Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars, and in celebration Lucasfilm is releasing clips of all six Star Wars films to be mashed and remixed. Of course, once Lucasfilm blesses the remixing, a couple of things happen. One, the resulting remixes aren’t necessarily examples of “fair use”; so long as the mixers follow Lucasfilm guidelines, their mixes are authorized. Two, Star Wars remixes that *don’t* rely on the authorized clips begin to look a bit *less* like fair use than they might otherwise; here again, there is a copyright owner that is authorizing parodies. Under a typical four-factor analysis of fair use, avoiding an authorized “market for parodies” appears to cut against the user.
So, do we like what Lucasfilm is doing? Perhaps — if someone can come up with something as clever as this “fair use fairy tale.”