Q-I’m on a website called Tumblr, and want to put out “Tumblr: The Unofficial Album” with musical parodies I’ve written of the content in that site, which is actually content from TV shows, books, movies, etc. For example, there’s a song titled “A Doomsday Love Story”, which is about the Rose/Doctor pairing in Doctor Who, set to the music of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”. All the songs are parodies, but none of them really have much to do with the songs they’re set to. Is it legal for me to do this? If maybe I added a sort of disclaimer saying I don’t own the songs or the works I’m singing about? If so, what would I have to put in that disclaimer? Or would I have to get explicit permission from the creators of both works? Or a license? Thank you for your advice.

A-You probably don’t meet the tests for ‘parody,” it’s not impossible that with some guidance from a knowledgeable attorney and some changes to your concept and content, you MIGHT meet the test for parody… What I would advise is that you make sure to ask any attorney you approach this: even if you do properly change your content so that it is considered a social commentary and properly combines the elements of the parodied song with Tumblr content, how much will it cost you to defend that position in court against the copyright owners? That is the problem with creating something that is or should be considered legal based on a fair use theory- it costs quite a bit of money to prove it in court. Often times, if the original creator has money and the parody-creator doesn’t, that is what predicates the outcome… not the question of whether or not the parody truly is a “legal” parody.