- Posted by Johanna on May 21, 2009 at 8:42 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
So, in an example of how twisted our legal system can be, Cosmic Debris (owners of the Emily the Strange property) has sued Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont. Who are they? The writer and illustrator of the Nate the Great series of children’s books (news via Robot6). One particular book from 1978, Nate the Great Goes Undercover, features a character named Rosamond who had long black hair and was kinda creepy.
No big deal, there are plenty of “goth girls” in literature, right? (And in fact, that’s Cosmic Debris’ argument.) However, as discussed here, one of Emily’s very first appearances features her in the same pose as Rosamond, with very similar looking (mirror image) cats surrounding her, and accompanied by the very same text, “She looked like she always looks. Strange.”
Most observers find the two images too close together to be a coincidence — same hair, same dress, same shoes. Rob Reger, Cosmic Debris owner, says, “Nathan Carrico first conceived of and used Emily as a character for a skateboard design in 1991… Although the designs and worlds of Rosamond and Emily are different and readily distinguishable, … we phased out the original skateboard design upon learning of the Rosamond character.” To me, that seems an interesting decision if Rosamond truly had no influence on Emily’s creation.
Here are more comparison pictures showing more similarities. This all hit the blogverse in December of last year. You would expect those who appear to be the ones infringed upon to be the ones suing, in the normal course of things (as many comments suggested), but now, Cosmic Debris wants a judge to prevent the authors from claiming infringement or collecting any damages. Whether or not that’s their motive, such a ruling will allow their movie to proceed.