Lodi, NJ asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for New Jersey

Q: Can u parody oompa loompa song for an ad on a new product that has nothing to do with the song. Title rhymes w product.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Parodying a song for commercial purposes requires careful navigation of copyright and trademark laws, even when the intent is to create a humorous or satirical advertisement. When you consider using a melody or lyrics similar to the "Oompa Loompa" song from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," it's important to transform the work enough so it becomes a new, original piece that doesn't infringe on the original copyright. This is especially critical if the product and song are not related, as it requires a creative approach to connect them effectively.

The key is ensuring that your parody provides clear commentary or criticism, which are protected under fair use, while also being distinctly separate from the original work. The title rhyming with your product could be a clever touch, but make sure the content of your parody ad does not directly copy the tune or lyrics of the original song. Creativity is your greatest asset here, allowing you to draw inspiration from the original while making it unmistakably yours.

Always remember that, even in parody, the line between homage and infringement can be thin. Consulting with someone knowledgeable in copyright law can provide guidance on how to proceed safely. This ensures that your advertising efforts remain innovative and engaging, without overstepping legal boundaries.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.