J, most often, "you are" statements, quotes around you are, are
incorrect. I am not indulging in black and white thinking at all, I am far
too aware of the current propensity of people and organizations such as
ASCAP and BMI to sue for what seems like stupid reasons.
We are dealing with the spirit and letter of the copyright law here. The spirit of the law is to protect intellectual property. A person using copyrighted music in a podcast that is not for profit does not violate the spirit of the law in my opinion. However, with the new copyright laws, called the Digital Melinnium Copyright Actof 1999, the letter of the law is far more strict than ever before and courts are enforcing the letter, not the spirit of the law.
The truth, of course, lies someplace between the letter and spirit. It is quite true that skilled attorneys can often prove most anything, or disprove such, but who wants to have to hire one.
I do not approve of this letter interpretation at all, but I pass it on so people will avoid running afoul of the law.
You are correct that the odds are nobody would be prosecuted nor sued for minor infractions. However, the operative dictum on the internet is never post anything anywhere you do not want on the front page of the New York Times.
There are a myrid of ways in which to express creativity that do not infringe on anyone's intellectual property. We are safer knowing the parameters than not knowing them. After that, it is up to us to pay attention or not, but on a list and web site like blind cool tech, there is more responsibility than just that of the individual poster.
The courts are coming down with seemingly ridiculous and draconian decisions about copyright infringements. I am not advocating their stance, just noting the decisions.
As for parodies, the Supreme Court has actually made it pretty clear what they are, and the common definition is operative here.