A U.S. District judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit made against the television show "Family Guy," Reuters is reporting.
Music publisher Bourne Co., which owns the copyright to the classic Disney song “When You Wish Upon a Star,” has accused the creators of "Family Guy" of creating a “thinly-veiled copy” of the song with new, anti-Semitic lyrics for an episode of the popular FOX series, and consequently doing damage to the original song.
The parody, entitled “I Need a Jew,” was originally featured in a controversial episode entitled “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein,” which was filmed in 2000 but did not air until 2003 due to concerns about its racial content. The episode involves the main character, Peter Griffin, looking for a Jew to handle his money after making a series of bad financial decisions.
Bourne Co. has charged that the song “I Need a Jew” contains offensive lyrics and has harmed the value of the classic “When You Wish Upon a Star,” but the judge, Deborah Batts, ruled that the lyrics and tone of the "Family Guy" song are “strikingly different,” and stated that it was fair for the song to be imitated for humorous effect since the publisher had long benefited from the song's association with other more "wholesome" shows like "Pinocchio."
"It is precisely that beneficial association that opens the song up for ridicule by parodists seeking to take the wind out of such lofty, magical, or pure associations," she said.
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