Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fair Use Parody

Or........Art and the useless Rant.     Zazzle, the digital landlord of my online shopping boutique rejected this drawing for my tee shirt line.  It is my original art but they claim it is a trademark infringement on the corporate brand Fruit of the Loom.    I say duh..!  Hello! Yes.  It's a PARODY.  It wouldn't be much of a parody if it didn't resemble the original, now would it?  A joke is a twist on reality and a parody is a twist on familiarity.  It was my express purpose to have this drawing reminiscent of the Corporate underwear maker. It was the very point.  I'm not sure how you could not get this.  If anything I would say it is too straight forward.  I guess if you never set off a cherry bomb as a kid you might not get the cherry/cherry bomb reference.  But bomb, loom boom... pretty straight forward.  Parody.  According to  the Constitution of the United States of America we have a right to free parody. (Look it up, I'm sure it's there somewhere.) This drawing is my right to free parody and I should be allowed to publish it, particularly on a tee shirt to complete the art concept.  What damage am I doing to a corporate icon? One has to know the original brand to get the joke, free marketing brand recall as I see it.  It is an artist look at corporate branding. If anything can examine commercial icons, Art can.  
Speaking of Art Can....Andy Warhol painted a Campbells Soup can and called it art. It was the actual trademark can, he didn't change it only, enlarged it.  Zazzle would probably say no to that idea too. The things we artists have to endure to push the visual envelope is astounding. 
So here it is in the square above.... gone soon and never to be published again.... my drawing of the Fruit of the Boom label. 
It would look great on a plain white tee shirt.  But nooooo..... 
As I was,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

My son had the same problem with a series of posters he painted and wanted to feature on t-shirts through a similar company (something Cafe...I forget now). They were parody book covers with a what-if: "What if Mary Shelly wrote Catcher in the Rye," etc. Then the cover art reflected it. They were brilliant. The company wouldn't print them because they were afraid they'd get into copyright trouble. They wouldn't, of course. Not in any way.
No amount of explaining how the law works would convince them. Too bad. Your Fruit of the Boom and his dozen or so covers would've been fun to see out there in the real world. Maybe this is typical of all such companies (?)