UNITED STATES: Ritchie Bush goes free


On February 3, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund claimed a victory, as US Customs released a shipment of Stripburger anthologies that it had seized in November on the grounds that two stories in the anthologies infringed copyright. The two stories in question were "Richie Bush", a four-page parody of Ritchie Rich that satirised US President George Bush, and "My Pole", an eight-page ecology parable in Serbian that features Peanuts characters. The comics were bound for publisher Top Shelf, which distributes the anthologies at US comic conventions for its European distributor. The seizure had enormous implications for the comic industry, as it implied that political parody was no longer a legitimate use of copyrighted characters. Customs offered no reason for the decision, but refunded the $250 fee Top Shelf and the CBLDF paid to appeal the decision. A flash version of Ritchie Bush is available at <http://www.RitchieBush.com>.

From Green Left Weekly, February 16, 2005.
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