The Right Way to Respond to Parody
Last weekend, Darren Barefoot posted Get a First Life, a hysterical parody of virtual world Second Life's website. The creators of Second Life responded with a letter that is so right-thinking and clever that it would horrify the over-reaching copyright and trademark holders whose missives litter the archives of ChillingEffects.org
Instead of a cease-and-desist letter, Linden Labs sent a proceed-and-permit letter.
This letter is exactly what we would hope companies might do when faced with a parody. Not only does it acknowledge that the site is a fair use, it also provides an explicit license for trademark. Kudos to Linden Labs, and shame on the rights holders who claim that they have to go after anyone who makes any use of their copyrights or trademarks.