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  • Legal advice for parody of a movie for a commercial

  • Dennis Leppell

    March 12, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Here’s the gist…I’m storyboarding a commercial right now, and based on the client’s past commercials, and the particular product we’re featuring, the bombing scene from Dr. Strangelove would be absolutely perfect to parody. Replacing bombs with the product, Major Kong with the mascot. Recreate everything, and cut to time. I know it’s not original, but this idea makes me giggle thinking about it, and I haven’t seen the movie in years. The big question before I send this storyboard to the client….will this get me (or the client) sued, or is parody a safeground?

  • david bogie

    March 12, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Your only hope is to consult an intellectual property lawyer.
    You can view the US government site for some advice, just search for PARODY.

    “Parody” requires audience familiarity. Otherwise, you’re putting forth something you are claiming to be yor own. Is your audience going to appreciate the parody or are you just ripping off someone else’s creativity?

    bogiesan

  • Steven Gonzales

    March 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Here’s a place to start deciding if your use is okay:

    https://www.publaw.com/parody.html

  • Chris Poisson

    March 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    This is not a qualified place to ask for legal advice. You may be safe under some kind of parody law, but my rule of thumb is, if it makes you instantly think of the original, you’ve crossed the line. Go see a lawyer.

    Have a wonderful day.

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