Patterico's Pontifications


Charlie Brown’s Jihad On The West – A Blogger’s Jihad On Copyright Law

Filed under: General,Humor,Law — Justin Levine @ 10:15 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. [Hat-tip: Instapundit]

Just like other hilarious and stunningly creative works, there is also virtually no doubt that it illegally violates a host of copyright and trademark laws (as currently interpreted by our court system).

So the question is: Do you wish to continue to see such works? Or do you want to reform intellectual property laws? (If you think that there is somehow a third alternative that I am not considering, please let me know).

[posted by Justin Levine]

6 Responses to “Charlie Brown’s Jihad On The West – A Blogger’s Jihad On Copyright Law”

  1. That was from Denis Leary’s “Christmas” “special.”

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  2. Thanks Jim. Didn’t know that. Cool site btw.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  3. You are the lawyer, not me. But as a writer in show biz for a decade or so I have tried to defend copyright against satire two times and couldn’t find a lawyer who would take the case unless I was willing to come up with a ton of jack first. The reasoning? They are next to impossible to win even, as in one of my cases, the theft is word for word. It seems that satire or political satire is virtucally sacrosanct. The only chance you have is to prove monetary damages, not as hard but still tough. If you will recall, the old Carol Burnett Show used to satire movies almost every week and was never warned, sued, or firebombed.

    Howard Veit (28df94)

  4. But did she have jihadis threaten to blow up the theater?

    sharon (dfeb10)

  5. Howard: how much economic harm was caused by the two infringement cases you tried to prosecute? That you even felt it worthwhile to mention that “[t]he only chance you have is to prove monetary damages” speaks volumes about how nutty copyright holders’ expectations can be. In just about any other area of tort law, that would be a given. So too the fact that no lawyer would take your case without a healthy retainer. Contingency fees are the exception, not the rule.

    For their part, Theodore Geisel’s lawyers managed to do what you call almost impossible in response to The Cat Not in the Hat, a brilliant Dr. Seuss-esque parody of the O.J. trial. The theory, IIRC, was that the parody defense only works if the “stolen” work is the object of the derision, i.e., it’s fine to copy Charlie Brown to make fun of Charlie Brown (or other Peanuts characters, or Charles Schulz himself), but not to make fun of anyone else. This hair-splitting is justified (?) on the theory that no one will consent to be poked fun of (therefore it’s unreasonable to require consent in this narrow instance), but for a small royalty fee, everyone will gladly consent to having his works used to poke fun at someone else.

    IP laws may not need the sweeping reforms Justin seems to be calling for, but between this and the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of 1998, they definitely are in need of some reform. As it stands, the rule appears to be that what Hollywood wants, Hollywood gets.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  6. What do they think of when CHARLE BROWN come to kick the football and LUCY pulls it away and charle brown lands on his back

    krazy kagu (52a738)

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