Are these transformations fair use? They are distributed freely and will not replace their originals in the market, but they probably do not count as commentary or parody.
Using a romantic-conception-of-the-author/European vision of copyright, they are even less protected–even though their creation requires vision, it does not probably include a great deal of work.
It’s a little depressing to think that such a fun and harmless online meme might be copyright violation and shut down. *knocks on digital wood*. Yet another reason fair use needs to default to covering not-for-profit derivative works.
“Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket.”–Henri Rabaud