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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Herge's Lawyers Cut Down Bill Leak (with litigation, not actual violence)

You may have heard that Herge's lawyers have stopped Bill Leak from depicting the Australian politician Kevin Rudd as the character Tintin, one of Herge's most loved characters.,20867,21823334-2702,00.html

If you haven't heard of this, here is the news weblink.

It's understandable that Herge's lawyers and owners of the copyright of Tintin would wish to do this, as Herge was a man who rarely wished to get into political squabbles, however much that he satirized the sheer silliness of such things in his work. I think what seems to be the problem at heart is that Herge may not have wanted his character Tintin to be used for political ideology which is commercialized by a newspaper. Sure, there's nothing wrong with that.

What it could lead to is much more concerning. This could lead to other comics characters being put on a sort of "do not parody" list that would limit artistic expression. Parodying Superheroes is a common and much loved way to satirize things and have fun with the Superhero comics genre to express social issues, but this could be a thing of the past in light of this. As long as the lawyers don't get too carried away, we should, and the lawyers should, recognise that as long as a good sense of humor and a respect for the original comics characters that are parodied is used, there shouldn't really be a problem.

But let us not go too far down the path of litigation, as it could limit our freedom to laugh through satire, and that would be a sad world to live in.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

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