So, this morning we wrote about comic artist Randy Queen sending copyright notices to Tumblr to make a bunch of posts disappear
, which were critical of his work. […] The Escher Girls blog posted what was, frankly, an incredibly even-handed post about the situation, just letting people know what was going on. The author specifically noted no desire to fight back or attack Queen, but just to let people know. It appeared that Escher Girls had no plan to even file a counter notice.
Still, apparently just that post was too much for Queen. Ami Angelwings, the owner of Escher Girls tweeted out this morning that Queen is now threatening to sue her for defamation over the post
. Here’s his email:
Dear Eschergirls and Kim,
I would encourage you to put a stop to all of this. I have no problem getting legal involved for defamation, and for your various allegations on your takedown notice thread, and am happy to send a formal cease and desist letter from my lawyer.
Instead of simply removing the content you do not have the right to electronically distribute, you wish to push further, and publicly challenges my right to protect the perception of my IP as it exists today.
At this point, I will ask you to please move along, as no good will come of this.
Additionally, instead of taking shots at art someone did 18 years ago while they were still learning - which are no longer representative of their current art style or direction for their character - I encourage you to spend your time and energy on creating your own characters and comics which you can mkae your own personal sacrifices to bring to the world.
Where to start? So, we go from bogus attempts to stifle criticism via copyright law, to then trying to stifle discussion of that stifling by bogus defamation threats. Someone really doesn’t like being criticized apparently.
[…] Queen ought to familiarize himself with fair use. Again, this was a pretty clear case of fair use. They were using very small snippets of his comic work, clearly for the non-commercial purpose of criticism. It’s almost exactly what fair use was designed for.
[Next], Escher Girls was not “publicly challeng[ing]” Queen’s right to “protect the perception of my IP.” You have no right to protect the perception of your IP
. Perception is an individual thing. At most, he might be able to make a claim that he had a legitimate right to do a takedown, but even so none of that would ever
stop Escher Girls (or anyone else) from then discussing the takedown notice and what happened.