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(Something Awful)   The overly-litigious Jim Henson Company wrecks SA's Photoshop Phriday. So much for that pesky freedom of expression   ( divider line
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10345 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Apr 2002 at 9:42 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

185 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-04-12 10:34:08 PM  
this is the usual approach, a lawyer (probably not even a lawyer, some underling) fires off a letter they can't necessarily back up, and hopes the person backs down. Kind of a staring contest. I don't read something awful, but Lowtax doesn't strike me as the put his tale between his legs and run type. I think he's either doing it for the publicity, or maybe, just maybe, he has a lot of respect for Jim Henson's work, and doesn't want to go to court with them. It'd be kinda like beating up Santa Claus.
2002-04-12 10:34:31 PM  
If you've got the talent, why waste your time ps'ing muppets in violent and sexual situations? It's only marginally humorous to the marginally intelligent.
Okay, it's kind of funny, but I think if I were the CEO of Henson, I'd say the same thing.
I think Americans take advantage of their "freedom of expression". There is such a thing as tact.
America is a great country, but if you look around at it's occupants, you have to wonder if they have TOO much freedom.
They certainly have too much time on their hands.
2002-04-12 10:34:46 PM  
Well, I just sent off a civil, yet strongly worded email to our dear Mr. Peterson. Are we gonna flood this guy's mailbox or what?
2002-04-12 10:41:02 PM  

Nicely put.
2002-04-12 10:42:17 PM  
I propose finding their lawyer's picture and photoshopping it.
2002-04-12 10:43:07 PM  
2002-04-12 10:43:40 PM  
What about the 'pig's in space' that isn't a parody of most sci-fi films, I don't know what is.

Swedish Chef? Why don't cooking shows claim that particular parody could possibly make people try to cook things that were not meant to be cooked, therefore should never be showed or put up on the internet.

Bah...I'm going to quietly finish getting drunk and write off all my old Muppet memories.
2002-04-12 10:45:58 PM  
Hm, it's like the Buffy The Doggy farker incident recently. [NSFW]
2002-04-12 10:48:07 PM  
Lookie me, I'm breaking the law.
[image from too old to be available]

Ha Ha, whatcha gona do about it Henson? Huh... Wait...

Uh Oh, What's that noise, sounds like jack booted thugs kicking down my door.......Why are my eyes are starting to burn....Why's that black helicopter circling overhead......who are
2002-04-12 10:50:33 PM  
I've altered my site in protest.
2002-04-12 10:52:25 PM  
Hah!! Muppets and Defense!!! I await my seething e-mail.
2002-04-12 10:52:33 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-04-12 10:52:39 PM  
If you've got the talent, why waste your time ps'ing muppets in violent and sexual situations?

For the same reason people are around for photoshop contests on Fark. Perhaps you don't understand the THEME concept?

Okay, it's kind of funny, but I think if I were the CEO of Henson, I'd say the same thing.

Even though you have no legal case?

I think Americans take advantage of their "freedom of expression". There is such a thing as tact.

There is such a thing as HAVING A SENSE OF farkING HUMOR, too. Jeebus. Grow a funnybone, please.
2002-04-12 10:53:08 PM  
2002-04-12 10:53:49 PM  
Rassleholic - Keep on fighting the good fight... Maybe we can get Wheaton on board.
2002-04-12 10:54:44 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-04-12 10:55:43 PM  
Shadowman - "you have to wonder if they have TOO much freedom.
They certainly have too much time on their hands."
Please think before you post.
2002-04-12 10:57:01 PM  
Telefunken - Before reading that, I was so scared that they'd actually sent something to Fark.
2002-04-12 10:58:54 PM  
if i have a say in it we'll flood his mailbox, let him know how we feel, and we arent going to put up with that corperate crap
2002-04-12 10:58:57 PM  
Clarence: looks like 20th Century got to that site. Too bad, sounded funny. Got a mirror?
2002-04-12 11:00:45 PM  
haha, nice Telefunken.

That lawyer is full of [image from too old to be available]
2002-04-12 11:02:01 PM  
A Denis Leary special is on... The campaign is on hiatus on my end.
2002-04-12 11:03:46 PM  

Ve-a'fe-a recently beee inffurmed
thet yuoo ere-a deespleying imeges et
yuoor vebseete-a, luceted et
index.htm, vheech feetoore
cupeees ooff Hensun's prutected
MOoPPET cherecters.
Ve-a hupe-a thet yuoo understund
thet Hensun cunnut elloo zee
unoothureezed use-a ooff its
intellectooel pruperty nur
cun Hensun elloo its intellectooel
pruperty tu be-a uteelized in essuceeeshun
veet metereeel ooff sooch a munner,
ispeceeelly geefee zee brued ege
runge-a ooff oooot MOoPPET funs.
In un iffffurt tu resulfe-a thees in un
inffurmel und emeeceble
munner, ve-a ere-a reqooesteeng thet yuoo
fuloontereely und immedeeetely
remufe-a iech ooff zee
ooffffenseefe-a imeges frum yuoor vebseete-a.
Bork Bork Bork!

2002-04-12 11:06:24 PM  
Anyone else remember when Ernies House of Whoop Ass (EHOWA was know as Bert and Ernies farkin Funny List? Henson Productins opened a giant can of whoop ass on him and made his life a living hell for a while (mind you he is the guy that spawned a fund raiser to get soldiers home to see their family that couldn't afford it so he's obviously a rotten guy). IIRC they were most upset over a picture of bert and ernie dolls face down in the crotch of some hooker... err stripper. This itself is kind of amusing since Henson productions named bert and ernie after characters in "It's a Wonderful Life" but I'm willing to be they didn't get permission to use the names.

I wonder if Henson productions have sent whatever remains of the taliban a cease and desist order for using pictures bert with osama bin laden.

In all fairness I understand some of their concern, that children may be led to a site with adult content because it has pictures of their characters on it. But I doubt that anyone is going to confuse SA or EHOWA as a childrens site nor will either make it under netnanny radar. Give it up and stop trying to impinge free speech.
2002-04-12 11:08:51 PM  
My email to JPet­erso­n[nospam-﹫-backwards]nosn­eh­*co­m:

"I grew up on the muppets as a child, from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show.
I find it sad for a show built on parody to be the spearhead of such an ironic request."
2002-04-12 11:09:27 PM  
Shadowman: What are you talking about? The days of absolutism is over. Maybe if you want to travel back in time a hundred years, I can hook you up with the backwards czarist russia, but constitutionalism and the idea that people have inalienable rights is no longer a novelty. Among fogies you're an old fogey. People don't need less rights, they need their rights that have been recently stripped from them restored, and then some. Government should be to protect people from violence, not their own thoughts.
2002-04-12 11:12:22 PM  
Just for the record guys, J Peterson is JILL, and she's struck before
2002-04-12 11:13:38 PM  
Here's my message to JPeterson

Dear JPeterson,

Attached is a link to Publaw, a Web site devoted to legal issues. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to review this link, especially in regards to the cease-and-desist you dropped on earlier this week.

The criteria delineated in the article would seem to cut SA a break. But then again, it's up to a court to decide these matters, right? Still, in light of the recent litigation between Lucasfilm and the creators of the parody Starballz, you might think twice about sending a Gestapo-like message to a site just having a little fun with a still-beloved, still-respected institution.

I understand your responsibility as guardian of the Henson brand and if SA were doing this for a buck, you'd be well within your rights to tell them to knock it off. But they aren't. They're just doing it for fun. For satirical purposes, purposes that most courts seem to think are acceptable.

Your action does more damage to the Henson brand than any collection of Muppet parody Photoshop images ever could. Instead of being a good sport, you paint Henson to be nothing more than another greedy company bent on strong-arming anyone who might have an idea contrary to your branding tenets.

Sheesh, maybe someone should put a cease-and-desist on you for being such a killjoy.



2002-04-12 11:16:55 PM  

I saw we leave the muppets alone....go here and letz PS the execs.

first I give you the page....note their "Lawyer" in the middle....if you can't read it, he's in charge of the company's business and legal affairs

[image from too old to be available]

.....speeking of affairs....

[image from too old to be available]

2002-04-12 11:20:32 PM  

I saw we leave the muppets alone....go here and letz PS the execs.

first I give you the page....note their "Lawyer" in the middle....if you can't read it, he's in charge of the company's business and legal affairs

[image from too old to be available]

.....speeking of affairs....

[image from too old to be available]

2002-04-12 11:21:31 PM  
wtf.... *whistles*....mod sry....I refreshed and *poof*....twice....
2002-04-12 11:21:42 PM  
:: note to self :: Next time someone sues me I'll hire DarthG to defend me.
2002-04-12 11:24:07 PM  
First of all - Nice work VegasJ - I nearly lost my shiat when I saw that.

Meanwhile, more from Jill Peterson:

This page is dead, but here's the Google cached version of the text below.

The 'M' Word.

4:20 AM Saturday, 9 February, 2002; DJuxtapose / Forums

Well, we've had a bit of slack going on the main page, as the next incarnation of Blackrage, which may or may not ever become reality, is conceptualized and left non-implementado by Herr Blackragen himself.
In the meantime, we've lost content.
I'm not saying that we haven't been deliviring new content, because that's quite obvious, but tragically, the small amount of things that we do have here on this site has been reduced by what I deem to be a quite awesome little bit of data.

A Shadow and a Threat
I recieved this e-mail a while ago, when, just for the hell of it, I decided to see that, you know, if Blackrage was back... Did I have any e-mail? Well it turns out that I did, and I told Beltane about it, but I never sent him the thing itself. I'll now display it for your viewing pleasure.

January 22, 2002


Re: Unauthorized Use of MUPPETS Property

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing this letter on behalf of The Jim Henson Company ("Henson"). As you may know, Henson owns all rights in and to the MUPPETS™ characters and related properties.

We've recently been informed that your website, , offers an unauthorized, faked "interview" with KERMIT THE FROG ™ (). We trust you will understand that Henson cannot allow our intellectual property to be utilized in such an inappropriate manner, especially given the broad age range of our MUPPETS fans.

We anticipate that you will understand our concern. Therefore, in an effort to resolve this in an informal and amicable manner, we are requesting that you voluntarily remove the ooffensive content from all websites where it is made available.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to receiving your response soon.

This is not a complete recitation of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter, nor is it a waiver of any right or remedy of The Jim Henson Company, all of which are expressly reserved.

Very truly yours,
Jill Peterson

So Beltane ditched the offending content, and we've lost a DIMS that I thought was fairly funny (if not as funny as Keanu Reeves shooting Warwick Davis into peoples' asses). Admittedly, it was created in several states across the US (through the magic of IRC), and several bottles of alcohol (I'm sure I wasn't the only person drinking rum out of the bottle that night), as well as a few bad ideas to start with, and not enough pie to go around.

For the record though, if we had a 'faked "interview"' with the Mean Green, how do you get a 'real "interview"' with the aforementioned celebrity frog?
2002-04-12 11:24:52 PM  

Thanks for validating the two miserable years I spent in law school. They weren't in vain!

Now if I could just get rid of that farking $30,000 law school loan debt...hmm, maybe I could sell "Bert is Evil" t-shirts on Ebay?
2002-04-12 11:24:57 PM  
Thatguy: I just read her newgrounds letter and I somehow believe that she was being pretty decent. I guess the same must've happened to SA.
2002-04-12 11:25:27 PM  
Spazholio: Sorry, I don't, but believe me, from the preview shots he posted (that poor woman, that poor doggy ... uuurgh ...), that's probably a good thing.

Ramius5783: I thought the mighty Dennis Leary [prob. nsfw] gave up comedy to become a b-list actor?
2002-04-12 11:26:10 PM  
DarthG: LOL! Well the way I keep running into troubles, I can forsee a great friendship ahead for us... LOL....
2002-04-12 11:28:56 PM  
Hey! Look what I-Mockery is doing!!!! HEYHEYHEY!!! Tellin'!

[image from too old to be available]
2002-04-12 11:30:21 PM  
Chime - I agree, her letter was polite (and the usage was a little more blatant than SA's), but I still feel that they're pushing the intellectual property issue a little too far.

Besides, I have trouble believing that any young fan of the Muppets (TM The Henson Company) is going to go to SA or for all their muppet-loving needs.

And how did the Evil Bert site stay up for so long? Certainly they must have sent that guy a similar letter. He didn't take it down until the Osama incident.
2002-04-12 11:30:37 PM  
scraping-fetus-off-the-wheel, that would be a shame. The photoshop contest is one of the primary reasons I started visiting Fark. It's the first link I look for.
2002-04-12 11:32:10 PM  
Most people think, "Life sucks, and then you die."
I disagree. I think life sucks, then you get cancer. Then you go into chemotherapy.
You lose all your hair, you feel bad about yourself. Then all of the sudden the cancer goes into remission.
You look good you feel good, you're going great, and all of the sudden you have a stroke.
You can't move your right side. And one day you step off the curb at 68th by Lincoln Center and bang, you get hit by a bus. And then, maybe, you die.

Because I think Jim Hensen said it best when he said, "Anybody got any aspirin? I think I got a cold."
And a chill filled the room. We all have this incredible attachment to the Muppets, don't we?
"We love the muppets! They're so cute!" Did you hear about Jim Hensen's funeral? Here in New York City, huh?
Kermit the frog and Big Bird sang "It's not easy being green" at Jim Hensen's funeral.

If I'm fifty-six years old when I kick the bucket and a farking sock is singing at my funeral, I'm gonna pop out of
the coffin and go, "Hey! What the hell is this about? Sammy Davis Jr. gets Frank Sinatra, and I get a farking sock!?
I'm really pissed off now!"

Dennis Leary
2002-04-12 11:33:23 PM  
Oh to be a fly on the wall of Ms. Peterson's office this coming Monday morning when she sits down to check her Inbox for messages.

"Peterson, party of one -- your shiatstorm is now available."
2002-04-12 11:34:29 PM  
Clarence13x - thanks for that...I had forgotten all about that bit.
2002-04-12 11:39:22 PM  
One more thing, the LA HQ for the Henson Company is just down the street from the ACME theatre (where the LA Fark party is going to see Wil Wheaton's show).

If I could get my ass out of the house I'd suggest that the party pay the office a visit. Maybe rip the giant Kermit (TM The Henson Company) off the building.
2002-04-12 11:51:35 PM  
Clarence - Denis just did it with guitar accompaniment.
2002-04-12 11:54:40 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
OK, punk, drop the Magic Wand and put your hands up!
2002-04-12 11:55:36 PM  
"Someday we'll call it...the Rainbow Litigation...the lawyers, the judges and youuuuuuuuu...."
2002-04-12 11:56:39 PM  
i smell a practical joke.. one along the lines of Stile project (you know "we were hacked, come visit us!!!")
2002-04-12 11:59:06 PM  
Shiat man.... the Leary special was directed by Ted Demme... and the entire special was about crap that can kill you... Denis didn't touch upon playing in a neighborhood basketball game when you weigh 320 lbs and just put 13 ounces of crystal meth into your system.
2002-04-13 12:00:44 AM  
Space pigs!
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