So I’ll be posting my book on Amazon rather soon, and it’s a parody. There’s no question at all about that under U.S. copyright law-- I can’t find a single precedent where a work like this has been ruled to be anything else. But what happens when we consider that the work is available in other countries that don’t recognize fair use exception for parodies? (Italy is one.) Clearly, a lot of people must have figured this question out-- there MUST be about thirty-five Fifty Shades parodies on Amazon so far (and no, this isn’t another one! It’s best not to add to the overall quotient of evil in the universe by writing it.) But how does it really work? Is it just that nobody bothers to go after them, or is it that the Amazon servers are in America (I think…), or what? Part of the reason is that I want to commission an Italian artist to do the cover art. Is there any chance that SHE could get in trouble because Italy does not have a fair use exception for parody?
All answers appreciated from the incredibly smart people here!
Nor sure I understand your question, but I’ll give it a shot. I believe you are suggesting that your e-book might violate the copyright law in Italy, and wonder how you can be protected from having it sold there?
Amazon deals with this issue by limiting the sale of books in some countries, based on the address in the customer’s account information.
I have no idea of the copyright law in Italy*, but I’m confused by your notion that you might be violating it.
The parodies of Fifty Shades on Amazon that I’ve looked at are protected because they are different works. You can’t copyright ideas. If you change the names, the words, the incidents, the dialog, and the cover, you have done a new work. It doesn’t matter in the least if you are commenting on another work.
The parody exception that courts have found to be protected by fair use involves taking the actual content in some way and using that for satire. If you are not taking the actual content of Fifty Shades then you are not in violation of any copyright. In any country that I am aware of.
If your artist copies the cover art then she may in violation of the original art owner’s copyright. And it’s possible that some aspects of the cover images have been trademarked, although the fake covers of the parodies on Amazon are so similar that I would doubt that’s true.
Overall, though, I’m guessing that your conception of copyright is wrong and the reason that nobody pursues these cases is that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on anywhere.
*And apparently your understanding is wrong.
Response to the Issues Paper: Fair Use and Other Copyright Exceptions in the Digital Age Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA) and Centre for Media and Communications Law (CMCL) The University of Melbourne July 2005
Oh, dear GOD, it’s not another parody of Fifty Shades. Nonono. There’s enough evil, darkness, and utter un-niceness in this world already.
Nothing could make me happier than being wrong about Italy!! (Well, okay; world peace would be even better, but we have to take what we can get.) I’d so much rather be wrong about even the slightest possibility of getting into trouble anywhere than be, well… right.