I found out about this amusing Karen parody of American Girl dolls because they want it taken down

There’s an entire disturbing segment of the gun industry aimed at Karens. It’s like a sick parody of all other products targeted at women. As though we need even our guns to be pink.

I tried super hard for a third gun pun in that paragraph but couldn’t hit the mark.

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This is a pretty good primer on the subject: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet

tl;dr: The parties are advised to chill.

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I am always going lean on the side of protecting your own IP over anything else

As a writer, I can certainly understand what you’re feeling. But your feelings don’t trump the law. Parody/satire are well established under fair use doctrine.

it also means trying to do better in protecting the rest of us that don’t have their means to protect our work.

That’s pretty much every artist whose work isn’t already owned by mega-corps like Disney. And yes, you should absolutely sue when people are profiting off your work without paying you. But you’ll lose if they are simply parodying what you produce.

Such as Mickey Borg here:

P.S. I would be remiss in not pointing out the artist of this superb piece of social commentary: https://www.deviantart.com/jsbaxter

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Call me back when they release a smartdoll or a dollfie dream of that Karen threw shit from out of her shopping cart at Target.

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True but did they have to be so Karen about it?

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Regard all the MAGA businesses that now exist

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In order to protect their brand, they have an obligation to address it just in case any Trumpbillies think the Karen doll is real and stage a boycott. They should have worded their response differently though. A statement like the following would have been sufficient: “Donna, the Karen doll ad was a parody that someone made without our permission. You may be pleased to know that it is not a real product. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.”

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I love it!

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American Girl dolls weren’t a hit in our household. When she was young my daughter of mixed ethnicity wanted a native american doll. All the American Girl dolls have the same toothy grin, except the native doll, which is the only one that doesn’t smile.

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I kid you not, my sister-in-law has a pink handgun.

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That is a bit odd… can you customize it? I know you can build your own doll how ever you want.

You cant alter the face, but otherwise she can have a stylish clutch!

They have generic build-your-own types, but they also do pre-named dolls, usually with a back-story, in a variety of styles. The native one was the only one without a smile.

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I’d say Karen should go back to where she came from, but then she’d just be spreading the Rona during happy hour at Applebee’s.

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I’ve always been creeped out by those overpriced & ugly dolls, so to me this parody is brilliant.

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The company worked with the Nez Pierce and were told that showing your teeth wasn’t polite, so they made the doll with a closed mouth. The company did tons of research and the accompanying books were well written and covered many big issues. For a long time the historical dolls were the most accurate ones available. Also, with the ability to build a doll from a wide range skin tones, hair types, eye colors and so on, the option for a doll that looked like the child opened wide. They helped create the idea that dolls should be available for every child’s image. Is there any other company making dolls that are explicitly wheelchair users? They may be too expensive for many, but their existence gets other manufactures to follow suit.

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They helped expand that idea, maybe; but AG has only been around since 1992, whereas a company like Madame Alexander has been promoting diversity since at least the 60’s;

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Here in the UK the “Idiot In A Hurry” Test would apply. Viz: Would an idiot in a hurry mistake this product for the product it is trying to emulate? Under this standard An Idiot Online would find no grounds as said Idiot would be expected to Google (rather than Doogle).

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I don’t think that link supports your position nearly as much as you claim:

the copyright exemption for parodies […] should not extent to cases where the parody does not attack the parodied work but rather uses that work to attack something else.

And such a situation has famously happened before with Penny Arcade (can’t link to it yet): American Girl seems to have as much a sense of humor as American greetings does.

American Girl could also claim a trademark violation, but the bar there is even higher, requiring owners to prove that a reasonable person would be confused by the parody or that it would dilute the value of the trademark itself: “courts have [lately] been far more sympathetic to third parties creating parodies of famous trademarks and service marks.”

Is that, perhaps, their concern? That the “Karen” doll is very much “on brand” for them, and people can’t distinguish it as parody as a result? It’s quite the self-own.

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Dougal
?

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