Copyright threat issued over gorilla dressed as Freddy Mercury

A sculpture depicting a gorilla wearing a Freddy Mercury-style jacket was removed from Norwich City Center following a legal threat from the Mercury Phoenix Trust. The trust claims copyright on the outfit’s design, so the company in charge of Norwich’s gorilla statue program is repainting it: "That’s being sorted. To save any bother we will… READ THE REST

Seems fair enough. Pretty dumb of the sculptor not to ask for permission beforehand.

Now all that is needed is for the editorial cartoons to lampoon the Freddy Mercury jacket as “parody” of this situation.

Regardless of who has the right to what, it’s still a pretty douchebag move, not to mention a moronic law in the first place (being able to copyright a “look”.) Not to mention, Freddie’s dead, so who gives a shit? Not to mention, Freddie would have found this funny anyway. Not to mention, I’m pretty much done with this modern world and all its stupid ways of twisting and bastardizing things to their illogically logical conclusions. Not to mention.


I’m not 100% on the law on this, but I’m not sure this is something that can be copyrighted. Perhaps the design for the jacket could be patented, but that term would only be 14 years and it’s unclear whether or not the actual design patent would be enforceable against a sculpture like this. Either way I agree it’s a douchebag move by the Freddie Mercury Foundation who, no doubt, have very little appreciation for what Freddie Mercury would have actually wanted.

I imagine that including the Queen logo on the jacket treads on toes. I am assuming that if you do have a copyright or trademark you are obliged to defend it when someone misuses it, or lose it. Perhaps I’m being charitable, but I’m thinking that this could have been sorted out by talking before they started.

I have to say that sculpture makes me pretty uncomfortable anyway, although I doubt there were any racial undertones.

Important to note: The Mercury Phoenix Foundation’s big event is Freddie For A Day, encouraging people to dress up like Freddie. They even give tips from Freddie’s costume designer on how to make some of his iconic getups, including the yellow jacket. I can’t find fault with a charity whose signature day involves people dressing like Freddie acting to prevent confusion. It’s not like it’s estate lawyers demanding licensing fees.

Anyway, let’s all enjoy Queen killing it at Live Aid.

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Whether it was meant to be insulting or not it was pretty f’n horrible. People need to take a look at it before condemning the Foundation, I think they have done the public a favor.

Oh, and there is this:

U.S. postal inspectors, along with state and local law enforcement,
raided Go Go Gorillas and the home of its owner Christopher Turner on
Wednesday as part of a federal fraud investigation.

A fake jacket on a sculpture has more protection than a prisoner in gitmo. Got to love this country.

How wrong you are. Nobody is allowed to put prisoners in Gitmo on gorilla statues either.

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A quick note… It’s Freddie… not Freddy.

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I’m not sure what you mean by your comment, foobird. How exactly was the sculpture “horrible”? Did it simply offend your particular aesthetic tastes? Or are you suggesting something else? I’m quite confused.

Personally, the statue in question amused me mildly, but even if it didn’t, I can’t see how it’s harmful in any real way.

As for the company’s fraud investigation, how is that in any way pertinent? It seems highly unlikely that the organizers of the company were in any way responsible for the design of the individual statue. Typically such artwork is commissioned from local artists, who likewise are in no way responsible for keeping the books of the company.

No, there is no apparent connection between the statue in England and the company in Kentucky, except the use of the word Gorilla.

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I see they saw fit to hit back with an “apology” printed using Comic Sans. The use of this typeface is surely calculated to insult all who look upon it, and as such I salute their masterful protest.

Upon seeing the title, I assumed that this had something to do with Mr. Mercury’s gorilla friend in Cromartie High School. Apparently people just associate the guy with gorillas, though?

Dammit, you made me click a link to the Mail again! Cut it out willya?

I can’t bring myself to click on a link to the Daily Mail, but handily, other news outlets are available:

The IPKat has some uproarious Bohemian Rhapsody parodies based on this story .

Sample opening lines:

Is this for real man?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a law suit
No escape from similarity.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Is sprayed gorilla
My escape from reality?

Is this an art work?
Is this just parody?
Sprayed in a landslide
Now it’s there for posterity

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