My copyright claim refers to the text of the strip, and the composition and arrangement of images in the strip. The original creators of each image retain their original copyright, and I make no claim to them. First and foremost the strip is a parody of various things in pop culture, and the images are used in the context of such parody. The likenesses that appear here as characters are not meant to be representative of the actual persons they're likenesses of. I don't know these people. The likenesses are strictly representational of fictional characters.
I have been advised that the strip itself qualifies as Fair Use in regards to individual component images, as it meets or exceeds the four criteria for Fair Use consideration (Publication fl102). The four factors for Fair Use consideration are addressed below:
- Factor: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- Why the strip qualifies: The strip is not commercial. I don't sell it. Access is freely available. It's strictly a parody, and a nonprofit one at that. It's also highly transformative of the original material, and creates a wholly new thing out of the individual parts. The strip expresses new ideas and meaning to the borrowed images and does not simply seek to replace them.
- Factor: the nature of the copyrighted work;
- Why the strip qualifies: Obviously this is a grey area, legally speaking. The copyrighted works I use (all work that can be copyrighted, is automatically copyrighted since 1978) are not commercial in nature, and I'm not using them for personal gain, but am modifying them and using them as components to craft an entirely new work, not derivative of the original work (except in cases of direct parody).
- Factor: the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
- Why the strip qualifies: The images used are usually only used in part and are often taken entirely out of context. They seldom relate at all to the original copyrighted work, unless used as part of a parody. In every case the image's original properties have been modified as part of its reproduction including size, shape, border, color, and other properties, enough so that this derivative work could not be confused with the original work.
- Factor: the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
- Why the strip qualifies: The out-of-context appearance of images in the strip is in no way devaluing them or affecting the marketability of them. As far as I am aware, the images I use are not themselves a marketable product.
I have not asked for permission to use any image that appears in this strip. I've used my own judgement to determine if each use has adhered to "de minimis" doctrine (copyrighted material can be used in a derivative work without permission, if only a minimal amount of the original work is used), but that doctrine is only vaguely defined, and I may have crossed the line if the copyright holder considers the portion I used to to be an essential part of the original work. If you are the copyright holder of an image that appears in this strip (or if your likeness appears in the strip) and you take offence to said appearance, please contact me with a request for its removal. I will immediately disable the site until such time as I am able to replace every instance of the copyrighted material as it appears in the strip.
I make the strip as a creative exercise for my own and others amusement, and no offense or harm is meant.
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