A friend of mine recently pointed out a certain resemblance between myself and Meghan Trainor, the singer of the pop hit, ‘All about that bass’, and suggested we record a legal version of the song, ‘All about that case’.

Now you may be wondering if this would infringe copyright in the song, however you may not be aware that copyright law allows you to use limited amounts of copyrighted work for the purpose of parody, caricature or pastiche. For example, comedians often use lines from songs for sketches; an illustrator may reference a famous work of art for a caricature; or an artist may imitate other artists styles to compose a larger pastiche artwork.

However, you can only do this if it is classed as ‘fair dealing’ so don’t get carried away and think it is too easy to push your luck or let us scare you if you are worried someone may copy you. It may be fair to say that most reading this will not be aware of what would constitute ‘fair dealing’, but to put it simply, the court will consider whether use of the work has negatively impacted the original author, and whether the amount of the work used is reasonable.

In this case, as it is highly unlikely that our using Ms Trainor’s work will negatively impact Meghan herself or cause her a loss of revenue (although you never know!) and it seems reasonable that we have only taken the one line for this article, we won’t have her lawyers after us!

However, if we did record the whole song, and ended up stealing the original artist’s audience, we may be in more trouble so I don’t think it is something we will risk for now, although this may disappoint the reader.

If you have questions about just how far you can go in using other people’s copyrighted work for your business, or you are suffering from having your work stolen, please get in touch with us at ellie@kleymansolicitors.com for some free initial advice.

Kleyman & Co. The full service law firm. All about your case.