Who in their right mind does not love Spinal Tap? I can not think of a single person who is not a fan. But there is one company that apparently isn’t. Lego.
Back in 2007, a 14-year-old Coleman Hickey created a stop motion short of the Spinal Tap figures made from Legos performing the bands song “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight.” It’s since become a YouTube hit and the real live Spinal Tap showed the clip during their recent “Unwigged and Unplugged” tour. The tour will now be commemorated in a DVD release. Even though they got releases from big brands like The Rolling Stones, Lego would not give permission to use their product in the release. Who knew that portraying without permission is a no-no? It turns out that Legos are protected by a copyright.
In the New York Times piece, Julie Stern, a spokeswoman for Lego said about the DVD, “We love that our fans are so passionate and so creative with our products. But it had some inappropriate language, and the tone wasn’t appropriate for our target audience of kids 6 to 12.”
But Lego Systems hasn’t stopped people from doing their own, sometimes edgy, odes to Legos that can be found on YouTube like “Lego’s Gone Wild” or “Lego Weapon Store”. Julie Stern, a spokesperson for the brand said that, “YouTube is a less commercial use. But when you get into a more commercial use, that’s when we have to look into the fact that we are a trademarked brand, and we really have to control the use of our brand, and our brand values.”
Do you think Lego is being overly cautious?