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!