Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Another Round in the Death of Creative Freedom

Once upon a time there was a fictional character named "Tony Twistelli" aka "Tony Twist."

Tony was a fat Italian gangster who in no way struggled against his stereotype.

But it was the '90s, and it was "Spawn" and nobody cared about things like that.

And he looked like this:

Meanwhile, in the world that likes to consider itself real, there was a hockey player named Tony Twist, who looked like this:

And, eventually the two worlds collided when someone mentioned the Tony Twist mob enforcer to the Tony Twist hockey "enforcer." The hockey enforcer's feelings were very, very hurt and so he did the only sensible thing.

He claimed that the comic Spawn had deprived him of income by using his "likeness" to sell comics, games, cartoons, and movies.

The creator of Spawn admitted that yes, he had named the character after the hockey player, but in no way based the character on the hockey player, nor used the hockey player to promote the comic.

But this is America, where people love to bitch about "trial lawyers" while awarding absurd judgments, and so Tony Twist won millions of dollars and a company went bankrupt.

(shed no tears, however, for this was but the working of a karmic miracle,man.)

And all this is but prelude to this disaster:

Jury Awards $100K to Woman Who Says Fictional Character Defamed Her

A Georgia jury has awarded $100,000 to a woman who says she was defamed because a character in the book The Red Hat Club had a mix of her own traits and other false characteristics that depicted her as a promiscuous alcoholic.

Stewart had contended novelist Haywood Smith, a childhood friend, had created the character SuSu with looks that resembled hers, with the same job as a flight attendant, and with similar experiences involving a second, conniving husband. But Stewart says she did not have other traits of the character, including a propensity to engage in casual sex and drink at work.


By a fictional character.

With a fictional name.

Gawd help us all.

More here:

I am now preparing to sue the estates of Shakespeare, Lee & Kirby for abusing my future career prospects by creating the characters of Falstaff and Volstagg.

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