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The Far Side copyright infringement

From: Andrea <afryrear@creators.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 20:23:33 -0600
Message-Id: <D78BEF5C-05CD-485F-ACAD-FC19A86F8167@creators.com>
Cc: site-comments@w3.org
To: steve@w3.org
March 2, 2007

Steven R. Bratt, Ph.D.
CEO, World Wide Web Consortium
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
32 Vassar St.
Room 32-G515
Cambridge, MA 02139

             Via E-mail: steve@w3.org

             Via E-mail: site-comments@w3.org

Re:            Notice of Infringement of The Far Side® Cartoon:


Dear Dr. Bratt:

Creators Syndicate, an international newspaper syndicate, syndicates  
Gary Larson's The Far Side cartoons to foreign newspapers.  In  
addition we handle all reprint permissions requests for The Far Side  
following guidelines long established by Mr. Larson and his company  
FarWorks Inc. (copyright owner to all Far Side images).  In short, we  
approve or disapprove requests to reproduce Mr. Larson's cartoons,  
and carefully monitor the ways in which they appear.

We are writing on behalf of FarWorks, Inc. and Gary Larson about your  
posting of one Far Side cartoon on your website http://www.w3.org/ 
2005/Talks/0623-sb-IEEEStorConf/farside3.gif. While Mr. Larson is  
certainly flattered to know you are a fan of his work, we have to be  
concerned about any unauthorized use of The Far Side name and  
cartoons, especially when they appear online.

FarWorks has a serious problem with unauthorized uses of The Far Side  
worldwide.  As a result, it does not allow online publication of  
works from The Far Side.  No matter how insignificant a few uses may  
seem, it still amounts to making versions of the cartoons available  
in digital form for anyone to download, which makes it virtually  
impossible for Mr. Larson to control future uses, something that is  
very important to him.

Please read the letter from Mr. Larson below, and respect his wishes  
by removing the cartoon from your website.  Many thanks in advance  
for your cooperation.


Andrea Fryrear
Permissions Department
Creators Syndicate
5777 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Ph: (310) 337–7003
Fax: (310) 337–7625
E-Mail: afryrear@creators.com

Enclosures: A note from Gary Larson

A note from Gary Larson

RE: Online Use of Far Side Cartoons


I'm walking a fine line here.

On the one hand, I confess to finding it quite flattering that some  
of my fans have created web sites displaying and / or distributing my  
work on the Internet. And, on the other, I'm struggling to find the  
words that convincingly but sensitively persuade these Far Side  
enthusiasts to "cease and desist" before they have to read these  
words from some lawyer.

What impact this unauthorized use has had (and is having) in tangible  
terms is, naturally, of great concern to my publishers and therefore  
to me -- but it's not the focus of this letter. My effort here is to  
try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me,  
personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in  
cyberspace beyond my control.

Years ago I was having lunch one day with the cartoonist Richard  
Guindon, and the subject came up how neither one of us ever solicited  
or accepted ideas from others. But, until Richard summed it up quite  
neatly, I never really understood my own aversions to doing this:  
"It's like having someone else write in your diary," he said. And how  
true that statement rang with me. In effect, we drew cartoons that we  
hoped would be entertaining or, at the very least, not boring; but  
regardless, they would always come from an intensely personal, and  
therefore original perspective.

To attempt to be "funny" is a very scary, risk-laden proposition.  
(Ask any stand-up comic who has ever "bombed "on stage.) But if there  
was ever an axiom to follow in this business, it would be this: be  
honest to yourself and -- most important -- respect your audience.

So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I  
only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do  
that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on  
the Internet. These cartoons are my "children," of sorts, and like a  
parent, I'm concerned about where they go at night without telling  
me. And, seeing them at someone's web site is like getting the call  
at 2:00 a.m. that goes, "Uh, Dad, you're not going to like this much,  
but guess where I am.

I hope my explanation helps you to understand the importance this has  
for me, personally, and why I'm making this request.

Please send my "kids" home. I'll be eternally grateful.

Most respectfully,

Gary Larson
Received on Saturday, 3 March 2007 02:23:45 UTC

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