Copyright Claim By Freddie Mercury's Charity Results In Removal Of Another Charity's Freddie Mercury Gorilla
from the go-go-bananas dept
Mercury Phoenix Trust contacted Wild in Art, the company that supplied the gorilla glass-fibre canvases, according to director Charlie Langhorne.Mercury Phoenix Trust is an AIDS charity constructed in the name of Freddie Mercury, who died of the disease. Go Go Gorillas, the charity that commissioned the Mercury gorilla, is supported by Brian May, former guitarist for Queen. Go Go Gorillas is running the gorilla campaign to raise awareness and funds for conservation efforts in the Congo. All laudable goals made petty via the use of copyright laws to take down the Freddie Mercury gorilla and replace it with a newly painted version.
"They just said that they own the copyright on the suit and asked us to change it," Mr Langhorne said. "That's being sorted. To save any bother we will change it."
Whether or not there's a legitimate copyright claim in the "jacket" from Mercury Phoenix Trust seems like an open question (and it's pretty easy to argue that the copyright claim is highly questionable). But, really, does that even matter when the mere threat of a copyright claim is enough to have the statue pulled?
Martin Green of Break, one of two charities that will benefit from the auction of the gorillas once the exhibition is over, said: "It's a disappointing position they have put us in.So thanks a lot, copyright. You've been used as a pawn in a needless battle between two charities with far greater work to do, all the while depriving me of a gorilla that looks like it's about to sing We Will Rock You to anyone within listening distance. Personally, I can't think of a greater crime against humanity.
"Freddie is one of our most popular gorillas on the trail and now we've got to remove him from the streets, but we're respecting the wishes of another charity."