Copyright claim hits parody of VW ad

Copyright claim hits parody of VW ad

July 6th, 2011 by Staff Report in Business Around the Region

A Greenpeace parody of Volkswagen's popular "The Force" ad was pulled by YouTube over a copyright claim by LucasFilm, the environmental group said, but it later showed up again on the video-sharing site.

Also, a link to the spoof on Greenpeace International's website was up as is another parody titled "VW: The Dark Side Episode II" that ends with the line "Together we can turn VW away from the Dark Side."

The original ad during this year's Super Bowl featured a mini-Darth Vader who believes he uses "The Force" to start a new Chattanooga-based Passat when it is really his father with a remote device.

One of the child actors who played Vader was at the grand opening of the Chattanooga plant where he reprised his role.

The parody was meant by Greenpeace to bring attention to what it claims are efforts by the German automaker to stop carbon dioxide emission controls in Europe. In the Greenpeace ad, Jedi tree huggers, including Yoda, take a direct shot at VW, blaming the company for trying to destroy the world with a VW-branded Death Star.

VW's ad has been viewed more than 40.5 million times, YouTube said. VW says its U.S. division obtained an agreement with LucasFilm which owns the Star Wars franchise, according to MarketingWeek.

Greenpeace said on its website that almost 2 million people have watched its version of the Star Wars ad.