Are Literary Parodies Protected Under the First Amendment?
What if you decided to rewrite F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby? Good luck with that. But wait: your protagonist is not Nick Carraway, but instead is Jordan Baker—long-time friend of Daisy Buchanan. Jordan, like Nick, goes to Gatsby's fabulous garden parties on West Egg, drinks and rubs expensive elbows. Jordan is also a professional golfer, and the original novel hints that she may have some skeletons in her closet. So you seek to address Gatsby from a new perspective—one hinted at in the original, but one wholly unexplored, and one that you think will beget a new, incisive and surprising result. So what've you got—groundbreaking literary copy or copyright liability?
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