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Parody & Fair Use: Legal Hypotthetical

Yo Yo Money Singh releases a song called “Money, Money, Money,” which samples The O’Jays’ original song, “For The Love Of Money”. Tuff Gong, the O’Jays’ recording label which owns the copyright to the original song, sues Yo Yo Money Singh for copyright infringement. Yo Yo Money Singh argues that his song was a parody of the O’Jays’ original and because of this, it qualifies for fair use under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

The case eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, which is tasked with deciding whether or not Yo Yo Money Singh’s song is a parody and whether or not it has done market harm to the O’Jays original release.

Based on Code 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act, as well as the oral arguments of the petitioners and respondents, a group of nine Supreme Court Justices need to reach a ruling. Three petitioners and three respondents will argue the case on either side. The rest of the class will take notes, comment on what they saw, and analyze the justices’ final verdict.

Appendix A: Lyrics to Yo Yo Money Singh's Parody

I got, Money, Money, Money, Money, 

You don't, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha

I need, Money, Money, Money, Money

For weed, Money, Money, Money, Money

And speed, Money, Money, Money, Money

My creed, Is Money, Money, Money, Money

Appendix B: Lyrics to The O'Jays' Original Song

Money, money, money, money, money [6x]

Some people got to have it

Some people really need it

Listen to me y'all, do things

Do things, do bad things with it

You wanna do things, do things

Do things, good things with it

Talk about cash money, money

Talk about cash money

Dollar bills, y'all

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