21 April, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Arab airline hijacks kids of 'South Park'

WorldNetDaily: Arab airline hijacks kids of 'South Park' [With commentary by farkers.]

Now the world knows what we at UAE community blog have known for some time.

Quoting from the WorldNetDaily report:
Tony Fox, executive vice president of corporate communications at the Comedy Central network, said he was completely unaware of the purloined look until informed by WND.

"It's amazing to me how quickly people will jump on a phenomenon," he said. "While I'm not a copyright expert, I don't know how we could have legal recourse for something that looks a lot like a 'South Park' character but actually isn't."

"South Park" has made its mark on society by poking fun at countless people and topics, and Fox noted there are certain liberties people can take to skewer others.

"As satirists we can do that," he said. "Satire is protected by the First Amendment."

Fox added he'd bring the matter to the attention of Comedy Central's legal department for its opinion about the airline's use of similar characters to market itself.
Comedy Central itself has recently been in the news for satiring certain religious figures, but not others. See: Comedy Central and the violence veto, and And I did not speak out.

In related news, Sharjah to crackdown on the distribution of (apparently) supersized panties inscribed with the full text of John 3:16. The confiscate and destroy action is not, though, for copyright infringement. The New Testament is in the public domain. But, wait, what translation was used? RSV, NRSV, NIV, KJV? Somebody call your lawyer.

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tariq the freak! said...

i thought they looked kinda familar! hmmm.

naamer said...

So much for the "originallity" in UAE and "creative advertising". If I were to nick something off, I would at least not use something that is so well known.

Grumpy Goat said...

Kuwait TV used to run a cartoon called 'Block 13' that looked a LOT like South Park.

Imitation, it seems, really is the sincerest form of flattery.

el condo said...

Informative and useful as usual, John.

Regarding copyrights, the entire Bible (KJV only) is in the public domain, not just the NT. Copyright on most other translations are held by the respective publishing houses, but quoting single verses etc., are not really an infringement.

The rights to NIV, for example, are held by the International Bible Society, and Zondervan manages copyright permissions in the US and Canada, while Hodder and Stoughton does that in the UK and Europe. Their copyright notice says:

"The NIV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

"When the NIV is quoted in works that exercise the above fair use clause, notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page or opening screen of the work (whichever is appropriate) as follows:

"Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

"The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

"...Permission requests for commercial use...that exceed the above guidelines must be...approved in writing..."

More information on that here.

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