Does this qualify as satire? Matt Busch zombie movie posters


I thought satire had to have an element of commentary on the original work, this doesn’t.

For copyright purposes, yes, they qualify as satire.

Not satire. Parody.

How far could you take this? Say I want to make some low budget satires of popular movies that are vaguely the same film scene by scene but with zombies in it.

The Terminator…of zombies
Star Wars…and zombies
Look Whose Talking…to zombies

Seems pretty clear there is no commentary taking place.

The commentary exemption and the parody/satire exemption are not the same thing, I don’t believe. They may not be saying anything about the work, but the work is vital to the message being displayed. Which, BTW, is that Zombies are taking over everything in cinema.

Deadpan(?) humor is still humor. (sorry)

Some of those parody titles are hilarious, but my personal favorite is Indiana Jones Vs Darth Vader

Satire is not an exemption to copyright and parody is. Parody is the one that requires some element of commentary on the original work. has a more detailed explanation.

That would fit into parody. As the case of The Wind Done Gone which got a parody exemption even though it was using characters and situations similar to Gone With the Wind (and wasn’t humorous – parody in the legal sense does not mean it has to be funny). The matter was settled with the Mitchell estate, but they got no traction in trying to claim infringement, and the settlement was probably because the publisher didn’t want to spend the money defending the book even though they’d probably win.

As an example of what failed in a court case:

As I recall the comments at the time, the “Strawberry Shortcake” characters in the picture may have been making fun of something, but it was not related to Strawb herself, even peripherally - so they wisely decided to obey the cease and desist order. The argument was they were cheapening the character to attack and parody something completely unrelated, and that did not satisfy the legal definition.

The article even still has a sample of the work.

American McGee’s Alice, as mentioned in the wiki article. (I don’t remember any mention of McFarlane Toys at the time it originally came out, but that does better explain the exact details of the image.)