Spinal Tap relents, removes Lego video from DVD

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Spinal Tap relents, removes Lego video from DVD

Tue Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:07PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Lego_600 Some companies have a funny bone. Others don't.

Take Lego Systems for instance. The makers of those block toys have stopped the legendary spoof band Spinal Tap from including on its new concert DVD a stop-action film using Lego pieces in a depiction of a concert performance of "Tonight I'm Going to Rock You Tonight." 

Lego claimed that the 14-year-old who created the video had violated its copyright. Actually, the company doesn't care so much about copyright — it didn't complain after the White Stripes released this great video — but evidently the song's adult language was too much for the company. 

Kia Kamran, Spinal Tap's intellectual property lawyer, says he believes the band's depiction is "fair use," but they took it out of the DVD anyway.

We bring a lot of news about onerous copyright protectors, so let's also celebrate one company that has embraced user-generated remix culture. Check out the Slap Chop remix making the rounds on late night television. The company behind the Slap Chop introduced its first mock-informercial spot on the product several months ago, featuring ubiquitous TV pitchman Vince Shlomi (aka ShamWow), and after DJ Steve Porter uploaded a crazy remix onto YouTube, the company had the good wits to ignore copyright concerns and ride the publicity by bringing it to television.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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