Something you never thought you’d read: the Dr. Seuss estate is involved in a lawsuit with a crowdfunded Seuss/Star Trek mashup entitled “Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go.” Because 2017.
The chain of events began last October when Dr. Seuss’ estate threatened legal action against the crowdfunded mashup and its contributors Ty Templeton and David Gerrold. Templeton is a comics artist and Gerrold wrote the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
The argument Seuss’ estate went with is the book infringed its trademarks and copyrights, according to BoingBoing.net:
“Now, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California court has ruled on the trademark question and found that there is no valid trademark claim thanks to “nominative fair use,” and also indicated that it would be favorably disposed to fair use defenses on the copyright question.”
Seuss’ estate now has two weeks to prove they’ve suffered copyright damages or amend its original trademark claims. This is largely due in part to Judge Janis Sammartino finding that the book in question is “a highly transformative work that takes no more than necessary [from Dr. Seuss’s books] to accomplish its transformative purpose and will not impinge on the original market for Plaintiff’s underlying work.” And that could be something that paves the way for wider legal recognition and protection for mashups.
“Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go” originally started as a Kickstarter campaign written by Gerrold. The duo are working to publish their project through ComicMix, which publishes various graphic novels. And this one may yet come to fruition, so we can all boldly go to places with green disruptors and ham.