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Parody & Prose: The Yes Men Meet Borat, Borowitz, and the Emperor Constantine


Not to be confused with Scams and Swindles, parodies, hoaxes, and April Fool jokes play a somewhat different role in history. (See, e.g. “The best historical pranks and hoaxes,” from The Independent (01 April 2010))

I ran across the following legal commentary at Justia’s Verdict website:

“Digital Parody and the Shell Arctic Hoax: Did the Yes Men Cross A Legal Line With Their Most Recent Brandalism?” by Anita Ramasastry:


“.... Are the Yes Men Engaging in Legitimate Parody, or Unfairly Creating Confusion?

The Yes Men, as artists, have always cloaked their work in the First Amendment, invoking freedom of expression and the right to parody, which is also protected under copyright law. Yet many people believe the Yes Men’s work is genuine. …

Should We Have Qualms About Using Social Media to Launch Protests and Parodies That Pretend to Be Real?

Social media has taken Internet activism to a whole new level.  Today, a fake video or spoofed corporate website can quickly go viral, through posts, shares, tweets, and links.   And once that happens, it is almost impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.…” [Link to full article.]

Justia’s Verdict homepage.

Read about the Borowitz Report and Borat (aka Ali G; aka Sacha Baron Cohen).

Thank you to the Law Librarian Blog for the idea.

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