Kennewick, WA asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington

Q: I'm writing a parody novel I intend to sell using cheap knock offs of action movie characters.

I'm using many famous action movie/tv icons but with slightly or totally different names and personalities as characters in my book. The story is original, but mocking fantasy and sci-fi tropes. For example I spoof Mick "Crocodile" Dundee by making a character named Paul "Alligator" Dungee. RoboCop is MechaCop, and stuff like that but they have different backstories as well. The character I'm most concerned about strongly resembles a ninja turtle. He's a tortoise, not a turtle. Has a totally different name and doesn't call himself a ninja and doesn't call himself a mutant. I took alot of things about the ninja turtles and tweaked them slightly to make this character. From the examples I've given does this sound like copyright infringement on my part? Or is it protected by something?

1 Lawyer Answer
Donovan A Rodriques
Donovan A Rodriques
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • New York, NY

A: You should speak with a qualified entertainment attorney regarding all the facts of your situation. Your treatment of these fictional characters may be considered "fair use", and the subject of first Amendment expression, which includes biographical, historical, satirical, and parodic use.

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