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Hi, Could someone tell me if a graphic of a baby animal on a wrecking ball swinging toward a demolished building would be a problem do to Myle Cyrus's Wrecking Ball video?

Secondly, if the print said "I came in like a wrecking ball" would that also be a problem. I have seen "I came in like a wrecking paw" but I don't know what is safe. Anyone have an idea?

Thanks.
 

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Miley Cyrus can't own the entire concept of a swinging wrecking ball. But if you are specifically trying to create an association to the song or video, there is always some element of risk. If it's your own creative concept, then it should be fine.

Using the specific lyric from the song probably adds to the risk. So it really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you are creating an original design, then don't use the exact lyric. If you are trying to create a parody - and are willing to take the associated risks - then go all out and create the parody right and use the lyrics.
 

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There is no 'category of parody.'

Fair use or parody is a defense to a legal action. Meaning, if you get sued for copyright or trademark infringement, you can go to court and defend yourself on the basis of fair use or parody. It would then be up to a judge to decide between parody or infringement.

But there is no way to define the difference just by looking at the design. The IP owner will always suggest it's infringement. The designer will always interpret it as parody. Whatever the judge says, rules all.
 
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