Is a parody still a parody if it's less sublimely ridiculous than the thing that inspired it?
The producers of "South Park" are being sued by the creators of the viral smash "What What (in the Butt)," a song by Samwell, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The "South Park" version features the "South Park" character Butters performing the song.
The Samwell video has been viewed more than 33 million times. It's producers, Brownmark Films, accuse the "South Park" producers – including Viacom and Comedy Central – of copyright infringement. At issue is whether the "South Park" song qualifies as parody under fair use laws.
"Courts have consistently recognized that parody enjoys broad protections under the First Amendment and the Copyright Act," Comedy Central said in a statement. "We believe 'South Park's' parody of the 'What What (In the Butt)' viral music video that appeared in the 2008 episode of 'South Park' entitled 'Canada on Strike,' is fully protected against any copyright infringement claims under the fair-use doctrine and the First Amendment and we plan to vigorously defend those rights."
The Samwell version: