oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The location of the parody defense in copyright law: some comparative perspectives

Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Copyright systems traditionally adopt one of two approaches to locating the parody defence - either by creating a special exception from copyright infringement, or by treating it as part of a general exception from copyright infringement, such as fair use or fair dealing. This article examines the position in the United States of America, some European countries, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, with reference not only to copyright law but also to the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. The author concludes that an express parody exception should be enacted in South African copyright law. Such an exception should be in line with the three-step test in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of lntellectual Property Rights. It should apply to an uthor's 'exclusive; (economic) rights only, as the narrow scope of the protection of an author's moral rights in South African law effectively remove these rights from the parody context.

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