Copyright issues


New member
Right, i know that if you want to use someones material you have to get permision because they own the copyright for that material.

But I was watching clerks the other day and i was wondering if Kevin had to get any sort of permisio to reference other people material in his films i.e. the part where randal goes on this huge thing about the difference between star wars ep 4 and 6. Did they have to get permision for that or are you allowed to talk about other peoples material but not actually use any of the original material.

Another part to this is when you get people who make sketches/films based on other films for the sole purpose to slag them off (space balls for example)

Any light that can be shed on the subject will be great.


New member

The above site references U.S. copyright law, much of which applied worldwide. Note the 4th paragraph from the bottom of that link.

Copyright protects the unique expression of ideas. References to other movies or cultural icons is not protected; neither is parody.

The references in SPACE BALLS were obviously exaggerated, and George Lucas could never honestly claim that the characters could have been legitimately confused with the ones he created in STAR WARS. Now, had Mel Brooks not done a spoof, and had the characters looked, sounded and acted like the ones established by Lucas, then Lucas could have claimed copyright infringement---someone else profiting from his unique expression. Instead, Brooks offered HIS OWN unique expression of characters that had become part of the cultural lexicon, and no one could confuse the two.