Stay Free! | June 27
carrie at stayfreemagazine.org
Sun Jun 27 13:28:00 EDT 2004
Stay Free! is delighted to report that one of the artists from our
Illegal Art Exhibit, Tom Forsythe, has won a major victory in his
case against Mattel.
Mattel, you may recall, sued Forsythe over his "Food Chain Barbie"
http://www.illegal-art.org/print/popups/forsythe.html); Forsythe won
in the federal district court, then again on appeal in the circuit
Now the district court has gone the extra mile. Calling Mattel's case
"objectively unreasonable" and "frivolous," the court has ruled that
Mattel must pay Forsythe's team $2.1 million to cover legal fees and
Major congrats to Tom and his (until now) pro-bono lawyers... but
perhaps the real winners are the rest of us. This case sets a
precedent, and, with luck, it'll discourage corporations from using
copyright law to bring frivolous cases against artists.
Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions decision:
In other Illegal Art Exhibit news, here's a nice write-up about
"Wizard People" by Daniel Radosh:
"Harry Potter: The digital remix"
How one artist turned a kids movie into a poetic masterpiece J.K.
Rowling never could've imagined.
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
From the New York Times:
"E.P.A. Energy-Saving Spots Give Cars Short Shrift:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- the agency responsible
for increasing the fuel efficiency of cars -- has produced a series
of commercials that MOCKS attempts to increase the fuel efficiency of
cars. Apparently, spots feature an overweight, nerdy man devising
silly, quixotic schemes (think: sails and a helium tank) to save gas
with his vehicle. His wife, by contrast, is the voice of reason: "The
E.P.A. says the energy we use in our home can cause twice the
greenhouse gases of a car," she says. The responsible consumer, she
suggests, needn't worry about cars; she simply needs to buy
energy-saving household products!
Nevermind that the commercials suggest that the solution to earth's
energy crisis is for people to buy more new stuff -- that the onus
rests on the consumer rather than government agencies or auto
manufacturers. In the tradition of public service announcements,
that's a given. What really gets my goat is the portrayal of plans to
cut fuel use as ludicrous when they are, in fact, quite mundane. By
carpooling, using public transportation, or walking to the store
instead of getting in the damn car to go a few blocks people could
cut their fuel usage by half. As an analyst at the Union of Concerned
Scientists points out in the NYT article, "You're not likely to cut
your electricity use in half by using more efficient appliances."
People who really want to buy something could buy a hybrid car --
that'll also cut fuel use in half.
That said, it wouldn't be all that difficult to convert the spots
into something that seriously promotes energy conservation -- if only
they'd show people driving their cars off cliffs... or perhaps
throwing them in the ocean (after all, they do it with subway
trains)...or just blowing them up. Sure, there'd probably be some
environmental damage but certainly no worse than daily car use...and
at least they'd save fuel!
"Pressed to Raise Test Scores, Principals are Resorting to New
From the WALL STREET JOURNAL
After reading this, I'm not sure who we should be more worried about:
the kids who get ideas from watching reality TV or their teachers.
According to the WSJ, public school educators across the country --
terrified of losing funding -- are offering to humiliate themselves
in front of their schools if enough students raise test scores.
School officials are eating worms, kissing pigs, even letting
children shave them with dog shears. Maybe the Bush administration
should change the name of its high-stakes testing plan from "No Child
Left Behind" to "Fear Factor" - ?
that's all for now,
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