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

March 21, 2019

Missed It: Oh The Places You’ll Boldly Go Wins Its Copyright Challenge On First Amendment Basis

imageHere's the best article I've read about the court win enjoyed by Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go! in terms of explaining how elements of the book -- a mash-up of the Dr. Seuss post-graduation gift and the general creative endeavor that is the Star Trek franchise -- match up to various copyright issues and claims. I'm not familiar enough with the Glenn Hauman/Ty Templeton/David Gerrold work to know if this were more directly comics in a formal sense if there would be any changes in this analysis, but I don't think so. My broad experience is that despite the awfulness of having work disrupted this way, any court challenge where a judge looks closely at these issues frequently ends up being a boon to free speech and expression. I would imagine there are a lot of works like this one that may fall short of meeting an exact definition of parody but function in a way to still be protected.

As the article notes, this is a next step -- and likely last one -- to a decision made back in 2017 that brought about a reformulation of the case on slightly different grounds. The suit was filed in Fall 2016.

Congratulations to those victorious. I hope publisher ComicMix came out of this okay in terms of financial cost and/or any penalty from this lengthy scheduling disruption, and that they'll alert the work's perceived audience more directly if money is needed to alleviate such circumstances -- perhaps in terms of people buying the work in question.
posted 5:25 pm PST | Permalink

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