×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Winnie-the-Pooh Parodied In Wookie-the-Chew

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-bother dept.

Books 58

pickens writes "Erik Hayden writes in the Atlantic that children will see endearing portraits of Chewbacca rendered in the style of "Winnie-the-Pooh" in the book of drawings "Wookie the Chew," a tribute to the combined genius of George Lucas, A.A.Milne and E.H.Sheppard, by artist James Hance released on September 1st. Samples from the book are available at Hance's web site. Hance bases his right to parody Winnie-the-Pooh on Fair Use as parody under which certain uses of copyrighted works, which would otherwise be considered infringing, are permissible. Interestingly enough, the rights to the original Winnie-the-Pooh were the subject of an 18-year feud in which Walt Disney corporation fought off a challenge to its ownership of the rights ending in 2009 when a judge in Los Angeles struck out a claim against Disney lodged by the family of Stephen Slesinger, a comic book pioneer who bought the copyright to Pooh in 1930 from the bear's British creator, A.A. Milne. Stories of Pooh's adventures were originally created by Milne in the 1920s, based on a toy bear owned by the author's son, Christopher Robin."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

58 comments

That just sorta made my week (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33470192)

A bit of cheerful innocence peaking through all the troubles these days.

Re:That just sorta made my week (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33473178)

Funnily enough is closer to the original than the horrid Disney interpretation. It is probably matter of taste, but I like Pooh as drawn in the original Milne books, not the cute-n-cuddly Disney version.

It's just too bad... (4, Interesting)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470214)

...that although Fair Use may protect the author from LOSING a law suit, it probably won't protect him from BEING sued.

Re:It's just too bad... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33470556)

This is true, but it also is likely not to protect him from losing.

In Copyright Law, one type of fair use is parody. Parody has a specific definition where the parody is specifically critiquing or commenting about the source material. Post-suit rationalizations also won't fly.

In this case, the artist is just combining two different and copyrighted works (a mash-up). Mash-ups are currently in a legal gray area.

Finally, if this were to come down to a lawsuit, there's a four factor test for fair use (regardless of whether you label it a parody or not).

The four factors judges consider are:

      1. the purpose and character of your use
      2. the nature of the copyrighted work
      3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
      4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Re:It's just too bad... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33472850)

1. the purpose and character of your use
            2. the nature of the copyrighted work
            3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
            4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

3 and 4 are (IMO) pretty clearly on this guy's side. He's only taking a minor character and I don't think the book competes with anything Lucas is trying to sell.

Correct Title (0, Redundant)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470340)

The actual book title is Wookie The Chew [wookiethechew.com] as evidenced in this photo [crunchgear.com] and this article [ology.com] .

Re:Correct Title (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470578)

No need to edit my comments mod - the title once again is Wookiee the chew [wookieethechew.com] not Wookie the chew. You must spell Wookiee correctly I have no idea why you keep misposting htis article but don't blame me then mark me redundant and edit my post.

Re:Correct Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33470732)

No one edited your post, you fucked it up. Just admit it already instead of blaming others for your incompetence.

Re:Correct Title (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470754)

You are way to trusting of people with access to the actual database tables.

Re:Correct Title (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471440)

Either that or that was someone with said access trying to make it look like user error.

Re:Correct Title (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471934)

Scary part? When first posted this article quoted the new book as "Winnie The Chew" - talk about lack of research! Nevermind the second spelling error that we get to look at now.

Re:Correct Title (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494040)

The articles and titles often get edited when they are posted with typos or errors. Users’ posts do not, so even if the headline gets fixed, we will still get to look at your spelling error.

Re:Correct Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33496018)

Do us all a large favor clone53421, and yourself as well: Quit trying to play expert here, or elsewhere, where you clearly are not an expert by any stretch of the imagination here on the subject at hand being discussed.

Re:Correct Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33472202)

Not everyone has time to read books - even the ones they're reading! Lol.

YOU FAIL iT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33470396)

in our0 group

Poetic license? BAH! (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470414)

The book should be called "Chew the Wookie". Giving up the poetic link to Milne's book not only makes the title syntactically correct, but the double entendre would probably increase books sales dramatically.

Good luck with that (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470488)

Hance bases his right to parody Winnie-the-Pooh on Fair Use as parody under which certain uses of copyrighted works, which would otherwise be considered infringing, are permissible.

Does anybody really think that will hold up? I'm pretty sure the courts will see this as a blatant attempt to profit from the works of others.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470864)

I for one think that yes, the courts would eventually uphold the law and the precedents surrounding the validity of such use. Long after the author was bankrupt and dead of course, but such is the uselessness of our court system.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471328)

I for one think that yes, the courts would eventually uphold the law and the precedents surrounding the validity of such use.

If this use had any validity. Personally, I'm not seeing the "parody" angle. Exactly what is he trying to parody? Look at the website. These works would more appropriately be called "homage" than parody.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33472386)

Odds are he'd survive claiming he was parodying WtP, but George Lucas will sue him into the ground.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33472784)

If he claimed that he was parodying the Star Wars Holiday Special, George Lucas would slowly walk away without making eye contact - careful not to give away that there is such a thing.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33474370)

I'm pretty sure the courts will see this as a blatant attempt to profit from the works of others.

Isn't it?

Actually... (2, Insightful)

Volntyr (1620539) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470652)

What happened in the Court case was (from Wikipedia but my friend was the actual lawyer representing the Slesinger family in this case) On 19 February 2007 Disney lost a court case in Los Angeles which ruled their "misguided claims" to dispute the licensing agreements with Slesinger, Inc. were unjustified,[20] but a federal ruling of 28 September 2009, again from Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, determined that the Slesinger family had granted all trademark and copyright rights to Disney, although Disney must pay royalties for all future use of the characters. Both parties have expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

The Real Origin of the Name (1)

thexdane (148152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470706)

Winnie-The-Pooh's name comes from a soldier's pet bear from Winnipeg named Winnie. Christopher Robbins named his stuff bear after that pet bear.

Re:The Real Origin of the Name (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471424)

Winnie-The-Pooh's name comes from a soldier's pet bear from Winnipeg named Winnie. Christopher Robbins named his stuff bear after that pet bear.

Great! Now what does Pooh mean?

Re:The Real Origin of the Name (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33474448)

Bear, forest... come on, you can work it out, surely?

Re:The Real Origin of the Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33479490)

What does the Pope have to do with this?

That's not parody (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470756)

Parody has a very specific legal definition. IANAL but basically if you make some kind of derivative work that doesn't actively parody the object it's being derived from then it's just ripping off it's fame and style and you're not protected as a parody.

MacGruber is a parody... Micky Mouse pooping on GWB's head is not a parody.

Re:That's not parody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33470860)

From the sound of things, it's really a parody of Winnie the Pooh, done by ripping off Star Wars, and it will probably fall down in court real fast (If he had used "Bob" and "Joe" and called it "Bobbie the Pooh" it would still be a parody of Winnie the Pooh, but nobody would give a damn, therefore he's using Star Wars characters to get attention).

It's possible that someone could parody both at the same time, but I'm having a hard time thinking of how that would work.

Re:That's not parody (1)

Volntyr (1620539) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471940)

Parody has a very specific legal definition. IANAL but basically if you make some kind of derivative work that doesn't actively parody the object it's being derived from then it's just ripping off it's fame and style and you're not protected as a parody.

MacGruber is a parody... Micky Mouse pooping on GWB's head is not a parody.

Then explain how Robot Chicken uses the parody defination?

Chewie the Wook? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33470848)

Pooh is not Winnie's name. Pooh is what he is. Winnie is a Pooh Bear. Chewie is a Wook[iee].

Wookiee the Chew sounds stupid.
It just doesn't make any Sense!

Re:Chewie the Wook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33525006)

"Hi, I'm Temple Grandin. Nice to meet you!"

How long does copyright last? (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471022)

Shouldn't the copyright on something published in 1920 have expired by now?

"As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first."
120 fucking years?!? How exactly does having copyright extend much longer for works for hire (i.e. owned by a corporation) then for works copyrighted by the author himself encourage the creation of new art?

Re:How long does copyright last? (2, Informative)

pagedout (1144309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471954)

Sorry but I can't let this one pass without commenting. How can you look at this and say the author is getting a bad deal here?

Let's see we have 2 posibilities here:
1. 70 years + Remaining Segment of Authors Life
-or-
2. 95 years + 0-25 years of time from creation to publication.

So the author's rule is always better if he lives more than 50 years after creating his work. If the work is published imediatly the author's rule is always better if he lives more than 25 years. Assuming he lives in the US with a life expectancy of of 78 years and publishes quickly he will spend more than half of his adult life getting the better part of this deal.

In fact this being set as 70 years after the authors death or 95-120 years after creation there is very little chance that those who origionaly created this work will have anything to do with the copyright any more. Be the eventual copyright holder a heir or a corporation I doubt the time difference will be of much significants at that point given none of the people benifiting will be those who helped with the creation of the work.

Re:How long does copyright last? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33472790)

If I decide to create some important work of art, I'll be sure to give myself a dollar first! But if the author lives 60 years AFTER publishing, then that would be a total term of 130 years.

Re:How long does copyright last? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494604)

Shouldn't the copyright on something published in 1920 have expired by now?

"As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first."

120 fucking years?!? How exactly does having copyright extend much longer for works for hire (i.e. owned by a corporation) then for works copyrighted by the author himself encourage the creation of new art?

It doesn't of course, but the argument is since the work can be sold for longer it is worth more and there is therefore more incentive to create it.

What's ironic about this particular law is that it encourages the murder of the creator, since this makes the copyright expire sooner. It's no accident that it's life plus the lifetime of anyone old enough to kill the creator.

Re:How long does copyright last? (2, Insightful)

DrusTheAxe (565765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33494652)

Shouldn't the copyright on something published in 1920 have expired by now?

Copyright expires?

Should be Wookiee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33471112)

2 E's... just sayin'

Cease and Desist from Lucas in 3....2....1..... (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471838)

Subject line says it all.

Re:Cease and Desist from Lucas in 3....2....1..... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#33472408)

Subject line says it all.

If that's the case, then why did you feel the need to add text in the body of your comment?

Re:Cease and Desist from Lucas in 3....2....1..... (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33488538)

It's an old slashdotism. You're too young to understand. Now get off my lawn.

Uhhhh nooo (4, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33471914)

The funny thing about the blurb is it is entirely wrong.

Disney does not own the copyright to Winnie The Pooh, but rather they have a royalty agreement with the actual copyright holder.

The court battle and disagreement stemmed from a disagreement on royalties regarding merchandise with mixed characters. (ie, Pooh and Mickey backpacks would not be counted towards revenue generated under the Pooh brand).

That is like crazy wrong.

Re:Uhhhh nooo (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#33475304)

Disney's depiction of the characters from Winnie the Pooh is distinct from (and in my opinion inferior to) the E.H. Shephard versions. In part this may have been because of the needs of animation. Shephard's characterizations were somewhat ragged stuffed toys we animate with our imaginations.

Depicting Pooh as Chewbacca is a stoke of genius. Lucas's huge accomplishment is that he envisioned a somewhat grimy, lived-in science fiction world that was different from the obviously plywood sound stages of low budget pictures like Flash Gordon or the antiseptic cleanliness of a movie like 2001. Remember this was five years before Blade Runner. Star Wars showed us beat up looking space ships and props that appeared to have got hard usage. That's precisely the charm of the Shephard illustrations. One gets the impression that Pooh has been cuddled until he's a bit ragged and the stuffing is in the wrong place. Sometimes he looks like he's been dragged through the dust until he has loose threads and bits of fur sticking up. The Disney Pooh has become slicker and slicker over the years, until in his recent digital incarnations he looks like he has been blown by venetian glassblowers rather than sewn from woven mohair .

In any case, I think it very likely that Disney would be in its rights to sue somebody for misappropriating the slick Disney Pooh even after the Milne copyright expires in 2026. It's a distinct and novel artistic presentation, even if it is inferior.

Common wealth games 2010 (1)

rinkswinks (1895512) | more than 3 years ago | (#33506368)

Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi is all set to provide excellent services to the thousands of spectators who will be thronging the venues for the Games. The Spectator Services team is all set up to meet its mission of making the paying fan’s visit to Delhi 2010 a memorable experience.http://bit.ly/cLso7o

This shouldn't work (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33509530)

Penny Arcade did a crossover satire between Strawberry Shortcake and the recently-released video game Alice. The holders of the Strawberry Shortcake trademark (American Greetings) filed a CaD order. The claim is that fair use doesn't apply either because Strawberry Shortcake is not a literary character (untrue) or because Strawberry Shortcake is not being parodied; Alice is. We never found out whether this would stick because they withdrew the strip.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...