I had a cute idea for a shirt design for Easter that lightly referenced some copyrighted material.
The idea was not a direct use of the subject, but a comical version. I wondered if I could make it anyway, and also wondered if I asked the company if they would allow it.
So, I went to the Warner Brothers web site, and found the email for the legal department, and sent an email.
My email read, "Is it legal for me to make and sell a shirt that has the Easter bunny doing the Here's Johnny from the Shining, but instead saying, iiiits Easter?".
Yes, I could have been more eloquent, but I already knew the answer, so I wasn't very inspired.
To my pleasant surprise, they responded:
"Your email, below, was forwarded to me for a reply. Unfortunately the use you described is not something we can authorize. It would be an infringement of our copyright in that film and image. Sincerely, Barry Director, Intellectual Property "
Though it was only a reference, looks like it was too close a reference.
Too bad, Kubrick is one of my favorite directors, and I would love to be able to reference something he worked on.