Parody and pastiche are genres which often conflict with Intellectual Property laws, particularly trademark and copyright. This is because they often recycle the original, protected elements in the new works, in order to create enough recognition for the user to understand what is being parodied or pastiched.
In many countries, because these activities are socially expected and are a powerful kind of free expression, copyright exceptions are created to protect parodies. In legal disputes about trademarks, parodies have often been upheld as legitimate by courts.
In the UK, the Intellectual Property Office produced three evidential reports on parody and copyright in March 2013. One study compares legal regimes to seek commonalities and rationales for a future exception. Two look at the economic impact of parodies on Youtube, and finds some revenue benefits to parodists and the platform, but does not find harm to the originals. This strengthens the case for a parody exception which allows parodies in the commercial sector. The first report says that:
- "Parody is a significant consumer activity: On average, there are 24 user-generated parodies available for each original video of a charting single."
- "There is no evidence for economic damage to rightsholders through substitution: The presence of parody content is correlated with, and predicts larger audiences for original music videos."