Blogs & Comment

Are superhero porn "parodies" stiffing copyright holders?

It may only be a matter of time before these porn producers learn a hard lesson.

One of the hottest trends in adult entertainment continues to be the parody movie, a phenomenon I just can’t understand. Naturally, spoofing well-known TV shows and movies is a great way for porn producers to extend their appeal to fans of those properties, but how they’re allowed to get away with it continues to boggle the mind.

The latest is Iron Man XXX: An Extreme Comixxx Parody. Check out the trailer, which is completely safe to view:

Yes, parodies have been a long-accepted tradition in adult entertainment. My friends and I, while camping, have often played that game where you take movie titles and porn-ify them. It’s in such fashion that On Golden Pond becomes On Golden Blonde while The Legend of Baggar Vance becomes The Legend in Baggar’s Pants, and so on.

But the recent rash of comic-book-inspired parodies takes this to another level, given who the porn companies are potentially going up against. Iron Man is a trademark of Marvel, which is now owned by Disney. It’s hard to imagine the company taking too kindly to having Tony Stark getting it on with the Black Widow and Pepper Potts at the same time (I don’t actually know if that happens in the movie, but if it doesn’t then the producers obviously don’t know what they’re doing).

Parody, in general, is protected under fair use rules in the United States, which are also exceptions that the upcoming C-11 copyright bill would enable in Canada. Still, these types of porn movies seem to lie outside the general intent of parody, if they’re not an outright abuse of it.

The point was driven home when Axel Braun, director of the Batman porn parody, sued file-sharers for illegally distributing his movie. As Geekosystem put it, the move was ironic given that Braun was blatantly using somebody else’s intellectual property to make money.

How long will Disney tolerate its superheroes being put into non-kid-friendly situations before going after the producers? I can’t imagine it’ll be too much longer.

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