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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   ( somethingawful.com) divider line
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10346 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Apr 2002 at 9:42 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

185 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-04-12 09:00:39 PM  
It's so sad to see the picture pages following the initial link with only this action on it:

[image from somethingawful.com too old to be available]

Fair use is dead. [image from nacs.uci.edu too old to be available]
2002-04-12 09:45:46 PM  
I saw them earlier, they weren't even that funny!
2002-04-12 09:47:40 PM  
Is this a stunt to get people to pay for the forums?
2002-04-12 09:48:53 PM  
2002-04-12 09:50:03 PM  
That wasn't my favorite photoshop they've done, but it still sucks that that happened.

<SARCASM>Damn that free speech! Damn it to hell!</SARCASM>
2002-04-12 09:50:48 PM  
I was at karate before, all open to the Force and stuff, and I knew this would happen, somehow. I saw the PhotoShops before, and they were hysterical. I've always wanted to see an all-muppet Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Maybe we should get Leonard G. Crabs on 'em... or take up a Lowtax Legal Defense Fund... or let the Forum Goons go to town on Henson...
2002-04-12 09:52:29 PM  
The muppets, in the PBS show "Sesame Street", and later in "The Muppet Show", were an integral part of the development of my consciousness. I paid for this mental development by watching commercials, and later by volunteering as a cameraman for PBS fundraising drives. Are these images in my own mind not, then, my intellectual property?
2002-04-12 09:52:57 PM  
I like the way they simply replaced everything...very cool, guys.
2002-04-12 09:53:17 PM  
Hey, I finally got a link posted. Too bad it had to be about this...
2002-04-12 09:53:33 PM  
[image from macedition.com too old to be available]
2002-04-12 09:54:35 PM  
Can we get some Goons to post the pics?
2002-04-12 09:55:32 PM  
Damn, I was going to download the two "Memento" PS's.
2002-04-12 09:57:44 PM  
Ramius: Did you do that? Very sweet...
2002-04-12 09:58:25 PM  
Damn. Lucky for me I got there before the lawyer hordes did.

Fargin' a-sneaky bastiches...
2002-04-12 09:59:07 PM  
Something Awful is a parody site, and parody is fair use.

Now maybe they don't want to fight it out in court with Henson, but they should. They'd almost certainly win, and be able to counter sue for a lot of money.

This sort of thing should be considered blackmail.

Just as you cannot say to a hollywood star "I have nude videos of youj and if you don't pay me a million dollars I'll release them", you should not be able to send a note to someone saying "if you don't take this down I will sue you".

If you're going to sue, then sue. But it's not fair to tell someone you WILL sue them if they fail to act, because that denys them due process under the law because they have to obey out of fear.

Now you might say that then a lot of people would get sued rather than get a warning...

Well I don't think that's true. Even a big company cannot afford to sue EVERYONE who they dislike, so they would have to just live with it. But as it stands right now they can send out as many THREATS as they like at little to not cost to them.

I think SomethingAwful needs to have some balls and fight this and win. There's organiszations out there that fund this sort of litigation... Is this something the Electronic Fronteir Foundation would be interested in fighting for? Or maybe there's some hollywood based organisation which protects parody and would put up a fight?
2002-04-12 09:59:11 PM  
Shiat, this is the problem... If someone actually stands up to these idiots, their caravan of lawyers will open the flood gates and try to coax all rights holders to go after simple parody.
2002-04-12 09:59:33 PM  
I think its funny how it took a company that would really go after Lowtax in court for him to take it down. However, all that Leonard Crabs stuff is hilarious.
2002-04-12 09:59:58 PM  
Mal - I cannot claim that one...
2002-04-12 10:01:03 PM  
Shirtboy - Holy crap, I totally forgot about their "legal" troubles in the past... True dat.
2002-04-12 10:01:46 PM  
Hey, Raimus, you'd better watch out, those images are Dell and Apple's "intellectual property".
2002-04-12 10:02:28 PM  
Ramius - Yes, they were quite amusing. My favorite was the time Leonard put the email subject as something like "100% FREE PORN"... It was so simple, yet I laughed so hard from it
2002-04-12 10:03:29 PM  
LoL... Damnit, I knew the Church of Scientology took control of Henson after his death!
2002-04-12 10:03:43 PM  
Fair use is fair use - but why use Children's puppets/toys for adult related themes? I don't blame The Jim Henson Company at all. Good on them - they have every right to protect their brand and keep it for the kiddies.
2002-04-12 10:04:37 PM  
I hate all this intellectual stuff. Especially for common words, like Apple. Next thing you know Steve Jobs will be going after the farmers in the state of Washington, and so on and so forth.
2002-04-12 10:04:45 PM  
Ramius: Cool, still way funny.

Everyone in Hollywood has become so engrossed in their own mortality that parody is becoming a dying art.

PS: Don't forget to take Relenza...
2002-04-12 10:06:09 PM  
Here's something I sent to that azzhole:

After reading how you passive-aggressively terrorized somethingawful.com's photoshop phriday, I cannot help but express my complete and utter disgust with yourself and the rest of the Jim Henson legacy. Perhaps you don't understand the idea of "fair use", an international law that allows for parody of copywritten characters for parody purposes, especially protected in cases where money is not being made. This is one of those cases. To try to protect yourself with the sweeping generality of the excuse that the Henson group has a vast age group to cater and to and wouldn't want to hurt any demographic, I say this: Get off your high horse and eat some humble pie. What makes the muppets so immaculate, so holy, that they are exempt from a little parody?

People like you are the scum of America that slowly and insideously chew away at our civil rights.
2002-04-12 10:07:07 PM  
There's nowhere to run... Canada's too cold, Switzerland's no longer neutral, and Afghanistan doesn't have enough sprawling vistas to satisfy me.... Looks like I'm stuck in the good ole United States of America, an AOL-Time Warner company, an affiliate of Enron Energy, member of the Church of Scientology, designed for Windows XP.
2002-04-12 10:09:00 PM  
*Hello, American Civil Liberties Union.*
Hi, this is Richard Kyanka...
2002-04-12 10:10:47 PM  
Its funny when people use children's puppets/toys for adult realted themes. Using mature things for something like thier photoshop wouldn't be funny. They put innocent figures in not so innocent situations and hilarity ensues. Henson needs to lighten up
2002-04-12 10:12:11 PM  
Maybe Lowtax can bring in his legal muscle Leonard "J." Crabs.

But no one rants better against a "cease and desist" letter than Chet from OldManMurra:

"Let's dissect this. This poster has chosen to review the site by calling it gay. Is that libelous? I am calling you gay - is that libelous? He then has a suggestion for Matthew - he suggest that Matthew broadens his horizons and anal cavity - this is not a threat or even an observation - just a suggestion. He then thinks the guy is pathetic and a stalker. Sorry but in this man's country - we are still allowed to think - we don't have to ask the Queen's Permission, "Oh excuse me luv - this chap over here has made a site that would make Oscar Wilde blush - would you mind if I call him queer?" This person's personal opinion is based on his observations of the fruity poetry page - what can we say? Besides- sounds right to me."

2002-04-12 10:12:16 PM  
I take it back.... NAMBLA now has ownership of Henson.
2002-04-12 10:13:38 PM  
yeah big corporation using lawyers to coerce satirists not to fark with them.
2002-04-12 10:15:30 PM  
Be careful, C_A, or P-Funk will sue you for using George's likeness.
2002-04-12 10:15:31 PM  
Any rebuttal from Lowtax?
2002-04-12 10:17:50 PM  
Were those pics for real? The page titles just seem too ridiculous.
2002-04-12 10:17:51 PM  
I guess the Henson co. got all fraggled up after Evil Bert started hanging with Osama bin Laden.
2002-04-12 10:20:05 PM  
What about Brice Beckham Dot Net? Will the "Das Bert" image be no more?
2002-04-12 10:20:24 PM  
Does this have ANYTHING to do with why Fark doesn't have any upcoming Photoshop contests?
2002-04-12 10:20:27 PM  
I can understand their desire to protect their cash cow, but jebus, how many kids did they expect to see that page? For how many adults did they expect the image of the Muppets to be tarnished? I would think that their threats were more damaging than anything that would happen long-term because of a PS.
2002-04-12 10:21:55 PM  
I also sent them email...although i'd bet it all goes to an automated server and does not even get read by a real person. i say we start signing him up for mailing lists.
2002-04-12 10:22:47 PM  
This is parody. This is fair use. This is legal.
[image from geocities.com too old to be available]
It's also a text file... sue me.
2002-04-12 10:23:02 PM  
Here's the letter I wrote to the Henson company - I think we should ALL write a similiar letter and fill the idiots mail box!

Dear Mr. Peterson,
What you did to Something Awful's photoshopping schtick was completely unnecessary and overzealous. I will not watch or purchase Muppet paraphernalia in the future. You should be ashamed of your actions...next time, why not look upon it as free press and advertising rather than misuse of your "intellectual property."
2002-04-12 10:24:18 PM  
it might have something to do with people doing more whining and complaining about how terrible they think a photoshop candidate is.

But I could be wrong about that.
2002-04-12 10:24:24 PM  
[image from gis.net too old to be available]
2002-04-12 10:25:20 PM  
[image from cranium.unibe.ch too old to be available]
2002-04-12 10:25:28 PM  
SFOTW - I hope so... Maybe they're actually considering my proposal to ban PS threads with the word 'farker' in it so every Tom, Dick and Azzface can get his 15 minutes of fame.
2002-04-12 10:26:07 PM  

You're right! Everyone should buy a Mac! (It runs rings around those Windoze® boxes!)

And now to the topic...shame that the Henson people had to send such a note to SA. Geez...

Glad to see some Mac users in here. You know we're such a minority.
2002-04-12 10:26:35 PM  
What about when Yahoo! posted the Bert & Osama pic???
2002-04-12 10:27:57 PM  
We need Crabs on the case, stat!
2002-04-12 10:28:57 PM  
Wow, we're finally into the 30,000 range of users.
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