Last August, Andy Baio became infatuated with the “House of Cosbys”, a hilarious series of online animations created by Justin Roiland, that are about a guy who clones Bill Cosby and each version of Cosby he creates becomes more and more bizarre. Andy wanted to help support this series, so he started to archive episodes on his website Waxy.org, because Cosby’s lawyers were forcing the original website to remove them. Well now the lawyers are going after Waxy.org and Andy is going to put up of fight, even if means going to court over it.
House of Cosbys is parody, and clearly falls under protected speech guidelines. I’m not taking it down, and their legal bullying isn’t going to work. They claim that hosting these videos “violates our client’s rights of publicity as well as other statutory and common laws prohibiting the misappropriation of an individual’s name, voice and likeness and unfair competition.” Sorry, but the First Amendment protects satire and parody of a public figure as free speech.
More than anything, this strikes me as a special kind of discrimination against amateur creators on the Internet. Mad Magazine, Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and countless other mainstream media sources have parodied Bill Cosby over the years