if only comics were real :( I guess I will have to settle for broken ankles
#324; In which Alvin chooses wisely




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MISSIVES. (see all)

THIS WEEKEND: Maker Faire Bay Area!

THIS WEEKEND I’ll be at Maker Faire in San Mateo!

FAIRE IT UP

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

From “What is Maker Faire”

For the FIRST TIME this year it’s a three-day show: there’s an “Industry Night” on Friday night, and then it’s open to the public like usual on Saturday & Sunday.

WHAT INDUSTRY is that referring to? I dunno! We all work hard, you and me. We are all industrious.

I will be in the BAZAAR, which is a craft-fair-style sort of sub-fair within Maker Faire. At BOOTH #29:

MAP IT UP

Perhaps you would like to come get a book or a puzzle or a Roll-a-Sketch…or even just a firm handshake or a wave from a respectful distance! We will have all of these things available.

If you will be ANYWHERE ELSE this weekend, you can now get our puzzles!! They’re available at TopatoCo (with all my other great things) or Amazon (with, like, peanut butter or whatever).

PUZZLE IT UP


COMING UP SOON: A special project involving Roll-a-Sketch original watercolor paintings.

ROLL IT UP (don't actually do this)

If you would like to own one of these limited, one-of-a-kind pieces (last seen in the 2014 Wondermark Calendar or in postcards)…

Or some OTHER neat things…

Your chance is coming up. SOON.

See you at Maker Faire!!



Check out: Comics, Narrated

Voice actor SungWon Cho has a series on Tumblr of audio performances of comic strips! (The video above is him, too.)

I’ve seen comics narrated a few times and it’s always pretty fun. SungWon does it exceptionally well.

Of course I am partial to his reading of a Wondermark strip! NICELY DONE, SUNGWON.

But they are all great.

(Note: Tumblr’s audio player has known bugs with Chrome. Use a different browser if it doesn’t work.)

I also love seeing this sort of thing done in general: talented people having fun with their talent in a way that other people can share. That can do more for a career than fancy business cards, or expensive websites, or press releases extolling your own greatness. Heck I’m sharing his work right now!!



Check Out: A New Index of Copyright Fair Use Cases

THE BATTLE OF COPYRIGHT  2011
Source: Christopher Dombres via Flickr

The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a new Fair Use Index:

Fair use is a longstanding and vital aspect of American copyright law. The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public by presenting a searchable database of court opinions, including by category and type of use (e.g., music, internet/digitization, parody).

The Fair Use Index is designed to be user-friendly. For each decision, we have provided a brief summary of the facts, the relevant question(s) presented, and the court’s determination as to whether the contested use was fair.

The Index itself is a series of summaries of key legal decisions regarding copyright and fair use, largely from the last sixty years.

It’s super interesting to me! Wondermark is, of course, created using images from the public domain. Which is not the same as fair use; public domain works have no copyright, whereas fair use is made of works that are copyrighted.

But copyright in all its gleaming facets is still a topic near and dear to my heart as an artist, author, and attentive internet citizen: I’ve written a fair amount about copyright and intellectual property.

The Fair Use Index includes some watershed copyright cases, such as 1978′s Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, the precedent that defines the infringement threshold for copying copyrighted characters for “parody” purposes.

It might be said that under the Air Pirates test, the entire product line of the t-shirt website TeeFury is illegal, and I notice that very conveniently, most of their designs are only available in strictly limited, before-they-can-send-us-a-cease-and-desist editions.

Also included is the “Betamax” case, 1984′s Sony Corporation v. Universal City Studios, which ruled that recording a free broadcast of live television onto videotape for later home viewing — referred to as “time-shifting” — was, indeed, legal. “Home taping” (of both television and radio) was the big I.P. boogieman threat before “piracy”, and this court decision was what enabled the VCR, as a consumer device, to exist at all.

In browsing, I also came across some interesting cases I hadn’t heard about before, such as:

• 1985′s MGM v. Honda Motor Corp., in which MGM sued — and won — claiming that a spy-themed Honda commercial was too reminiscent of their copyrighted character, James Bond (and that it damaged the James Bond brand to show him in a Honda);

• 2004′s MasterCard v. Nader 2000, in which MasterCard sued — and lost — a copyright infringement suit against Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign commercials which copied/parodied its “priceless” slogan;

• 2006′s CleanFlicks v. Soderbergh, in which the company CleanFlicks, which edited objectionable content out of Hollywood movies and re-sold them to customers who preferred them that way, sought a declaratory judgment that doing so was legal — and lost. They thought they’d be OK because they’d buy a copy of the actual DVD, add in the edited version, and re-sell that precise physical DVD — not unlike buying a book, blacking out various passages, and then re-selling that physical book. Anyway, they lost;

• And of course, 2011′s CCA and B v. F+W Media, which ruled that the parody book Elf Off the Shelf (featuring a drunken, naughty elf), was, indeed, legal. Thank God for that.

The Fair Use Index: really great browsing, if you’re interested in copyright!