Re-reading Campbell vs. Acuff Rose (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-1292.ZS.html
) so listening to Roy Orbison and 2 Live Crew this morning.
I was re-reading it to remind myself how exactly parody is defined by the Supreme Court:
For the purposes of copyright law, the nub of the definitions, and the heart of any parodist's claim to quote from existing material, is the use of some elements of a prior author's composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author's works.
The Act has no hint of an evidentiary preference for parodists over their victims, and no workable presumption for parody could take account of the fact that parody often shades into satire when society is lampooned through its creative artifacts, or that a work may contain both parodic and non parodic elements. Accordingly, parody, like any other use, has to work its way through the relevant factors, and be judged case by case, in light of the ends of the copyright law.
While we might not assign a high rank to the parodic element here, we think it fair to say that 2 Live Crew's song reasonably could be perceived as commenting on the original or criticizing it, to some degree.
Interstingly, I can buy Orbison through Google Play (and you can listen to it for free through the link below), but 2 Live Crew's parody isn't available through that store - you can find it streaming here http://youtu.be/65GQ70Rf_8Y
or for download/purchase here http://www.amazon.com/Me-So-Horny-Explicit/dp/B0015AEF5A/