Help, My Fursona’s Dick Is On National TV!
by Patch O'Furr
OwO What’s this? *A million people notice ur bulge*
Imagine trademarking ‘UwU’ & ‘OwO’. Here’s a story about owning and using ideas.
Original fandom art can be an oxymoron sometimes. The topic started with one furry’s story about John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight:
— Changa Lion (@LurkingGrue) June 25, 2020
Showing the furry porn wasn’t 100% welcome, and even treated as invasive. It made a discussion about permission to share things posted in public.
There are legal technicalities of Fair Use or seeking permission which may not always match popular/practical usage. Many furry sites and accounts would be gone if copyright holders forced them to take down fan art that they thrive on. It can make a lot of grey zone that some artists dive into.
A lawyer could explain (I am not a lawyer), but remember that social media is media, and sharing is valuable to artists.
I don’t usually look at the Furry_IRL subreddit hosting the discussion about this, because why bother with hordes of people you don’t know on a flood of low-effort memes. (Overusing memes gets into what this is about — especially in a case like mass-scraping content from Furry_IRL and reposting it on Twitter to hack/cheat followers for clout and profit.)
In this case the comments got pretty thoughtful. I looked at complaints about showing a tweet without asking for permission first, then looked up articles about it. Many complaints seemed to belong on r/BadLegalAdvice but many saw good sides to it. Tweeting is like shouting in the public square and if you can’t quote stuff people don’t want you to quote, there’d be no reporting (or comedy).
The shared tweet literally asked to be looked at by outsiders. It was posted to 330 million Twitter users and beyond, who already gave permission to share. You own the stuff you created but Twitter has license to use it anywhere they want including letting other companies use it.
It doesn’t even look offensive by intention. John Oliver looks like an ally to me:
The John Oliver Rat Porn is making messages to me by journalists, food banks and more. @Newsweek went beyond and called the 90's TV station manager (and quoted my 5 year old article.)
Here's the true story behind 'Last Week Tonight's' rat erotica painting https://t.co/Yiu5kS9WfU
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) March 31, 2020
Keep in mind, I put my money where my mouth is. My articles about the Rat Erotica were a source that got little credit when the media picked up the story 5 years later. For many years I have been putting this content out for free, besides some nice Patreon subscriptions that barely cover a budget to pay artists. (I just love the fandom.) I’m happy to see them shared and sourced by other media.
News is one of the most exploited and least protected areas for this. The news industry is decimated by online sharing, and they don’t know how to preserve revenue and jobs. It’s good for everyone who likes the service and terrible for the service. Especially when it’s so essential in times of crisis. (Do you read the news? Do you pay for it?)
THE WILD WEST OF ART — More about internet creators, influencers and memes.
A tipper talked to me about John Oliver and linked more to think about.
(Me:) I think John Oliver was making a benign wry joke. If he was malicious then I’d say he shouldn’t. It’s nice to blur a handle but I don’t think neglecting to do that is that bad. There’s so many cases where people get mad about credit or call it faked, or it’s a record that matters in the future. I think the TV appearance also helps make it easier for fans to be as bold as you please.
(Tipper:) Here’s some more general copyright/IP stuff with artists, influencers, etc.
The story of Richard Prince and his $100,000 Instagram art — When does appropriation go too far? (TheVerge.com)
That artist enlarges Instagram posts by others, invokes Fair Use and sells them. That’s reaaally pushing it. “The lawsuits are part of the art” … he must be a masochist!
Between quoting by John Oliver’s media company (HBO) vs Kohl’s copying for a product — I liked HBO adding comment while copying art on socks doesn’t do that? But the real issue is if you can afford to defend your work. For 99% of fandom artists, disputes are way below the cost of going to court.
A million here, a million there; sooner or later, these people are talking about real money. One of the legal firms commenting about the Kohl’s case had a ‘best practices guide’ on how artists can protect their work pre-emptively.
Did you see the recent Twitter fiasco with the Bratz dolls CEO?
Besides the earlier incident a few months ago with the boyband brother who ripped off art from an artist, I’m surprised it hasn’t become more widespread.
For the influencer in the Bratz story, perhaps her claim looks coincidental… but his response is so awful. There can be a big cost from bad PR.
Those overseas bootleg shirt sites are such a plague too. They offer a product for just a short time and make it impossible to fight theft.
Yeah, total fly-by-night operation. Double-bladed libertarian heaven/hell. Muh free market, & can’t use the government to sue their ass.
Best word for it. I looked into people making money by churning out meme shirts (with slogans, not stolen art) and it looked like a fun and interesting operation if you’re on top of looking at traffic stats. It had quite a shady side too with people poaching each other.
Do they trademark the slogans like “OK BOOMER”?
Maybe they’ll do “Owo what’s this.”
— U.S. Army Esports (@USArmyesports) June 30, 2020
Trademark ‘UwU’ & ‘OwO’? Imagine doing that, you could be a huge troll on everyone using it.
Well the trollface guy had his original art on DeviantArt, IIRC, he selectively enforced his copyright, disallowing some to not use it.
And Pepe the Frog.
The Maker Of The Trollface Meme Is Counting His Money — (Kotaku.com)
Here’s his copyright claim vs. DeviantArt.
I found a lawyer addressing this: MONETIZING INTERNET MEMES & COPYRIGHT LAW.
“As of mid-2015 Carlos had made over $100,000 through various exploitations of the Trollface (both merchandise licensing, as well as settlements under claims of copyright infringement he brought against various parties).”
But — “The Atlantic just published a story about how making money off Internet memes is becoming harder and harder. The pace of online trends and the time frame for what people think is funny (or at least, funny enough to spend some money on) is too fast to keep up with.”
This makes me think that more niche internet stuff is more likely to show up in bigger media.
Look for more fursona dicks on national TV soon.
UPDATE: why all the crazy views? Where are you coming from… Drop a comment! 🙂 — Mystery solved: Google recommendation.
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