Robot 6

Tony Piro asks readers to help stop the copying

Last year around this time, Calamaties of Nature creator Tony Piro posted a pointed parody of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was well received, but, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, it was also copied, altered and posted all over the internet without attribution.

Yesterday, Piro noted the problem:

My use of the Peanuts characters, in a comic that I drew and wrote myself, is allowed as a parody. But when people grab my art, change a few words, and label it as their own, it amounts to theft. Of course people are free to make their own parodies, but they should use their own art and writing. I could attempt to police these copies, but ultimately this is impossible to do on the internet, especially once images start spreading on social sites like Facebook.

Of course, if his appropriation of Charles Schulz’s characters is allowable as parody, couldn’t some of his imitators claim the same thing about their appropriation of Tony Piro’s comic? Semantics aside, Piro realizes the futility of trying to stop the appropriators, so his solution is to ask his readers to post his version of the comic, with attribution, in a sort of good-information-crowds-out-bad strategy. To show that he’s no Grinch, Piro will donate $1 to Doctors Without Borders for every 500 extra page views the comic gets.

And to round out this Christmas story, someone popped up in comments to apologize for unknowingly using an altered version of the comic. Of course, the trolls were there too…

(Via Fleen.)

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Comments

7 Comments

Credibility fail. They’re not your characters.

Credibility fail. Your little comic strip has numerous errors in it that have been widely spread by an internet “documentary” (term used very loosely) that’s rife with inaccuracies. When you’re trying to make yourself feel smarter than others you should probably check your info sources first.

“Calamaties” of nature ?

*cough*funnytypo*cough*

Imagine Newt Gingrich speaking as Linus, using his professorial tone.

“Of course, if his appropriation of Charles Schulz’s characters is allowable as parody, couldn’t some of his imitators claim the same thing about their appropriation of Tony Piro’s comic?”

Maybe. If they redrew it themselves. And if it was specifically intended as a parody of Piro and not of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

@Stuart: “Credibility fail. They’re not your characters.”

And neither do any of the characters in Mad’s various movie parodies belong to Mad. They’re still protected under the law as parodies.

He’s not claiming copyright on Charlie Brown and Linus. He’s claiming copyright on the specific image and words that he created. Which are his own work, and which do not infringe on existing Peanuts copyrights or trademarks.

Sorry Captain. Those articles do a very poor job of proving anything.

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