In an opinion yesterday, Judge Presksa granted judgment to the creator of a play called “3C” that parodies the 70’s TV show “Three’s Company.”  She found that the play fell within the bounds of “fair use” because (among other reasons) it was “transformative”:

3C is hardly a “repeat” of Three’s Company; it is a deconstruction of it. The former has turned the latter into a nightmarish version of itself, using the familiar Three’s Company construct as a vehicle to criticize and comment on the original’s light-hearted, sometimes superficial, treatment of certain topics and phenomena. Take first the cornerstone of Three’s Company, Jack’s false homosexuality: there is the obvious difference that 3C‘s analogue, Brad, is actually homosexual. That change in itself might not be transformative. However, Brad is a far cry from Jack — the former is almost a reimagining of what Jack would have actually experienced if he were homosexual: the abusive, demeaning treatment from Mr. Wicker; constant homosexual slurs from Larry; and even rejection from his own family. This is a major departure from Mr. Roper’s innuendo-laden jokes. Putting aside how the other characters view Brad, and how that differs markedly from Jack’s treatment in Three’s Company, there is also the stark contrast between Brad and Jack themselves. The two are tall, handsome men prone to occasional physical clumsiness, and both find themselves in similar living situations. But that is where the similarities end. Jack spends most episodes bantering with Chrissy, tripping on garden hoses, and serving as a general source of comedy; Brad, on the other hand, spends almost the entirety of 3C grappling with his secret — different from Jack’s “secret” — and unsuccessfully attempting to make it known to Connie, Linda, and Larry. Three’s Company may have been ground-breaking and heralded in retrospect for raising homosexuality as a theme, but 3C criticizes the happy-go-lucky treatment of that issue