This one goes to eleven

As a 14 year old, Coleman Hickey made a stop-motion music video of Spinal Tap’s “Tonight I’m Going to Rock You, Tonight” using Legos.
The New York Times reports that Spinal Tap sought to include the video on a new concert DVD, but that Lego denied permission. Lego Rejects a Bit Part in a Spinal Tap DVD

“As final editing was being done on a concert DVD of the tour, which included footage from the video projected on stage, Lego declined to grant permission to use its figures, which are protected by copyright.
“‘We love that our fans are so passionate and so creative with our products,’ said Julie Stern, a spokeswoman for Lego Systems, the United States division of the Lego Group, a Danish company founded in the 1930s. ‘But it had some inappropriate language, and the tone wasn’t appropriate for our target audience of kids 6 to 12.'”

The Times quotes Tap’s attorney, Kia Kamran, saying that the band would have likely prevailed in a copyright infringement suit, because Hickey’s video “does not show the brand’s logo and is satirical,” but the band “did not deem the fight worth the expense.”
Spinal Tap, Lego and copyright infringement together in one story, what could be better?
Variety reports that Warner Brothers and Lego are in talks to move ahead with a Lego film, Warner builds pic with Lego, ”
WB is toying with plans to develop a movie around Lego and its popular building blocks. Scribes Dan and Kevin Hageman are penning the script for the family comedy that will mix live action and animation. Warners is keeping the plot tightly under wraps, but it’s described as an action adventure set in a Lego world.”

One Comment

  1. I agree that Spinal Tap probably would have prevailed in a copyright infringement suit. This situation seems very similar to the Barbie-in-a-Blender artwork, although less of a parody and more of first sale doctrine. It’s sort of shame just the threat of a suit can restrict access to creativity.

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