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#261 - Cease and Desist
GG Crono says:
WHAT?! This is absolute bullshit! "Elven race is a copy of that created by Tolkein"? Tolkein did NOT create the idea of elves! And before the movies came out, Legolas wasn't even blonde...This is pure crap. Your comic is great. And on TOP of that, you're not doing this for profit, which counts for a LOT!
You canNOT let this just go down like that. Seriously. This comic is too good to let die like this. Reasearch. Make pointss. Talk to people. All is not lost.
?!?!?!!?!That is the biggest load of **** I've EVER seen!!! As well as tolkien not 'inventing' elves etc, what about the many other elf comics in publication? Like Elfquest, which I've always thought chasing the sunset was closest to, if anything. They're bullying you cause you're an easy and innocent party, pure and simple. The likes of Elfquest and published comics can provide copyright dates etc. Online webcomics are doomed :( This is just sick. Lord of the Rings is great, but the 'similarities' they list are laughable and incorrect (apart from the one about #46 really). Does this mean no elf in the world is allowed blonde hair anymore? *shakes head*. Grrr
I dont recall where i saw it, ubt there is an organization that helps webcomics to battle aainst this kind of ****, please do some research and if you want to shut down the site for sometime until you sort this out, its ok.
But first, they dont own the race of elven, thats pure ...nvm
The characters you posted has a cameo, ydid you added the copyrigth (cuz that could be the real problem)
It a tower, duh of course it matches a tower.
Leaf doenst match Legolas, sinc Legolas is older.
The gray port, hmm dunno
Figth this crap, you got our support
I can't resist... whether it is my place or not. I would ask them why they haven't done the following things:
1. Sue Ursula K. LeGuin for her Gray ports
2. Sue Ed Greenwood for his wizard's tower.
As for the use of elves, unless they've bought a copyright on Norse literature, you've got them cornered there.
Honestly, I'd offer to remove comic #46 as a matter of courtesy, but I would go no further. I would also make a point of mentioning that you are in no way required to remove it, but as an act of courtesy shall.
#46 is the only one they've got on you.
You may wish to mention that placing that picture on your sight may have indirectly promoted LOTR... but I dunno, do as your descretion wishes.
guys, this is horrid, ill pray somethin happens and u can continue. i luv ur comic, and if u cant manage, jes know its the coolest comic ive read in the past year. dont give up!
Oh no! Here's the link to a website concerning fair use...http://fairuse.stanford.edu/. Unfortunately, Crono, even though this is non-profit, they still can file claims claiming intellectual property. The Fair Use Act doesn't cover everything. I think, Alien and Mith, you *should* look into this, and possibly get in touch with a lawyer for consultation, but I can totally understand why you don't/can't fight this. I think you take the site down, wait a few weeks, and then finish it in text form. If I remember correctly, they cannot sue you for writing your stuff down, not according to their own letter (likeness and images, blah blah). I'm deeply sorry about this.
After checking comic #46, yes you didnt posted any copyrigths, so you should take out that strip. It is actually the only real treath fow now, keep looking and dont lose faith.
Erk... It took me a while before I realized what this was, lol...
You do realize that you will be chased by a mob wielding pitchforks and torches for this?
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????AWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! cant... live... without... chasing....the..... sinset...! dont give up
can't help thinkin'.... aprils fool? or what? I shurely hope so..... =O)
April fool! Lol, I liked this one.
If it were any other day I wouldn't be this skeptical. So I think I'll wait and see. I hate today.
And just so you know I do know I'm a spoilsport.
Man, you guys need to think about what day it is before you all go off on one :p
What is their problem? It's nothing alike! Don't they make enough money as it is without picking on little poeple? I would talk to a lawyer right away about this.
I was checking through copyright laws and found a few things. In #46 if you had not used the word "balrog" the entire thing would have been safe. Balrog is copyrighted by tolkien as intellectual property. Elves, even blond elves are most definately not copyrighted by Tolkien as intellectual property (Wizards of the coast anyone?). As for the tower and the harbor... unless they want every tower and harbor in the world to be dismantled you will have no problems there. The way it sounds to me is that someone is looking for money and they found someone who they believe won't know the laws to protect themselves. Basically they are just bullys (and I sure hope that they read the comments).
In any case, if there are some actual lawyers out there who read the comic it would be nice to have your assistance. I'm just a business law student in college and I only have access to what the laws state (no previous cases on the matter).
I'm not sure what good it will do, and I understand your fear, but for what it's worth, I actually sent an email to NLC telling them about this and what their attorneys were doing here, pointing out the obvious errors that the attorneys were making here, and asking them to have their attorneys withdraw their request. I encourage everyone who cares about this webcomic to do the same. Maybe if enough letter on the same subject reach them, perhaps they will listen and then the artist can continue without being wrongfully harassed by over-zealous attorneys.
No PLEASE don`t give this up. I write cartoons myself, but this is way better.
I don't think that you have copy "the lord of the rings". please do something, when I first found it and read it I become inspired do a new cartoon.
I love it, please if you cannot fight or keep it, then can you make a new one as good as this?
Or can`t you just gett permison?
Do something please!
Well, it certainly does look real... but today is the 01.04 (FIRST of APRIL). If this is not a joke, it's very bad timing =P
Alright, I did some research into the company that sent the letter (the limited liability partnership Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn) and managed to find their web site (http://www.pryorcashman.com/index.htm). Appearantly these people really do know what they are about, though it is obvious that they are bored at the moment and just looking for someone to pick on.
In any case, I would ask them for the full listing of the "Numerous other infringements" that they mentioned. If you pretend that you know what you are doing they may back down (though I would get a lawyer to write them a letter). Something else that you may want to do is to read about the copyright law (section 106 a). I have a link to a document that contains the full copyright law http://www.copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf . The people will likely be watching to make sure that you comply with their orders, these companies are like that. Something else to try is to call their number and ask them about their claims and possibly explain what you are going to do. Maybe ask for help on how to keep the site up, but not be breaking any of their alleged copyright infringements. You may be surprised (though I doubt it), it is at least worth the try (though if it is long distance I suggest using a phone card).
Well, I've started on my little project. I've decided to go through the entire letter, look at their list of 'infringments,' and find the earliest possible cases. They can't do this... and I'll be damned if I won't pitch in with a letter and help of my own!
Alrighty, for those who haven't guessed yet: This is an
April's Fools joke
. Neither New Lince Cinema, nor the offices of Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn have contacted me, it's all a hoax!
The reason I'm saying this now instead of tomorow is because things are getting a bit out of hand now and I realised too late that using an existing law firm wasn't the brightest idea (the firm does exist and has done copyright cases for New Line Cinemas - sometimes I make things a bit too well).
Anyway, there's no need to mail either the law firm or new line cinemas, but I thank you all for standing up for us and for giving Alien and I a good laugh (and I hope you're not offended).
Most of you are quite gullible, but we love you all the same!
Now if you excuse me, I have to roll on the floor laughing for a bit :)
Ahhh!!!! Curse you both! Curse you with hordes of coffee-crazed pixies!!!! (No matter how hard I'm laughing at myself!) Ahhh!!!!! A pink-and-purple polka-dotted pox on thee both!!!!
I didn't realize till after I read wildfire's post that this could be an April fools joke. Wildfire had posted while I was posting, which seems to have caused me some problems... In any case, That was an incredibly well done cease and desist letter. It is more professionally done than most real cease and desist letters that I have seen in the past, which means that at least one of you have studied law to some extent.
In any case, I feel honored to be fooled by someone who did as well as you did. I rarely have the pleasure of having someone that talented put that much work into a joke.
(Unless your post saying that this was an April Fools joke is the real April Fools joke... In which case, you have carried this a bit too far. I do suggest that you remove "Balrog" from comic #46 though... They really can sue you for that according to the documents that I have read.)
Now this has got to be the funniest comic yet! Even though it isn't a comic.
Although, if possible, the comments were even funnier. At least now you know you've got a loyal fan base, if you didn't previously.
I haven't studied law, but a google search gave several form letters and samples. I did some research in international copyright law some years ago and I know they can't really get me on any of the stuff I mentioned (I didn't know about the balrog tho, I'll look into that but I think I can pass it under parody legislation. If not I'll change it). However I realised too late they could get me on slander because of today ... now that would be irony :P
Ugh... and here I was researching ancient roman architechture... Arthurian legend... norse mythology... and famous port cities. I was all fired up too! Oh well... but please... don't scare me again like that! Goodness I feel sick. Time for chocolate!
i think some people should check the date this was posted. it begins with 1 and ends with april.
and plus the authers of the underworld series have yet to be sued by toilken. and their are hundreds of books who's authers base their elves off toilkens. so really don't think these people have a claim anyway.
and you authers are evil! evil i tell you!
if i hadn't been fooled by a really big april 1st joke comic last year i probably wouldn't of picked up on this being a joke. but i must give you an A* on your creativness. this is indeed an unique joke. much better then the one i did in my comic ^^
check the date people, check the date. good joke guys! haven't seen that one around before.
Out of curiosity, what date is it??
secondly, the only similarities to Tolkien would be elf, human and dragon.
Neither of which he "created" himself.
Any logic person could tell right away it's a scam of some sort since the storyline does'nt use the name of place/people from Tolkiens books.
Even if it were a real letter, i'd simply tell'em to shove it where they're tallest when the pluck berries....
Most of that is complete bull. A lot of times law firms will try to bully smaller businesses (or whoever) with threats that have no bearing at all.
I seriously doubt they can have a copyright on the elven race. If they did they would be free to sue hundreds of book, movie and video game publishing companies.
As for #46, I'm not a lawyer, but I think if you didn't actually say "Balrog" that you could get by on spoof rights. You might have to remove that one comic, or simply edit it.
Did anyone else notice there are several misspellings in the letter?
interested bystander says:
Y'know, even if it was a copyright legit, wouldn't it be more likely to be coming from the Tolkien Estate, rather then NewLine? after all, Newline don't own the copyright..
my two cents on the matter..
Jaspenelle Senca says:
Hehehe effective april fools joke ^^ my favorite day of the year ^^
Gee, wouldn't it be funny if Mycosa's email caused Pryor Cashman to become aware of the strip and send a real C&D? I think Mithandir would break both feet kicking himself :)
Wolf Dreamer says:
I just realized what day it is. You had me worried there a bit. Next time tell us you are joking at the end, ok? I was going to go post around the net to bring attention to and protest this injustice. It seems like a cause the guys at Penny Arcade would be into helping, making their amusing and somewhat viscious jabs at the insane people in the corporate industry.
Little Gamers also is doing an April Fools Joke I noticed, pretending the MPAA shut them down for encouraging piracy.
Oh well. *breaths sigh of relief* Chasing the Sunset is here to stay.
April's Fools! ;-)
*giggles* if nothing else, I'm glad I got the warning that today was the first of April from you guys, rather than somewhere else.
You'd think I'd remember April Fool's day better than that, seeing as how my late husband proposed on April Fool's day. *laughs* I'm good at remembering dates but attrotious at knowing what day I'm on! *laughs*
Thanks for the laugh, guys! & keep up the good work!
lol, nice April Fool's joke!
Heh I realized the typos...
I must congrulate you... That was a good prank.
I hand you two the royal crowns of the prankster... (Bows and kneels as she hands them the crowns)
I'll admit, I believed it... Untill I read the letter, and checked the date.
I don't really know why, but I don't believe a thing people tell me on the 1st of April.
The hoax was good, the letter looked a lot like a real one, and I don't know why I didn't believe it...
...Okay, maybe because Tolkien never copirighted the elven race (or any other thing from his books... Everything was taken/inspired by other mythologies, and only the characters were really Tolkien's (/fangirl) ), but I don't really know...
And 15 years of living through 1st of April at my house helps a lot, too ^.^;
Magic Kitsune says:
Jeez, you really had me worried X_x; Your April Fool's joke was WAY scarier than mine!
that is not funny
that is not funny even i wondn't do that and i love pulling jokes on pepole
It took eight posts before somebody noticed it was today the first of April.
Funny thing is that what made me sure it was a joke (before looking at my watch I mean, Im very bad with dates) was the names of the associates... .... Yeah..
*grabs a pitchfork and torch*
Time to form an angry mob people, there will be icecream afterwards!
*cackles* Nice job!
OK, You had MY heart pumping for a few minutes there.... good one- maybe a little TOO realistic- but good... Now if we could only use your powers for good, instead of evil...
Holy cow! You had me going there too! :P
And here I was already to be all gun-ho or whatnot to help out. Guess I'll have to put the flamming letters away for another day.
Nicely done, except I think you may have given some of us (including myself it seems) grey hairs. Have a less 'eventfull' day all.
Dear New Line: for attempting to bring wrongful suit against a webcomic and generally wasting our time, we are countersuing, through the firm of Feiht and Sohac. Be afraid. Be very very afraid.
Okay, I'm kidding.
surely a April Fool!
Mc:They can't do this! This is bull-
Mc:Well anyway, they can't sue you for this comic. One. the elven race isn't copyrighted, if it was then they would have to sue almost every fantasy book and game, because most of them have elfs in them. Two. Leaf doesn't look a thing like Legolas, and his name doen't match Legolas' name because if I'm not mistaken Leaf is Leaf's first name. Three.(sorry if this is taking so long I really like this comic.) The wisard's tower is like, so what! There are lots of wisard's towers. and the gray port of Di'zra does really match the "Gray Elven Harbours" because it was the "Gray Haven" in the LotR. I can't believe that they are sueing you for this, when they don't have most of what they clam you stole. (Please forgive me, but the 2nd to last dot is kindof true, because in that strip I didn't see caracters that looked like people from the LotRs, but it made me laugh seeing them there.) I'm sorry that they'er giving you a hard time with there Cease and Desist thingy. I really like this comic. I'll be very sad to see it go. *sad face*
Opps, after going back and reading the other reviews do I have this to say,
Hahaha! This was an really good April Fool joke! You really had us going, I forgot what day it was also. Hee, really good joke...
Alien, Mithandir, you are pixies sometimes! ^_^ Best webcomic April Fools joke I've seen yet, & I read a lot of webcomics!
Lol. Knowing even a bit about the copyright act and fantasy novels, I couldn't believe someone would be dumb enough to send this letter, but add the news post and the first commenters believing it...
Good one; you all had me worried for a moment there!
Please, fight this.
Allowing them to claim that elves, wizard's towers, and grey ports are the sole property of New Line and created by Tolkien opens up a whole new can of worms, or in this case possible litigation. Tolkien may be responsible for modern fantasy, but using elf characters or putting wizards in towers is not copying his work, any more than writing a man climbing onto a balcony is plagiarising Shakespeare.
If they are allowed to bully you this way, they will grow more aggressive by it and threaten legal action against other innocent people using elves, wizards, and other classical fantasy elements.
Aargh I am so gullible. *grins* Excellent job.
I'm driving down there today & picketing the building
Yeaaaahh, you guys all know what day it is, right? I think you April Fools have been caught.
goodness, you almost had me until i read the comments. i must say, that was very evil. my darkness tips his hat to you two.
which reminds me, i need to think of an April Fools joke to play on somebody.....
nah, i'm too nice.
still, cheers! very funny, once you get past the initial shock...
It's even more funny when you read the comments and note people still thinking it's real when it's noted as a joke. :D
APRIL FOOL'S!!! And the comments are funny heh
April fools, right? i can't believe so many people fell for this xD
WHATTTTTT????????????? please let this be april fools.... If not. you are NOT the only ones to use elves PLENTY of people use elves in their work. DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chasing the Sunset is to good to be lost. They can't just take a wonderfull webcomic away like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNFAIR!!!!!!!!!!! at leasy you could just take out the LotR refrences.... but those were fun! GRRRRRRR.......
oopsss I didn't read all the coments before posting.... Good one thought Mith & Alien! I hope this never happens for real...
GG Crono says:
May you all find a dozen pixies in your underwear drawer. Thank you. :D
i'd take it off before the actual law company comes and sues you for using their name without their "expressed permission" ;)
That was brilliant! I'll admit that I was scared for a bit there, especially since no other web comic that I read (and have check so far) has done an April Fool's joke. I'm sure others have though...
3 Cheers for the great prank!!
My first comment, and I'm afraid my last. I've thought a fair amount about this reply. For me, the "joke" was... not funny. In my opinion of course.
Although well executed, it played on our sense of family, on our sense of "wanting to help", especially given various med and psych problems that you've claimed to have in the past.
Much like the boy who cried wolf, if something like this does happen to you for real how can we, as your fans, be expected to react in the future?
New Line doesn't really have a leg to stand on here, except maybe comic #46. #58 is a clear parody, which is exempt from copyright law. New Line doesn't have a copyright on crumbling towers, nor elves, and yours are pretty generic.
I'd hate to see your comic go down because of overzealous lawyers. They're just intimidating you because they know you don't have enough money to hire your own lawyer. Is there an organization in Belgium that helps defend "little guys" from corporate lawyers?
I also suggest fans write New Line Cinema about this... I'm sure this comic isn't the only one they're targeting.
I fall for at least one April Fools trick every year. Aw well, at least now I'll be on guard. Good job and keep up the comic!
Call it under the Open Game Licence, elves are in the SRD (from DnD) and thus under the open game license, so tolken can't claim them.
wow, I feel foolish, I really should read the coments before posting @.@
Yeah... I think they're right. You might at least want to put up your own "Cease and Desist" post telling us fans to "Cease and Desist" from sending New Line Cinemas letters and stuff. These posts just aren't getting read.
Kevin Bell says:
read this i think it will give some insight to your case
if you get bored of reading search for donkey kong it will help hopefully
Um.... This *IS* April first, right???
um... guys... you realize it's april first, right?
lol! I just read the stuff below the first set. Looks like other people figured it out, too.
At any rate, it would be a good idea to put a copyright disclaimer on the parody strip ("Balrog" and LOTR characters copyright J.R.R. Tolkien, etc...).
ok... you guys are just too guillible. It's been a hoot reading all these angered and anxious posts. You might want to post a "this-was-an-aprilsfool-joke-post" in the "News and stuff" sektion. flot joke, den kunne jeg lide. og folk faldt for den. den var for sjov!!! =O)
Next time around, maybe in the "big" linked scan you should put in tiny print at the bottom of the page (and make them scroll down for it) "I slap floor." It's an Adventures in Oddessy reference. Just figure out what it means!
Phew... You had me worried. I admit this is a very big relief to me. I guess I can delete the email I had geared up to send out to just about everyone I can think of who might be able to help. But I must admit, I do think the joke was just a tad in poor taste, since a couple websites and programmers have actually gone through things like this, and not always with happy endings.
Still, my mild annoyance is greatly underscored by my fervent relief that this was just a hoax. Thank God.
You know, thinking about and laughing for many times... British English is what Lawyers here in America type up anyways. I was looking through many of my court papers and came to that realization.
Morale of the story: Don't squeeze the raspberry unless your racoon wears pants.
You guys are just incredible !!!
Boy you had me fooled. I drove 180 miles down to Los Angeles to protest the letter, only to find I had been tricked.
Chevette Girl says:
Hope you don't get in trouble for using a real law firm...
But still, damn fine prank!
You are genii!!!!
I'm so glad this was just a joke! I got really scared and my heart still beats quite fast!
And by the way, I'm NOT gullible!!!!!
I can't believe so many people got fooled by this O.o I'm a rather gullible person myself, but I still wasn't fooled.
Do you know you had me spending two hours researching for organizations to help you? And also researching copyright law? I was even going to send you something on "fair use" terms and such...your LotR references clearly being satire. And now....a prank. LoL should have thought. Problem is I read internet comics at night when I am tired.
well that was just plain pointless but I guess some people like those kind of jokes (they always backfire at my house)
*reads the first few coments* people will belive anything they read nowadays wont they?
Definitely a screaming comment on the state of the world nowadays that so many people (yes, admittedly including me) actually believed this. I shoulda known you were a DM...*chuckles at her own gulliblity*
??????????????????????????????????WHAT!!!!! thats evil, I will never forgiv ya ( unless U make lots and lots of new pags and that ya never stop)
That's unfear, trick me and my friend like that. I like your cartoon very much, but you almost lost me as a fan. It was a good thing you told it was a April's Fool joke so quick.
Now make many good cartoons and I will also forgive you!
protector is my friend bty
Probably Not Trogdor The Burninator says:
Heheheh. I can't believe you didn't cotton onto the fact this was an April Fools gag.
Still, I shouldn't speak. I was caught out for a few seconds by World Of Warcrafts "Warbucks" scheme ^_^;
Empress Catriona of the Cat-Elves says:
Good April Fools! That is one of the most creative and ingenious April Fools i've ever seen. Me likes. You are now officially an honourary cat-person.
Hate comic april fools jokes. For the sole reason that theres one less comic to see :)
one less comic yess.... but think of the hour read?ng all these funny comments. I had fun... lots of fun. :)
I believed it at first, though my first thought was "Do they really think that would hold in court?".
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Oh, April Fool? *slaps self*
And now we know why the link to add comments is at the bottom of the page..
M&A, you guys are totally evil. We love you. Don't ever change! ;-)
Occasionally, does anyone have a copy of the original "letter"?
Roflol. I think I'm gonna die.. You's guys are a crack-up. I love it!
Lol! How much reaserch on business letters did you do to write this with perfection? You seem to have fooled a lot of people!
LORD OF GREEN BUGS THAT GO SQUISH DURRING TEA TIME!!!!! says:
*GASP**feints* That was pretty scarry at first. Has Feiht been teaching you things, BECAUSE I WANNA LEARN TOO!!!!!! (breaks down sobbing)
2 many comments...
u know there was a big thing that said April Fools next 2 it!
Lone Star says:
If that was not April Fools, it would be happening where hedgehogs can fly.
Lone Star says:
and it would be absolute
"me no wanna have cts canceled! WAAAH!"
oh GAWD there are so many comments and i think this was only up for 2 or 3 days!
well DUH bookbook! If someone makes a cease and desist thingywhatsit and sends it to a good webcomic, there will OBVIOUSLY be lot of outraged posts!
Isn't there already a lord of the rings based webcomic? Why waste their time suing this one?
Oh. I didn't see the 'April Fools' text...
I just love how many people started researching law and proposing solutions right off the bat, but didn't even think of what day it was. I don't want to call humans "gullible", but many of us seem to be too smart for our own good, :p
People it's a prank. Chill
There's nothing here yet. There will be, but right now, there isn't.
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