Help us defend Fair Use vs. Seuss!
In August of ’16, we thought up a plan
If we could get all of the language to scan
We’d mash up the book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
Combine it with themes from that old Star Trek show
And demonstrate how they (with new illustrations)
Both seek out new life forms and new civilizations
As through endless journeys protagonists barreled
And so it was written up by David Gerrold
With lovely artwork drawn by Ty Templeton
They both made a book that could not be outdone!
We were very respectful, not lewd, rude, or crude.
We thought it was wonderful…!
Oh, the uses Seuss sued! There were fights to be picked!
There was art to suppress! Punishments to inflict!
Before the last drawing had seen final touches
Word made its way to the ears (and the clutches)
Of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which owns
Seuss trademarks and copyrights, and which bemoans
Any artwork that starts to remotely remind
Of a Seussian style. Are they in their right mind?
How far will they go? Why, they even want
To claim ownership of a handwritten font.
(They might even claim they own this style of verse
Except for the fact C.C. Moore got here first.)
It seems that the lawyers that Seuss have set loose
Thinks no one can choose to make fair use of Seuss.
Luckily, we’ve got a very good lawyer
Who’s helping us counter this fair use destroyer.
And so we’ve proceeded, convinced we are right,
But battling a lawsuit takes thousands to fight.
“So what?” you may cry. “Just why should I care
About someone suing you over what’s fair?”
Permit me a moment while I count the ways.
The judge said (and here, I must paraphrase):
“Regarding mashups, there is no prior ruling
Addressing the points over which you are dueling!
Your book’s highly transformative! It’s simply not
Merely a copy, like the Seuss lawyers thought
But are you in the right? Mashups might be protected
Or maybe they’re not! You want this case ejected
But sans evidence, the court cannot decide
If it’s fair, so your motion to dismiss denied!
Maybe summary judgment will settle your fate,
But if not, then we’re going to choose a court date.”
Now, it’s taken long months, and it’s cost lots of swag
But we’ve gotten rulings about which we can brag
We got judgement on the pleadings, a partial decision
Leaving only what’s left after the court’s excision.
Unfortunately, now the case REALLY gets pricey,
And if we can’t pay, then the outcome gets dicey.
We’re fighting a company with millions of bucks
And we’ve spent most of ours, which truly just… stinks.
If we lose, then ALL mashups may go through the thresher
And may be deemed infringement. (But hey, no pressure.)
The fight’s now upon us, can’t close the barn door
Lest our loss set a precedent tough to ignore.
And fair use gets wrecked in a Weehawken minute
This case is important, so we have to win it.
And that means there’s something that we have to do:
We need financial help, and we’re turning to YOU.
If you’ve ever watched a fan film on Blu-ray
Or dressed in a Buzz Lightyear/Joker cosplay
Or you wrote a book with a title that’s “cocky”
Or want to mix music and be a disc jockey
Or watched video mashups on Funny Or Die
Or read fanfic where Owen tells Beru good-bye
Or sung at a showing of “Once More With Feeling”
Or want to paint Mickey and Walt on your ceiling
If you care about mashups and value free speech,
If you think free expression’s a value to preach
Then reach in your wallets and give what you will
And help us pay for a quite large legal bill.
Be a copyright fighter! And fight for the right
To research, report, comment, criticize, cite!
Be the fifth factor in our fair use case!
Every dollar contributed buys breathing space!
(Heck, if only this doggerel just made you laugh
Consider donating a buck and a half.)
If you can’t spare some cash, then please spread the word
Get on social media and help us get heard.
Lawsuits are scary and hard to endure,
But if you help us out, then you’re part of the cure.
And for your help countering copyright cranks,
We offer our humble and most grateful thanks.