M!ffy Kerfuffle!

On March 12, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

SECOND UPDATE: OMG it’s HITLER M!FFY. [Melissa's got my back, yo.]

UPDATE: Now the Dutch lawyer is saying my M!ffy related text is okay, but the Sharpie drawing is “modification of protected work.” I am now waiting to see if they’ll actually grant me permission to use a M!ffy image of their choosing. Clearly, I am amenable to compromise, but I will not be denied my M!ffy.


If I draw two dots and an X in this configuration and post it on the Internet, am I infringing on a Dutch artist’s copyright?
- – - – - – - -

Back when the Internet was young and almost no one knew or cared about my pale-blue blog with the crying baby on top, I wrote a post about how insanely cute M!ffy is and how her theme song rang in my ears like the music of little Dutch cantaloupes rolling down a tulip-covered hill. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s the cantaloupes that sing or that the tulips ring like sleighbells as they’re overrun by stampeding melons. Yes, the Dutch have a deep and questionable attachment to anything orange, and this leads me to think about lawyers.

For suddenly (last week, and then again this morning) I received e-mails from a Dutch law firm asking me to remove “all M!ffy related content” from this Web site. I never thought to ask D!ck Brun@ Ent*rprises for their permission to worship their cartoon bunny, and so apparently all this time I’ve been busily, though passively, infringing on her.

The whole thing just fills my heart cavity with a heavy, weighted thing — a bronzed cantaloupe, perhaps — which causes me to slump forward over my keyboard, and makes it almost impossible to drive without honking the horn with my forehead.

The post in question focuses on my adoration of M!ffy. I don’t mock M!ffy; I don’t make any money off the shaven fuzz of her wee little ears; I have not silkscreened her squinched-up mug onto a t-shirt, even though I would wear a M!ffy t-shirt every day of my life if I could.

Isn’t there a thing called “fair use”? Apparently not in Dutch Land. (Again, too much Ricky Bobby has entirely rewired my syntax synapse. Synapse singular. I have but one.)

So in a juvenile fit of retaliation, I’m leaving up the original post but I took a Sharpie and drew my own picture of M!ffy and asked Jackson to color it (He chose orange! What are the odds!) and so I’m replacing D!ck Brun@’s M!ffy with my own M!ffy and D!ck Brun@ Ent*rprises can go fly a Spongebob-branded kite if they don’t like it. (I’m just asking for it, aren’t I.)


I think the time change this weekend has left Mrs. Kennedy with a touch of paranoid schizophrenia, hmmm?

I LOVE YOU, M!FFEEEEEE!

Comments

comments

65 Responses to “M!ffy Kerfuffle!”

  • Now I’ve got the Miffy song in my head. Is that infringing on their copyright?

  • Yes. You’re scheduled for a brain scraping tomorrow morning.

  • Note to self: don’t fuck with Fussy. (You’d think I would have figured that out by now, several years of reading later.)

  • Dat de manier om het aan de man te plakken!!

    p.s.- Hooray for text-translators!

  • So strange. You’d think they would like popular people worshipping their bunny.

  • Freaky-deaky Dutch! I love the old header — is the baby Jackson?

  • Stumbled onto your blog from everythinginbetween, and just in time to say “Damn the man!!!”

    Good job with the cartoon and more power to ya!

  • On the one hand, I don’t see how D!ck Brun@ Ent*rprises could fail to love the M!ffy you and Jackson have cobbled together. On the other, I can totally imagine them and their low country lawyers choosing the latter option. As my only Dutch comes from having seen “Purple Rain” in Amsterdam with Dutch subtitles, I recommend you tell them “Rot op!”

    Which either means “fuck off” or “That first act be alright, but da bitches, they gotta go.”

  • Yeehaw! A rebel on the loose, fighting for her rights…to love M!ffy…

    Huh.

  • M!ffy looks like she is listening to Rush Limbaugh. The confused angst is palpable.

  • You go, Mrs. K! I’ll totally bake you a cake w/a file in it, should it come to that. The internet has got your back.

    K

  • M!ffy is wondering why D!ck Brun@ is so controlling.

    Maya, that crying baby is Jackson. I just let him lay there and cry and cry while I took dozens of entertaining photographs.

  • She’s sad because she’s being kept down by The Man.

    Fight the good fight Mrs Kennedy!

  • I’ve never heard of this M!ffy character, but you’ve moved me, and I’d like to join a “Free M!ffy” campaign if one happens to start.

  • Charlotte: thats niiiiiiiiiiice

    I too sing the Miffy song, but Mark and I have made it x-rated.

  • Bunny love is supposed to be free all over the planet.
    Oh and to show my support ( and just in case they come looking for more fights) I am never posting that draft on the Dutch Oven pineapple upside down cake.

  • Have you seen this?

  • Maybe they are concerned about the company you keep- we are a sketchy bunch.

  • Leave it up. Good for you.

  • Don’t even worry about it – I had a cease and desist letter from the Torture Museum (Amsterdam) requesting that I remove a whole gallery’s worth of pictures. I am very careful and check obsessively for “NO PICTURES” placards whenever I go to a museum, and it wasn’t there. So I emailed them back and the pictures are staying. I don’t think you’re pushing the edge here – if D. Brun@ has the money to pursue a lawsuit with you I hope it comes with a free trip to Amsterdam.

  • You’re so hott (two ‘t’s!!!!) when you stick it to the man.

  • Hey, if you involved Jackson in this project, then it’s “for educational purposes,” I say. Fair use, baby! ;P

  • I’m fully in support of your plight, even if (because I often live under a rock) I have no idea who you’re talking about.

    Also possible that my children are teenagers. And only want to watch F@mily Guy. *sigh*

  • Don’t worry about it. If D!ck Brun and his army of trademark infringement lawyers head your way, you’ll be able to hear them a mile away. You’ll make a run for it, and they’ll never catch up, because running in wooden shoes is really hard.

  • Lordy they have too much time on their hands.

  • fuck ‘em. i like your compilation better

  • Oy vey, this could get fun.

  • I knew an IP lawyer guy once. He used to say that when he looked at your site, it appeared to be in his casual, not-licensed in Cali and purely for fun (let’s just not use the word opinion) imagination that you were indeed under something similar to his understanding of fair use. Ironically, Jackson & your derivative work (sharpies rule!) is where you would actually be stepping in it.

    But you probably know that, because you’re just that baaaad, and nobody can flip em the bird with an adorable rabbit drawing like Fussy and her rebel son.

  • Also, Mrs. Kennedy, the makers of Fussy brand prophylactics want to have a word with you. (“Don’t be a hussy — make him use a Fussy!”)

  • Bill, you’ve been away too long.

  • So, if I print out a Miffy coloring page online and my kid colors it, and then I photograph it and post it on my blog, am I guilty of posting “modified protected work”?

  • I am starting to understand boxing fans! Fight fight fight!

  • That’s what happens when you get so famous that Mr. Sandra Bullock reads your blog and then writes articles about it in his magazine. The lawyers come out of the woodwork, looking for a piece of the pie. Don’t let them have any pie, Miffy is for everyone!!!

  • That is inSANE… I don’t actually know who Miffy is, but she looks cute and harmless for such a big stink…my god what is WRONG with these people? To much time on their hands? Shouldn’t they be, like, making cheese or carving shoes or something? Confused.

  • I’m not sure about Dutch copyright law, but YOUR drawing, according to US copyright law, is not an infringement. Your drawing is your interpretation of the character … I could go on forever about this. Damn college that made me write papers and papers on the subject. On the other hand, if you posted a scan of the original art from the artist, they would have a valid argument.

  • I’m sure this has already been said, but what the hell is wrong with these people that they’ve got something so huge against free publicity on a personal blog where the blogger is not attempting to make money off their deal?

    Honestly, it’s really kind of stupid, ‘cos I wouldn’t even know about the existence of the stupid rabbit if I hadn’t seen it at fussy.com – and I’m sure not going to spend any money for the Dutch complainers’ profit now that they’ve made such a big asshat deal about it. If I gotta buy some kind of toy merchandise or whatnot for some kid sometime – it’s not going to be the Dutch bunny, not after all this.

    Live and learn, corporate folks, live and learn…. and try not to shoot yourself in the foot sometimes. Sheesh.

  • This sort of reminds me of the kerfuffle in expat circles over a blog written by an English expat in France who got dooced despite having never divulged her name or the name of the company that she worked for… though she did mention that there was a picture of the queen on the wall and that everyone partook of tea time….

    The company alleged that she was fired because she had ruined the company’s good name or something. Apart from mentionning that her boss had a oxford brit accent and suspenders [for his socks?], that was the only thing she ever said about them.

    Of course, once the story broke and that she would be going to the labour tribunal, it became possible to google “stupidity” and hit on that Accountancy firm.

    Geez.

  • More Miffy love…

    http://www.noggin.com/shows/miffy.php

    You can do the “activites”. LOL.

  • How ridiculous that they are bothering you! NUTS.

  • It’s so sad that they have to taint the pureness that is M1ffy. My three-year-old daughter showed a brief interest in M1ffy, and I’ve been trying to nurture the M1ffy love ever since. How could you not love such a sweet little bunny? But I am SO not loving her lawyers.

    Maybe we should come up with a new theme song?

    “M1ffy, M1ffy, M1ffy, run!
    With nasty lawyers, it’s not fun.
    Fussy and Jackson say it’s no fair.
    M1ffy love should be everywhere.

    M1111fy. A sweet little bunny.
    D1ck Bruuuun@. Share your little bunny.
    Dutch laaaaawyers. It’s not like we’re stealing money.
    M1111fy. Get some new friends!”

    Something like that?

  • We have the same, we have the same.

    The same idea that it’s pretty lame that Miffee’s people are coming after you.

    I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking Dick might be a cop. It’s the moustache that gives it away.

    I just have a mental image of a big, human sized Miffee, Mama Bunny, Poopy Pig, Snuphy, and Boriz showing up at your house and taking you behind the woodshed for a cute, adorable ass kicking.

  • Troublemaker!

  • how f***ing ridiculous. i like your miffee…ugh, that. sounds.

    right. anyway, i love the crying baby banner. so awesome.

  • I’m a visual artist, and I’m cranky about people actually stealing my work, too, but this is ridiculous. Miffy people, chill. You’re spoiling my natural inclination to adore joyfully (and spend money on) your corporate, internationally recognized, highly profitable brand.

  • What about your archive of Miffy slash fiction? Tell me they’re letting you keep that up.

  • Oh NO! I clicked on the link that led to the site and now…now… aaarrggghhh!!!

    Meefee, Meefee…

    Damn cantaloupes

  • There was a time when I wanted to be a lawyer. Situations like this make me thankful that I chose a different path. This is another example of big companies not knowing when to shut the F up!

    ooops! Did that just come out?

  • Apparently all the pot they’re smokin over there these days does not have the relaxing effect one would expect.

  • Have you searched flickr tags for M!ffy? There is a whole lotta weird M!ffyness going on, that’s all I can say.

  • Can’t you just send the Hulk over there to “Teach them some Yoga”?

  • You should have a NaBloMiffyDa!
    They couldn’t shut everbody down!

  • Have you SEEN this one?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/80104088@N00/321217960/

    Are the makers of the meat-M!FFY being sued? Are all of the little M!FFY-drawing Dutch children being sued for “modification of protected work?”

  • Meat M!ffy! So perfectly marbled.

  • Make a button. That goes to hell?

    We’ll all sport one. It’s like that last scene in V.

  • We, the Internet, will come to your aid, dear Mrs. Kennedy!

  • Years back I bought a M!ffy book and two M!ffy cards at Schiphol Airport, disturbing claymation things of M!ffy in bed and M!ffy standing next to a clay bowl of clay salad or something. You give the word, and M!ffy gets a Sharpie moustache. (I feel like hitting my chest twice with a fist and throwing you a peace sign. Would that disturb you?)

  • That’s something I worry about on my blog myself as I nick pictures off the Internet all the time and have no idea if they’re copyrighted or not. All I can think is, “I should be so lucky that enough people even read my blog that they would bother to come after me in the first place.” ;-)

  • I’ve seen M!ffy before, but didn’t know it was M!ffy. Now, because Dick is being a, well, you know, I have plans for my very own M!ffy. I’ve had dye sub equipment for a couple of years now, but not the time and/or energy to use it. Revenge almost always gives me the energy, which allows me to find the time. Not only do I have a t-shirt press, I also have a mug press. I’m going to fill my home up with dozens of copyright violations. Because I can. “Don’t be a Dick, come over and see my M!ffy!” “M!ffy, it’s what’s for dinner” “M!ffy Rolling Papers” And, the next time we have a set of foster kittens (because we don’t foster bunnies), we’re naming them all M!ffy. I’m going to make them all little copyright violation adoption t-shirts to wear home too. What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas…unless it’s M!ffy.

    By the way, did I mention that I think this is ridiculous? You like their goddamned creation. They should thank you and send you free stuff, not threaten you.

  • Flippy wins! “Most creative tough stance in a comment.”

  • I’m kind of shy in person, but I’m big on online corporate revenge. It’s amazing what a little “sucks” website will accomplish when it outranks the company’s official site. :)

  • Would Karl Rove rip the head off a M!ffy when he goes home at night to not drink? Pondering the imponderable and sending good vibes that your new adorable Mxffy wins out.

  • I have read your blog carefully and like it a lot! We have the same opnion! Could you check my blog at: http://www.muslimfriends.com/i/free to check my blog title: helenwang`s blog”? May be we can talk further and be friends.

  • so if my name is miffy does that mean i’m infringing on their copyright???
    but i don’t like the original spelling much so i kinda changed it to miffee instead =D

  • so if my name is miffy does that mean i’m infringing on their copyright???
    but i don’t like the original spelling much so i kinda changed it to miffee instead =D