Scenes from childhood

I worked at a music publishing company for a long time, and while it wasn’t much like this cartoon, there were a couple of similarities. We published a lot of pop songs that were based on classical pieces and folk tunes, but the difference was the writers didn’t try to hide the songs’ origins. If Krazy had just called his tune “Hot Daydream,” I don’t think the ghost of Schumann would have been so quick to torture him with the piano typewriter here. Art builds on the past, and as long as that general framework is acknowledged, I think we’re good. What do you think?

Redrawn and quartered

If you think I’ve posted this Peter Rabbit cartoon before, you’re sort of right. A few years ago I posted the original version, but there is something about this ripoff redrawn version that charms me the way kid fan art or the best store front art charms me. It’s very clunky and wrong, but… I don’t know. What do you think? Original is here for reference.

There are lots of other weird redrawn cartoons on this clip as well. Happy Saturday morning to you.

Words that end in “-bution”

I saved this photo the other day from somewhere,

but now I can’t find where I got it from. I’d normally not post something without a proper photo credit, but my thoughts on that are somewhat mitigated by the fact that I seem to remember this coming from somewhere on Facebook where attribution to the original source is rarely found. So, if I got it from an interim source that didn’t provide any attribution to the original source, I’m not sure how guilty I feel about not providing that interim source with credit for reposting or whatever. I’d normally do it, but in this case I can’t. And I can’t resist posting this nice little monkey boy photo.

Anyway. If you’re either the interim source or the original source for this photo, please feel free to let me know so that I may provide you with proper attribution, or we may alternately discuss other forms of retribution.

Published in: on October 22, 2015 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IP, freely

Today’s my big brother’s big birthday. I was tempted to shoot a video of me singing “Happy Birthday To You” and post it to YouTube, but I was afraid that the copyright police would bust me. You think that’s a joke. It’s not a joke. Look how scared this kid is of the copyright police busting him for singing “Happy Birthday”:

That’s okay, kid. I understand. Navigating intellectual property rights can be kind of terrifying. The good news is that because of some recent evidence uncovered in the midst of a lawsuit, there’s a chance “Happy Birthday” is finally going to fall into the public domain sometime soon, and if that happens you’ll be able to sing your little heart out without having to pay a licensing fee.

Of course, if that copyright actually does get declared null and void, everybody and their mother is going to be running around singing “Happy Birthday,” so maybe you’ll want to stand out by perfecting one of the parody variants. I’m sure you know the looking like a monkey and smelling like one too version, but I recommend the popular German variant – “Happy birthday to you, Marmelade im Schuh, Aprikose in der Hose, und ein Bratwurst dazu,” which roughly translates to “marmalade in the shoe, apricot in the pants, and with those, a bratwurst.” Now that’s a crazy party. Let’s get to practicing.


A big saddle, a carpet and a TV

I guess the Estate of George Harrison can’t very well sue for copyright infringement here, can it?

Oh wait; I guess it can. Interesting.

Etiquette & superstition: losing one’s virginity

Someone on the internet scans and posts an out of print book, and copyright holders of said book ask them to take it down. Old story. But here’s the good part: copyright holders actually decide to get the book reprinted for all to enjoy. Kudos, Estate of Edward Gorey.

ETIQUETTE (from The Recently Deflowered Girl, written and illustrated by Edward Gorey under the pseudonym Hyacinthe Phyppe; originally published 1965): “Deflowerment at Seance: At seance conducted by smooth-talking gypsy, you ask him to produce spirit of Rudolph Valentino. Spirit of Valentino appears and you are deflowered.

After deflowerment, you say, ‘Gee, Mr. Valentino, may I have your autograph?’

He says, ‘To tell the truth, this whole seance is a fake.’

You say: ‘Personally, I don’t believe in them either.'”

SUPERSTITION: A hooting owl is a sign that one of the young virgins in the village has been deflowered. Damn gossipy owls.

Straight to hell

Once again I get caught up in a copyright quandary. There’s this incredible photo of a “lost” flyer up on Flickr, and the guy who took it has it marked with a © All Rights Reserved mark, not a Creative Commons mark or anything, and even though the revered Bike Snob has posted the image on his site without any attribution, and even though I have a section on my site dedicated to exceptional notices about lost items, I hesitate to post this exceptional flyer here without seeking prior permission.

At my work, I spend all day listening to people say, “But I’m not making any money off it! I gave you credit! It’s just more publicity for you!” when they violate a client’s terms of copyright. It’s tiresome. Those things aren’t really the point of copyright. Control over the dissemination of one’s work is the point of copyright. I get that. I respect it. Often. Not always. But from time to time I do. In certain contexts. Argh. I don’t know. Thus the quandary.

Aw, fuck it. I need to share what’s not mine.


Seeing as he didn’t actually make the flyer, but just took a photo of it, I would argue that this flyer isn’t really Yankel Frankel‘s to copyright either. But he just copyrighted the image of the flyer, not the flyer. And the flyer doesn’t have a copyright notice on it, because obviously the guy/girl who made the flyer wanted it to be disseminated as much as possible.

If I could have gotten one of my friends in New York to steal one of these flyers and send the original to me to scan I wouldn’t be violating anybody’s copyright. And if I put a scanned image up of the flyer it would be good for everybody in terms of disseminating its message, even if I did have someone steal the original flyer… off public property, where no doubt it’s not legal to post flyers in the first place. It’s a slippery slope, this idea of intellectual property. Maybe somebody can buy me an ice cream truck so I can stop worrying about this copyright stuff once and for all.

Better than Slugworth’s


I recently learned that Roald Dahl’s widow compiled a couple of recipe books based on cuisine found in his children’s books like James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolote Factory. It took some doing for me to get more than a cursory look at the book online, but I finally found a website that was willing to face the wrath of the Puffin Books copyright police. (Note to copyright police who might take issue with me reprinting the excerpt I found online – reprinting excerpts of the book for review or editorial purposes is fair use. Just saying. I know this because I am a copyright policewoman myself).

Unlike Google Books, this blog I found was good enough to reprint a couple of the recipes found in the book. At first I was bitterly disappointed when I saw that the hot frog recipe contained no frogs, but then it started getting better.  The Hansel & Gretel spare ribs recipe called for a vague “American style spare ribs,” which to my mind left the door open for what kind of ribs could be used. The ribs of a couple of children immediately came to mind, though they are Australian rather than American.

Anyway, then we got to the Wonka recipes.  While I didn’t find instructions for candy balloons, it appears that what they did include in the book they got absolutely right:

Hair Toffee to Make Hair Grow on Bald Men

1/4 cup    unsalted butter    50 mL
1 cup    white sugar    250 mL
1 tbsp    warm water    15 mL
1 tbsp    white wine vinegar    15 mL
2 tbsp    golden syrup    25 mL
1/2 cup    egg vermicelli (broken in half and cooked)    125 mL

Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan, stir in the sugar and remove the pan from heat. Add the water, vinegar and syrup and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. DO NOT allow the mixture to boil. Add the egg vermicelli. Place the sugar thermometer into the pan. Now bring the mixture to boiling point and boil steadily for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the thermometer reads 300°F (150° C). Pour the toffee into the greased tin and allow to cool. As soon as it is cool enough to handle, lightly grease your hands with butter. Take two forks and scrape up a few strands of vermicelli. Then using your hands, roll the toffee into a small bite size mound. Repeat. Place on greased try and allow to set. Wrap and twist individually in greaseproof paper, kitchen foil or, better still, cellophane, to prevent them from becoming sticky.

Now, I’m not lacking in the hair department, but this does sound like it would be delicious with some hot ice cream and a nice tall butterscotch & soda.

Photo by Hugh Candyside on Flickr

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