Someone wrote recently in response to the last post - asking a legal question (of course). I advised them to consult a lawyer and... THEY DID! They actually consulted a lawyer about a legal issue.
I dunno about you, but I have newfound faith in humanity. Thank you, Pitch Bible Pen Pal!
Here's what they asked...
He essentially wanted to make a parody of an existing film property. I said, "Check with a lawyer". Here's what the lawyer wrote:
The short answer is that it is possible to make a film in the manner you are proposing. You just need to be careful that you do not reproduce too much of the original script, music, artworks or film. It can be a fine line between reproducing enough to evoke the original, without actually copying a substantial part of it.
A few years ago the line was shifted a little further in your favour by the enactment of a 'parody & satire' fair dealing exception in the copyright act - but this has not really been tested by a case yet so there is doubt as to how it would be interpreted.
You might also have other rights you'd need to be careful of - using a sufficiently different name to ensure you're not infringing any trade marks for example.
Where there is a significant investment in the film, the producer might decide to licence rights anyway, just to make sure there is no problem.
What's that? Run that last part by me again...?