ComicMix Wins Another Court Battle Over STAR TREK and Dr. Seuss Fair Use

Apparently, ComicMix made a book called Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! which was a combination of Star Trek and the classic Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!. Dr. Seuss Enterprises weren’t happy about this and sued ComicMix. Almost a year ago, ComicMix won a legal battle over trademark claims. Now, a ruling has been made about the copyright of such things. U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino ruled that Boldly Go makes fair use of the original. Dr. Seuss Enterprises wasn’t happy about this and pointed to some previous caselaw such as Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, but Judge Sammartino broke those down and explained why this case was different.

The Court does not find Oracle persuasive. [I]n Oracle, the Defendants copied the 37 SE API packages wholesale, while in Boldly ‘the copied elements are always interspersed with original writing and illustrations that transform Go!’s pages into repurposed, Star-Trek-centric ones.’ Defendants did not copy verbatim text from Go! in writing Boldly, nor did they replicate entire illustrations from Go! Although Defendants certainly borrowed from Go! — at times liberally — the elements borrowed were always adapted or transformed. The Court therefore concludes, as it did previously that Defendants’ work, while commercial, is highly transformative.

There were many other claims made by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, but the punchline is that they lost and ComicMix won. Sadly, Boldly Go was a Kickstarter so I don’t think you can readily go out and purchase it if you’d like to. If you’re more interested in the full decision by Judge Sammartino though, you can read that here.

Via: THR

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