Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Parody Copyright and Mining

A tale of two websites:

The first is created by the New South Wales Minerals Council, a lobby group for the mining industry. The second is by Rising Tide, a Newcastle (Australia) group dedicated to climate change issues. The Minerals Council has challenged the parody website on grouds of copyright. It has had the parody legally removed twice and the site is now hosted on a server in Afghanistan (!!???). The similarities are striking, beginning with the URLs:

http://www.nswmining.com.au/index.html (original)

http://miningnsw.com.au/index.php (parody)

However, it seems clear that each has a very different intention and they in no way share authorship. The parody site is commenting on the original and it does not make sense unless the original is taken into consideration it its reading. Freedom of expression over rides the right of the authors here I would argue.

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