You know what it is, and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office has been looking into the oft-maligned art of parody. Some of their conclusions:
Parody is a significant consumer activity: On average, there are 24 user-generated parodies available for each original video of a charting single. 25% are target parodies, 31% are weapon parodies and 21% are self-parodies (where the parody maker criticised themselves).
YouTube, asked for “rebecca black friday parody,” claimed 316,000 results. It only seems like that many.
The potential for reputational harm in the observed sample is limited: Only 1.5% of all parodies sampled took a directly negative stance. This is where Rebecca Black’s “Friday” comes in. While there was a “disproportionately negative response from parodists”, the empirical evidence suggested that even highly negative parodies did not harm the original work. It is advantageous to a video to attract parodies, even critical ones.
If the makers of all those “316,000″ parodies of “Friday” watched it only once, that’s still a tidy sum for RB.
There exists a small but growing market for skilled user-generated content: Parody videos located in this study generated up to £2 million in revenue for Google in 2011, a portion of which was shared with the creators.
I’ve mentioned this up before. It remains the one “Friday” parody I actually paid to add to the collection:
A definite Palpatine with cheese.