Fair Use/Parody

I’m using a few well-known characters in my animation, and I know that I’m able to use their likenesses legally if it’s a “parody,” according to copyright law. My question is, how much do I need to change up their looks? Can they look exactly like the original, as long as I drew it? Or do I need to caricaturize the characters more? Take a look at the screenshot and let me know if these would be acceptable or if I need to tweak them more to look not so exact. http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3236/screenshot20101010at634.png

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Whatever happened to this competition? I tried to go on the site to see if their where any submissions but that site is confusing, you could easily get… lost in space.

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you change the characters up a bit to make them look more like caricatures of the original characters. It becomes particularly tricky when you’re doing a parody of a cartoon character. When you do a parody of a real person, then you’re automatically creating your own caricature of that person. When you do a parody of a cartoon character, then it’s very easy to make an exact copy of that character. It’s much safer for you if you caricaturise it by changing the size or shape of some of the facial features, maybe changing some of the colours. To make it recogniseable but not an exact copy.

~Lilly

I can forward any feedback to the team that’s monitoring the contest. Are there any specific grievances or do you just find the website confusing in general? If we can’t fix something on the short term then at least we can take into consideration your comments when we do future contests.

~Lilly