Last week, Dr. Seuss Enterprises filed a complaint against ComicMix for it’s Oh the Places You’ll Boldly Go Kickstarter project. Those named in the suit along with ComicMix include David Gerrold, Glen Hauman, and Ty Templeton.
The crowd-funded project raised “tens of thousands of dollars to create an amalgamation of Star Trek and Dr. Seuss.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises alleges that copyrighted works were infringed by the defendants, including the following works. “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Lorax, and The Sneetches and Other Stories.”
“Defendants have created, without DSE‘s authorization, a book entitled Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go! (the infringing work), and have solicited investors to finance their mass production and distribution efforts for the infringing work,” said DSE in the complaint. “The infringing work infringes DSE‘s works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of several well-known Dr. Seuss works, including the works’ settings, illustrations, characters, prose, and themes. The infringing work unabashedly misappropriates DSE‘s intellectual property, to create the look and feel of an authorized Dr. Seuss work.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises would like statutory damages up to $150,000 for every separate Seuss work that was infringed by the defendants, plus “gains, profits and advantages” from their project as well as damages.
Before the Kickstarter page was deactivated due to the pending lawsuit, the defendants said, “While we firmly believe that our parody, created with love and affection, fully falls within the boundary of fair use, there may be some people who believe that this might be in violation of their intellectual property rights. And we may have to spend time and money proving it to people in black robes. And we may even lose that.”
The court document can be seen here.