Peanuts Rights Holder Shuts Down Peanutweeter, Pisses Off Fans For No Reason At All

from the how-not-to-do-things dept

You may recall, a few years back, all the attention received by a site called Garfield Minus Garfield, in which a guy, Dan Walsh, took Garfield comic strips and "removed" Garfield, creating existentially weird comic strips in their place. We wrote about it three years ago, mainly to point out how nice it was that Garfield creator Jim Davis didn't freak out about it, and noted that he enjoyed it. In fact, Davis and his publisher, Ballantine Books, were so pleased with the attention it got, that they all worked together to put out an official Garfield Minus Garfield book. As we noted, we hoped that others who saw people doing creative things with their works would react similarly.

Apparently the folks who own the rights to the famed Peanuts comic strip empire see things quite differently. Over the past few weeks, the site Peanutweeter has received a bunch of attention with various websites writing about it and showing off some of the strips. The way Peanutweeter worked is that the guy behind it, Jason Agnello, would pair up a frame from a Peanuts cartoon with a semi-random tweet he would find that would match with the scene (and put the Tweeter credit below). Here are a few examples:












Anyway, you guessed it, with all that attention, it appears that Iconix Brand Group, the owner of Peanuts Worldwide, LLC., became aware of this and... did the stupid, but easy, thing of sending a DMCA takedown to Tumblr. You can see the letter below. It's a pretty standard DMCA takedown letter. It's not clear if Tumblr automatically complied, or told Jason and he complied, but all of the comics have been taken off the site, replaced with a post about the DMCA notice.
Jason points out that he believes the use is fair use, but doesn't want to bother fighting this. ScytheNoire points us to an analysis of why Peanutweeter is likely fair use, though as we've discussed before, in many cases, it really just depends on whether or not the judge likes something. The post runs through the standard four factors and argues a strong likelihood of fair use, an analysis I think is pretty accurate. In theory, if Jason did desire to pursue it, he could push for sanctions. Issuing a DMCA takedown on fair use content is potentially a sanctionable offense, though, the law there is still a bit unsettled.

But even beyond the legal aspect here, let's discuss the basic common sense approach here. Now, obviously, Peanuts is a huge licensing business these days, but so is Garfield. In the case of Garfield, Davis and others quickly (and correctly) realized that such derivative works didn't harm or tarnish the brand in any way. Quite the contrary, it brought renewed interest in the strip, especially from an audience that might not normally care. On top of that, the friendly and encouraging approach resulted in a book from which they could all profit.

On the flipside, you have Iconix/Peanuts, who have just pissed off thousands of people online who followed Peanutweeter on Twitter and Tumblr -- and all for what? This was getting attention and getting people (who normally wouldn't) to think about Peanuts again. That's an opportunity. But it takes a special kind of lawyer to look at a great opportunity, and think that demands a legal threat letter.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Phew

    I believe Peanuts is known to the current generation as "What, that old, boring comic with the dog pretending to be a pilot?"

    It's good that they shut this down before it renewed any interest in the originals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    I don't see anything wrong with the shutdown here. If the guy wants to make social commentary, he can come up with his own cartoon characters (or borrow Nina's scribbles). Using someone else's cartoons, especially ones that are well known, is just lazy and insulting.

    I think he is trying to get some bonus fame by playing off the peanuts name. It is still to consider protecting such a blatant rip off. There isn't even any parody factor here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      It's a good thing people like Jim Davis agree with you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      Its wonderful that you actually read and responded to the valid points in the fair use write-up, instead of just insulting the creator of an interesting work of art.

      /s

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      You really have too much free time. Get a job, ya hippy.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:37am

      Re:

      You missed the point entirely.

      ..which was:

      What is the point to Iconix sending the take down? All it does is piss off people when Iconix could be using it to their advantage.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      "I think he is trying to get some bonus fame by playing off the peanuts name. It is still to consider protecting such a blatant rip off. There isn't even any parody factor here."

      I think it's interesting how you ignored the whole Jim Davis example and I'm interested in hearing why. We have been shown two ways of reacting to what is admittedly an appropriation of one's work. One way is to embrace the use and MAKE MOTHERFUCKING MONEY OFF OF IT. The other is to actually LOSE SAID MOTHERFUCKING MONEY and as a bonus PAY A MOTHERFUCKING LAWYER to craft a DMCA takedown letter that does not generate ANY MOTHERFUCKING INCOME.

      Honestly....how can you possibly advocated the latter?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        Honestly....how can you possibly advocated the latter?

        Because he's paid to?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Jason, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re:

        Because it's completely against everything their art represents? Not that this gives them a legitimate counter to the fair use claim, but I can see why they have a problem with it.

        They don't HAFTA make money whoring out their art as some kind of cheap Chris Rock profano-humor--that's only funny because bitchmotherfuckersaidso--if they don't want to.

        Just sayin'.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Any Mouse (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It isn't, strictly speaking, 'their' art. Considering Peanuts was one of the foremost social commentaries of its time, I'd have to politely disagree with you.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re:

        Perhaps you might want to think about it for a second. Maybe they don't want to MAKE MOTHERFUCKING MONEY OFF OF IT. Perhaps they have realizes that they will MAKE LESS MOTHERFUCKING MONEY if they let their brand get diluted.

        Perhaps they already MADE ENOUGH MOTHERFUCKING MONEY and don't feel the need for this less than desirable use of their content.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You, madam, are an idiot.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Nathan F (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I seriously suspect you are mental if you think they don't want to make more money off their stuff. Otherwise all these companies wouldn't keep pushing as hard as they have to extend copyright. That has been their big thing, 'extend copyright so that the creator can make more money off their work which is all the incentive they need to make more works.'

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          DogBreath, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then perhaps they had better get to DMCAing this SNL video (appears like it would fall under that "less than desirable use of their content" clause.)

          Maybe the Iconix Brand Group can learn by watching this video parody that by just waving their arms around wildly in the correct way, their purchased "Peanuts" product value would increase exponentially beyond their wildest dreams. I'd suggest they buy some Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men to help them out.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          That Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They apparently also own the Ed Hardy Brand.
          They are less desirable.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Jay (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Perhaps they have realizes that they will MAKE LESS MOTHERFUCKING MONEY if they let their brand get diluted. "

          There's not enough face to palm ratio for this...

          *Facepalm*

          *Looks up at AC*

          *Facepalms*

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            MrWilson, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That facepalm compilation is so unoriginal. The "artist" of that video clearly is trying to rip off other people's facepalming and use it to MAKE MOTHERFUCKING MONEY. The polar bear in that video should sue for the violation of its publicity rights.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I can't believe I'm going to type this.

          I kind-of agree with you.

          Obviously, Peanuts has a wholesome "family" quality: no cursing, very little controversy, essentially no "adult" matters. I can see why the owners might not like to see their characters cussing up a storm and discussing very adult matters... YES, yes, even if they could possibly make a buck off of it, I can still see them having a problem with it.

          Having said that, the few strips I read were great, I would definitely like to read more. But again, I can understand why the owners would take umbrage at it.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some people have great difficulty wrapping their arms around the concept that not everything is about making money.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Jordan (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re:

        You sir will be hearing from Sam Jackson's lawyers for your blatant trademark infringement.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you suggesting that "money" is what should be driving the rights holder when making decisions such as these?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      It is still to consider protecting such a blatant rip-off.

      You mean like Glee, which, I note, is still available from the Fox On Demand service and does almost nothign but rip-off artists, and not pay full royalties.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Mike, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re:

        Glee works because of different copyrights in the works. Artists do the same thing when they "cover" other people's songs. Glee still needs to pay royalties to the songwriter, but not the performers of the song.

        There is no analogy to that situation here.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Presumably the show takes licenses and pays according to the terms of the licenses. Is there something wrong with doing things this way?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      Seriously, take an art history class, you will learn so much about using work that was done by others to make a statement.

      It's been happening for centuries. Since the Renaissance, really.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Gwiz (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        It's been happening for centuries. Since the Renaissance, really.

        Probably more like forever.

        I have seen quite a few cave drawings of stick figure hunters that look exactly like other cave drawings of stick figure hunters.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re:

        Heck, when I was taking my art and design courses, we were encouraged to do this. Sometimes we were even required to.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          dcee (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You... stealing... freeloading.. art... student.

          Go back to your "art" thing, we're talking about the real thing here, money. Where do you see any realtion with art?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      DannyB (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      > I don't see anything wrong with the shutdown here.

      I don't either.

      The rights owner did nothing wrong. Nothing. The owner is technically and legally right. In fact, I agree with your entire post.

      You miss the issue that the TD article is about.

      Was this the smartest thing the rights owner could have done?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Smart by who's measurement? A bunch of freeloaders? A group of people who think writing over the words on someone else's work is some magic form or art?

        The smartest thing they can do is to zealously protect their images, their content, their trademarks, and their characters so that they don't lose out in the long run. That's what they are doing.

        "smart" depends on where you sit. Don't slam others for not agreeing with your version.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Translation: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          DannyB (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We can disagree on whether there might have been a better way to react.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          JMT, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The smartest thing they can do is to zealously protect their images, their content, their trademarks, and their characters so that they don't lose out in the long run."

          That's your opinion, and it's one that many disagree with, including Jim Davis.

          Let's face it, Peanuts is now quite old and doesn't have the following or popularity it used to. Anything that draws more attention to it is likely to have a positive effect for the rightsholders, not a negative one.

          If you disagree, and I'm sure you do, can you explain how this could be bad for them? Exactly how will they "lose out in the long run"?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            JMT, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And when I say rightsholder, I should point out that they're not the creator, just someone benefiting from someone else's work. I expect that irony is often missed.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          techflaws.org (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Smart by who's measurement? A bunch of freeloaders

          By a bunch of shilltards obviously.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 5:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm afraid you're sitting on "dumb".

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      DogBreath, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      Using someone else's cartoons, especially ones that are well known, is just lazy and insulting.

      It should say: "Using the DMCA to take down protected 1st Amendment parody free speech of comic strips, especially ones that are well known, is just lazy and insulting."



      There isn't even any parody factor here.

      I weep for you and anyone else who cannot see the parody in this.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      John Doe, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      he can come up with his own cartoon characters

      This so misses the point of art and culture. One of the big reasons these comics are so funny is because it uses such well known and iconic characters in pop culture. If he had invented his own characters it wouldn't nearly be as funny. Yes, it might be funny, but not nearly as this. Seriously, could you have pictured any of these characters saying any of these things?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        dcee (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re:

        Please, don't try to explain what is art to someone who thinks the rights-holder of the Peanuts comic is actually providing more to the human art scene than a guy who's actually creating...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Bengie, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      I guess you never heard of a parody?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Oz, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

      Value

      It's pretty clear that protecting the value of their brand is legal and since they own the copyright, they should be allowed to protect it. Schultz's cartoons depended heavily on no-drama boring plots and characters; adding profanity and modernizing any captions clearly infringes. Lame, but actionable.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Robert Doyle, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      "I don't see anything wrong with the shutdown here. If the guy wants to make social commentary, he can come up with his own cartoon characters (or borrow Nina's scribbles). Using someone else's cartoons, especially ones that are well known, is just lazy and insulting."

      You are essentially saying he can't make social commentary though. If he used 'original' characters, it wouldn't be the same message.

      You must be a Scientol... oh, wait, I can't comment about that... you must be a member of a quasi-fictitious relig... wait... crossing a line...

      Crap, I guess I have nothing to say... (at least, not legally...)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      "Using someone else's cartoons, especially ones that are well known, is just lazy and insulting."

      using the old "if it's not original it's a ripoff" argument, which is the LEAST original thing anyone could ever say is just lazy insulting

      and hypocritical, too

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      iBelieve, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      I'm glad to see someone else doesn't think these are funny. I can say without hesitation that the comments as sited in the comics where moronic and cliched as well. It a case where hearing about DMCA takedowns are usually met with some disdain, but not here. Fowl-mouthed Lucy just doesn't get it done for me. Its not fair use to usurp these comics and apply non-comical comment to them in my view.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nasch (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re:

        The comedy is in the juxtoposition of two things that would each on their own be banal and boring. Of course you don't have to find it funny, to each his own. But whether it's funny I hope has no bearing on your view of the DMCA takedown. Nor whether it does anything for you on your opinion of the fair use argument.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jeannel (profile), Jul 29th, 2013 @ 10:27am

      Re: Peanuts Shutdown

      I agree with you! In my opinion, this is copyright infringement, and a debasing of a famous and beloved icon. It does not appear to be parody. So I am happy that this nonsense was shut down.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    It's not the lawyer's fault

    > That's an opportunity.
    > But it takes a special kind of lawyer
    > to look at a great opportunity, and think
    > that demands a legal threat letter.


    Not that I think much good comes from lawyers, but the lawyer is only doing what he is paid to do.

    The one who is truly the special kind of person, is the rights owner. Not seeing an opportunity. But then, that's what rights owners do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Eric, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 8:38am

      Re: It's not the lawyer's fault

      "but the lawyer is only doing what he is paid to do."

      I disagree. Legal counsel is paid to counsel on legal matters, and an IP attorney worth his or her salt should be intimately familiar with fair use principles and the Streisand Effect.

      That no overtures of negotiation have been made before sending a takedown letter suggests that this attorney is merely a glorified copyroom clerk with a law degree.

      When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    The concept of coming up with something original is so foreign to Masnick that he doesn't understand why the Peanuts folks might not like having their brand mucked with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      You know, if Disney were to have subscribed to your line of reasoning here, they would not be the behemoth they currently are and could likely have gone bankrupt many years ago.

      They made their name by ripping off other people's creativity. They have few movies that are 100% original. I would even go further and say that all their work is inspired or ripped off of someone else's creativity.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you making the point that Disney is now where it is because it engaged over the course of many years in wilfully infringing the rights of others?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:59am

      Re:

      I guess it's the same reason Campbell's Soup told Warhol to make something original and Warhol went on to utter obscurity.

      Oh wait!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jim Davis, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      Yeah, I know, huh? Dirty Copyright thieves!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      Well, (pea)nuts to you sir/madam!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      Exactly. The work is hardly transformative and it's not fair use. It's not parody, it's satire--a distinction that Mike for whatever reason cannot grasp. Mike thinks that anyone who sends a takedown notice is "stupid." That just makes him stupid. The owners of the copyright do not like what is being done with their property. Considering that the infringer is simply replacing the original caption with his own curse word-riddled captions, it makes sense to me that the owner may not appreciate that. Sure, they could have done what was done with the Garfield comic, but it's their choice to not go that route. They probably found this use to be revolting. It's "stupid" to say that they are "stupid" for not seeing it otherwise. If the infringer is such a clever person, surely he can create something wholly original. There's no need to ride on the coattails of Peanuts. This case is very much like the "Cat in the Hat" case that Mike so clearly does not grasp. No surprise he doesn't grasp this. But then again, we all know he's just working backwards. It's all fair use to him. Of course it is. He needs it to be.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re:

        The owners of the copyright do not like what is being done with their property.

        Until it enters the public domain then it is everyone's property. That's a funny way for property to behave.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Jay (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Let's think about this REAL carefully.

        " The owners of the copyright do not like what is being done with their property."

        The tweets sure as hell ain't "their" property. And this type of thing goes on in other media countless times. What the copyright owner should do, is sit back and see what exactly is going on. Since the owner isn't the creator (Charles M. Schulz RIP), he should have even LESS say in what's going on.

        " Considering that the infringer is simply replacing the original caption with his own curse word-riddled captions, it makes sense to me that the owner may not appreciate that. "

        It's called comedy. It's a parody. It's also fair use and derivative. You should look into that some time.

        " It's "stupid" to say that they are "stupid" for not seeing it otherwise."

        How about "it's an opinion based on observation?" Also, it is rather stupid to look at what was going on (ie the added interest in Peanuts books) and say "we don't want to sell more books, this must be stopped at once!"

        "If the infringer is such a clever person, surely he can create something wholly original. "

        He sure did what was fun for him. Honestly, why is it that so many people make the originality argument, not understanding anything to do with how art is formed, I have no idea...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        athe (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not parody, it's satire

        You might want to look up the definition of parody sometime:

        noun
        1. a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In parody the copyrighted work is the target, while with satire the copyrighted work is merely a vehicle to poke fun at another target. See Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. v. Penguin Books USA, Inc., 109 F.3d 1394 (9th Cir. 1997).

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In parody the copyrighted work is the target, while with satire the copyrighted work is merely a vehicle to poke fun at another target.

            Which is why this is almost certainly parody. It's poking fun at Peanuts.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nasch (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 12:28am

        Re: Re:

        The work is hardly transformative and it's not fair use.

        Would you like to elaborate on that? Since fair use can only be determined conclusively in court, any statements about it are a matter of opinion. What would be your analysis of the four factors?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

      Re:

      Yawn... try coming up with an original comment. I've heard that one before. That user name's pretty unoriginal as well...

      But, to answer it anyway - they might not like their brand messed around with and they have the right to complain and shut the site down. However, the observation being made is not about their right or desire to do that, but about how doing so might actually lose them exposure, and therefore money.

      Funny how the ACs around here never seem to be able to identify what's actually being said.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        DannyB (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re:

        > Funny how the ACs around here never seem to
        > be able to identify what's actually being said.


        I wonder if it really, truly, actually just goes right over their head.

        They don't stop and think about what is being said. They've already got their preconceptions of what is being said.

        It would explain the missing the point and failing to address substantive arguments and points raised.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          The eejit (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't stop asnd think about what I sayy all the time. Yet, I'm a reasonably well-adjusted psychopathwho can think after the fact.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      DannyB (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      > The concept of coming up with something
      > original is so foreign to Masnick


      Yeah, darn bloggers. They never write. Never have an original thought. Never are entertaining or informative. The blog attracts no traffic or interested followers . . .

      Oh, wait.


      You darn kids! Get off my lawn!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

      Re:

      The concept of coming up with something original is so foreign to Masnick

      Says the AC who copies other AC's lame ass argument that didn't hold any water the first time. Very convincing.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    The Real Reason

    They took it down because it would make people realize how spectacularly un-funny the original Peanuts dialog was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Arthur (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Peanuts

    For the first time in 40 years*, Peanuts was actually funny. No wonder they shut it down -- it was destroying Peanuts' image as the most lame, boring comic.

    *Earlier, Peanuts was sometimes actually funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jason A., Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Who took it down

    To clarify, it was Tumblr who took the whole site down. Without warning, and without recourse.
    What is up there right now is actually the peanutweeter.com domain pointed to a different Tumblr acct

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:16am

      Re: Who took it down

      To clarify, it was Tumblr who took the whole site down.

      Tumblr took the site down following a DMCA takedown notice from Iconix. Given the DMCA, Tumblr had little choice but to do the takedown. It's totally wrong to blame Tumblr.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    My idea

    Demand that my local paper stops carrying Peanuts. If enough people do this then they would be able to hire lawyers would are morons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jackn, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    its not fair use

    Their response may not be the smartest, but it is their choice (the copyright holders).

    I don't see this as fair use in any way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Matt, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    There's an old adage for writers that goes "write what you know." For creators it would be/is "create from what you know." As a kid, I would pretend to be a Power Ranger and play out my own stories. As kids that kind of activity is not only allowed but encouraged, so why is it wrong for an adult to do what is, in effect, the same thing?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Hilarious...finally!

    These are truly the best Peanuts comics Charles Schulz ever made! =]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Special?

    "But it takes a special kind of lawyer to look at a great opportunity, and think that demands a legal threat letter."

    We have a term for these lawyers: typical.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    All the Peanuts characters suck

    I mean they really, really suck. I hated each and every one of them, especially that dog with the shit-eating grin. Charlie Brown was a pussy. Lucy was a closet lesbian. The friggin' dog probably had mange and rabies. Linus had a lobotomy. And they all had bedbugs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    All the Peanuts characters suck

    I mean they really, really suck. I hated each and every one of them, especially that dog with the shit-eating grin. Charlie Brown was a pussy. Lucy was a closet lesbian. The friggin' dog probably had mange and rabies. Linus had a lobotomy. And they all had bedbugs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Wonder if they'll go after the latest newgrounds.com flash on peanuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    charliebrown (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Hi, I'm Charlie Brown

    You may have heard recently of somebody else with that name being in a comic strip. Well, my real name IS Charlie Brown and I for one think they're not promoting Peanuts well. Why? Because nobody under the age of twenty knows who the f**k Charlie Brown or Snoopy or Linus (etc) are!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    I wonder if anyone had the foresight to archive the site? Torrent maybe..?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    cram, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    I think Jason did a fabulous job here, but I don't see why everyone's freaking out about the rights holder freaking out. After all they own the rights and may have every reason to protect their property.

    Derivative works without permission run every risk of being taken down, if only to assert to the whole wide world that no one can take someone's intellectual property for granted. We saw a similar case with Scrabulous and Hasbro last year.

    Mike says: "Now, obviously, Peanuts is a huge licensing business these days,"

    Isn't that telling? The rights owner is already making tons of money, there is considerable interest in the strip and the brand hasn't been diluted, until this happened. And you expect the rights holder to actually embrace an unlicensed derivative work which tarnishes the brand ? Come on, basic common sense dictates that you don't take this lying down.

    "realized that such derivative works didn't harm or tarnish the brand in any way."

    Not in this case. Anyway, doesn't the rights holder have the right to decide on that?

    " Quite the contrary, it brought renewed interest in the strip, especially from an audience that might not normally care."

    Not the same here. There is plenty of existing interest, and such derivative works would only generate the wrong kind of interest.

    " -- and all for what?"

    To tell the world that you can't just grab a popular comic strip and do what you want with it. Precedent, Mike!

    "That's an opportunity."

    Where you see opportunity, they see threat. That's the difference between running a blog and owning the rights to creative work that's still bringing in a whole lot of money without much effort.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

      Re:

      Here's the thing: it shouldn't be their property. The creator died, meaning that, in a somewhat saned and logical world, the rights should be public, NOT licensed ouyt some number of years after the creator's death (excepting in rare cases where the creator dies very shortly after the work is published.)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    tina, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:45am

    I think the problem is with the material too. Even Jim Davis would have a problem with profanity being used in a thought balloon over Garfields head. He stays away from vulgar stuff, political, etc.

    Who knows if Peanuts would of had such issue if the things being quoted were a little tamer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jackn, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 7:14am

    "It would explain the missing the point and failing to address substantive arguments and points raised."

    I didn't see any substantive points. Could you identify them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      Could you identify them

      The major one is that, although the rightsholders have the ability to do what they did, it may not make good business sense to do so. Certainly they could have contacted the artist directly and voice any concerns they had, and perhaps worked out a deal. Last I checked, a phone call or email was much cheaper than a lawyer.

      The underlying point I usually take away from these types of stories is that, regardless of whether you feel it's parody or derivative, there is now less art in the world directly because of copyrights. Directly because of copyrights. It needed to be said twice.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:28am

    "But it takes a special kind of lawyer to look at a great opportunity, and think that demands a legal threat letter."

    A live lawyer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Killing the messenger

    AGAIN (and again and again and ...):
    CLIENTS decide what to do, and lawyers implement that decision. I have a mental picture of a lawyer (and I am in that exact position at this time, with a client) saying "I don't think you should do that" and the client saying "Do it", though the only part I am sure is accurate is the public, and bloggers like you, saying "What was that lawyer (???) thinking of?".
    This seems to be crystal clear to you in blogging, why is it so hard to understand in other professions?
    Gee, I hope SETI succeeds; there must be some intelligence in this universe SOMEWHERE; though clearly not here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:57am

      Re: Killing the messenger

      You make a valid point up until you suggest that we need to go off planet to find intelligent life, because that includes you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    txpatriot, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    So just because the rightsholder to "Garfield" is OK with it, that means the rightsholder to "Peanuts" (and by implication, ANY rightsholder in general) should be OK with it?

    Sorry Mike, but it does not follow. The Garfield folks can do whatever they want with Garfield -- that does not bind the Peanuts folks or any other rightsholder. Why in the world would you think otherwise?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    majoritywhip, Jul 1st, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    Who taught this person to write?

    Seriously. That is one of the most confusing articles I've read in the past year. The "author" should reference the 5th picture.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Jul 2nd, 2011 @ 1:00am

      Re: Who taught this person to write?

      I just read it again, and I'm left scratching my head. It was perfectly clear to me the first time, and I still don't see the problem. What is confusing about it?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Stephen Samuel, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

    Lawyers get paid for this.

    If they don't send out useless DMCA takedown letters they don't get the billing hours. End of story.

    Jim Davis' lawyer is probably his best friend, or something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anona Moose, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    Good job blurring out the name there...

    Thanks to the glory of Google, it takes all of three seconds to figure out who wrote that letter. First name + company + department makes it trivial to find people who have LinkedIn profiles. (In case anyone wanted to send gmarinoff@iconixbrand.com an e-mail).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Great Dane, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 3:04am

    Lawyers and punishment

    If laws were amended to make real draconic punishments to lawyers who are caught in such schemes, they might think again.

    Something like confiscating all their property and the massed property of any and all interest in the firm who send illegal DMCA takedown notices like this one, together with huge fines to the corporations they represent. This ofcause based on complaints from anyone, not just the grieved party.

    I have always thought it was strange that lawyers are not accountable for their missteps while others are. The worst that can happen seems to be a slap on the wrist from a review board that are usually made up of their golf buddies and others from the scotch drinking club...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Jul 28th, 2011 @ 9:04am

      Re: Lawyers and punishment

      I have always thought it was strange that lawyers are not accountable for their missteps while others are. The worst that can happen seems to be a slap on the wrist from a review board that are usually made up of their golf buddies and others from the scotch drinking club...

      Exactly, who do you think makes and enforces the rules lawyers operate under? Lawyers.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    Charles Schultz is dead

    Peanuts should be in the public domain, end of story. All you people getting bent out of shape over this just show how pathetic your life is when something like this is what you get bent out of shape over. There are real problems in the world and you idiots are worried about a cartoon from 40 years ago. Grow up humanity, you are fucking worthless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    libraryann, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 7:30pm

    the most awesome thing is that now these altered strips are making the rounds on FB and are as hilarious as ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.