Will They Never Learn?

When will attorneys every get a clue?  Trying to strongarm people in the Internet age often backfires, as it did in this case, where lawyers demand comic book retailer Heavy Ink remove copies of a comic book parodying their client.   Thirty seconds spent perusing Heavy Ink founder Travis Corcoran's blog should have convinced them this would not end well.  TJIC's letter is a great example of not being intimidated by lawyers or the law.

  • I'd normally agree with something like this, but I have a feeling that this is less parody than it is a very thinly-veiled attempt to hitch a ride on this minor celebrity's wagon. An alternative view, linked from the Boing Boing article.

    http://www.anchorplateip.com/2010/02/articles/copyright/right-of-publicity-is-not-copyright-free-speech-pitfalls-for-comic-book-artists-publishers-sellers/

    I guess we'll know when the comic book is release. And by "we" I don't mean me - it's not my thing...

  • IgotBupkis

    ERS: It's amusing, and it'll be interesting to see the end-result, but it's more likely to represent the biggest baddest attorney's view than societal interests -- most IP law is rather f***ed up as a direct result of that.

  • CT_Yankee

    The response letter clearly missed a business opportunity. I would have mentioned:

    Copywrite and other laws are covered in a number of books we sell, including simplifed versions for beginners. Please contact our sales associates for recommendations based upon your currentl level of skill in the subject matter.

  • Captain Obviousness

    As the article linked in Evil Red's comment points out, TJIC is citing completely irrelevant cases. This is not a copyright issue, it's a right of publicity issue. Unfortunately in California and the Ninth Circuit the right of publicity is very strong (the courts out here seem to love Hollywood celebrities more than the rest of the country). It's a completely ridiculous area of law IMO, but I wouldn't be surprised if TJIC lost if he were to fight it out (but if he's not even the creator of the comic, it probably doesn't make economic sense to fight). Sucks that these laws can be used to litigate people out of a business opportunity.

  • IgotBupkis

    > As the article linked in Evil Red’s comment points out, TJIC is citing completely irrelevant cases. This is not a copyright issue, it’s a right of publicity issue.

    I believe it all ties down to a lot of issues falling under the general dual arm of "Intellectual property" and "free speech". I think to claim it's only one minor subset of them is either foolish or disingenuous.

    IP law is currently one of the most f***ed up areas of The Law. As John Perry Barlow put it 18 years ago, in The Economy of Ideas, the people in charge are rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic of copyright law. The ship ain't down yet by a long shot, but the Rube Goldberg device made of current IP law is... impressive.

  • TomB

    I don't think this one is the lawyers' fault. They are doing their client's bidding. Olivia Munn, or more likely her agent, decided she didn't like someone else using her image. She asked (more likely demanded) her lawyers to stop it.

    Lawyers deserve blame for the state of the law perhaps, but not necessarily for their clients' decisions.

    I admit that I am a (patent) lawyer, but as a general rule, I dislike lawyers.