AT&T Star Wars Parody TV Commercial

This video parodies a set of AT&T ads directed by filmmaker Wes Anderson. There are a number of clips taken from the original Star Wars trilogy. We argue that the use of Star Wars characters and footage constitutes Fair Use under copyright law because the work is a clear parody. The use of the AT&T trademark is also a fair use under trademark law. New Media Rights is a place to openly discuss fair use issues, so if you don't think we're right, tell us why here.

The parody works on two levels. First, the AT&T ad is being recontextualized by taking the normal setting for cell phone use and putting it into an absurd world of spaceships and Star Wars characters. AT&T itself plays the role of the "evil empire," or "dark side" from the Star Wars films. It is also important to note that, as a non-profit consumer advocacy organization, NMR's work is noncommercial, and doesn't somehow replace or harm the market for AT&T's commercials. NMR also in no way competes with AT&T for telecommunications customers.

The video also parodies the Star Wars world created by George Lucas by portraying the serious and complex figure of Darth Vader as an ambivalent and shallow boss concerned about the service of his cell phone. Again the video is a noncommercial parody. The clips and sounds from the Star Wars movies are used in a new context and do not even nearly begin to replace the market for the Star Wars films.

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