The Ghastlygun Tinies: MAD's Edward Gorey satire that takes aim at school shootings


When I say “extremely close” I mean it. From the Wiki link I provided:

Solar Pons has prodigious powers of observation and deduction, and can astound his companions by telling them minute details about people he has only just met, details that he proves to have deduced in seconds of observation. Where Holmes’s stories are narrated by his companion Dr. Watson, the Pons stories are narrated by Dr. Lyndon Parker; in the Pons stories, he and Parker share lodgings not at 221B Baker Street but at 7B Praed Street, where their landlady is not Mrs. Hudson but Mrs. Johnson. Whereas Sherlock Holmes has an elder brother Mycroft Holmes of even greater gifts, Solar Pons has a brother Bancroft to fill the same role. Like Holmes, Pons is physically slender and smokes a pipe filled with “abominable shag”.[1]


No, it doesn’t. Acknowledgment is not one of the four factors used by courts to assess fair use. The four factors (as set out in 17USC) are:

  1. Nature and character of the source work
  2. Effect on the market
  3. Amount of the taking
  4. Extent of the transformation

I’d be interested in any satire fair use cases that turned on acknowledgment that you could cite. To my knowledge, there aren’t any.


You are identifying the historical phenomenon whereby the courts and protectionist rightsholders have developed a jurisprudence over the years that has squeezed out fair uses that (though never lititgated) were routine in the years gone by. This is, in fact, part of the argument for explicitly exempting satire (and not just parody) as part of the limitations and exceptions to copyright: that historically these passed by without legal threat and without any visible impact on the market and thus they can be made black-letter law without any expected negative effect on the market in the future.


The sets were gorgeous, and so was Frank Langella! :blush:
I waited night after night for the Mystery poster to come up on the WGBH (Boston PBS) auction one year to no avail.


Which is the same trick Conan Doyle pulled regarding the prior art of one Edgar Allan Poe and C. Auguste Dupin.


In terms of not getting sued in the first place it often does.

I’m not disputing your points about the legal issues, just discussing why even litigious rightsholders sometimes choose not to sue. And if it does come to that, yes, acknowledgement or lack thereof would play a role (perhaps a determining one) in the court’s assessing factors 1 and 2.


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