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Mojo Vs. Twilight, Continued....
Submitted by mojo on Tue, 03/27/2012 - 5:37am
So TechDirt was kind enough to pick up my minor saga regarding Summit Entertainment and Zazzle, and the comments offer some explanations and whatnot that I thought were relevant and interesting and worthy of discussion.
The first revelation is--again, Mojo has not read the books, so she is at a disadvantage here--that the whole lion-'n'-lamb thingie is in fact mentioned in both the "Twilight" book and movie. Some heavy metaphor about the lion falling in love with the lamb, apparently. When the first commenter over on TechDirt brought it up, I thought they were making a joke at "Twilight"'s expense, but others chimed in to report that yeah, it's a brief (like a three-second) aspect of the story, and hence worthy of extreme copyright protection. So, the theory goes, my tagging my art about a lion and a lamb with provocative tags like "lion" and "lamb" might have brought on my travails (foolish, foolish Mojo!) without any additional bogus tags.
When the first book was such a smash and the author was all over the media, I do vaguely recall reading an interview that seemed to indicate she was some sort of especially devout Christian--I think a Mormon--and at the time I had the impression she was defending her stories by claiming her books were written with keeping with her beliefs in mind.
If my recollection is correct and this is true, she COULD--again, Mojo has not read them, so who knows--have all sorts of Biblical imagery throughout her books, a la Narnia. (Yes, "Twilight" fans, there are other books in the world.) This could give Mojo's new friends at Summit a virtual field day should anyone reference the same references. Like, say, a thousand other Christmas card illustrations, for starters. The Woody Allen quote I began my last complainy post with predates the entire "Twilight" franchise by decades (I think it was "Without Feathers", and it is a compilation of his New Yorker pieces), and the book Allen uh, let's say "borrowed" it from predates 'em both by a couple more years, at least. (More sarcasm. What an embittered cynic Mojo has become!) Methinks the good folks at "Twilight" might really hit the jackpot if they go after that King James fellow instead of poor beleaguered Mojo. I bet THAT guy's LOADED!
(Or, perhaps I am merely opening the door for the entire Narnia franchise to come after me, too. Mojo is starting to think THAT's more likely.)
(Mental note: Last Narnia book? Puzzle the Donkey? Hellllooo? Dressing up in a lion's skin? Regurgitating gibberish thought up by a stupid monkey? It works on SO many levels here, starting with borrowing from something long ago, in this case Aesop. But as usual, I digress. And yes, Mojo DOES read YA literature if it interests her. Neither romances nor vampires do, however. Neither did Narnia, to be honest, but I read the whole series about a year ago, after reading a scholarlyish book on the subject.)
But if it were solely the "lion" and "lamb" tags, I'd think the Pull-bot would have auto-flagged the entire category. So right now I'm still leaning toward rogue tags on just a few items. I'm starting to doubt I'll ever hear back about that, however.
Another point worthy of discussion is the observation that Mojo did not, in fact, receive an official DMCA takedown notice, which is indeed accurate. Mojo assumes responsibility for that fox paw. Mojo was lividly pissed at first and referred to it in a letter to Zazzle (and the subsequent title of the complainy post) as a DMCA issue, but legally it was and is not. Ironically, if I *HAD* received an official DMCA takedown, my options would have been much clearer, since there is an established legal protocol for countering such claims. But while I am of the opinion that the entire mess is, shall we say, *inspired* by the DMCA brouhaha, it was kept decidedly--and perhaps intentionally--gray to keep me from any recourse above and beyond appealing to Zazzle's common sense, assuming I could get above the bots and reach an actual person.
I thought of this when I first started researching, when Zazzle palmed off responsibility and suggested I contact Summit Entertainment directly. I initiated that process for about three full minutes, and then sat and thought about it. First, the takedown command was probably bot-driven; if I wrote to Summit and said, "hey, why'd you pull my stuff?" their response would probably be "What stuff? I don't know what you're talking about" followed by "This sounds like something between you and Zazzle; doesn't concern us." This is all my conjecture, of course, but I suspect I'm not too far off the mark, here. And Zazzle, given their immediate history with me, would just keep sending me to Summit. All in all, just a frustrating exercise in circular bureaucracy.
With that in mind, I would have *GLADLY WELCOMED* a real DMCA takedown notice. Because that's something you can fight. But yes, technically it wasn't, even though it sure roars like a Certain Lion©, or bleats like the Proverbial Lamb™. (See? I can do it, too! You just need to know where they are on your keyboard!)
But when you look under the surface, like Mojo, it's all probably nothing but a braying ass. And now I eagerly await hearing from Aesop's lawyers... Or maybe the makers of the seventh Narnia film, ten years from now.
LOOK! LOOK! MOJO STUFF!