The webcomics blog about webcomics

Busy Packing

As I believe that I may have mentioned one or two times, tomorrow I awake Stupid-Thirty and make my way to Juneau for Alaska Robotics Mini Con and Comics Camp; as a result, I’ll be largely absent from The Interwebz for the best part of a week. So let this be your last bit of that Fleen-Flavored Goodness¹ for a while.

  • Speaking of Camp, I believe that Shing Yin Khor will be there, and I wanted to point you to something really cool she built recently. Some things, plural, to be accurate. See, when Taneka Stotts accepting the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology for Elements (in her role as editor), she wanted a way to honor all of the contributors.

    Enter Khor, and a sledgehammer.

    She took the brick (the Ignatzen are actual bricks) and crunched it up into slivers, mounted them onto triangular wooden bases — the upright triangle is the alchemcial symbol for fire — and added little engraved nameplates. It’s as classy an acknowledgment of one’s collaborators as I can recall in comics, and I thought you should know about it.

  • Something else I think you should know: although large corporations stealing the art of independent artists persists at a shameless rate², there is an important new development. Susie Ghahremani called out a variety of related companies for stealing pin designs, and has scored an important precedent in what appears to be federal court:

    Basically, this says if you put your name and/or other identifying information on your work (as we did), and someone removes that (as they did), they broke the law. And if they put their own name or other branding on copies (they did), they broke the law AGAIN.

    The infringers were trying to argue that the art they stole was too simple and therefore not deserving of copyright. No, really. Of course, they don’t mind associating with simple designs as long as they get to make money from it, I guess? Anyway, the precedent is a powerful tool the next creator who wants to actually own what they created for themselves can use, and not a moment too soon.

    Because Old Navy has been caught stealing designs from Lili Chin and are actually having their lawyer try to get a judge to order Chin pay for the privilege of being sued because she called them out. But now there’s a precedent, and if Old Navy’s lawyers aren’t aware of it, they should read up quickly and re-evaluate their strategy.

    Now I don’t know which jurisdiction Old Navy is pulling their shenanigans in, but I’m guessing that since it’s a copyright matter, federal law pertains (but, obviously, I Am Not A Lawyer). Here’s hoping that since they’ve decided to be dicks about it, this precedent bites them in the ass and provides a significant deterrent for the next corporation that decides to be dicks. Hey corporations, want to get good designs from artists? Fucking well pay them.

Spam of the day:

Natalie wants to share her 21 private photos, Access NOW, nbwabi

Huh, nbwabi appears to not be completely random, and previously appeared on page 4 of The Daily Times from New Brunswick, New Jersey, dated 13 May 1893. Weird.

¹ I’d like to say that sounded better in my head, but it really didn’t. Let’s not do that again.

² And it seems to me, in a more aggressive form. Used to be a company caught art thieving would blame a junior designer or contractor and promise to never do it again, cross their heart. Now, they’re fighting in court to defend their right to violate copyright.

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