A legal victory for the kickstarted Star Trek mashup censored by Dr Seuss's estate

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/12/litigious-estates.html


I’d be more sympathetic to the infringement claims if this were a quick ripoff-for-profit of two other new works. It seems like the real issue is that Dr. Seuss and Star Trek should both be in the public domain by now.

If copyright is forever, then the courts have to invent all these little exceptions.


The real crime is blatant hypocrisy. As soon as Dr. Seuss became an estate-managed brand cranking out watered-down, shitty derivative products of the man’s masterpieces the name Suess was truly sullied and brand-confused. Not when a passionate fan showed their love by doing a clever pastiche. This project is heads or tails above in quality, and in the spirit of the good Dr himself, compared to the commercial schlock the Seuss brand pumps. If anything, this lawsuit should trigger the courts to look at what the estate has done to the brand, and take it from them. Like if I were to barge into a police station to accuse my neighbor of murder with blood all over my shirt and a knife in my hand.


The idea that parodies like this hurt the original copyright owners makes no sense. The ONLY way to fully appreciate this book is if you’re ALREADY familiar with both Seuss and Star Trek. If anything its existence encourages people to buy the original Seuss book just so they’ll be in on the joke.


I highly doubt the Dr. would have minded.


The Seuss/ST mashup is brilliant. One thing though (and NO!.. I’m not a Trekkie): The Seussian poem in the panel showing the two Spocks engaged in 3D chess mentions they being ‘split in two’. Correct me if I’m wrong, but where was the split; didn’t both Spocks exist, but in the own parallel universes?

Again, I’m not a Trekkie… so don’t call tell people otherwise.


That would require the Seuss estate to expend effort in creating worthy material (yeah, right) or hiring people who can, (which they don’t seem to have a talent for). They just want to stroke the Seussian puppy for all it’s worth while just kicking back.

This makes Spock smile. Almost.


Apologies if this is actually in the book, but the first thing that came to my mind was:

One shirt, two shirt.
Red shirt, blue shirt.
Boulder fall, blue shirt is all.


Yes, the Spock with the goatee is from the Mirror Universe. But the original series did have an episode where crew members were split in two by the transporter: The Enemy Within. Captain Kirk is the one who gets split into a “good” and an “evil” being. There was also a Star Trek: Voyager episode (Faces) where one character is split in two, and another (Tuvix) where two characters are merged into one.


I dunno, man, I was about to buy the Complete Works of Dr. Seuss, but this Spock thing has totally sated my appetite.

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I hear the Director’s Cut is the best version. It doesn’t have the annoyingly rhythmic narration.

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I know people are lauding this as a victory of the Little Guy Artist against The Man. For what it’s worth, here’s my problem with that.

I totally heard a Wilhelm scream while reading that!

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Yes, in the evil mirror universe. Evil Spock did not meet regular Spock, though. The switch (a transporter accident) made Kirk, Uhura, Scott and McCoy trade placed with their counterparts.

So no one met their double, actually.

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I personally don’t see it as a “Little Guy/The Man” situation, but as a heavy-handed estate (shades of the Tolkein estate!) being all Big Bad Wolf and trying to stymie Fair Use. (And from reading your blog post, you don’t either. You see it as David Gerrod doing you wrong. Again.)

Yah, my point is mostly that the wrong isn’t David taking an idea from the estate, but David taking the idea from his former roommate.

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