Online Comic Book Store Stands Up To Olivia Munn Lawyers Over Parody Comic Book
from the parody-as-free-speech dept
Boing Boing points us to the news that Heavy Ink, an online comic book shop, is pushing back against the lawyers for geeky TV personality Olivia Munn, after those lawyers demanded Heavy Ink destroy all copies of an Olivia Munn parody comic book called the Celebrity Showdown Olivia Munn One Shot #1. Of course, since Heavy Ink is just the retailer, it's not responsible for the content itself anyway, so the original letter was somewhat mistargeted, but even so, Heavy Ink makes the argument that the comic book itself is protected parody:
Re: your letter of 4 February 2010 regarding
I write to clear up some misconceptions.
First, the item offered for sale is not "our" comic book - it is created by a third party and offered for sale through our website.
I have never heard of Olivia Munn until you brought her to my attention, but a quick web search turns up a Wikipedia article describing her thusly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivia_MunnOlivia Munn (born Lisa Olivia Munn) is an American actress, model and television personality.and her self promoting web page at
where she displays near topless pictures and links to a cover shot at Maxim magazine.
Given these two websites, it is clear that she is a public figure. As a public figure, the use of her likeness meets the tests for the parody copyright exception set forth in both Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. and the more recent Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin.
As such, we have no intention of taking down our webpage, destroying any inventory, or refusing to offer the comic for sale.
If you have any further comments you may reach me at this email address,
Travis Corcoran, President