss a plan to improve their city's image. The satire ends with the singing of "I Love Sodom" to the tune of "I Love New York." The District Court for the Southern District of New York (Gerard L. Goettel, Judge) rejected appellant's claim of copyright infringement, concluding that the parody was protected fair use. Believing that, in today's world of often unrelieved solemnity, copyright law should be hospitable to the humor of parody, and that the District Court correctly applied the doctrine of fair use, we affirm on Judge Goettel's thorough opinion.*fn1 482 F. Supp. 741.


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