I leave for two hours and this thread runs amock! Hmm, maybe I started it (sort-of)
Jerry Falwell lost his case because of the context in which the cartoon was written and published. Hustler, in small print, indicated that it was a parody and listed it as a ficiton in the table of contents. The Supreme Court stated if this parody was ruled as libel than other political cartoonist and satrists would be subjec tto the same. It also ruled that in order to win emotional damages in a parody case (which is what Falwell was suing for) a person must prove three things:
"1. That the parody or satire amounted to statement of fact, not an opinion
2. That it was a false statement of fact
3. That the person who drew the cartoon or wrote the article knew it was false, or exhibited reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the material. In other words, proof of actual malice is necessary."
(Don R. Pember, Mass Media Law, pgs. 235-236)
As far as copyright goes, cake purses would be classified more as misappropriation. "A person trying to pass hiw or her work off as the work of someone else & a person trying to pass off the work of someone else as his or her own work" (PEmber, pg. 514)
Urrgh, and there is this other case (which I can't think of) in which this celebrity sued a company because they put his face in one of their ads. I THINK it fell under false advertising, but he was neither employed by the company or endorsed it and this ad gave the general public the impression that he did.
(Oh, and the People vs. Larry Flynt is a different. They tried to sue him for obscenity - which has also been ruled to be decided on a case by case issue. - I could write about that too, but I won't
Oh, and I don't want you guys thinking I follow up on all these porn/obscenity cases. I was a Communication major and we learned about ALL these cases in reference to mass media law. The only porn I get off is cake porn!
P.S. Did I ever mention I was a nerd?
One last P.S. - why did you guys make me dig out my law book!? I'm supposed to be cleaning!