DSE’s legal views are so cockeyed, but amici briefers are taking our side!
The appeal still grinds onward, Dr. Seuss hasn’t quit,
’cause they’ve got lots of moolah to indulge their… snit.
But we’re pleased to announce and happy to report
more people are taking our side in the court.
We fight to express, and these people agreed
the expressions created are something we need.
So let it be heard throughout the whole land
that these types of mashups ought not to be banned!
Many have helped us to fight shibboleths
So in no real order, we must thank (deep breaths…)
Philip Malone and his crew at Stanford,
and everyone on OTW’s board.
Hat tip, Dave and Mags! Grazie, Public Knowledge!
Thanks, Francesca Coppa from Muhlenberg College!
And Dogan and Gerhardt and Grinvald and Ramsey,
Tushnet and Litman and Loren and Lemley,
McGerevan, Grynberg, McKenna, and Sibley,
Samuelson, Stallman, and UC at Berkeley,
and the scholars at Harvard Law’s Cyberlaw Clinic…
you all have given advice that’s rabbinic.
Such great assistance just fills us with glee–
And to the appellants: “EFF You, Dee Ess Eee!”
If you’d like to see what amici makes clear,
you can read all their filings here, here, and here.
And while the court ruling is in legal flux,
if you have cash to spare, we could sure use the bucks.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with Public Knowledge, the Organization for Transformative Works, Professor Francesca Coppa, comic book writer Magdalene Visaggio, and author David Mack, all ably represented by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Friday to uphold the decision that ComicMix, author David Gerrold, artist Ty Templeton, and editor Glenn Hauman didn’t infringe copyrights in the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” with their work, “Oh The Places You’ll Boldly Go!”—a mash-up of Dr. Seuss and Star Trek themes.
The book combines elements found in Dr. Seuss children’s books, like the look of certain characters and landscapes, with themes and characters from the science fiction series Star Trek, to create a new, transformative work of creative expression, the amici curiae said in a brief filed Friday.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which licenses Seuss material, sued the book’s creators for copyright infringement. A lower court correctly concluded that the way in which the “Boldly” book borrows and builds upon copyrighted material in the Dr. Seuss book constitutes fair use under U.S. copyright law.
“The fair use doctrine recognizes that artists and creators must have the freedom to build upon existing culture to create new works that enrich, entertain, and amuse the public,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “Fair use is the safety valve that ensures creators like the authors of ‘Oh The Places You’ll Boldly Go!’ don’t have to beg permission from a copyright holder in order to make works that express new and unique ideas.”
“Oh The Places You’ll Boldly Go!” takes characters and images from five Dr. Seuss books and remakes them into comedic depictions of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and various Star Trek creatures. The book’s visual puns—the multi-color saucer from the cover of “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” is used to create a new kind of starship Enterprise, while a Dr. Seuss character referred to as a “fix-it-up-chappie” is reimagined as Scotty, the ship’s chief engineer—are a form of commentary on the Seuss and Star Trek worlds.
“‘Boldly’s’ creative adaptation of Dr. Seuss works is an example of artistic expression that would be stifled by overly restrictive application of copyright law,” said McSherry.