A popular comic character just escaped from control freaks

 

This time, at least.

Tintin is an extremely popular comics character, who was created by “Herge’” in 1929, that is ninety-two years ago. Herge’ died in 1983, that is thirty-eight years ago.

Almost forty years later the actual creator of that character died, another artist, called Xavier Marabout painted, quoting BoingBoing, “an amusing yet exquisitely detailed series of works depicting Tintin… hanging out with women”. Nice and funny paintings, if they are all like this one, aren’t they:

A popular comic character just escaped from control freaks /img/tintin-copyright-madness.jpg

Thanks to the copyright madness we live in, even if Herge’ died almost forty years ago, all his work is still a monopoly guarded by one company, pretty much like the Smaug dragon guarded the treasures of the Lonely Mountain:

A popular comic character just escaped from control freaks /img/smaug.jpg

that is, quoting BoingBoing again, with “heavy-handed enforcement”.

The good news is that that company, at least this time, went the way of Smaug. It attacked Marabout for “taking advantage of the reputation” of a character that they did not create, and all it got is a heavy slap by a French court, that not only ruled that the paintings are perfectly legal parodies, but also it “ordered Moulinsart to pay €10,000 over threats it issued to galleries showing Marabout’s work and €20,000 in legal fees”.

This Tintin story is far by being the first case of control freaks trying to maintain impenetrable copyright walls around something they did not create, for decades longer than they should, in a sane world. If you had never found this pathology before, have a look at the examples I collected here and here, of copyright madness hitting everything and everybody from Asterix and Tolkien to chairs, shows, astronauts, Lego toys and cops.

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