Two weeks ago, the Fanatics, a group of Australian supporters, were threatened with legal action for copyright infringement by music publisher EMI for producing an Ashes songbook called Six, Jugs & Rock n Roll which featured famous songs with lyrics rewritten to a cricketing theme. Although the dispute was subsequently resolved (see here) today the Attorney-General has confrimed that the lyrics would be covered by the proposed new parody and satire exception. From The Daily Telegraph:
AUSTRALIANS have always had an irreverent streak. Our cartoonists ensure sacred cows don't stay sacred for very long and comedians are merciless on those in public life.
An integral part of their armoury is parody and satire - or, if you prefer, "taking the micky'' out of someone.
However, our copyright laws have until now done very little to protect the way people use others works or images to parody and satirise others in the name of entertainment.
I have a bill currently before the Senate which will ensure Australia's fine tradition of satire is safe.
There will be a parody and satire exception for what the law calls "fair dealing''.
In circumstances that are fair, it means that groups like The Fanatics will be able to parody popular songs in response to the Barmy Army.
It will mean they can encourage cricketers representing Australia by making a fair parody musical works such The Monkees' Daydream Believer and adding some clever lyrics. I understand the Village People's Go West and Robbie Williams's Rock DJ get the same treatment.
Read more here.