Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 22, 2017

Missed It: Matt Furie Takes Significant Legal Action Against Users Of His Pepe The Frog

Here's the most succinct summary, which sees cartoonist Matt Furie filing takedown actions against the digital use of his character as an alt-right meme. This follows a move against a book that used his character, and perhaps follows some under the radar legal actions against other, similar works as the Texas book.

One thread of discussion that has developed since Monday when the story dropped is some concern for Furie as he faces the wrath of the people with unlimited time on their hands and near-nihilistic conception of how to relate to other people. I shared that concern, and I hope a gameplan is in place with Furie and his legal team to ameliorate the worst of it.

Another thread of discussion the best example of which is here, is that Furie's legal pursuit challenges fair use, that the use of Pepe is clearly transformative. I"m not certain about that: I think the transformation is in backstory, not the image, and that this is a question of image use. I wonder if the new Pepe story qualifies as a transformation that I couldn't give Batman a new secret origin and use those images, too. Let's see what happens in court.
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink

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