From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
Bourne Co. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
602 F. Supp. 2d 499 (2009)
Bourne Company (plaintiff) owned the copyright to a song—“When You Wish Upon a Star” (the Disney song)—used in the classic Walt Disney movie Pinocchio. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Twentieth Century) and Seth MacFarlane (defendants) produced a comedic animated show called Family Guy (the show), and Walter Murphy (defendant) was the music composer for the show. In 2003, Twentieth Century aired an episode of the show that included a song—“I Need a Jew” (the Family Guy song)—composed by Murphy that purposefully sounded similar but not identical to the Disney song. The Family Guy song was sung by the show’s main character, Peter, and the lyrics were about Peter needing a Jew to help him with his finances, thus perpetuating the stereotype that Jews are financially adept. In 2007, Bourne filed suit for copyright infringement. Twentieth Century asserted a fair-use defense, arguing that their use of the Disney song was a parody because the Family Guy song (1) commented on the childish and simplistic worldview presented by the Disney song and (2) criticized Walt Disney’s alleged anti-Semitism. However, Bourne argued that the Family Guy song merely mocked anti-Semitism and Jewish stereotypes in general and did not comment on or criticize the Disney song in any way.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Batts, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 618,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.